Feb 15, 2011

Gotta be stronger



Last week at work we had a team-building day where we spent a majority of the time learning what the main strengths and weaknesses of our employees were.  Prior to this event, we had to log-on to http://www.strengthsfinder.com/ and take an assessment that lead us to discovering what our Top Five Strengths were.

It was reiterated what a strength is: a talent.  Something that can't be learned.  It's within us, something we were born with.  Skills can be taught (like Photoshop or cooking or pilates), but strengths are inherent.  Research has shown that people contain 34 overall themes within themselves.
All of us hold each of these 34 themes, with some being more prominent than others, which molds how we interact and work with others.
My Top Five were:
  • Strategic
  • Activator
  • Communication
  • Belief
  • Developer
I kind of brushed these things off.  What would an assessment tell me that I don't already know?  I've done tests like these before in school and they always say that I'm expressive, outgoing, diligent and whatnot.  But then I read into each of these strengths and they all made me really happy.  They sparked something in me, I'm not sure what or how, but they did. They made me feel unique.  And it was rather beneficial to do this in the work environment, because it allowed others to see what our strengths were and how they can best be utilized.
Here are my descriptions:

Strategic:  "The Strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route... a special perspective of the world at large."  "You play out alterative scenarios...which helps you to see around the next corner."  "Armed with your strategy, you strike forward."  This characteristic was found the most in people at my office.  So we all obviously have that in common.  I'm constantly thinking of alternatives and "what ifs," which can be great for work.

Activator:  "When can we start?"  "This is a recurring question in your life.  You are impatient for action." (Isn't that the God's honest truth.)  "Deep down, you know that only action is real; only action makes things happen."  "You believe action is the best device for learning."  I'm thinking "Activator" is another word for "Impatient."  haha.  However, this rings true for me.  I'd rather be thrown into the fire and learn by doing than have to sit and be told 1,000 times or watch someone else do it.  This also goes for other people -- you can tell me this or that is going to happen or will happen, but until you show me or have a record of showing me, I have a hard time trusting it will come to fruition.

Belief:  "If you possess a strong Belief theme, you have certain core values that are enduring."  "In your view, success is more than money and prestige.  {Your beliefs} provide you with direction, guiding you through the temptations and distractions of life."  "Your friends call you dependable."  "Your belief makes you easy to trust."  "Your work must be meaningful; it must matter to you."  This one means the most to me because I feel very strongly about what I want to do in my life and how I want to do it, and this trait seems to mesh well with that.  It's good to hear I possess this characteristic and that it makes me "easy to trust," because I'm going to need that trust eventually from people I have never met and will never meet (given I fulfill my on-camera goals).  My boss told me this is the one trait that stands out the most about me, which made me feel good.  And my friend Jerren was just telling me the other day how he appreciates that I'm "down to do whatever."  Doesn't really matter what's going on, if it's with my friends I'll be there for them (and I expect the same in return). 

Communication:  "You like to explain, to describe, to host to speak in public, and to write." "You feel a need to bring events and ideas to life."  "You believe that most people have a very short attention span... you want to divert their attention toward you and then capture it."  "This is what drives your hunt for the perfect phrase."  I should have just stopped after the first sentence.  Do I even need to go in depth on this one?

Developer:  "You see potential in others.  Very often, in fact, potential is all you see."  "When you interact with others, you goal is to help them experience success."  This affects my day-to-day routine.  If I know of a group or organization that's on the rise, a performer, or even a friend that is not sure how to fulfill their potential, I envision them in a year and what success they could have, & then try to help them. For instance, my friend Valentina is an incredible writer and singer and there are some songs from a previous album are absolutely amazing.  They could be on Top 40 radio and flourish, given the opportunity.  She has since changed the direction of her music (it's just as good), but when some of her tracks come on my iTunes, I'll start thinking of what I could do to get those other songs on the map.  Same goes for this blog -- I see so much potential in it.  I want it to develop and expand. 

After looking into our own strengths, we were given a handout with everyone's Top Five.  Nobody had the same exact combination.  And out of 30 people, only four had belief, and three of those people were men.  I found that really interesting!  Most of us possessed Strategic and Activator, which is great for our field, but it was the differences that made us all appreciate one another.

If any of you want to borrow my StrengthsFinder book, just text me!  I'd happy to share.

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