Recently I’ve been struggling to better describe what is important to me and how this impacts my work, improving my awareness of traits which I could learn to use as strengths could help me in this activity, so I turned to StrengthsFinder 2.0.
The StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment activity has recommended to me many times over the last three years. ThoughtWorks use it as part of ThoughtWorks University. In order to take the assessment you need a copy of the book (which is a minor gripe), which has a code redeemable for access to the site. The assessment itself takes between 30 and 40 minutes and is made up of a series of questions where you choose a preference between two statements within 20 seconds.
The report has your 5 strengths with detailed descriptions that are personal to the individual and an action plan for improving them.
My strengths we’re identified as:
Here is my report which contains brief descriptions of each strength and the personalised insights. I have not included the action plan part of the report.
Before I looked at my results, I had a look at the list of the 34 themes. The humanist in me particularly liked developer, harmony, includer, relator and restorative. The thinker in me liked communication, context, deliberative, intellection and learner.
Initially, I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t see any of these. However when I took some time to look into them, I found that the combination of empathy, arranger and individualisation fits my approach to people and teams pretty well and input, arranger and connectedness expresses my way of thinking quite well too. Whilst it may be a little confirmation bias, the traits revealed may present a better representation of me than the ones I initially gravitated to. As an example, a developer wants everyone to experience success, which I do, yet individualisation seeks to observe the uniqueness in each person and draw out their strengths, which is an even better description of my approach.
It is important to remember that these are only the top 5 strengths, we all have more traits, this exercise draws focus to some of them. I’m hopeful that I have some of the other traits I value as well, yet I can build on these specific ones highlighted to me.
This exercise has left me feeling more comfortable and aware of my traits, whilst I don’t feel constrained by them, the groups I defined above have given me a useful frame to express some of my ideas.
Part of me wanted to publish my assessment to see if sharing it revealed any additional insights, so please post any thoughts as comments. I also wanted to show that (hopefully) it can be a safe (and beneficial) choice to share these kinds of assessments with the world. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to decide if they want to publish theirs? If you do, please link to it in a comment, as I’m fascinated by the potential combinations.
As a follow up experiment, I belief I might be particularly effected by mood when taking these types of tests, so I intend to take this assessment a couple more times in the future and compare the results, I’m hoping for some consistency, maybe with a few of my other preferred traits appearing.