Sunday, September 12, 2010

Finding strengths

StrengthsFinder 2.0: From the Author of the Bestseller WellbeingHave you heard of StrengthsFinder 2.0? I am sure this title has sent a number of my group mates into shudders. Some don't like, others are fascinated by the outcomes, but one thing that nobody can negate is that it is one of those rare personality assessments that focus on the strengths rather than on weaknesses.

From early childhood on, we are being reproached for what we are bad at, but rarely are we praised on our strong points. Why? Because the society likes to hold firm stereotypes of what we should be and once we wander away from the "ideal" picture, there is always a hammer to bang us back down. When you are a genius in Literature and failing in Maths, you will be sent to Maths courses and will have to spend innumerable hours with private teachers and Maths problems, rather than reading more books and honing what you have a natural talent for. It's time to shift the perspective.

StrengthsFinder helps you identify 5 areas (talents) that are your natural strengths. It was fascinating for me to go through the discovery process. At first, I read the book and tried to guess what my 5 talents were. Then I asked a friend who knows me well to guess what those were for me. After that we compared the two lists. Finally, I took the test. The interesting part is that none of us were able to guess more than 3, and two strengths came out of nowhere, but now that I am looking at the definitions, I can surely see myself in those.

The big question is, as always, what am I going to do with the results? Well, the first thing that I did was incorporating some of the strengths and the wording from the book into my resume and it does look nicer. Secondly, I used this concept at the interview when I was going through the assessment center at DHL. I was asked why I believed I would make a good consultant and I compared the qualities I thought a good consultant would possess to the 5 talents identified through SrengthsFinder. I am not claiming it helped greatly, but I got the offer. Thirdly, this assessment provides some suggestions on how you can build up even further in your self-development. After all, we all grow from the positive and strong, not the negative and weak.

If you have not read the book yet, I would definitely recommend, but take it with a pinch of salt. As everything in this world, nothing is definitive, not even death and taxes.

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