How to Optimize Strengths so You Can Painlessly Increase Productivity & Performance

Alex Bratty
5 min readAug 17, 2020

We’re all familiar with the traditional performance review where “areas of improvement” are identified for team members to work on.

Makes sense — we all have strengths and weaknesses. Conventional wisdom is that we need to work on our weaknesses. But, what if that’s not true? What if it’s actually better to focus on your strengths?

Think about that for a moment…

If you were coaching an Olympic athlete whose specialty event was the 100 meters, would you recommend that she work on building up her long-distance endurance so she can get better at her area of weakness, the 800 meters? Of course not! You’d be focused on developing what makes her great at the 100 meters so she can be even better.

Guess what? The same thing is true in business. As a leader or manager, you are effectively a coach for your people. Think of yourself as the Olympic coach who develops their strengths.

And, here’s why this matters so much. Research shows that using our top strengths at work is associated with greater:

→ Engagement

→ Productivity

→ Satisfaction

→ Perceiving work-as-a-calling

→ Financial success

As a positive leader, all of that evidence should be ringing your bell.

Okay, so how do we actually implement a strengths-based approach in the workplace?

Well, first you need to identify your strengths by taking a simple assessment. Yes, even if you think you know your strengths, you should still take the assessment because most of us are blind to many of our strengths. So, the assessment helps us to see our strengths more clearly.

There are different assessments you can use for this and if you want more on that, check out this previous post. My preferred assessment is the VIA Character Strengths assessment. You can take this assessment for free at my website — just go to It takes about 15 minutes to complete and I assure you the questions are simple and easy.

Alex Bratty

✅ Positive Work Culture Champion ✅ Researcher ✅ Improve Motivation & Engagement ✅ Increase Productivity & Profitability