I feel like I go through seasons where everyone I know is talking about “StrengthsFinders.” And thankfully this is one of those seasons, because I love, love, love talking about Strengths. (Check out Spence talking about them here and Jenni talking about them here.)
Here’s more information about StrengthsFinder from Strengths.Gallup.Com
“Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?”
— Benjamin Franklin
Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
Chances are, you don’t. All too often, our natural talents go untapped. From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths.
To help people uncover their talents, Gallup introduced the first version of its online assessment, StrengthsFinder, in the 2001 management book Now, Discover Your Strengths. The book spent more than five years on the bestseller lists and ignited a global conversation, while StrengthsFinder helped millions to discover their top five talents.
Here my top five Strengths:
People strong in the Focus theme can take a direction, follow through, and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act. (If you want to drive me completely crazy, just tell a long drawn out off-subject story during an important meeting.)
People who are especially talented in the Context theme enjoy thinking about the past. They understand the present by researching its history. (I never understood this one until I moved to a new job in a new field in a new city and felt utterly clueless.)
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. (Positives of this one include being diligent about getting things done. Negatives include feeling guilty and stressed about things that are completely not my responsibility.)
People who are especially talented in the Individualization theme are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively. (I love this one, I see people’s uniqueness, and most of the time, appreciate it.)
WOO (aka Winning Others Over)
People who are especially talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person. (Maybe that is why I do stupid things like sharing a completely embarrassing comment on this post?)
If you have not taken the StrengthFinder test, I obviously highly recommend it.
You will understand yourself in a whole new way. Encourage your friends to take the test and share their results. And you will understand them in a whole new way.
Here’s how to get started:
- Visit to your local bookstore and buy StrengthsFinder 2.0, Strengths Based Leadership, or Now, Discover Your Strengths.
- Find 30 minutes of peace and quiet with just you, your laptop, and some internet access.
- Go to www.strengthsfinder.com and take the online test.
- Come back here and share your Strengths. (Selfishly I would love to know what your strengths are and what you learned about yourself in the process.)
- Dig deeper into Marcus Buckingham’s Strengths’ based leadership with The Truth About You and his latest release Find Your Strongest Life, a book written specifically for women. In these books, Buckingham goes a step further and hones in how to embrace specific activities that make you “feel strong.”