How to Play to Your Strengths in Your Career

Steve Halsall

Red Tiger Consulting


Do you know your strengths as a person? Could you list your top 10 strengths? How would your friends or work colleagues describe your strengths?

If you don’t have a clear understanding of your strengths, how can you perform to your maximum?

This blog will seek to define what we mean by strengths, outlining why an understanding of your strengths is important in selling yourself and excelling in your current role. We will also introduce a Psychometric Platform that we use at Red Tiger Coaching called Strengthscope, an invaluable approach that can help you push your performance to the next level.


Strengths can be defined as positive qualities that make you more effective or, in its simplest sense, tasks or actions that you do well.

Understanding your own strengths is critical to your success if you are looking for a job or wishing to succeed in your current role.

In the context of career coaching, strengths are what energise or motivate you. These strengths, in combination with your skills and knowledge, alongside an alignment to the goals of your organisation, is what will help define your “zone of peak performance”.


If you are looking for a new role and have taken the time to understand your strengths, this can be used to help choose the roles that will most likely play to those specified qualities. Some of those strengths may be highlighted in a job description, and you can also use the interview process to probe further about whether the role plays to your strengths.

It is much better to do that due diligence prior to starting in a role, as once you are in it you are much more likely to fall into a rut with lack of motivation and resulting under performance if that role doesn’t play to your strengths.

Clearly, choosing a role that plays to your strengths is a win-win situation. You are likely to be more engaged and motivated in your work, and your output will be aligned to the job function, thus leading to receiving positive feedback.


A good CV is built on core strengths and skills. Critical to a good CV is having some of your strengths highlighted, ideally in alignment to the role you are applying for. These strengths and skills will vary depending on the type of role and whether it is entry level, middle management, or leadership.

In an interview situation you will find it far easier to talk about your strengths or examples where you have used them, compared to speaking about areas in which you are less strong and hence, less motivated by. In an interview it is important to project positivity, and this is much easier when you talk about your strengths. It’s pretty simply – tasks you like tend to energize you, tasks you aren’t motivated by provide you with less energy and enjoyment.


It is a paradox of human psychology that people remember criticism but tend to respond to praise. The former is likely to make people defensive and unwilling to change, whilst the latter produces confidence and desire to perform better. Understanding your strengths and helping your line manager and colleagues understand them as well will help in driving your own motivation.

We’ve all been in Personal Development Reviews (or Appraisals) where some of the focus is on the tasks that haven’t been done or areas for improvement. It is important to focus on continuous personal improvement, however it is better to focus on your less strong strengths to improve in specific areas, rather than your overall weakest ones as you are unlikely to be motivated by the in any way. It is also the case that people can overload their key strengths i.e. too much emphasis is placed on you in these areas, which can also be detrimental to your motivation and performance.

Getting the balance right between developing strengths and reducing performance risks means that you will have higher levels of resilience, confidence, engagement, and success.


The focus until now has been on individual strengths, but it is imperative that line managers and leaders look at their teams’ individual and collective strengths. This can result in a highly motivated and engaged team, as their collective strengths then work together cohesively, reducing levels of friction between individual team members. If there are new hire requirements, platforms such as Strengthscope can provide a robust mechanism with which to identify strength gaps and assess potential candidates in relation to supplementing the strengths of the existing team.

Strengthscope Quadrants


Red Tiger Coaching assessed a number of Psychometric tests and we have chosen Strengthscope as our preferred platform for strength discovery and strength optimisation (we will also utilise other Psychometric tests if required). For those in HR/Talent Development, it can be used across your employee lifecycle, from selection through to development.

Strengthscope’s easy-to-use structure rates 24 different strengths based on 4 quadrants: Emotional, Relational, Thinking, and Execution. My own individual Strengthscope profile rates Relational as my strongest quadrant (32%), followed by Emotional (25%), Execution (22%), and Thinking (21%). A lot of focus is on the Significant 7 Strengths, which in my case are Optimism, Collaboration, Compassion, Empathy, Leading, Relationship Building and Initiative. It is interesting to note that 5 of my Significant 7 fall within the Relational quadrant; it would suggest that I am highly motivated in my capacity as a Recruiter and Career Coach, which is obviously true.

One of my least strong strengths is Detail Orientation which is so true – in meetings where I am with people whose strength is in the Detail, I tend to disengage and try to keep it much more high level! Something I need to work on.

This short video gives you a good overview of its uses:

The proof is in the outcome. This is a testimonial from one of our Strengthscope clients:

If you are interested in finding out more then please get in touch with me through | 07979 756 257

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Published by Steve Halsall

Steve is the founder of Red Tiger Consulting. He has worked in Location Planning for over 20 years – both on the consultancy side and client side. His passion is building successful teams that evolve their capability (skills, software and data) to meet the ever changing requirements of analysis. In his spare time he is mainly kept busy with his two children, falling in and out of love with Liverpool FC and at some point he wants to re-start his golfing ‘career’.


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