Strengths are becoming a new theme on this blog. Three years ago I wrote Coming from a place of strengths, about my reflections on my first Strength Finder experience. A month ago I wrote Using your strengths at work . When I wrote that post, I knew that I would be attending a Strength-Based Institute the following month, so I was reflecting on how I was already using my strengths.
Now that I’ve attended that two-day institute, I am reflecting on all that I didn’t know and what I can now do with my new knowledge.
Around 2005, my strengths were:
In 2013, my strengths were:
In 2016 my talents are:
Some of the key take-aways I learned last week included the fact that the Strength-Finder assessment ranks and shares your top five talents. Only when you “Name, Claim, and Aim” your talents do they become strengths. We all have elements of the 34 talents within us, but your top 5-10 are the ones you should claim and aim for success. My top three are clearly Input, Learner, and Achiever, since they keep showing up no matter what position I’m in when I take the assessment. The other talents have changed based on where I am in my life.
Knowing your talents is one thing, but focusing on them helps you take your raw talents and turn them into mature strengths that benefit your life (whether personally or professionally). Knowing the talents of others, especially those on your teams, helps you better empathize with others, understand various perspectives, and create a well-rounded team. Our facilitators shared that Gallup’s Strength Finder is about knowing yourself well, and creating well-rounded teams, not well-rounded individuals. We can’t all be good at everything. But if I hone my talents and I surround myself with diverse colleagues we can ensure our team is well-rounded.
The talents are divided up into four domains of team strength:
- Relationship Building
- Strategic Thinking
My talents fall within Executing and Strategic Thinking. This aligns with my feelings about myself as an introvert. However, it also reinforces the fact that I realize that relationship building is not my strength, but something I must consciously work at. Relationship are critical to building trust, which the only way to make positive changes happen on behalf of students. That is why I also declared myself an ambivert, because I cam draw out my extroverted side when necessary. I also know to seek out colleagues who have more talents in the Influencing and Relationship Building areas when creating teams.
I’m excited to apply my knowledge about talents and strengths and I look forward to more of our district colleagues joining the strenghth movement. I’ve already added my talents to my email signature for a reminder for me and information for others.
Thoughts to ponder:
- Have you taken Gallup’s Strength-Finder assessment? If so, what are your talents?
- Can you articulate your own strengths?
- How do you strategically use your strengths to enhance your professional work?