How about developing our strengths?

You cannot be anything you want to be – but you can be a lot more of who you already are. Tom Rath

Photo by Amar Yashlaha on Unsplash

As soon as I found out about Strengths Finder 2.0 book in November 2015, I immediately order it via Amazon. And it remained parked on my shelf, forgotten in my To-read lists, until last night when all of the sudden, I decided to read it. It was not the content of the book that was actually holding me back from reading it, but the assessment that was accompanying the book, that was supposed to help me discover my strengths/talents. I was afraid to do test on my strengths. Why? Well, would you like to know your strengths? Sure. But what if you figure out you don’t use them? What if you’re living your life constantly trying to improve your weaknesses instead of building up your strengths?

I’m sure you’re familiar with this story. Every one of us was passing thru performance reviews at work. And guess what? It usually goes this way: „You’re good at sales. You communicate well with customers and you know exactly how to close the deal. On the other hand, it seems that you’re struggling with documenting sales opportunities, keeping customer files and maintain financial data. You have to become better in these areas.“ Our job, our education and our society are more focused on improving our weaknesses then strengthening our talents.

Copyright: Photo taken from https://www.gallup.com/press/176429/strengthsfinder.aspx

On the contrary, Gallup’s conducted 40-year study that revealed that people have several times more potential for growth when they invest energy in developing their strengths instead of correcting their deficiencies [1]. In another study conducted by Gallup, they discovered that people are six times as likely to be engaged at work and three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life in general if they are given the opportunity to focus on their strengths every day. The bottom line being if we help people develop their strengths at work, we could easily address disengagement present at workplace nowadays.

As a result of the foremost study Gallup developed online StrenghtsFinder assessment, originally invented by Donald Clifton, the father of Strengths-Based Psychology. When you buy Strenghts Finder 2.0 book, you get access code for the assessment. It is composed of 177 questions, each one must be answered within 20s timeframe, resulting in person’s top 5 talents out of 34 most common talents identified by the author.

Following completion of the test, you get two reports containing  detailed description of your top 5 talents and more personalized insight report on how these talents manifest in your life. Besides, you get 10 ideas for action for each talent, 50 in total, that you could employ in your life to prepare strength-based development plan. The plan will enable you to combine your talents with your skills, knowledge and experience in order to achieve more fulfilling and successful career.

Last but not least, call for action. In order to improve your life you should align your job and goals with your natural talents. Take action from the plan you develop and enjoy the results.

Going back to the beginning of this post, I did the test. Was I surprised by the results? Not so much. We naturally know our talents, they are intrinsic to our core values. The question is if we appreciate are talents, or we consider them deficiencies? Are we in the environment where they are respected and needed? How important is it for us to use them for the better? Well, to be honest it’s very important to me. That’s why I took a step forward and published this post today. I hope you enjoyed reading it and that it’ll inspire you to discover and employ your strengths.

Reference

[1] Tom Rath: Strengths Finder 2.0., Gallup Press 2007

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