This article was originally posted on beForte.com, here.

It’s safe to say that the 2016 U.S. presidential election is one of the most interesting in modern U.S. History. I have personally voted in 8 previous presidential elections and have never quite experienced such contention, emotion, and polarized electorate. Nor have I experienced such indecisiveness in myself when it comes to who I will vote for this year.

I know, I know… my guess is you might now be saying to yourself, “I can’t believe you would even think about voting for (insert Clinton or Trump). You’re an idiot!”

And thus, one of the problems this election year: it seems we can only get negative feedback about candidates everywhere we turn. There is no place to go for balanced press coverage and it’s a challenge to even talk about it with friends, work colleagues, or most certainly family.

Given all of that, I have decided to flip my thinking with regards to both candidates and do what’s going to be done many times over the next 40 days: make projections.

Only this time I am going to project their strengths.

Based on the Strengthscope® definition of strengths—underlying qualities that energize you and that you are great at (or have potential to become great at)—here are my projected Significant 7 strengths of both candidates (strengths appear in alphabetical order):

HILLARY CLINTON

Strengths projections:

  • Common Sense
  • Compassion
  • Critical thinking
  • Leading
  • Resilience
  • Self-confidence
  • Strategic mindedness

Weaker areas / drainers:

  • Relationship building
  • Persuasiveness

DONALD TRUMP

Strengths projections:

  • Courage
  • Critical thinking
  • Decisiveness
  • Leading
  • Resilience
  • Results focus
  • Self-confidence

Weaker areas / drainers:

  • Emotional control
  • Compassion

Because of the exposure the world has had with each of these candidates, it makes projecting strengths easier. And in many cases, we can spot strengths not only when they are at their best, but also when they have gone into a place we call “overdrive.” (A strength is in overdrive when it’s overused to the point of having a negative impact.)

For Trump, it’s easy to see his Self-confidence. His belief that he can do whatever he puts his mind to is when his Self-confidence is at its best. But that same strength can go into overdrive, leading to abrasiveness or actions that make him appear insular, and can make him come across like he thinks he can do it all.

With Clinton, her Resilience is clearly evident. She has been the target of many accusations over the years and bounces back. But that same strength in overdrive may have taken her down pathways where she took too much risk, thinking she was invincible.

Strengths can be a blessing and a curse.

Very little time in press coverage of the candidates is spent on their strengths. In fact, most of the focus is on what each does wrong, especially if they make some gaff or misstatement. (And both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump seem to find their way into these muddy waters with regularity… but like any of us wouldn’t? I can’t imagine being under such a microscope.)

Just for a moment, as you think about the two candidates, I challenge you to see them through their strengths. What do you see when they are at their best, those times you see them clearly energized? And because we know that strengths overdone can be significant career limiters, consider those as well.

I will provide some more observations and examples of these strengths as we move through the rest of the campaign and into debate season.

Stay tuned! It should be fun!

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