Sunday, August 18, 2013

Working to your strengths

I always seem to be behind with the trends.  I find out about a great TV series in the re-runs, never catching on to a program when it is first aired.

And the same is true for the Strengths Test done through Marcus Buckingham and Gallop.  Several people had mentioned his name and book over the past few months, so much so, that I actually started to pay attention.

So when someone else I respect talked about the book and the approach to focusing on your strengths instead of your weaknesses, I actually did it.  I not only bought the book, Now Discover Your Strengths, but after much searching, managed to find where you could take the online test.

For those of you, who like me, had never heard of this test, it is based on a Gallup study of over two million people and the research has produced 34 dominant themes.  Through the StrengthsFinder Profile test on the Internet, you answer numerous questions ranking your answers based on those that most agree with you.  It takes approximately 35 minutes and you have a limited time to answer each question, which means you really have to give your gut reaction, not the answer you think you should be giving.

Within minutes of completing the test, you get your results – the five themes (strengths) that are most unique to you.  Now I am sure you are all waiting with bated breath to learn what mine are. Or maybe not.  But I will share them anyway as they seemed pretty relevant to me.

My top theme was communications, which as an author, blogger, speaker and one-time community developer, was good to know.  I am on the right path.  My next ones were Activator and Achiever – which means that I have the energy and drive to take an idea and make it happen.  Yup, sounds pretty accurate to me. 

Then there was Empathy which talked about helping people to connect to their feelings and each other, which is certainly what I try to do.  And the last was Maximizer which means that I strive for excellence not just average.

So all in all, I was pretty impressed with the outcome.  The book also gives you information and advice on how to handle people from the different themes, which makes sense because if you want people to succeed, how much better that you give them opportunities to play to their strengths.

If you haven’t already checked this out, and likely many of you have, you may want to learn what unique strengths you have.  You get the code for the test when you purchase one of the books by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton.

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