21 October 2009

Strengths Finder 2.0

At our last faculty meeting, our school director gave us the book "Strength Finder 2.0" by Tom Rath and encouraged us to read it and then take the assessment to determine our strengths. The premise of the book is that by capitalizing on our strengths, we are much more productive. This morning, while I was giving an exam I read through the beginning of the book and then this afternoon, I took the assessment. The results were somewhat interesting, so I thought I'd post them. Here are my strengths...

1. Learner
People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning rather than the outcome, excites them.

What makes you stand out?

Chances are good that you have an insatiable — that is, incapable of being satisfied — appetite for information. Armed with newly acquired facts and skills, you routinely pinpoint areas where you need to make upgrades for the sake of efficiency. In the process, you probably discover ideas and techniques to do something you already do quite well even better. Instinctively, you are a rational thinker. That is, you exhibit good judgment and exercise sound reasoning. These thought processes serve you well whenever you set out to acquire true knowledge and/or gain a skill. You school yourself by reading, investigating, examining, experiencing, or receiving instruction in a subject. Because of your strengths, you treasure books and other publications because they are rich sources of information. You regard the printed word as a gateway to a vast world of new ideas. Your quest to interpret events, grasp facts, or understand concepts appears limitless. Frequently you read to broaden
your perspective on very familiar, as well as altogether unfamiliar, topics. By nature, you endorse the importance of acquiring additional knowledge and gaining new skills. You regard education as an ongoing activity. It’s very likely that you may devote yourself to things that intrigue you. Sometimes your attention intensifies if you are encouraged to immerse yourself in a specific activity or topic.

2. Input

People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often
they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.

What makes you stand out?

It’s very likely that you enjoy reading as long as you can savor each sentence and consider each idea. Your goal is to comprehend everything you read. It makes no sense to you to rush through books, magazine or newspaper articles, Internet sites, or other forms of written material just to say you finished them. By nature, you absorb the written word like a sponge sops up water. You revel in an opportunity to lose yourself in a book. Time seems to float by when you are the grateful guest of an entertaining or informative author. Your only choice is to finish the book as quickly as possible. Because of your strengths, you rely on your passion for reading to help you launch conversations. Engaging in small talk or casual chitchat is likely to be difficult for you. As a result, you tend to draw on the ideas you find on the printed page or the Internet to spark discussions. Writers’ thoughts generally prompt you to use questions to break the ice — that is, conquer the first challenges in starting a dialogue. This tactic permits others to begin talking and allows you to simply listen. Chances are good that you may master specialized vocabularies to perform certain tasks correctly. Perhaps you realize every field of study and work has its own glossary of terms. You might add new words and definitions to your vocabulary. If some people ridicule you for being singleminded
— that is, determined to gain fluency in this new language — you might ignore them.
Sometimes doing your job properly seems to be more important to you than being popular. Instinctively, you are the team member who usually acquires lots of information by perusing all kinds of written material. These materials can include newspapers, books, memos, and electronic documents.

3. Command

People who are especially talented in the Command theme have presence. They can take
control of a situation and make decisions.

What makes you stand out?

By nature, you earnestly apply yourself to seeing things as they really are. You bring a practical, matter-of-fact, and unsentimental outlook to various discussions, projects, or planning meetings. It’s very likely that you quiet outspoken people with your quick and clever thinking. You rely on facts and reason to support your ideas. Many individuals choose to submit to whatever you tell them to do. Few dare to resist and ignore your orders. Frequently your mental agility overpowers people who traditionally like to take charge. Because of your strengths, you are unsentimental and not often swayed by emotional arguments or passionate pleas. People are likely to describe you as quite realistic and practical. Instinctively, you now and then make daring requests or bold demands of certain individuals. Perhaps your life becomes a bit more meaningful when people respond favorably
to your call for extra effort. Driven by your talents, you keep a tight rein on your emotions. You are cautious and reserved. Rather than add to the drama of a situation, you simply study the facts. You waste little time discussing your own and others’ feelings. Instead, you consider the evidence. You weigh the consequences of whatever is said and done. People realize you need time to think. They know your judgment is rarely clouded by personal feelings or opinions.

4. Achiever

People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and
work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.

What makes you stand out?

Driven by your talents, you make an effort to be friendly and talkative whenever the situation demands. Even so, you treasure your work or study time. Why? You yearn to produce tangible results each day. Socializing, while important, fails to provide outcomes to which you can point and measure. As a result, you likely resist devoting time to activities that impede progress, compromise productivity, or waste precious time. Instinctively, you probably have a reputation for working many hours so your team, class, or workgroup can reach its goals. Chances are good that you ordinarily take time and exert extra effort to comprehend what you are reading. You probably refuse to rush through written material. Why? You likely intend to commit to memory as many facts and concepts as possible. By nature, you tend to be quite selective about the company you keep. You prefer to spend time with individuals who are trustworthy. You consciously avoid people whose words and deeds indicate they value honesty less than you do. It’s very likely that you do a fine job of imparting knowledge to individuals. You spend a lot of time preparing appropriate stories,
vivid examples, graphic illustrations, or useful materials to enliven your training sessions.

5. Belief

People who are especially talented in the Belief theme have certain core values that are
unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for their life.

What makes you stand out?

Driven by your talents, you may be zealous — that is, fervent and enthusiastic — about solving problems that affect the quality of your life. Once in a while, you devote all your time and energy to a specific cause. Perhaps your core values explain why you participate in certain social, political, educational, religious, legal, or environmental activities. It’s very likely that you may convince certain people that a particular project or cause improves humankind’s quality of life. Occasionally you persuade them of the importance of protecting the planet’s resources for future generations. Perhaps you help people realize they can accomplish more good as a group than they can as individuals. By nature, you sometimes like to assist people. Why? Maybe failure to act violates one of your core values. You may hope your actions or good examples will make the world a little bit better tomorrow than it is today. Instinctively, you may be attracted to individuals whose honesty and integrity are above reproach. Perhaps you seek to penalize people who betray trust by taking things without permission. Chances are good that you might feel best about yourself when you are honest and forthright. Perhaps telling untruths or omitting important facts violates your personal code of ethics.

So, does this really describe me?