Learning About Yourself is the First Step: What are Your Strengths?
Updated: Mar 8, 2019
One of my ABSOLUTE favorite things is taking a new assessment and learning about myself. I like to think of myself from a new perspective, discover new information, and experience enlightenment for growth. I love to encourage friends, family, colleagues, and connections to do the same. I enjoy helping them analyze the results and learn about themselves. I've taken the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, the Enneagram, the Social and Emotional Intelligence Profile Workplace Edition (naturally - since this is my coaching focus), the Lumina Spark Personality Test (profoundly imperative to my journey as a coach, so a personal favorite), and now GALLUP StrengthsFinder or CliftonStrengths. I am aware of the Predictive Index and how valuable that is as well. I may even be forgetting one or two (I do love horoscopes too, but that's not an assessment).
I realized recently I hadn't ever taken the CliftonStrengths (StrengthsFinder) assessment. I honestly thought I had, but my brother passed along the StrengthsFinder 2.0 book since he knows me so well, and after taking a quick glance after a conversation with a new connection, I realized I didn't know my own strengths. Not in this way. So, of course, this immediately went to the top of my to-dos. I'm on a budget right now and have to be strategic with expenses, but I found a similar free assessment online and read the book my brother shared to start narrowing down my results. I am not encouraging this method, I just had to make due for the time being. If you can drop the low cost of $20-40 on the actual assessment, I highly encourage it. Sometimes you have to get creative.
I thought I would explain my top 5 in my own words (well, top 6 because the last 3 tied as far as percentage points are concerned and it's more information for you) to give a glimpse into the insight the assessment can provide. Keep in mind, there are a total of 34 Strengths, or "Themes and Ideas for Action" as they are named in the book.
- With ideation as a strength, it's important to seek out opportunities and roles where ideas will be valued and encouraged
- Continuously seek out ideas and collaboration (read!!) from others to stimulate thinking and provide new perspective (surprise, surprise I am in learning and development)
- In decision making, one must know that everything fits together
- Delighted to uncover simple solutions/concepts with complex surface that explain why things are the way they are
- Loves looking for connections between things, has conceptual/abstract way of thinking that some don't understand
- Priority is to keep commitments, feels emotionally bonded to them
- Prefers not to be forced to rush and therefore sacrifice quality
- A self-starter that requires minimal supervision, always takes ownership and is very dependable
- Must continue to ask what new responsibilities you want to assume, while simultaneously not taking on too much
- Appreciates knowing they have delivered on their commitments, so likes having clear expectations from the beginning
- Needs a rich learning environment, learning keeps you energized
- Track your progress and celebrate milestones
- Find a mentor that will continuously push you to learn more
- Learn by teaching others (discussion groups, presentations, involve yourself in organizations)
- Set aside $$$ for continued education, seminars, e-learning, training, etc.
- Organizes life around close relationships, your closest friends provide your fuel so don't forget to stay in touch
- Knowing others' goals helps to bond with them, continue to invest in pursuing these bonds when you've found the right ones
- Appreciates depth in people and conversation
- Places high value on genuineness, character, trust, loyalty, and will not betray people
- May withhold own depth until you see this honesty and openness from the other in the relationship
- This can look different for everyone, but generally this theme causes you to be family-oriented, altruistic, even spiritual, and values ethics (of others too)
- Make efforts to discover true passion and tie it to your work
- Align, but do not compromise, your values to that of your organization
- Respects others for learning about your family and community, but needs to remember to give them the opportunity to do so
- Gives more value to greater levels of service as opposed to money
- Wakes up every day with the need to achieve each and every day, though not always focused or logical
- Does not require motivation from others to take action
- Work alongside other like-minded achievers, and put yourself in situations where you can measure your own productivity and work as hard as you want
Now it's your turn! I highly you encourage to always learn about yourself. Ask yourself why? Why do I keep repeating this pattern that's not serving me? What brings me joy? What am I best at? To learn who we are is to ask ourselves difficult questions and regularly seek growth in order to live life to fullest - yeah, I even used a cliche to make my point! It's certainly not easy, but it wouldn't be fun and challenging otherwise.
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