Now, Discover Your Strengths

iStock_000007655825XSmallI 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:

Focus
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.)

Context
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.)

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. (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.)

Individualization
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:

  1. Visit to your local bookstore and buy StrengthsFinder 2.0, Strengths Based Leadership, or Now, Discover Your Strengths.
  2. Find 30 minutes of peace and quiet with just you, your laptop, and some internet access.
  3. Go to www.strengthsfinder.com and take the online test.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.”
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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Hi there!
    Popping in from Pete Wilson's place.

    This is so interesting…..I don't know what my strengths are, but I can assure you FOCUS would not be one, LOL. I am a total unmedicated ADD person. But I do think I have that individualization strength going on. I always try to find out what one person's quality and encourage them in that direction.

    So I think I will go off and try that test…….that is when I can sit still for 30 minutes.

    Peace
    *~Michelle~*

    • You will be so glad you did. After you do, please come back and share your strengths.

  • Joy Haynes

    Thanks, Lindsey! Great post. We have been using this at work and it is very helpful. I share the "individualization" with you. I find this one most interesting of the five I have. I love finding the gifts that people can share uniquely.

    Have a great week.
    Joy Haynes

    • @joy You too! It is fun to meet others with Individualization. I don't know a lot of people that have that one. I hang out with lots of Maximizers and Achievers.

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  • You know I'm a Strengths Finder geek! I loved reading the highlights of your strengths again.

  • I actually googled that today…so ironic!

    Love your site!

  • Enjoyed 'how full is your bucket'. Will have to check out the strength finder … !

  • my copy of the book is back home in africa. i am SO wishing i had it with me during this season.

    • @Alece, email me your address and I will send you a copy of Marcus' new book, Find Your Strongest Life (I work for the publisher). I love your blog and am so encouraged by your strength and transparency. You are an amazing woman.

    • Not so smart forgot to give you my email. It is lnobles@thomasnelson.com.

  • Mine are: Learner, Maximizer, Belief, Input, and Ideation. 🙂 It was a good combination for my season in radio — knowing a little bit of everything. Now? Still figuring it out.

  • Everywhere I turn around lately, I see StrengthFinders…this finally convinced me. I ordered my copy yesterday.

  • Cheryl Bates

    Hi Lindsey – I attend Cross Point and recently took the Strengths Finder test thanks to Jenni Catron. After going to Cultivate Her that Jenni leads I got Strength's Finder 2.0 and then headed to the local library to check out Now Discover Your Strengths, Go Put Your Strengths to Work & How Full Is Your Bucket. I was laid off in January and have been floundering around trying to figure out God's purpose for my life. I am hopeful that this has put me on the path to find that out.

    My strengths are Empathy, Developer, Input, Achiever & Communicator. I just discovered your blog and am looking forward to following you!
    Cheryl

    • @cheryl, thanks for stopping by. good luck in your job search. i know first hand that it can be such a difficult process. i will look forward to meeting you at the november cultivate her event.

      take care.

  • Got the book and took the test. My results were: Learner, Developer, Empathy, Harmony, Individualization.

    Learner, Empathy & Harmony were not a surprise at all. Constant thirst for knowledge, understanding what others are feeling and being a peacemaker completely describes me. Wasn't really expecting Developer & Individualization. Was quite shocked that Responsibility didn't show up…since I tend to think that I am the General Manager of the Universe.

    Thanks for blogging about this. I wouldn't have bought it otherwise.

    • @redheadkate, Funny I was wondering today if you had gotten the book and taken the test. You have so many relational strengths, very cool.

  • Brian

    StrengthsFinder 2.0 is a great book. I had thought about getting it for several months and never did. I picked up a copy after reading this post. I was amazed at how accurate my results were.

    My Top 5: Analytical, Belief, Deliberative, Discipline, & Responsibility

    Thank you for posting your results and inspiring others to seek out their strengths.

    • @Brian, I am glad you got the book and enjoyed it. It really is enlightening!

  • Ok, so I finally got my copy and took the test.

    Here are my Top 5:

    Intellection
    Restorative
    Input
    Learner
    Empathy

    Very interesting information….

    • @Chrystie, I love that you have Restorative and Empathy. Totally can see them at work in you!

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  • Hi Lindsey,
    I found your blog off a link from Michael Hyatt's site. You have great content and I have to agree with you about the strengths test.

    My top 5 are…
    Ideation, Positivity, Learning, Futuristic, and Individualization.

    Now that there are different books offering the test, you can find one that may be more suited to your individual situation. I found Strengths Based Leadership to have some surprising insights in working with different managers and leaders where I work. Once they all took the strengths test, many things came in to focus. I highly recommend the test to almost any organization. Very insightful.
    My recent post Do You Have a Heartfelt Goal?

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  • I was just talking with my husband last night about embracing his strengths and not focusing on his weaknesses. It is something we all can benefit from. I will have to order these books. Thanks for sharing. Great BLOG!