I love self-analysis. I can’t help it. I truly believe I can always be improving and part of improving is knowing what you’re starting with and what tools you have available. You think you should know yourself because you know, you are you, but you’d be surprised what you can find out by a few automated questions.
Scott took the StrengthsFinder 2.0 test a few months ago as part of our Journey Group training at church and I was a little bummed I didn’t do it as well.
I was psyched when just a few weeks later my manager at work forwarded out an email saying he’d just completed the StrengthsFinder 2.0 test and recommended it for my team as well.
The test comes out with five “Signature Themes” and then gives you action items to build upon those strengths. Here are my top five themes:
Intellection: You like to think. You like mental activity. You like exercising the “muscles” of your brain, stretching them in multiple directions.
Input: You are inquisitive. You collect things. You might collect information [YES!]—words, facts, books, and quotations—or you might collect tangible objects [NO!} such as butterflies, baseball cards, porcelain dolls, or sepia photographs. Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting. The world is exciting precisely because of its infinite variety and complexity.
Responsibility: Your Responsibility theme forces you to take psychological ownership for anything you commit to, and whether large or small, you feel emotionally bound to follow it through to completion.
Restorative: You love to solve problems. Whereas some are dismayed when they encounter yet another breakdown, you can be energized by it. You enjoy the challenge of analyzing the symptoms, identifying what is wrong, and finding the solution.
Achiever: Achiever describes a constant need for achievement. You feel as if every day starts at zero. By the end of the day you must achieve something tangible in order to feel good about yourself [YES!]. And by “every day” you mean every single day—workdays, weekends, vacations. No matter how much you may feel you deserve a day of rest, if the day passes without some form of achievement, no matter how small, you will feel dissatisfied.
Well, I’m no coach (and they are out there), but the simple fact that I like taking these tests proves the Input theme. I want more, more, more information. And why? So I CAN THINK ABOUT IT. This amuses me to no end. All the questions, all the reading, all the listening—it all is Input for me. And why do I want to think about it? Because I’m Restorative and I want to FIX THINGS and HELP PEOPLE. And by the way? Can we put that on a checklist and do that today?
As for the action plan attached to each theme, I found that I’m actually doing many items it suggests and the test actually nailed a few key points.
For Intellection, it suggests I should “list your ideas in a log or diary.” Or another one, “take time to write". Does a blog count? Or how about this one, “Find people who like to to talk about the same things you do.” How about I join Facebook or Twitter and find like-minded people?
For Input, it suggests that all my information I collect should be turned into action and shared. While I think I do this quite a bit here and through social media, I think I can do an even better job at this, particularly in my work environment.
Another action item suggests I should “Deliberately increase your vocabulary. Collect new words, and learn the meaning of each of them.” HA! HAHAHAHA! I hope people that know me are laughing. It has been a family joke that I had new words emailed to me everyday. Plus, do you remember this post? Loved it.
The Restorative action plan suggests I might be a good computer programmer. Um, ding, ding, ding!! It also says that “Constant improvement is one of your hallmarks. See opportunities to enhance your abilities through a demanding field, activity, or endeavor that requires exceptional skill and/or knowledge.” Reading through the Bible? Summer of 7? The Daniel Fast? Couch to 5K? Did you read that first paragraph up there? I love challenging myself and honestly sometimes I wondered it I was just being silly.
As for things that I need to work on, a few things that stood out:
- Two of the themes suggest I partner with someone with Focus and Discipline. Anyone? Bueller?
- I need to be careful not to take on too many projects and feel overly responsible.
- I need to let other people solve their own problems.
- I need to put more metrics on my goals and reward myself at milestones.
Shaun Groves just wrote a post earlier today on his themes and how he has seen it impact different areas of his life. I’m eager to see what comes out of the class I take at work later next month based on this and see how it may impact my personal relationships as well.
For now, I’m going to read the results, think about them, maybe share them in a blog post and hopefully help someone discover their own strengths, like today.