Do you have talents that are often hidden the minute you step into your workplace? According to StrengthsFinder 2.0 author, Tom Rath, not many people get the opportunity to showcase their talents, and in return these talents are often swept into the dust. If you are unfamiliar with how the StrengthsFinder test works, it is designed to help you find the areas in which you excel in personally. There are 75 questions that you rank from ‘Very Accurate’ down to ‘Does Not Apply.’ There are 34 possible ‘themes,’ and at the end of the 30 minute test, you are given a list of five of your greatest strengths. A talent is the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance in a specific activity, whereas a strength is a naturally recurring pattern of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied. Can these two go hand-in-hand?
Coming from a home where my parents pushed me to my limits, told me to strive for the best, and achieve every goal I could ever dream of, StrengthsFinder 2.0 was always a topic of discussion. Before taking it, I thought of the test as something I would take just to find out my top five strengths, tell them to my parents just so they would quit asking, and then forget about it completely. Oh how my mind has changed from that mentality to being so intrigued to find out exactly how I can use my talents to not only help others, but to help myself find exactly what I was destined to do. I believe the greatest thing about the StrengthsFinder 2.0 is that each one is a strength, or talent, and every single one is unique. There aren’t a select few that are considered “the best,” and that the others were simply thrown into the mix for variety. No, each talent brings out a different side to yourself that maybe you didn’t even realize you possessed.
According to Tom Rath, “People who focus on their strengths are more than three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life compared to those who do not.” Because of this amazing statistic, we should be focusing more on our strengths, rather than our weaknesses. When people are more focused on what they are good at or what they like to do, they will be more engaged and interested in their task at hand. Allowing others to use their talents in their own way and adding their unique perspective creates not only great work, but also a happy employee wanting to do their best. Focusing on strengths and becoming a better version of ourselves is just what the StrengthsFinder 2.0 is designed to do. Embrace your unique talents, and use them to help you strive for new assignment, or promotion at work.
Now I’m sure after discussing the StrengthsFinder 2.0, you are wondering what my top five strengths are which just so happen to be: Communication, Strategic, Maximizer, Positivity, and Activator. Would you be able to pick any of these out just based on this post? Remember, each of the 34 strengths listed in the StrengthsFinder 2.0 book are unique, and not one is any better than the other. You can decide how much you want to use these strengths, but using them more will help you stay more engaged in your work, therefore enjoying it.
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it, you’ll land among the stars.”
-Norman Vincent Peale
Katie Samson is a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, majoring in Advertising & Public Relations. She is participating in the Intern program at C&A Industries, working in several different departments and on a wide range of projects. Katie is a social media guru who has a passion for finding just what makes others unique, and helping them bring out their best characteristics. When Katie is not working, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, running, and hanging out on the lake.