My friend Sarah, who I’ve known for over 20 years, is extraordinarily bright and accomplished – lucky me. She’s really taken by something called the StrengthsFinder tool, which she was reminded of when she bumped into someone who was instrumental in creating it recently.
StrengthsFinder was developed by Gallup – you know, the polling people. It shows the characteristics that focus on “what’s right with someone; not what’s wrong” with that person. She admits being “obsessed” with the tool and implements it in her work.
Take a look at the 34 strengths described in this link. What are your strengths? Hers are relator, activator, ideation, futuristic, and focus. I’ve been trying to ascertain mine.
I’m NOT, as described here, Achiever, Adaptability, Arranger, Command, Competition, Deliberative, Developer, Discipline, Focus, Futuristic, Maximizer, Self-Assurance, or Strategic.
There are elements of these that these that might apply: Analytical, Belief, Communication, Connectedness, Context, Empathy, Individualization, Learner, Positivity, Responsibility, Restorative, Significance, Woo
I’ve settled, so far, on these:
Activator – “Once a decision is made, you cannot not act. Others may worry that “there are still some things we don’t know,” but this doesn’t seem to slow you.” (Fear of boredom deciding “process”.)
Consistency – “You are keenly aware of the need to treat people the same, no matter what their station in life, so you do not want to see the scales tipped too far in any one person’s favor.”
Harmony – “When others strike out in a direction, you will willingly, in the service of harmony, modify your own objectives to merge with theirs (as long as their basic values do not clash with yours).” (If I want Italian food, and you really want Chinese, we can do Chinese; I don’t care that much.)
Ideation – “You are delighted when you discover beneath the complex surface an elegantly simple concept to explain why things are the way they are. An idea is a connection. Yours is the kind of mind that is always looking for connections, and so you are intrigued when seemingly disparate phenomena can be linked by an obscure connection.” (Oh this is DEFINITELY me.)
Includer – “You hate the sight of someone on the outside looking in. You want to draw them in so that they can feel the warmth of the group.” (I look for those people at church or at parties who seem to be ignored.)
Input – “You are inquisitive. You collect things. You might collect information – words, facts, books, and quotations – or you might collect tangible objects… Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting. The world is exciting precisely because of its infinite variety and complexity.” (This is SO Me.)
Intellection – “You like to think. You like mental activity. You like exercising the ‘muscles’ of your brain, stretching them in multiple directions… You are the kind of person who enjoys your time alone because it is your time for musing and reflection. You are introspective. In a sense you are your own best companion, as you pose yourself questions and try out answers on yourself to see how they sound.” (Geez, that IS me, too.)
Relator – “You do not necessarily shy away from meeting new people – in fact, you may have other themes that cause you to enjoy the thrill of turning strangers into friends – but you do derive a great deal of pleasure and strength from being around your close friends. You are comfortable with intimacy.”
One can buy some of these StrengthsFinder workshop materials for $50.