We all have a superpower. What’s yours? Learn the two main benefits of identifying your superpower, and 5 questions to help you identify your superpower. This is a critical element of your personal brand.

Link to “How to Identify Your Superpower” WORKSHEET:
https://talkabouttalk.com/superpower

CONTENTS

  • Summary
  • Resources & Contact Info
  • Episode Transcript

SUMMARY: What’s Your Superpower?

DEFINITION – WHAT IS A SUPERPOWER?
Your superpower is that thing that positively and uniquely distinguishes you from others.  It’s what makes you remarkable.  It’s what makes you, YOU!

  • We all have a superpower.
  • You can have more than one superpower, but less is more. It’s better to have one than to have many.
  • Your superpower can evolve over time.  However, it’s probably something that is part of your identity for your whole life. It’s your essence.

TWO WAYS TO LEVERAGE YOUR SUPERPOWER
CONFIDENCE 

  • When you feel that shot of adrenaline – For many people, this is the most significant way to leverage your superpower.  The next time you step out on stage (giving a speech, presentation, a pitch, a job interview, a big meeting), remind yourself of your superpower.  Let it fuel you up and elevate your confidence.
  • Contributing in meetings – If you aren’t sure when to jump in or what to say in an important meeting, focus on your superpower.  Say something like, “Based on my expertise,…”  Suddenly, the words come easy. You’re reminding everyone, including yourself, of your superpower. And the words come much more easily!

CAREER TRAJECTORY

  • Generally, when you know what your superpower is, it clarifies where and how to focus your career. It helps you make decisions about what to do (and what to avoid) because if your job is closely related to your superpower, you will be successful and you will be happy!
  • When you’re considering a new job or a promotion, consider whether the opportunity checks the boxes in terms of your superpower, Then you’ll know whether you should go for it!

HOW CAN YOU IDENTIFY YOUR UNIQUE SUPERPOWER?

    1. What’s your BEST DAY at work?
    2. What differentiates you relative to your peers?
    3. What compliments are the most meaningful to you?
    4. What topic are you obsessed with? 
    5. What comes easy for you?

RESOURCES

Get the “How to Identify your Superpower” WORKSHEET:

Dr. Andrea Wojnicki & Talk About Talk 


TRANSCRIPT

The title of this episode is a Q that I hope you’ll consider. It’s this:  What’s YOUR superpower? 

 

Yes, OF COURSE you have a superpower! We ALL have a superpower.  You MIGHT even have more than one! But you definitely have at least one.

 

If you’re not quite sure what your superpower is, or maybe you have some idea, but you’re not quite sure what to do with your superpower, well then this episode is for you!

Greetings and welcome to Talk About Talk episode number 111, focusing on your superpower.  We’re going to talk about what a superpower is, specific contexts when you can leverage your superpower, and yes, how to identify your superpower.

 

First though, I have a quick story to share with you. A few decades ago, I was at a professional football game with my Dad.  I was maybe 20 or so. This was American-style football, not European football.  Not that that matters, except there were these scantily clad cheerleaders on the field in front of us.  I don’t think those kind of cheerleaders exist in Europe.  Anyway, you couldn’t help but stare at them.  They were dancing around in front of us – between us and the football game we were trying to watch. (ha) you can probably tell I was really impressed.

 

Anyway, I turned to my Dad and I said, “THAT’s what I’m going to be when I grow up!”  You could cut the sarcasm with a knife! My Dad didn’t hesitate for even a millisecond.  I’ll never forget it.  He said, “You’ll be the BEST cheer-leader out there.” I gasped – and I said, “Dad! I’m JOKING!” And again, without hesitation, he said, “Well, I’m not. You’ll be great at whatever you decide to pursue.” 

 

I’ll never forget that conversation.

 

I realize now, a few decades later, that my Dad’s belief in my abilities had a profound effect. I never let-on at the time, but I believed most of what my Dad said to be the truth. And in this case, I interpreted his comment to mean that I could do anything I set my mind to.  Anything. This had a huge impact on my confidence. Basically I was raised to believe that if you work hard and focus on what you love, you’ll be successful.

