I’ve never been a fan of tests. Studying for them was not something I enjoyed, in fact I still don’t. I don’t mind personality/strengths type of tests though. So when someone suggested I take the Clifton StrengthsFinder test I wasn’t against the idea. I wasn’t sure what to expect but from what I’d read about it I felt I could gain something from taking it.
It’s premised on the notion that from a young age we are taught to focus on our weaknesses instead of our strengths. We’re taught to “work on” our weaknesses instead of maximizing on our strengths. For instance you might get all As and 1 F and all the focus will be on that F instead of the As.
The test encourages building up on and playing to your strengths because that will benefit you better than trying to flog a dead horse by attempting to be empathetic when it’s just not you. It’s made up of 34 talents or themes as they are called, which you can turn into strengths or may have already proved themselves to be strengths. I think they shy away from calling them strengths directly because what might come off as a strength for one person could end up as a weakness for another.
For example one of my “themes” is Belief. As per the theme description “People who are especially talented in the Belief theme have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for their life.” It could be a strength in that if I have a purpose I believe in I will follow through on it and see it to the end. On the other hand it could also mean I might end up being stubborn and not easily influenced even when my beliefs are not serving me.
There are 34 possibilities and getting the same top 5 in the same order as another person is said to be one in 33 million so it’s pretty unique. It’s a test I think everyone ought to take. Who would have thought belief was a strength? My results describe me so well that I’m excited to start really maximizing on them and factor them into my future and the more immediate 2018 forecast.
My top 5 themes were, in their order:
Let me give you an example of what one of my themes looks like so you get an idea of what to expect if you decide to take the test. This is just a snippet, there’s more detail but it should give you an idea of what to expect for each theme.
“Wouldn’t it be great if . . .” You are the kind of person who loves to peer over the horizon. The future fascinates you. As if it were projected on the wall, you see in detail what the future might hold, and this detailed picture keeps pulling you forward, into tomorrow. While the exact content of the picture will depend on your other strengths and interests—a better product, a better team, a better life, or a better world—it will always be inspirational to you. You are a dreamer who sees visions of what could be and who cherishes those visions. When the present proves too frustrating and the people around you too pragmatic, you conjure up your visions of the future and they energize you. They can energize others, too. In fact, very often people look to you to describe your visions of the future. They want a picture that can raise their sights and thereby their spirits. You can paint it for them. Practice. Choose your words carefully. Make the picture as vivid as possible. People will want to latch on to the hope you bring.
For me this theme comes so naturally that I didn’t consider it could be a strength. Now that I know it I plan to maximize on it. Pairing that with the strategy theme, I foresee myself being unstoppable! In a humble manner of course lol. It’s so spot on that the mere fact that I have a blog like this is an example of this strength at work. I do love sharing my vision, I even shared my ‘vision obituary’ in this post and some visualization in another post. I even have more than one vision board on my wall!
When applying this particular strength I’m quite happy to spend hours doing whatever it is I’ll be doing at the time, be it speaking in front of people or inspiring one person I’m talking to. That’s what’s great about this test, it gives you your natural talents that you might otherwise not have considered strengths so you can build on them and make sure whatever you do factors them in so you enjoy what you do.
After your top 5 themes are explained you’re then given suggestions on what to do to explore each theme and turn it into a strength if it isn’t already. It also sheds light on how to work with people with certain themes.
I’m not in any way or form affiliated with the test itself or it’s owners, just a satisfied customer. I hope you’ll enjoy taking it and that it will assist in your journey to achieving your dreams.
P/S: In the next post I’ll focus on a 2017 reflection and preparation for 2018. I’ll be discussing ways to record exciting goals that will have you looking forward to achieving them. I’ve mentioned them in the past but if you haven’t put them into use, I hope seeing what happened in 2017 for me will turn you into a believer. I’ll have it all in the next post which will be up next Sunday.