It’s amazing how a test can totally describe you and also offer insights that you didn’t know about yourself. This is what I came across with the CliftonStrengths (StrengthsFinder) results. I’ve always been a Myers-Briggs girl, but seeing the DNA string of my strengths and knowing that there are more than 33 million order-dependent permutations means that my order of strengths is incredibly unique. Even with my top five strengths of Input, Learner, Communication, Achiever, and Futurist, because there are a quarter of a million unique combinations independent of order, it will be a long time before there are two of us in the same room together (or not – if you have these as your top five, hit me up).
If you’ve read my blog for a bit or have hung out with me in real life, you will also not be very surprised that these are my top five. While Input and Learner sound like the same thing, Input is more of the end result of gathering the data and keeping it for eventual use and Learner is more about enjoying and appreciating the process of Learning and embracing the joy of learning with others. Communication means that I am a good storyteller and sharer of information. Achiever means that I’m compelled to be productive. And the Futurist means that I’m always looking around the corner, for new events, technologies, processes, or theories.
So that really explains why I’m so compelled to learn new things all of the time and then tell as many people about what I’ve learned, and most of what I try to learn are new things so that way everyone can benefit from it.
What I learned about myself through StrengthFinders, though, is that all of these Strengths are like muscles, and if they are getting used more and more, they’ll get stronger and stronger. Strengths can atrophy or build, depending on the circumstances you put yourself through.
Take the example of writing with your dominant hand. If you were to write, “I use my strengths every day” for thirty seconds, how many times could you write it? Then, switch hands and do the same thing. Was this time more sloppy and had fewer lines? If you were to practice more and more with that hand, would it get better?
I have spent my adult life in roles where I had to learn as much as possible and as quickly as possible about new things since new things were always being sold to me. I was learning so much I was afraid I wasn’t retaining it all so I created this blog to act as my brain repository.
Because of this, there are some Strengths that I’m not as strong in that I think I would like to be. I know I’m on my way to being a better Activator (my #11) and having Connectedness (my #12), but I really feel like I want to try to improve my Empathy (my #30) and I really, really should work on being more Deliberative (my #36).
So in 2019, I’ll continue with my Cat Herding, which will help with Activator; I’ll continue fostering my group Smart Women Eating Together for Connectedness; I’ll take a “course to learn active listening skills… [since] listening skills can help [me] develop mutual understanding” for Empathy; and finally, I’ll give myself “permission to resist the urge to answer every email or text message right away” for Deliberative. (The quotes are directly from CliftonStrengths as recommendations on handling my weaknesses.)
I’ll continue to follow one of my mottos, Keep Moving Forward, into the new year!
Based on my strengths, you probably knew that already.