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stoolpigeon's Journal: Strengths Finders 2 2

The last 6 years or so, as I've been part of different departments or teams - each has had a different favorite tool to try and help staff reach their potential, work well together, etc. The first one was Myers-Briggs (or Briggs and Straton as I like to call it) and after that my next team did the Birkman thing. To go outside the US full time, my wife and I had to take a whole battery of tests including the MMPI - though I think this was just to try and avoid anything really going south in a drastic way. Recently I did DISC but now my current team is going to be using the Strengths Finders test along with some other stuff that looks at the results in view of a team setting.
 
I think it's funny how much our org is into this stuff. They've all mostly told me the same kind of stuff and I think they are accurate to a degree. But the more they try to simplify and nail it all down, the farther they get from anything meaningful. I think people are just too complicated to sum them up in 4 or 5 pieces of information. That said, I think they can be good tools to give people a bit of a starting place, as long as they aren't taken too far.
 
Strengths Finders gives you 5 top 'themes' and then one is supposed to focus in on building these strengths rather than focusing on trying to work on weaknesses. I'm not sure I buy into that philosophy completely. I think it has merit - to an extent. (I keep saying stuff like that about this don't I?) But I think it is also important to be aware of weaknesses and work on them as well. It's also easy to turn strengths into weaknesses if they get taken too far. But for the fun of it - here are my top 5 strength themes

  1. Context
  2. Strategic
  3. Analytic
  4. Learner
  5. Intellection

No surprises I think, I am a thinker. But it's funny because there is this team part we added on and they group everything into this quadrant system oriented around themes that they call internal vs external as well as interaction vs motivation. Each quadrant gets a color and everyone on my team had strengths in at least 3 quadrants - except me. All mine were in one. These different groupings are given labels and a percentage of people that fall into them. The bulk of our team fit into the "Life Lines" group - which is the biggest group of people they've tracked on this. 1 person was a "Passionista" which 12% of the people fit into that they have tracked on this. (I'm not sure who the 'they' is I'm talking about. Some company I assume - who prepped this stuff.) And I fell into "Guru" which is the second least common - with 1% of people falling into that. I thought that was pretty funny. I'm no guru. But hey - I'm "special".
 
I'm sure there will be more meetings to talk all this over and what it means. I'm going to try not to think about it too much. I'm tempted to read up some more, but frankly it's because the title is flattering. If it were negative I would have dismissed it already.

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Strengths Finders

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  • On the Meyers-Briggs, I always come out as an INTJ, which is spot-on.

    I did the Strength Finders thing in a training session a couple of years ago. While some of it was accurate, I felt like there must have been some kind of significant breakdown somewhere. My top five were:

    1. Learner
    2. Restorative
    3. Strategic
    4. Focus
    5. Relator

    The first three are on target: love of learning new skills and facts; I like to fix objects, systems and people; strong desire to analyze and find the best path through the tangles. #4

    • I always come out ENTJ - that's funny.

      I thought all 5 of mine fit pretty well and actually explain some things that I didn't quite get about myself. A lot of times when I've been reading about ENTJ it is matched up with being type A and I am not. The mix I got with Strengths Finders reflects more that I like thinking about planning and stuff - but I'm not so big on the actual execution.

      That comes back to the whole playing on strength. I need to work on my weakness too - and move from thinking to doing. I'd

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