I’m taking a leadership course at work just now, and one of the exercises was to take the StrengthsFinder (Amazon) test.
At first I took the test and thought it was a bit rubbish. I didn’t really have strong preferences for a lot of things (much of which came from me being very ambivert) and so my summaries were as a result full of not very definite statements “on occasion, it’s possible that you…”
I also didn’t really like my strengths – I got Input, and Learner, but they seemed to be the same thing, so why have that twice? And Significance, which is all about needing to be liked, which made me not like myself very much. And then Arranger and Individualization.
I’ve been reading the StrengthsFinder book, though, and I’ve come round to things more. Reading the general summaries has been more helpful, because it’s less fuzzy. Also, seeing other things I’m definitely not has made what it identified me as being make more sense. I’ve also been picking out strengths that I think particular colleagues have, which makes it easier to relate to them.
In the course, we were talking about how we thought our strengths helped us do our job. One of the things I found interesting about mine, was how I have two pairs that enable me to do different things. So Learner/Input are about engineering, and Arranger/Individualization are about organizing things and other people (like GGD, or AF).
At the first session of the course, I wondered whether I read so many personal development books that I wouldn’t get much out of it – like, it was a course for people who didn’t do that. But taking the StrengthsFinder test and subsequent discussions made me revisit that thought. Now I wonder if I can get the rest of my team to take it as well…