Who Decides What’s a Strength?

Human beings have a variety of strengths,coming in different degrees and types.

Strengths-based approaches are rapidly spreading across fields of personal growth/development, education, leadership, organization effectiveness, community building, coaching, counseling, and others. Like the different forms of beauty, quality, or intelligence, strengths are in the eye of the beholder. It boils down to definition, perception, and perspective.

There is a very useful distinction on a types of strengths:

Talents – innate abilities like IQ, musical, or athletic giftedness
Skills – proficiencies developed through training and development
Interests – personal passions like sports, arts, or hobbies
Values – personal beliefs, principles, or ideals
Resources – external supports such as social, community, or spiritual connections

Skills or competencies often align with our talents, interests, or values.

Summing-up: An old Groucho Marx line is, “who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?” Different types of strengths depend on who’s perceiving them and whether they’re viewed from an internal or external perspective.

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