I just took the Strengths Finder asessment online that goes in hand with the book Now, Discover Your Strengths. The premise is that we spend entirely too much time working on our weaknesses when all we can really hope to accomplish is damage control in the areas that we aren’t naturals. It’s our natural talents that we can hone into strengths to be really exceptional. Seems to make sense.
My top five talents are:
Woo – Winning others over. People strong in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person.
Ideation – People strong in the ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
Input – People strong in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.
Relator – People who are strong in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve goals.
Arranger – People strong in the Arranger theme can organize, but they also have the flexibility that complements this ability. They like to figure out how all of the pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity.
I liked one of the quotes they used in the book from Baruch Spinoza: “to be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.” So now the rest of the book will help me realize how I can use these talents to be more productive. Certainly, the ideation, input and arranger bits are solid talents that can be applied to planning. And I’ve always needed to relate to clients in order to care about the work that I’m doing. It’s enabled me to build trust and understand the real issues. But I’ve been criticized by one past boss for this as being an account thing, not a planner thing. And I’ve felt miss-cast on some accounts that have very little client interaction. So I’m pondering the ways that I can use my talents to be the best at what I’m doing. I have a catalytic coaching session with my boss this week, so it might make for interesting discussion.