StrengthsFinder 2.0 (Amazon link) has been recommended to me by several of my colleagues, but I never picked it up because I thought it was another one of those personality tests—the ones that are interesting but don’t really tell you much of anything or help you take advantage of your traits. I’ve taken several of those types of tests in the past, and they never did much for me. It wasn’t until Alissa Daire Nelson from the Maximize Your Strengths podcast gave me the push I needed to see that there was more to this book than just a small quiz. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]
The book starts off with detail about why it’s important to know your strengths, and the common misconceptions about what it means to work hard and achieve goals. For example, the mantra, “You can be anything you want to be, if you just try hard enough,” is actually something that can work against us. If we try to do something we are not meant to do, we’ll either just do it partially and get frustrated or not perform to our standards. It’s similar to how, when we get a bad grade in school, we focus too much on the grade rather than taking advantage of our strengths and excelling in what we are meant to do.
To really make StrengthsFinder 2.0 work for you, I’d recommend assessing all thirty-four themes and see how they define who you are, and what you can take from that. Combine that with the assessment test, and I think you’ll get a lot of this book. Too often in life we are so externally motivated. This book is a good reminder that we can find much strength within each of us.
The test itself was really fascinating. You’re given a scenario and forced to pick one of two answers presented to you. There are about 180 items or prompts, and it takes about 45-60 minutes to complete. The trick is to pick one answer quickly, and not think too hard about the answers. For some, I’d keep wavering back and forth, but really you have to let your gut and intuition help you decide, because that’s really going to better reflect who you are.
Here are my top 5 themes:
So who wants to play one-on-one basketball with me?! 😀
There’s a podcast episode that Alissa did where she interviewed me about these results, and what they mean. I highly recommend checking it out.
The most interesting thing about this process was my number one theme: Competition. I definitely know that I’m a competitive person (and my wife can vouch for that!), but thinking about it in terms of strengths is a perspective I haven’t explored before. If I were to somehow harness the power of competition and the motivation I get from it to move forward and make decisions in all of the work I do, I’ll definitely make big strides in my work and probably take a lot bigger and bolder actions. The more I think about it, it’s the projects I work on that I can turn into little competitions—between others, myself, or even my younger self—that really get me excited.
I really enjoyed thinking about strengths from a different perspective, and StrengthsFinder 2.0 helped me get there. And I want it to help you get you there too!