Coincidentally, after yesterday’s post they gave me and my coworkers a personality test to identify our strengths. No, they didn’t ask me about a tortoise in the desert. My strengths came out as:
Individualization – I am intrigued by the unique qualities of people and have a knack for figuring out how to make different types of people work together productively. I’ve been told I have good organizing skills but I never saw it. It has been hampered by general introversion, but I have been getting better at this.
Strategic – I am good at planning a course to meet my goals. That was pretty obvious from yesterday’s post.
Responsibility – I finish what I started. Ditto. I own what I say I will do, and I expect the same of others. That can be a flaw, as I tend to lump people as reliable or unreliable. But it is efficient when you need to delegate or make a team to get something done.
Communication – Well yeah, I’m a writer. I love putting my thoughts into words.
Context – I enjoy thinking about the past and researching history. This shows in everything I write. I almost always focus on what brought us to the story’s present, and the events of the past that make a character behave as they do.
The test can be taken by buying Tom Rath’s book Strengths Finder 2.0, which comes with a code for an online test. The test takes 35 minutes, and was developed by Gallup. I was making fun of the book the other day, because it tells you to focus on your strengths. Which is a great thing to do if you are part of a team, but sometimes your weaknesses must be improved. For example, the author uses the example of Rudy Ruettiger to say he wasted his life training to play a few minutes of football for Notre Dame. Well yeah, when you’re a cog in a machine at a job that’s a waste of time, but there’s something to be said about chasing your dreams. It took me years of training to overcome physical awkwardness and become a decent fighter.
We do not encourage struggle. We want the easy win, go with your strengths! You’ll never need to rely on your weaknesses, right? How does that make for a balanced human being? When you’re married, or at a job, you can delegate tasks to the person’s strengths, but sometimes you still need to do things yourself. You should concentrate on your strengths, but do not avoid struggles, especially when young. Quitting becomes a habit, as they say. Someday your strengths may not be enough. And then what will you do?