In a recent post at his Leadership Wired blog, John Maxwell writes: “Recently, another leader asked me about how he should go about sharpening his skills in the areas where he was naturally gifted. He already had done something I consider really important: He had discovered his strengths. Now he was ready to focus his efforts at growth in those areas so he could really improve where he could make an impact. I gave his question some thought, and soon some specific ways to grow came to mind.”

Among the ideas John shares are these:

Get Feedback
“These days the feedback I receive comes when I speak before groups, but feedback from any number of people can be really valuable.

“I still remember several years ago, when I was talking about failure to an audience. In passing, I made the statement that we all need to learn how to fail forward. Suddenly, there was an audible gasp from the crowd. I immediately thought, ‘Oh my gosh, that phrase really connected,’ and that literally was the seed for my eventual book Failing Forward.

“Now how did I know that phrase would speak to people in a book? I had already gotten feedback. We all need to talk to others, whether in a large group or a small one, in order to get feedback about our strengths.”

Write Down Your Thoughts
“I believe nothing helps us to clearly see how well we’re thinking as much as writing things down. I’ve discovered that when I write a thought on paper and then examine it, I can think of all sorts of ways to improve it.

“You see, when you speak, you can kind of gloss over an error in thinking, because five seconds later you’re on to another idea; but when you write something down, it just stares back at you. Here’s one important note: Don’t wait until something is good to write it down, or you’ll never write something down. Just get it on recorded, and then you’ll be able to make it good by revising it.” (Click here to read the full article and all five ideas for sharpening your skills.)

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