This week, I had an opportunity to work through various assessments that help identify my abilities. Myers Briggs (ESTJ), StrengthsFinder (Achiever, Learner, Input, Focus, Relator or Includer), Birkman, DISC (high I), SHAPE, and Spiritual Gift tests are just some of the resources available for greater personal awareness. They are also helpful for analyzing group or team dynamics. I appreciate these tools for continual growth.
Do you know what your strengths are?
I have been through many of these assessments through the years; some of the tests have been re-taken with very similar results each time. The atmosphere was not always the same however. In some past occasions, the profile results felt like a curse; they brought judgement and accusation from team members; they gave credence to team conflict but no hope. This time, it was encouraging to look at the results, fun to compare with my team, helpful to consider how we can work together and compliment each other on projects and tasks. I think I have matured over the years and can accept myself and appreciate others more.
Have you ever been misunderstood or criticized because of your strengths? Do you appreciate the differences in others?
The facilitator this week offered this encouragement; she explained that the profile was similar to one spoke of an umbrella, helpful to support understanding, but unable to offer a complete framework of identity. Although it is useful to know my strength areas, I may sometimes be called to work out of my weak areas also. My attitude and flexibility when that happens say a lot about me (my character) also. And while building on my strengths is strategic, I cannot neglect my weak areas or use them to excuse irresponsibility or lack of results.
What are you doing to develop your strengths? Are you aware of your weak areas and their effect on others?
I have found it really helpful to have a coach or mentor who helps me develop a plan to build my strengths. I choose one or two strong areas for further growth and one weak area. Next, I identify specific things that I can do to work on those areas. Sometimes it is helpful to consider any root causes that may have influence. My coach reviews my plan, checking to see that it is realistic, and then meets regularly with me to check on my progress, offer tips/advice, and encourage me. Those coaching appointments give me accountability and impetus to move ahead with my plan.
Do you have a coach or a mentor? Do you have a plan for personal development?
If you have any questions about this, please let me know. I believe that it is important to know and work out of our strengths – we have more joy and productivity in our life… and offer more grace and appreciation to others!