 

In my academic pursuits, I never hesitated to go for it. And now, in my immensely satisfying role as an executive coach, I help my clients identify THEIR unique “superpowers,” so that they can be their most successful, happiest, best self. 

 

It occurred to me recently that this fundamental belief — that we all have a unique superpower—came from my Dad and stemmed from that conversation at that football game.  Thank you Dad.

 

Now, in this episode, I hope I can similarly inspire YOU. So I ask you again, What’s your Superpower?  Yes, OF COURSE you have one! 

 

In the next few minutes, you’re going to learn what a superpower is, specific contexts when you can leverage your superpower, and importantly, how to identify what your super power is.

 

Let me back up and introduce myself! I’m your executive communication coach, Dr. Andrea Wojnicki (please call me Andrea!). I‘m so delighted you’re here! If you’re an ambitious executive with a growth mindset, then you’re in the right place. You’ve probably spent years learning how to do your job – the technical skills. Now it’s time to up your game by focusing on your communication. And that’s EXACTLY what we’re all about here at talk about talk.

 

And by COMMUNICATION, we mean a lot more than just presentation skills and leading important meetings.  Though, of course those skills ARE impt! We also talk a lot about things like confidence, and personal branding, two topics that are directly related to your Superpowers!

 

If you go to the TAT.com website, you’ll find online courses, tip sheets, corporate workshops, one-on-one coaching, the archive of this bi-weekly podcast, AND, I really hope you’ll sign up for the Talk About Talk communication coaching newsletter. This is your chance to really up your game. Please sign up for that communication coaching newsletter if you haven’t already.

 

One more thing before we get into this. Something specific for this episode. I’ve created a Worksheet for you – to help you identify your superpower! Just go to the shownotes for this episode on the talkabouttalk.com website or in the notes under the title for this episode in whatever podcast player you’re using.  There’s a link right there. 

 

And of course, as always, there’s a summary of this episode in those shownotes too. So you don’t have to take notes, because I do that for you. You can just sit back and relax, or keep doing whatever you’re doing, driving, walking… you know the drill. You listen, I take notes… Then you access the summary AND THE WORKSHEET in the shownotes later – on the talkabouttalk.com website.  

 

Alright let’s get into this. First WHAT IS A SUPERPOWER, then HOW YOU CAN LEVERAGE YOUR SUPERPOWER, then, HOW YOU CAN IDENTIFY YOUR VERY OWN UNIQUE SUPERPOWER.

 

Are you ready? OK first – 

What exactly is a superpower?

Your superpower is that thing that positively and uniquely describes you. So 2 criteria: Positive & Unique.  It’s your true essence.  It’s what distinguishes you from others.  It’s what makes you remarkable.  It’s what makes you, YOU!

 

When I work with my clients on articulating their personal brands, we go through several exercises to help us identify their positive and unique traits. Then we identify the one main, the most important trait they possess.  It’s that one key theme or trait that’s their superpower. 

 

Your Superpower could be a personality trait that makes you stand out. It could be a personal value that you hold close and that you’re known for. It could be a skill that you excel at, a topic where you’re an expert, or even something like a role where you flourish or where you’re a role model.  Like maybe as a parent.  Or as a leader.  

 

So you see, it’s wide open in terms of what qualifies as a superpower.  Let me give you a few examples.

  • One highly regarded senior consultant I work with articulated her superpower as, “a global leader who’s relentlessly focused on creating positive impact”
  • A successful wealth manager I worked with articulated his superpower as his focus on FAMILY.  As in his clients’ families, his staff, and of course his own family.  He is relentless about family and this focus has differentiated him from the sea of wealth advisors and propelled his success. 
  • My friend, executive recruiter Sharon Mah-Gin, whom you’ve heard on a few past TAT episodes, her superpower is her ability or her PASSION, for networking and connecting people – always with energy & enthusiasm!
  • A banking executive I worked with recently identified her superpower as elevating the EXPERIENCE of everyone around her – professionally and personally.  Her clients, her co-workers, and her friends and family.  She’s obsessed with doing so, and she’s incredibly good at it. 
  • I’ve worked with other executives whose super powers are things like the ability to effectively balance effective leadership along with a sense of humour, or balancing things like tech expertise with a empathy, genuine human touch.   
  • I used to think my superpower was marketing and branding. But no, that was my professional identity. I realized recently that it’s teaching and coaching, and specifically understanding what makes people tick. I guess you could say my superpower is coaching people to identify their superpower . Honestly, I love it!  

