Find Your Strengths

StrengthsFinder On the recommendation of Whitney Hoffman (or was it Becky? I forget), I went out and got the audio CD for Marcus Buckingham’s “NOW DISCOVER YOUR STRENGTHS.” It was great, but I needed more almost instantly. Because it turns out, the book is just the hook to get you to go take the online test. And not in a bad way. So, I went out and bought StrengthsFinder 2.0, to get the code, and to have the “secret decoder ring” for the assessment.
Basic Premise

The basic premise behind the strengths program is that people should focus on their strengths, not try to tirelessly improve their weaknesses. Sure, manage around your weaknesses, but spend the lion’s share of your work on your strengths. This, of course, runs counter to everything we do.

So, you take this test online that lasts about 35 minutes. The test is based on YEARS of research and tons of adjustments, after asking millions of people their thoughts and insights. When you read all that went into the testing, you come away feeling as if things are really well thought out, and that’s how I felt about the test.

Online Test

You get around 35 minutes to answer several points that are set up like this:

Statement over here …. Neutral … Statement over here.

On the left is strongly agree with the left statement, then some gradient of less to neutral, then stronger again towards the strongly agree with the right statement. Only, the statements are usually not polar opposites. One might be “I feel best when working with a team,” and the other will say, “I take pride in the accomplishments of others.” So lots of times, I found myself saying, “Um… which? ” (By the way, my wife watched me take the test and that was all the more fun, because lots of the answers were really eerily accurate to my life).

The Reports and Action Plans

The report spits out 5 top talents out of 34 in their categories. The authors often stress that you and your colleagues might have some overlapping talents, but it’s the aggregate combination of all five top talents that matters to the strengthsfinder.

Then out comes an action plan showing what you are, and how you might consider augmenting your strengths. You get 10 suggestions for every one of the five strengths they identify for you. This was mostly useful information, though I will say there was some “well, duh” sprinkled in there on mine. I did find myself wishing they’d spent a little more time talking about how to manage around my weaknesses, but the test is built to find my strengths, not point out where I’m lacking.

My 5 Top Talents

As I imagine you’re interested in knowing what my 5 top talents are, here you go:

  • Communication – People who are especially talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.

  • Futuristic – People who are especially talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.
  • Woo – 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.
  • Ideation – People who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
  • Activator – People who are especially talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.

So, most of that made sense to me. How about you? Do you see that in me? I can see it, I guess. Some of it wasn’t so much a surprise, but how to improve it became the interesting part. The reports and action plans turned out to be the interesting part.

What’s In It For You?

I recommend spending the $20 for the book (cheaper at the Amazon link below – and I might make 70 cents off your purchase). I think it was interesting where they wanted me to take my strengths, and I think it’s a great exercise for not too much cash. They’re using this in lots of organizations lately, and it might prove interesting for you to consider yourself from the point of view of your strengths.

The best thing for the money I spent was that I got peace of mind that I’m on the right path.

So, if you want a copy, here’s a link:

StrengthsFinder 2.0

And if you have taken the test, what are your strengths? I’d love to talk more with you about this.

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  • bobjones1

    As good as this StrengthsFinder thing might be, its a rip-off and a way to make some PhD dude a little richer. My wife bought the book hoping it would be a way for us to improve upon the strenghts of our entire family. Well, she took the test all right, but what they don't tell you is that the little code on the book can only be used once. Apparently, someone already used the code from our book, and even if they hadn't only one person could take the test, unless you want to buy more books. Ha! Again, what a rip-off!

  • Name

    As good as this StrengthsFinder thing might be, its a rip-off and a way to make some PhD dude a little richer. My wife bought the book hoping it would be a way for us to improve upon the strenghts of our entire family. Well, she took the test all right, but what they don't tell you is that the little code on the book can only be used once. Apparently, someone already used the code from our book, and even if they hadn't only one person could take the test, unless you want to buy more books. Ha! Again, what a rip-off!

  • http://kickasslifestyle.com/4-self-assessment-tests-you-can-take-to-find-your-strengths/ Curt

    Finding your strengths is one of the most highly leveraged things you can do in your life for your business or career. Other popular self assessment tests that help you find your strengths are the Kolbe A Index and the Wealth Dynamics profile test.

    Once you figure out your strengths you can 80/20 your life if your not already doing it.

    Also, I'm not sure why some people have a problem with paying $12 bucks to buy the book and get the code to find their strengths. Surely Strengths Finder should make extra codes available to purchase on their website for each person that signs up with their unique code, but then it would hurt book sales.

    So something needs to be done for extra codes. Maybe, just maybe they should make it so that you can buy a code online through Strenghs Finder instead of having to buy the book. And after taking the assessment, everyone will want more info anyway so then refer them to buy Now Discover Your Strengths instead of Strengths Finder 2.0.

  • http://www.goalsmentor.com Shanna Beaman

    Knowing your strengths and using them to your advantage will get you farther in a shorter period of time. Write your goals around the strengths you already possess.

    The key is to continually grow and work on your weaknesses but do not focus on them. Don’t ever stop improving and making yourself better.

    I am a relator,arranger, responsibility, context, and activator.

  • http://www.yuregininsesi.com yuregininsesi

    Turns out what I need to find in my life are more people into execution and follow through. It’s great to be a guy with vision and eyes on the future, but without a team of people willing to do all the i-dotting and t-crossing, nothing happens. Unexecuted dreams are just as useless as no dreams.