Saturday, November 28, 2009

StrengthsFinders 2.0

While we are pondering what to say about God’s presence and anxiety (see below), let me mention a new tool for discovering the strengths of our personalities.

Deb and I are part of a couples group that include two former church planters, one current church planter/pastor, a prison chaplain and a retired pastor who is the regional overseer for the Dutch Reformed Church (eclectic group!). The group also includes a model, a former airline stewardess, a children’s book author, a psychoanalyst, a jazz pianist and a PhD student (that last would be me--it is a fun group).

The interesting thing about this group is that it was not started by the men but by our wives, with Dr. Sam’s wife Jane taking the lead. This means that rather than being task or agenda oriented, the group is much more relational with a focus on community.

Anyway, someone recently suggested that we take a personality profile test and mentioned “Strengthsfinders 2.0” by Tom Rath.

There is a web site associated with the book, and each new book contains a sealed access code which allows you to go to the web site and take a strengths profile to find what your five top “themes” are out of a total of 34 themes. Such things as Achiever, Activator, Adaptability, Analytical, Arranger, Belief, Command, Communication, Connectedness, Consistency, Context, Deliberative, Developer, Discipline, Empathy, Focus, Futuristic, Harmony, Ideation, Includer, Individualization, Input, Intellection, Learner, Maximizer, Positivity, Relator, Responsibility, Restorative, Self-Assurance, Significance, Strategic, etc.

It took me about 30 minutes to take the profile and I was amazed how accurately it nailed my personality.

Here is the home page:

Anyone who knows us care to take a wild guess at which characteristics were in my top five, or Debbie’s top five?


just joe said...

I forgot to mention that this is developed by Gallup.

Debbie's top five strengths are:

Empathy: People who are especially talented in the Empathy theme can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations.

Responsibility: People who are especially talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.

Relator: People who are especially talented in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.

Developer: People who are especially talented in the Developer theme recognize and cultivate the potential in others. They spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from these improvements.

Harmony: People who are especially talented in the Harmony theme look for consensus. They don’t enjoy conflict; rather, they seek areas of agreement.

After you take the evaluation, it provides you with an in-depth analysis of your strengths.

John M. said...

What are yours Joseph?

just joe said...

I think mine have radically changed over the last 5 years ... at least some of them. One of the guestions was about one's preference for history or studying the future... I used to be much more "future" oriented ... also, I used to be much more of a people-person and networker.

Mine are:

(no doubt about this one, its why I like the blog)
Strategic (I have serious doubts about the accuracy of strategic.
Learner (a lifetime student!)

Brian Emmet said...

Now, if only I had the key, the code...

just joe said...

to get the key code, you have to buy a new copy of the book: around$13 and change on Amazon. However, in my opinion it is well worth it. We are going to use it in the above mentioned leadership couples group, to see how to integrate our lives and gifts more effectively. I don't begrudge the cost of the book, because they have to have some way to pay for the research and the web delivery system.

I would encourage you (and Steve) to use this strengths tool with your local leadership group. It would also be a very effective tool for the ACM council and the various teams represented in it, although if you can convince them to use it, I will be pleasantly surprised. I already recommended it to Jamie for his team (no response so far--he is probably busy with the move).