Career On the Job


A team I’m currently working with is using Gallup’s StrengthsFinder 2.0 skills assessment and I’m lucky enough to be taking part in it. I’ve participated in a number of assessments before and used a couple with my own teams, specifically the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Enneagram personality types assessment. MBTI is probably the most well-known assessment in the circles I travel and along with that, probably the one that most people roll their eyes at as well. There is often not much time between getting the results and hearing, “Oh, that’s your ENTJ talking,” or “No kidding you’re an introvert.”

And as misunderstood as these assessments can be, I do still think there’s great value in taking the time to learn about yourself and the people you work with. If these types of assessment offer nothing else, they remind us that we all process information differently and approach the world with unique worldviews, and there is great value in those reminders. However, if you’re open to learning more, each assessment can offer more valuable insights on you and your teams.

What’s interesting to me about the StrengthsFinder is that it’s focused less on personality and more on – as the name would suggest – your skills and strengths. In our professional and personal lives, we seem to focus much more on our weaknesses and how we can improve those, and that’s often a recipe for failed New Year’s resolutions, feelings of inadequacy and plain frustration. The philosophy behind the StrengthsFinder is that if we focus on our strengths instead, we can build teams and partnerships with others who possess complementary strengths to our own, rather than looking to be all things within ourselves. It’s a fascinating concept to me, and one that makes a lot of sense. If we spent more time focusing on what we are good at rather than where we fall short, I suspect we’d open ourselves up to a lot more possibilities.

And just in case you’re curious, my top 5 themes are empathy, relator, communication, responsibility and developer, which seemed about right to me.

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