A strengths statement (or power statement) is a great tool to have in your pocket for interviews, networking events or during those moments you just need a boost. Having a few statements in your repertoire for different types of situations can be helpful but for now let’s start with one. You can come back to your work and create more as you are ready.
Step 1: Write down a list of your ‘power words’.
Power words are positive words or short phrases that describe your strengths. There are several ways you can come up with your power words – some of which can be quite fun!
- Have a power words party. Gather a few close friends that know each other well and, one at a time, have the group describe someone’s strengths. If you have enough people, it’s helpful to have one-person write them down so the person being described can just listen and take in the compliments.
- Email friends/family/colleagues and ask them to share a few works with you that describe your strengths.
- If you’ve done the exercises in our Discovering Your Path Life Line, look at the words you circled in the Strengths section. If you haven’t done that activity, list out ten accomplishments. Star the 3 to 5 accomplishments that you are most proud of and describe why you are most proud of them (there are some questions to prompt your why in the Discovering your Path Life Line if you are having challenges), then circle all words or phrases that jump out at you.
Here are a few power word samples to help spark your thinking. But don’t just pull from these – try to come up with a few of your own!
If you still need help figuring out your power words, there are several tools out there that can help you determine your strengths. A few of these have a limited service that they offer for free but for most there is a charge to leverage. Our favorite is Gallup’s StrengthsFinder 2.0.
Step 2: Brainstorm 5 to 7 achievements
You need to get very clear on what you are good at. Accomplishments can be hard for women to think of as we often don’t acknowledge all of the amazing things we do on a daily basis. The fact that you are creating a strengths statement and continue to grow and learn with everything else going on in your life is an accomplishment in itself!
Accomplishments don’t have to be work related. They can be about helping a friend or about a project you did at your child’s school or even just managing the schedule so you (and your kids if you have them) actually get to where you need to go on time with everything you need.
Step 3: Pick achievements that have clear and tangible results.
Think about the outcomes of what you did, how you can measure them and the best way to show the value you brought. Write down those results.
Step 4: Choose the one power word / achievement / outcome combo that makes you feel the most accomplished and write it in the following sentence.
“I am <power word>. I <achievement>. And, as a result, <add the outcome>.
As an example, I am a <powerful influencer>. I <convinced my child’s school to implement a healthy eating program> and as a result, <over 400 children and their families are living healthier lives>.
Colibri Life Pro Tip:
Try to create a power statement that is 10 words or less that speaks to your power but also evokes curiosity by focusing more on what you do for others or the outcome you provide. Ideally, your statement creates a feeling that people can relate to and want to discuss further.
Step 5: Practice, practice, practice.
Your strengths statement needs to come out very naturally (and very powerfully). Practice it, believe it and live it.