The Strengths Finder Test

Last week my friend and fellow blogger, Jess, wrote a post about using 3 words to describe yourself. And I’ve been pondering about this ever since. There are a lot of obvious words I could use to describe myself, and some not so obvious ones that reflect the parts of me that I keep private. There are words that I would like to describe me, but can't, because I don’t feel like I’m quite there yet.

Then there are the words from this test: The Strengths Finder 2.0 Assessment.

We are in the middle of career development training at work and had to take this test as part of our training. You are allowed 35 seconds to answer each question (about 30 minutes total time), then at the end of the assessment, you receive an 18-page report on what your 5 top strengths, or “themes” as they call them, are.

So what are mine?

1. Consistency: They try to treat everyone the same by setting up clear rules and adhering to them.

2. Discipline: They enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create.

3. Harmony: They look for consensus. They don’t enjoy conflict; rather they seek areas of agreement.

4. Deliberative: They take serious care in making decisions or choices. They anticipate the obstacles.

5. Analytical: You search for reasons and causes. You think about all the factors that might affect a situation.

Here are some of the insights they provide, with a little commentary from me:

Consistency: - Putting off tasks is impractical. To some degree, it creates more work the next day. ➢ I have a daily “To Do” list and I have to check off each item by the end of the day or my day is not complete.

- You keep your physical environment and personal appearance clean and orderly. ➢ I have a place for everything. It bothers me if I don’t.

- You value structure and order. Individuals who leave messes and put things where they do not belong often strike you as sloppy. ➢ Yep, I’m a neat freak. Ask my sister (who’s not).

- You impose structure to your day to ensure every task is completed. ➢ I also have a “sticky note” on my laptop’s desktop that outlines my entire schedule every day.

- You like to be clear about what each day promises before it begins. ➢ Maybe this is why I like to know the endings of books and movies before they begin.

Discipline: - You map out trips, projects and agendas well ahead of time. ➢ I will always be the one with the Google Map printouts with copies for everyone on a trip.

- You are more insightful when you are not pressured by unexpected deadlines or demands. ➢ Yes, I am.

- You are methodical about preparing for events where your strengths are going to be tested. ➢ Perhaps why I love sports? The strategy, then execution.

- You have the “stick-to-itiveness”, the dogged perseverance to do everything you planed. ➢ I will not quit.

- You study ways to perform tasks more efficiently. ➢ Inefficiency drives me mad.

Harmony: - You seek out and listen to the opinions of others before your express your own views. ➢ Sometimes.

- You are happy to do exactly what is assigned to you, provided you are not being asked to carry more than your fair share. ➢ Yes.

- You may wake up those are who deluded, misled or deceived. ➢ LOL

- Your matter-of-fact style helps others identify common ground. ➢ I just call it as I see it. I may not always say it, but if asked, I will tell.

- You are good natured and even-tempered. ➢ Most of the time. Or at least I’ll appear that way.

Deliberative: - You are a no-nonsense person. ➢ Some may call it rude; I see it as being factual.

- You are easily annoyed with people who do not allow enough time to methodically investigate or think through things. ➢ i.e., I’m a slow thinker.

- You accentuate the good you see in others. ➢ ☺

- You rarely think about winning the affection of people. Being your own person is more important to you than being popular with lots of individuals. ➢ Truth.

- “Rash” and “Impulsive” are not words to describe you. You think things through before speaking or acting. ➢ Most of the time.

Analytical: - You get frustrated until you figure out why things happened the way they did. ➢ I hate that I’m like this.

- You refrain from becoming sentimental from certain people and their problems. ➢ And I hate that I’m like this too.

- You sift through the past to understand the present. ➢ I do love history.

- You thoroughly examine all parts of a problem and look at situations from various angles to draw conclusions about how to resolve the dilemma. ➢ Sigh...unfortunately, yes.

I’d actually agree with these results. I’m not sure this is a good thing (or not), but I think they’re pretty spot-on in describing me. I can see how they apply to both my professional, as well as my personal life. Both in good, and bad ways.

I could go on and on, but then I'd just be too analytical…and I hate that. ☺

But in all seriousness, this is some really introspective stuff, and I'm looking forward to learning more about how to interpret all of this and how to use it to for my development.