So, in March 2010, I got a new boss at my previous job. One of the first activities that we did as a team was take the Strengthsfinder 2.0 to, as you can guess, assess our strengths and create plans to develop them, and to see if we agreed, etc.
It’s basically a giant personality quiz, and asks you to grade yourself along a continuum of how much you feel the statements on either end describe you (an example might be something like, I constantly look to the past for clues about the future <—> I consider myself futuristic…ok, maybe not THAT obvious, but you get the idea).
At that time, my top 5 were:
(People strong in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.)
(People strong in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.)
(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.)
(People strong in the Restorative theme are adept at dealing with problems. They are good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it.)
(People strong 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.)
Now, three years later, I decided to retake the test and see how I’ve changed:
- Strategic (same)
- Input (same)
(People strong in the Context theme enjoy thinking about the past. They understand the present by researching its history.)
(People strong in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.)
- Individualization (same)
Not a lot of changed, eh? Here’s what I’ve extracted from my results:
- Input, Strategic and Individualization are in basically the same spots
I think this speaks to being in tune with my thoughts and surroundings, and the fact that they’ve stayed in basically the same is reflected in my work as a trainer–I collect information, have to alter processes to meet business needs and also convey that information to people with varying backgrounds and levels of proficiency with the subject matter.
- Focus and Restorative fell out of the top 5; Context and Intellection popped up
Naturally, I don’t think this means that they’re no longer a part of my personality or abilities or that the latter never were. I can see the trend of Context popping up–over the past year, I’ve switched to reading mainly historical nonfiction, and I’ve applied to my work in the sense of researching past projects as well. Intellection has played a larger role since I started working parttime at Barnes & Noble, of all things. The introverted comment is interesting and revealing to me, though. Growing up I was painfully shy–PAINFULLY, terribly, soft spoken shy–and as I’ve matured I outgrown out to the point that people are incredulous when I tell them I would never, ever even raise my hand in class. While I love hanging out, I value my alone time even more to recharge and assess.
So there it is. Ultimately, I don’t take a lot of stock in Strengthsfinder, but I do find it an interesting (and sometimes telling) activity that can point the needle towards ideas for professional development.
Have you taken the Strengthsfinder? Did you strengths meet up with your expectations, or were you surprised?