Pay Very Close Attention: Focus

By: Andrew

Focus can mean many things; today I am going to explain why it is a great strength to have. People who have focus as one of their top 5 strengths are people who are always asking, “Where am I headed?” This strength can be particularly good for people with a busy daily schedule and those who enjoy having daily goals met.

list of strengths; focus in green

I think focus can be interpreted in many ways when talking about it as a strength. The Clifton StrengthsFinder Quick Reference Card briefly describes Focus as, “People who can take a direction, follow through, and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act.” I think of Focus as a way for me to set goals throughout my day, and for as far away as a year from now. With goal setting, I allow myself to realize and focus on what the most important task at that time is. Focus can also be seen as a great skill if you are taking direction from a superior. Managers and bosses are always looking for people who can execute tasks promptly and correctly.

If one of your top 5 strengths is not Focus, that is OK! However, if you feel Focus would be more of a weakness for you, do not worry, but you should try and understand why people are so focused. By taking the time to understand why your team member is always so into setting goals and acting on them quickly, you will be better equipped to understand their frustrations and why they celebrate successes differently than you.

For those of us who have Focus as a top 5 strength, we should focus (didn’t plan that) on using some of the following “action items” to allow for greater success in our day-to-day lives:

  • When given assignments, clarify timelines and expectations in advance.
  • Use your focus to help groups stay on track in classroom discussion or meetings.
  • You can spend long periods of time concentrating on one thing. This allows you to be highly productive but can lead to even greater excellence if you set aside those periods of time intentionally and let others know why you’re doing that.
  • When you work on group projects, take responsibility for summarizing what was decided, defining when these decisions will be acted upon, and setting a date when the group will reconvene.
  • Partner with Ideation or Strategic talents before honing in on a goal, so you can gain confidence that your Focus talents are aimed in the most effective direction.

With all 34 strengths and only 5 of them being your top 5, take the time to focus on what you do best. We all have strengths and weaknesses but it is our strengths that set us apart. So make your strengths shine through!

Read about the other 33 Strengths.

Read Andrew’s other posts

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