We all have areas we want to improve professionally, don’t we? While SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) is an effective method for improving performance for an organization overall, I have been looking for an alternative way to introspect. For someone looking to become a stronger leader and to understand how I can best contribute positively to those around me, I was happy when I came across something a little different.
Discovering Strengths Finder
I recently read Strengths Based Leadership from Gallup’s Tom Rath and took the StrengthsFinder assessment to gain some insight into my own. The test itself was quick and almost too good at recognizing areas I excel in. In fact, my top strength came through as ‘Ideation,’ which, I love ideas.
I love brainstorming and seeking out discussion groups in my life. Trying to solve a problem by coming up with ideas is one of my favorite parts of a new project.
The saying goes that we can all be our own worst critics. The positive perspective of Strengths Based Leadership is a refreshing and encouraging one.
The opportunity to learn more about Strengths Finder came my way through the Emerging Leaders of Phoenix Children’s Hospital. has been a focus during their Early Risers breakfast events this year.
Through this group, I was able to hear from a Strengths Finder advocate, Guido de Koning, SVP Human Capital at Aspect Software. The event was well executed and those who attended were able to hear more about Guido’s professional background, his passion for culture, and also how Strengths Finder can help define teams as well as leaders.
1. Find your top 5 strengths, find each team member’s top strengths, and delegate tasks accordingly for optimal collaboration.
2. If you are in the market for a career change, Strengths Finder can help you take an honest look at yourself and maximize your potential.
3. Having leadership that understands and encourages exploration into tests or books like Strengths Based Leadership is a good sign!
For anyone curious, here were MY top strengths:
- Ideation – Strategic Thinking
- Input – Strategic Thinking
- Intellection – Strategic Thinking
- Restorative – Executing
- Activator – Influencing Category
Most of my strengths fall under the category of strategic thinking. This sounds perfect to me! I enjoy looking at the big picture, coming up with new ideas, finding ways to solve problems, and being the catalyst for change. Taking this test helped me understand how I can get the most out of my own strengths. It also helped me learn where to ask for help and what kinds of people I should collaborate with.
I would encourage ANYONE who…
- Wants some additional insight into their personality
- Is a leader organizing a new team or has a team that is experiencing bottlenecks
- Is a job seeker wanting to find the right words and ways to exemplify their best self
…to give Strengths Finder a try.
What areas do you feel you excel in? Are there other assessments you’ve taken that you feel have helped you excel at work? Share your stories! I’d love to hear from you.
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