Friday, August 26, 2011

Capitalize on Your Strengths, Don't Focus on Your Weaknesses

A very smart man keeps reminding me that I should do that.  Stop commiserating about what I can't do (or do anymore) and concentrate on what I'm good at.  So, what am I good at?  What are the strengths & talents that I should be capitalizing on?

For the purpose of the audio book I'm currently listening to, a strength is any activity where you exhibit consistent, near perfect performance.  I could not take the online test associated with the book because I purchased it second-hand at a thrift store.  The web access code had already been use, presumably by the original owner.

I did, however, find a free online test very similar to the original.  The RichardStep Strengths Finder (RSSF) Test attempts to provide a way of pinpointing your preferred patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving.  The questions are based on the data from the book I'm listening to.  According to the results of this test, here are my top 5 strengths....

1.  Belief (95%):
People strong in the Belief theme have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values
emerges a defined purpose for their life.

2.  Input (90%):
People strong in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive
all kinds of information.

3.  Positivity (90%):
People strong in the Positivity theme have an enthusiasm that is contagious. They are upbeat and
can get others excited about what they are going to do.

4.  Woo (90%):
People strong in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over.
They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person.

5.  Responsibility (90%):
People strong in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will
do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.

Okay, that does sound a lot like me, I think.  I was surprised that some of the other identified strengths did not come up higher than they did in the results but this is not an exact science, I'm sure.  The ones that stand out most in my mind are....

•  Learner (75%): People strong in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.

•  Focus (75%): People strong in the Focus theme can take a direction, follow through, and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act.

•  Communication (65%): People strong in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.

•  Discipline (60%): People strong in the Discipline theme enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create.

Perhaps I don't know myself as well as I thought I did.  So, where do I go from here?  I guess that I have to figure out how to capitalize on my top 5 strengths, as identified above, and learn to work around my weaknesses.  I must try to maximize those strengths, using them to my best advantage, and stop attempting to fix my weaknesses. 

Looks like I have some work to do.  *smile*

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