Learning About My Strengths

Recently at work I was tasked with taking the StrengthsFinder 2.0 Gallup test. Have any of you done this? Basically it is a short book that comes with a special testing code. You read the first bit about the reasoning behind the test, take the test, and then use the rest of the book to read more about the areas that have been determined to be your strengths.

Source: Amazon.com

If you like this kinda thing, you can find the book on Amazon here. Basically, the goal is that you find your top five talents and then use their strategies for how to apply your strengths in the best possible way.

I thought this quote from the book was rather interesting:

“People who have the opportunity to focus on their strengths every day are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life in general.”

I like this one too:

“People have several times more potential for growth when they invest energy in developing their strengths instead of correcting their deficiencies.”

So, I set aside about 30 minutes so I could take the test uninterrupted and answered each question the best that I could. At the end of the test, I was sent a Strength Insights Report and according to them, these are my top 5 strengths and the general gist of each one:

#1. Strategic – the Strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is not a skill that can be taught, but a distinct way of thinking. This perspective allows you to see patterns where others simply see complexity.

My thoughts: Yup, spot on with this one. I tend to describe myself as a ‘problem biter’ meaning that I can see a problem and figure out what bite-sized pieces need to be done to solve it.

#2. Achiever – your Achiever theme helps explain your drive. Achiever describes a constant need for achievement. You feel as if every day starts at zero, by the end of the day you must achieve something tangible to feel good about yourself.

My thoughts: This one rings quite true as well. Part of it could be that I’m an oldest child and I’ve always been an independent, over-achiever type. This recently came into play when I was completing my Master’s Program and was disappointed in any grade lower than an A. This also explains my need to make ‘to do’ lists and why it feels SO GOOD to check each item off.

#3. Relator – Relator describes your attitude toward your relationships. The Relator theme pulls you towards people you already know. You do not necessarily shy away from meeting new people, but you do derive a great deal of pleasure and strength from being around close friends.

My thoughts: Yes, this one describes me too. I tend to keep my small group of friends very close and it’s hard to get to that level of friendship with new people.

#4. Communication – You like to explain, the describe, to host, to speak in public and to write. You feel a need to bring ideas to life, to energize them, to make them exciting and vivid.

My thoughts: Ding, ding, ding. This describes me, my job, my everyday life. My undergraduate degree was actually IN communications…

#5. Activator – You are impatient for action. You may concede that analysis has its uses or that debate and discussion can occasionally yield some valuable insights, but deep down you know that only action is real and can make things happen.

My thoughts: Yet another truth bomb. I hate meeting about a meeting to then discuss a meeting. I want to make a plan and check things off my list.

There is tons more information in the book about each strength, including ideas for action and the best ways to work with the different types of people’s strengths. My whole work team completed the StrengthsFinder test and we will have a meeting with a coach in a few weeks to discuss how our different strengths can be used as part of the team.

All in all, I found the exercise interesting. I can see myself in all five of the strengths that were assigned to me. It makes sense to focus on further developing my strengths rather than spending tons of time on fighting against my deficiencies.

Have you done the StrengthsFinder test? Did you find that your strengths rang true for you?

Disclosure: Pocketful of Joules is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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