What I learnt from StrengthsFinder 2.0

StrengthsFinder 2.o starts with a very basic question:

“Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? ”

Chances are you’ll likely answer with another question: what exactly am I good at?

The StrengthsFinder 2.0 book and Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment aims to help you find that out. This post will take you through what you’ll get from the assessment and what I personally got out of it.

The Assessment

The assessment is a new and upgraded edition of the StrengthsFinder assessment first launched in 2001. In StrengthsFinder 2.0, Gallup unveils the new and improved version with 34 most common strengths. The assessment is a series of 177 pairs of  statements which you will need to answer within 20 seconds.

Rather than getting the hard copy book which costs slightly more, I’ll suggest just getting the Top 5 talents assessment along with the ebook at 15 USD here.

Also included in it are the below items.
* A personalized Strengths Discovery and Action-Planning Guide for applying your strengths in the next week, month, and year
* A more customized version of your top five theme report
* 50 Ideas for Action (10 strategies for building on each of your top five themes)

I’ve included a video of the entire process from start to finish below.

Why it’s important to understand your strengths

For most of our school years, we are taught to overcome our weakness by applying more time and effort. If you score badly in economics, you need to put in the hours, you need to get tuition, you need to work harder to bring up the grades. While this makes sense in school, when in the work place, it may not work as well.

For example, if someone is strong in project planning and you are good at communication, he should plan the project and you should craft the presentations in order to make the best use of your individual strengths.

Additionally, building on your strengths boosts confidence, empowers you and makes you more engaged in your work. It inspires you to be who we really are as unique individuals, instead of trying to become something you’re not. Your strengths are one aspect of what makes you unique.

Enter the Clifton strengthsfinder 2.0 assesment.

My Clifton StrenthsFinder 2.0 results

At the end of the assessment, it spit out a report as seen in the video. This is a summary of my top 5 strengths.

Learner

People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them

Activator

People who are especially talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.

Achiever

People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.

Consistency

People who are especially talented in the Consistency theme are keenly aware of the need to treat people the same. They try to treat everyone in the world with consistency by setting up clear rules and adhering to them.

Responsibility

People who are especially talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.

Based on these strengths and seeing that 3 of the my 5 strengths (Achiever, Consistency, Responsibility) are in the ‘executing‘ leadership style, Tom Rath states “individuals with the majority of their strengths in the leadership style are adept at making things happen. They “catch” ideas easily and naturally make them a reality. They tend to be the ones who implement specific solutions.”

All that is well and good, but what does this all mean?

What I got out of it

I will be honest. If you were to ask before I took the assessment, I would not say that I had these strengths. However, having taken it and reflecting upon the results, here are some of the things that I found helpful: validation, self-awareness and greater understanding of myself .

1.Validation

Knowing my strengths has validated why I love doing what I do at work and even in my free time.

For example, knowing that I’m a Learner validates my constant  look-out to learn new things and to improve myself. That my company has a Employee Scholarship Program that allows you to do just that is also a big factor in making me stay. In my free time I’m currently learning the intricacies of music theory and this fits in well with my strength as a learner.

Additionally, having Achiever as one of my strengths also validates my view toward working hard and gaining satisfaction in being productive. That said, I like to plan my weekends and/or free time and I have come to learn that sometimes, it’s best to just take it easy and enjoy the moment.

I’m also keenly aware that Responsibility is a big part of my job and this is reflected in how I do what I say I’ll do. For example, I will try my best to be perfectly on time for meetings and have my low tolerance to people who aren’t.

2. Self-awareness

I am also made more self-aware of my emotions.

While I can’t and won’t wholly attribute it to being an Activator, I’m aware that one of the reasons that I’m often impatient is purely because I want to turn thoughts into action sooner. Being self-aware of this helps me in understanding it and hopefully toning it down.

3. Greater understanding

This leaves the last strength, Consistency.

I’ll venture to say that this did not conform to what I was thought was my strength, at least initially. Reflecting on it for some time has turned up innocuous everyday examples on how my thoughts redirected me to treating everyone equally when I thought they weren’t.

They were subtle but definitely there.

Conclusion

Taking the test has definitely increased my awareness of my strengths.

Much as it is branded that way, I see these strengths as potential weakness as well. Take for example responsibility. Much I am on time for meetings and would like for everyone to be on the dot, in the real world, this is easier said than done and knowing this manages my expectation and imposing my world view to everyone.

So what’s next?

Knowing these strengths, I’d like to map out how this can help me at work and even personal projects. Maybe even display a list of my strengths at my cubicle. That’s for myself. But work invariably is a team effort.It would be good to encourage your team mates to do the test so that there is greater understanding of each other’s strengths and this process can only start if there is sharing of results.

Personally , I think it’ll also be great to do this with your partner so that both of you can understand one another better. That’s definitely an area I’ll take some time to look at.

For me, I got to know about this test through a friend. I hope this post has given you an inside look at what the test is like and what I got out of it. If you have done it too or you have a friend that have had success in implementing it, share your results in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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