Back in 2001, I was introduced to the management book by Gallup ~ Now, Discover Your Strengths. The book spent more than five years on the bestseller lists and ignited a global conversation, while StrengthsFinder helped millions discover their top five talents. I used this book with clients to develop their strengths in a world that revolved around fixing our weaknesses.
Now in 2017, I was reintroduced to StrengthsFinder 2.0, “We are tired of living in a world that revolved around fixing our weaknesses. Society’s relentless focus on people’s shortcomings had turned into a global obsession. What’s more, we had discovered that people have several times more potential for growth when they invest energy in developing their strengths instead of correcting their deficiencies.”
The SHRM VT State Council asked all the participants of their annual Strategic Planning meeting to read the first few chapters of StrengthsFinder 2.0 and then take the assessment. I would like to share with you my top 5 Strengths and a little bit about each one: Woo, Input, Strategic, Maximizer and Communication.
Woo stands for winning others over. I enjoy the challenge of meeting new people. Strangers are rarely intimidating to me; they are energizing. It’s suggested that I choose work in which I can interact with many people over the course of a day. There are many other ideas for action which I am excited to tackle because this is speaking to my strength of influencing.
Input says I am inquisitive. I collect things like information – words, facts, books, and quotations. My mind finds so many things interesting. The world is exciting because of its infinite variety and complexity. I am to look for work which is charged with acquiring new information, such as teaching, research, or journalism. I’m told to remember that I must be more than just a collector of information. I need to leverage this knowledge and turn it into action. Making a point of identifying the facts and data that would be most valuable to others, and use this information to their advantage.
The Strategic theme enables me to sort through the clutter and find the best route. A skill that can’t be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large. This perspective allows me to see patterns where others simply see complexity. Mindful of these patterns, I play out alternative scenarios, always asking, “What if this happened?” This recurring question helps me see around the next corner. There I can evaluate accurately the potential obstacles. Guided by where I see each path leading, I start to make selections. I discard the paths that lead nowhere. I discard the paths that lead straight into resistance and a fog of confusion. I make selections until I arrive at the chosen path – armed with my strategy, I strike forward. I’m directed to make myself known as a resource for consultation with those who are stumped by a particular problem or hindered by a particular barrier. By naturally seeing a way when others are convinced there is no way, I will lead them to success.
As a Maximizer, excellence, not average, is my measure. A glimpse of untutored excellence, rapid learning, a skill mastered without recourse to steps – all these are clues that a strength may be in play. And having found a strength (of another), I feel compelled to nurture it, refine it, and stretch it toward excellence. I polish the pearl until it shines. I seek roles in which I help people succeed.
I like to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public, and to write. This is my Communication theme at work.
- So I ask you, “What are your top 5 Strengths and do you have an opportunity to use your Strengths every day?
Reference: StrengthsFinder 2.0 from Gallup, Tom Rath