 

 

A few more things while we’re defining what is your superpower: 

  • Yes, you can have more than one.  Of course.  But less is definitely more here. 
  • And your superpower can evolve over time.  But it is probably something that is part of your identity for your whole life. It is part of your essence.

 

OK – let’s move on. We’ve defined Your Superpower as that thing that positively and uniquely distinguishes you from others.  It’s your true, core essence.  It’s what makes you remarkable.  It’s what makes you, YOU!

 

So what can you do with this superpower?  Why take the time to identify it? And 

How can you use it?

There are two main ways that you can leverage your superpower. The first is in terms of your CONFIDENCE and the second is in terms of your CAREER TRAJECTORY. Let’s start with: 

  • CONFIDENCE – 
    • If I had to choose, this is the most important, most significant way to leverage your superpower.  You could say it’s the most compelling reason to take the time to identify your superpower. To boost your confidence, here’s what you do.  The next time you step out on stage (and it could be literally on a big stage behind a podium, or it could be leading a big meeting, or whatever), remind yourself of your superpower.  That thing that uniquely and positively resonates with you.  Let it fuel you up.  Focus on your superpower and elevate your confidence.
    • Also in terms of confidence, consider when you’re expected to verbally contribute in meetings.  I get this Q all the time from executives. They aren’t sure when to jump in or what to say sometimes in important meetings.  I encourage them to lean on their superpower.  Say something like, “Based on my expertise,…”  Suddenly, the words come easy. They’re reminding everyone, including themselves, of their superpower, and the words come much more easily.
    • So there’s confidence. That’s such an important reason to take the time to identify your superpower. There’s also your:
  • CAREER TRAJECTORY
    • There are a couple of contexts here. Most generally, when you know you’re your superpower is, it clarifies where and how to focus your career. It helps you make decisions about what to do (and what to avoid) because if your job is closely related to your superpower, you will be successful and you will be happy. 
      • Say you’re offered a promotion or a new job. Sometimes deciding whether to take a new job can be an excruciating decision. But if it checks the boxes in terms of your superpower, then you know you should go for it.
      • A while ago I was at a leadership conference.  A managing director of one of the big banks shared her story of when at a very young age, she was offered the position as chief of staff, reporting to the CEO. But she knew in her heart that she was happiest serving clients, solving client problems.  So she declined, despite everyone telling her she was crazy.  Decades later she’s managing director at the same firm – serving clients, and leading her team to do the same.  She never used the word “superpower,” but that’s what she was doing – focusing her career path to leverage her superpower.
    • One other thing – in terms of leveraging your superpower and your career. If you’re in a job interview and they ask you the Q: What differentiates you versus other candidates for this job?  Why should we hire you?” Answer with your superpower. It should come easy for you. And it should elevate your confidence in answering the Q.  And importantly, you will be communicating what is positive and unique about you.
    • One of my clients recently made a comment that now that she’s articulated her superpower, everything seems to come so much easier in terms of her career. Her stress levels have diminished. Her confidence that she’s doing the right things for the right reasons, all aligned with that superpower, makes her feel almost – self-actualized in her position. She’s not worried about the future. She’s just focused on her superpower.

 

Here’s where I made a worksheet that I hope you’ll download and use to guide your thinking.

How to identify yours

If you scroll down to the shownotes for this episode, you’ll see a link to the worksheet right there.

But let me share 5 of the Qs that will help you identify your personal brand.

