Sunday, April 10, 2016

Strengths Discovery and Action Planning

Tom Rath STRENGTHSFINDER 2.0Now Discover Your Strengths

Do you know what your natural talents and abilities are? What about the shortcomings and lack of skills we all tend to have?  Even more important, do you know how to use these “strengths” and understand your weaknesses to your advantage?  Tom Rath, author of StrengthsFinder 2.0 assures us, “You cannot be anything you want to be—but you can be lot more of who you already are” (p.9) by developing those talents we have and leaving room for growth.

In 1998, Roth began working with Gallup scientists to start a conversation worldwide of “what’s right with people” and how they could support individual’s understanding of each person’s “potential for growth.” By knowing ones strength and their accompanying behaviors, people would have a greater understanding how to develop strategies to meet the demands of daily life, professions, friends and family.

After purchase readers are invited to participate in the Gallup poll and discover their five most dominant themes of talent in rank order. “The purpose of StrengthsFinder 2.0 is not to anoint you with strengths—it simply helps you find the areas where you have the greatest potential to develop strengths” (p. 31). There lies the key in action steps to apply your strengths to move forward in a positive direction.

I took the Gallup StrengthsFinder Poll about 10 years ago, when I was an instructional coach, and then again just recently as an elementary principal.  I was unable to locate the original order of my initial results, but when taking it for a second time; three out of the five strengths remained the same. These three areas of strengths were not the surprise, but the last two items on my list were a surprise. The fourth I agreed with. Having Focus as a leader of a school in improvement, and as a student in my doctorial studies this makes a lot of sense.

The final item on my StrengthsFinder 2.0 list is almost offensive to me. I don’t consider this to be a strength at all, but a prideful characteristic found in those needing to be recognized and celebrated. Here is the power of Roth’s book. In detail you will learn the specific characteristic of this strength, what this strength sounds like with real life examples, ideas for actions (my personal favorite), and how to work with others who demonstrate this same personality. It is not the strength that defines you, but what and how you use it for growth and understanding of your behaviors. 

StrengthsFinder gives you the opportunity to do what you do best everyday. By putting their recommendations to action with a more mindful approach to maximize your talents, this can lead you to more aligned pathway to personal and professional success.

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