The exercise involves a book by Tom Rath called Strengths Finder 2.0. The key idea in the book is that we should focus on discovering, and then improving, our strengths. I learned that our strengths are actually the totality of the following three things:
- skills (acquired through training and practice),
- knowledge (acquired through learning), and...no way to get around it...
- talents (things that come naturally to us).
Part 1 discusses what's "right" with people. Instead of focusing on our weaknesses, like so many self-help books do, this book doesn't even hint at a "fix" for ourselves. This book recognizes and celebrates that, as individual as we each are, we possess unique strengths, in varying degrees. So that...instead of ruminating about what I need to work on, I can acknowledge my strengths with the goal of turning those strengths from good to great! People who have the opportunity to focus on their strengths, according to the book, are 6 times as likely to be engaged at work and 3 times more likely to report just having a pretty excellent quality of life generally!
Another compelling notion is that we CANNOT be anything we want (this goes against popular American culture but let's face it, I'm not gonna dance with the Joffrey ballet) but encourages us to realize that we can be a lot MORE of who we already are!
Part 2 includes a unique ID code which allows you to take an online strengths assessment. The assessment report is a valuable tool to help identify what strengths I had...and it was a fun kick on a trying day, too! I list my strengths, for you dear reader, below, in the hope that you will share yours with me, too! Naming our strengths to those we interact with can help with understanding and influence. Imagine if we all recognized and appreciated others' strengths as we approached them for time, money, assistance, attention, comfort. What might you achieve and who might you influence if you tapped on and leveraged your strengths more intentionally?
You can see that I'm borderline obsessed on this topic. Fair foreshadowing for anyone coming over to open gifts under our tree with me soon - get ready!
Harmony - practical, realistic, attentive to what people share
Input - your goal is to read a lot and comprehend everything you read so you are transformed in mind and spirt
Intellection - acquiring knowledge is as much a pastime as it is a necessity of life
Learner - you yearn to increase your knowledge and engaging in "small talk" seems like a waste of time