Strengths Finder; And mine

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First off, before I begin, I just want to say that I picked this book up for a steal of $5, where the original cost was somewhere around $30. I think I might visit book fairs more often, but the downside being that they don’t usually carry very good quality books, both in terms of content and physical outlook. This book was just a gem amongst a whole lot of crappy (sorry!) books.

Moving on.

The 34 Strengths

The book listed 34 different kinds of strengths, and i’m not going to list them all out as you can easily find them out with a search on the internet.

There 4 themes that the 34 types of strengths can be compartmentalized into:

  1. The Executing Theme
  2. The Influencing Theme
  3. Relationship Building Theme
  4. Strategic Thinking Theme

These 4 themes, when taken into the context of work, all “Get things done”, but they each influence how things get done.

The Executing theme shows strengths of “Getting it done efficiently”.

The Influencing theme shows strengths of “Getting everyone to get it done”.

The Relationship Building theme shows the strengths of “Getting it done amicably”

The Strategic Thinking theme shows strengths of “Getting it done correctly”

Getting it done Efficiently and Getting it done Correctly might seem similar, but you can be doing something efficiently, but wrongly if the direction is not properly set. That’s where Strategic Thinking comes into play to set the course of action in the right direction.

My Strengths

The book “forced” us to choose top 5 strengths by putting a list for you to fill up on the cover page. I thought that was a good exercise, because people relate to many “Strengths”, but some more strongy than others. By forcing you to pick 5, you really have to think it over, and identify what truly resonates with you.

Here are all the Strengths I identified with:

  1. Activator (Influencing)
  2. Analytical (Strategic)
  3. Context (Strategic)
  4. Focus (Executing)
  5. Futuristic (Strategic)
  6. Ideation (Strategic)
  7. Input (Strategic)
  8. Intellection (Strategic)
  9. Learner (Strategic)
  10. Maximizer (Influencing)
  11. Restorative (Executing)
  12. Significance (Influencing)

Now, before I did this exercise, I had no knowledge of the 4 different themes. Looking back retrospectively, we can see that I’m super dominant on Strategic Thinking (7/12). Influencing (3/12) and Executing (2/12) follows shortly. As we can see… I don’t have any Relationship Building themes.

Just because I have no Relationship Building themes does not mean that i’m an asshole. It just means that it’s not my strength to promote harmony and relationships, and I’m more of a “Let’s get it done” person. More specifically, I’m a “Let’s get it done correctly” person.

And I find that this resonates with me, looking at how I feel and act in my work place. Again, it’s not that I don’t have friends, but building team cohesiveness is not my forte. Doing the work correctly and efficiently, and coming up with new ideas is.

My Top 5

From the list above, I’ve then narrowed it down to the the 5 strengths that really resonate with me

  1. Analytical (Strategic)
  2. Ideation (Strategic)
  3. Learner (Strategic)
  4. Maximizer (Influencing)
  5. Restorative (Executing)

The process of me withering it down to the top 5 took me a while, because some I felt that I really identified with some strengths until I truly questioned them, and looked at my previous actions if they honestly reflected those attributes.

I have to say, not putting strengths in my top 5 is not a binary I have it or I don’t thing, it just means they are ranked lower, but I still have them in me.

For example, I felt that I resonated with Context, because I whatever work we do, I would always ask: “Why are we doing this?”, “Has other company done it before?”, “Why did they succeed or fail?”. But if I don’t ask these questions, I don’t feel uncomfortable, and I can still move on with the project. However, if I don’t activate my Maximizer, and the job is done haphazardly, that really gets on my nerves.

Where It Started

This inquisitive journey started after I finished the book SPIKE, by Rene Carayol. SPIKE stands for Strengths Positively Identified, Kick-start Excellence), and it really changed my way of thinking about asking questions.

Instead of constantly focusing on the negatives, and “areas of improvement”, we don’t ask enough the question “What are you great at?”. Instead of trying to fix all of the flaws of a person (which is impossible), we should find out how we can leverage on what you’re already naturally good at.

Strengths finder has narrowed down what i’m good at, and I should focus on them until I’m great at it.


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