 

For our purposes here, we’re focusing on your professional identity.  Your superpower at work.  So let’s start there.  

1) What’s your BEST DAY at work?

  • Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? How does it make you feel? Why is it such a great day? 
  • This is a really fun place to start.  Focusing on your best day.
  • My best day is when I’m doing workshops or coaching, and someone says “Oh my gosh that changes everything.”  So my superpower is related to making an impact through coaching.

 

2) What differentiates you relative to your peers?

  • Consider your classmates, your clients or customers, your co-workers.  How are you different compared to them? What are you known for that makes you remarkable?
  • Here’s a mental exercise to try.  Imagine you are up for promotion, but there are others who are competing for that same job. Or imagine you’re interviewing for a brand new job, and they’ve narrowed it down to 3 candidates.  The Q is: what makes YOU stand out?
  • You may have heard me quote Jeff Bezos, who says “your brand is what people think about you when you’re not in the room.”  Well, similarly, your superpower is what people know distinguishes you compared to others. Imagine a boardroom where people are making a decision about whom to promote or whom to hire.  Your name pops up.  What do people think about you? What one thing makes you stand out?  THAT is your superpower!

 

3) What compliments are the most meaningful to you?

  • This is a fun one. Of course, we all want to be told we are nice.  And attractive. And smart.  Funny. A great leader.  A hard worker. We have integrity. And we’re a strategic thinker. The list goes on. But if you had to rank this list, what would be at the top?
  • It might even be MORE helpful to you to think about what criticisms anger you. What put-downs hurt the most, or what disses really cut. 
    • I’ve shared this story a few times.  I was in a board meeting several years ago and I got the distinct impression that the board chair was dismissing my comments and questions.  It bothered me a LOT.  Like way more than it should’ve. So I took the time to consciously try to figure out why this bothered me so much.  I realized that being recognized as contributing in a significant way means a lot to me.  In a word – I want to be seen as smart. And if you dismiss that, it really bothers me.  Sure you can flatter me, tell me I’m nice, tell me you like my jacket, or whatever.  But if you tell me you think I’m smart?  THAT’s what means the most. Being recognized for my intelligence lights me up.
    • So the Q for you is, what compliment lights YOU up? Next:

 

4) What topic are you obsessed with? 

  • What’s that thing you’d rather work on than anything else? 
  • What’s that thing about yourself that you sometimes feel like you have to hide from others, because you know no one else is as interested in it as you are. ? That’s your obsession. 
  • It might be something that you’d choose to work on or talk about so much that you feel like you have to try to hide it. 
  • I can tell you, I’m obsessed with understanding why people say what they say. That was the topic of my doctoral dissertation. So I’m weirdly obsessed with understanding people’s motivations.  
  • What’s that thing you’d rather work on or learn about or think about than just about anything?

 

5) What comes easy for you?

  • What were your favourite subjects in high school and college? And what subjects did you get your best grades in?
  • Now that you are working, think about your annual review. What’s that thing that always shows up as a strength?  
  • Here’s a mental exercise that might take some time, but it can be very revealing in terms of what comes easy for you.  If you were going to create a course or write a book, what would the topic be? 
  • That topic just might be your superpower.

 

And those are the 5 Qs o help you identify your own, unique superpower: 

  • What’s your BEST DAY at work?
  • What differentiates you relative to your peers?
  • What compliments are the most meaningful to you?
  • What topic are you obsessed with? 
  • What comes easy for you?

 

I created a very helpful worksheet for you with these questions and several other prompts to help guide you in terms of identifying your superpower. Just click on the link in the shownotes and you’ll find it there.

 

I’d love to hear from you!  Share your superpower with me.  Or ask me a communication Q! In fact, I’m collecting Qs to create an episode where I’ll answer Qs from listeners like you.  You might even hear your voice on an upcoming episode! Just go to Talkabouttalk.com and you’ll find the link there, where you just press record and share your Q with me.  I can’t wait to hear from you!

 

Thanks for listening – and Talk soon!

 

  • Email: Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com

 

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