When I first came to Redwood Park Church, I had an intern who mentioned a book called “Now, Discover Your Strengths.” I had looked into it and thought it was a neat book with an online assesment to help you discover your strengths, but at the time I had been exposed to an overabundance of strengths-bases assesments… I didn’t need another one!
This past weekend, though, I had the privilege of being a part of The Idea Camp. On the Idea Camp site, one of the profile questions asked what your top three strengths were, and the nametags at the conference had the same question. I kept running into terms like Ideation and Deliberative and Positivity… Wha? I then realized these are terms I saw in that book from a couple years ago. Seeing so many respectable leaders and thinkers adopting these terms finally pushed me to get the updated version of the book now called “Strengths Finder 2.0.” You can find the book almost anywhere. If you click on the title I just typed, you can get it from Amazon… anyway… I got the book, went to the website, and used the code that comes with the book (in a sealed envelope and covered by one of those scratch-with-a-coin foily things) to take the online assessment. It took about 25 minutes for me. They say to budget 30 minutes to do it.
So, here’s my top five themes and their generalized descriptions:
People who are especially talented in the Adaptability therem perefer to “go with the flow.” They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.
People who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
People who are especially…. are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.
People who are especially… are accepting of others. They show awareness of those who feel left out, and make an effort to include them.
People who are especially… have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.
So, there I am in a nutshell, I guess… In addition to the list of themes and descriptions, they try to describe what makes you stand out, individually, from others with the same themes based on how you answered all the other questions. They also give you an action plan on how to cultivate these themes and communicate them to others as well as working with these themes.
What makes Strenghts Finder different from other strenghts-based profile assessments?
Well, most other assessments are more generalized personality profiles with 4, 5 or maybe 6 overly general traits that speak to your personality more than to your life themes or talents. Strengths Finder has 34 different themes to help you more specifically identify talents you might have and how to cultivate them. In reading other strengths-based stuff, I always felt like I was told to simply focus on my strengths… whatever that meant. With Strengths Finder, they emphasize that your top themes are talents that can be and should be cultivated within your context and how to leverage those in order to shore up/build into areas that you might be weak in. For example, one of the things I don’t like is routine and tasks, so the assessment encourages me to turn tasks into a game to indulge my need for flexibility.
I highly recommend Strengths Finder 2.0.
Have you already gone through Strengths Finder? What are your top themes? Have you done any other strengths-based assessments? Which ones? What have they said? What do you think of strengths-based assessments? Good? Bad?