Living to Learn
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Living to Learn

Becoming the CEO of You: Know Your Strengths

Photo by Emiliano Vittoriosi on Unsplash

For years, I bounced around between different personality assessments that promised to give me great insights into who I and others were and how to engage them to drive better results. The problem? They only worked a portion of the time. Yes, sometimes I was an extrovert, but a lot of the time I am also highly introverted and it is all dependent on the context.

We all have a desire to get to know ourselves better, to understand why we do what we do, how to interact with others when they do what they do, and to gain that ability to tap into the characteristics that will help us achieve what we are after — agreement, clarity, a signed deal, you name it. We all want to have something that gives us insight into our personality.

Having done research on assessments there are a lot of ways that assessments can go wrong:

  • Reliability: Does it predict what it should?
  • Adverse impact: Is it negatively impacting certain populations?
  • Methodology: Is it built on valid scientific methods? Demonstrate statistically significant findings? Have consistent scientific backing and support?
  • Question structure: Are the questions well designed, don’t lead the individual, and aren’t asking compound questions (among others)
  • Biases: Do the results put someone in a small, narrowly defined box?

Unfortunately, many personality-based assessments have one or more of these problems and can cause significant issues depending on how they are used. While that is a bit of a departure from our overall goal — know your strengths — I felt it was important to share as we love tools that help us get better. Just beware of what those tools are. Okay…hopping off my soapbox and onto a tool that meets all of the criteria above.

Know Your Strengths

While I am not a certified Strengths Coach (or getting any kind of affiliate earnings), I am a huge fan of using the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment because of the high degree of research that has been put into the assessment (over 60+ years) and how well designed the assessment is. If you aren’t familiar with the StrengthsFinder assessment, it focuses on identifying the natural tendencies towards talents that you possess and how you can maximize your potential.

If you buy the StrengthsFinder 2.0 book, you get your first five strengths as part of the book and can upgrade to see how the other 29 strengths fall based on your results. If you are a student or educator you can get an additional discount. You can find out more here.

Having gone through the assessment for my full 34 themes, I can attest to impactful and insightful the results are. It is almost like someone put me under a magnifying glass and uncovered my inner workings. It also reinforced my values and the mindsets that I have.

While this assessment does have a cost, I strongly believe that the cost of not having these insights into what makes you you is much higher. Knowing your strengths can help you get out of your own way and capitalize on those inherent qualities that can help you become the best version of yourself as we continue on this journey.

If you’re new here…

We are on a journey to helping you Become the CEO of You so that you can become the best version of yourself. Over the course of the month, we’ll cover knowing yourself, creating goals, adopting mindsets, embracing habits, and practicing self-care. You can find all the posts in our publication Living to Learn. You can also find my random musings on my personal page here.

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