My two sisters and I are all extremely different, despite the fact that it looks like we all planned our matching outfits on this day! Juliet, fon the left, is the oldest and she is very much a leader. She likes to take charge and isn't afraid to take risks. Juliet does not enjoy being on stage or hitting the dance floor so much. Amy, on the right, is very steady, responsible and risk-averse. Amy is one of the best dancers I know and she's a very talented photographer. And then there's me in the middle. I've always been the really outgoing, love-being-on-stage, loud, life-of-the-party type. I treasure being alone and writing. Every individual has a rich inner life, and our outward personalities only tell a small part of our individual make up.
Last fall, I applied for a job and got through the first couple rounds of interviews no problem. Then, they wanted me to go online and do an assessment before making me an offer. I went on and took the test in a bit of a rush, which probably wasn't smart. And I couldn't help but try to answer the questions the way I thought the company might want me to answer them, rather than how I really felt. So, although I was a bit disappointed when I didn't get the job, I wasn't that surprised and I made it my mission to find the assessment, which really felt more like a personality test.
After some scouting, I found the book, StrengthsFinder 2.0, which includes a code to take the online test in the back cover. The questions were ranking statements from "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree." The one that stood out to me the most in my memory was: I enjoy telling jokes and stories at parties, to which I responded strongly agree. After ranking all the statements, your results are generated as your top 5 strengths and the book discusses each strength in depth.
I was surprised and interested to see that my strengths were 1. Strategic 2. Empathy 3. Input 4. Individualization 5. Connectedness. And after reading about them, I felt like I had a good idea of what I do best - and I could easily see how I ended up working as a Montessori teacher. ;)
The author points out right at the start that we have to stop spending time and energy trying to fix our weaknesses, and instead put our efforts into cultivating our strengths. Such a smart and positive approach, don't you think?
Have you ever taken the Strengths Finder test? How has it helped you personally or professionally?