Jul 30, 2011


So when I was in Utah someone gave me a gift. A book. And the front of the book says, Strengths Finder. In the back of a book is a special code that you have to use scissors to open. And then you go to a special website and enter your special code and you take this test so that you can find out what your strengths are. The test is timed. You have 177 questions and you have to answer each question within 20 seconds. Although I wonder what really happens if you happen to take 30 seconds...but I am too much of a rule follower to have ever found out. And that sentence pretty much tells you about my strengths :) JK

Seriously, the book declares it is a Wall Street Journal bestseller right on the front cover. I do happen to think the world of the Wall Street Journal so that impressed me. The inside cover talks about how our natural talents often go unused and how we spend more time fixing our shortcomings than developing our strengths. Honestly they had me at the words "secret code you have to enter :)

I was a little nervous about the test. What if I am not sure if I strongly disagree or strongly agree with a statement.....or what if....gasp....I just happen to be neutral? What if they word it in such a way that I have no idea what they are asking? Yeah, you get the idea....more of my adorable strengths hidden in this whole paragraph :) Anyway I just dove in headfirst and started the test. I think the book and test are geared more towards people who actually work. My friend who gave it to me works for Marriott and I think she said they all took the test at work :) But I think I did pretty well at pretending what I would do on the few work questions there were :) Some of the questions did leave me wondering if I would be a good employee? But enough of this let me tell you what I found out about me...since this blog gig is about me :)

Drumroll please.........here are my top five strengths according to this Gallup poll....I always wanted to use the word Gallup and poll together :)

The first one was communication.....duh.....I cracked up when I read this description because there is no doubt this is me.....check this out...." You like to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public, and to write. You feel a need to bring ideas and events to life, to energize them to make them exciting and vivid." It says I like to hunt for the perfect phrase.....who me? And then it took another shot at me and said I am drawn towards dramatic words and powerful word combinations......crazy talk, I tell you :) It gives you all kinds of tips on how to make this strength stronger...don't worry I won't try a single tip the world does not need me to be any better at communicating than I already am...trust me :) But it did offer some tips for those of you that have to deal with communicating freaks like me and these tips made me smile, and smile...get this, it says to "discuss plans for your organizations social events with this person. She is likely to have good ideas both for entertainment and for what should be communicated at the event" HAHAHAHAHAHAHA yes, I am rolling on the floor and then I will get up and plan your event for you :) Another tip it gave you for working with me is to take time to hear about my life and experiences...I will enjoy telling you and apparently you will enjoy listening and guess what the frosting will be? "Our relationship will be closer because of it"....I know....hang on while I stop laughing. How did these people know me so well? It is creepy :)

My second strength was "Includer".......what? Yeah, apparently hanging out with me is good if you like to be included because I apparently can not resist the urge to include you. I want you to feel like part of the group. I am an "instinctively accepting person" WOW! I am not totally sure what to say about this one....my communicating strength is failing me. The book says that if you work with an includer like me you should use me to make sure that everyone is included...yep, that is what includers do :) And if that is not enough apparently I can help you think about potential customers, markets, or opportunities you are not reaching today.....as long as I can pick the hours I work for you and you can validate me over and over and over :) (I added that last part all by myself :) Seriously, this is SO making me smile :) Oh and the last thing you need to use me for is if you are not a natural in social settings you should stick like glue to me and I will make sure you are part of the conversation .....and I will do it with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back :)

My third strength was "restorative?" Hmmmm what is that? Gulp....it is someone who loves to solve problems. I honestly had never ever thought about this but when I read this one I realized they actually are right in a wierd twisted way I do "enjoy the challenge of analyzing symptoms, identifying what is wrong and finding the solution".....it just takes me hours and hours and hours and involves chocolate :) I enjoy bringing things back to life and I adore restoring something to it's true glory. You know I do enjoy doing that for people.....so strange. Okay, but here is the scoop...if you work with someone who is, oh so strong, at "restorative" like I am and this person meets a particuarly thorny problem you have to help them through it because they will define themselves by their ability to cope and they will feel personally defeated if the problem remains unresolved .....sigh....I do .....I am.....that is SO me. How did these people know me? Oh yeah, I answered one hundred and seventy seven questions for them and they have me figured out. Start getting your questions ready and you too could have me figured out :)

My fourth strength was....."input" yeah it looks all innocent just sitting there but this my friends is the part of me you hate. I am inquisitive. Whew....there I said it. And guess what? I, "collect information and my mind finds so many things interesting." All you really need to know about working with me is that I need to be in the know so you are supposed to pass on books, articles and papers you would like me to read :) Yeah......I know :) If you only knew how true this is. Yes, I am giving you permission to send me info-email...I truly adore it :)

My fifth and last strength is going to blow your mind.....get ready.....woo.....did you blink? Did you miss it? WOO.....yes, woo. What does woo mean? Apparently it stands for "winning others over." If this is your strength you enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like you. If woo is one of your strengths you are, "rarely at a loss for words and you derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection." Now you know my secret and I am going to have to dump this strength like a hot potato :)

Despite all my jesting I do find it interesting to mull over their analysis of me and think about my strengths and how I can use them. There truly must be something amazing that comes with knowing what you are good at and learning how to use it......to help the Rebel Alliance and not the Stormtroopers :)


Kristy said...

Wow ... that is kind of creepy! Now how to use that information to help in your everyday life? That is the question. Use your "input" strength to help you figure it out! :)

Miss you.

C Tam said...

well you have totally woo'd me.

Jerry took the same strengths finder. One of his top 5 is "includer" as well, and I see the beginnings of it in our Lo Lo as well as I see him interact with the other dozen kids in nursery. I'd never considered "including others" as a possible talent, but ever since hearing about it I've noticed some people definitely are includers, and others seem a little clueless about their lack of inclusiveness, so I guess "to some is given one gift, and to others, another."