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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Know Your Strengths

I'm diverging a bit from my regularly scheduled posts to write about something that's been on my mind lately.  Michael took this Gallup test a couple weeks ago called the Strengths Discovery.  He got so much out of it that he told me to take it, too.  I was kind of poo-pooing it at first because I've take so many of those kinds of test, but it was really very valuable to know.

They say that you don't grow by knowing your weaknesses - seriously, though.  I agree!  I am WELL aware of my weaknesses, trust me.  When I focus on them I feel defeated, deflated, weak, insecure, insignificant, and powerless.

But when I know my strengths, I feel empowered, invigorated, and ready for greatness!  

So I took this test, and they only give you 20 seconds to answer each question, so you can't think too much about what you answer.  And there are no clear right or wrong answers; it's all on a spectrum.  For example, (this isn't really a question, but it's similar to what they might have) you would have to decide where you fall on this spectrum:

I read a lot........................................................................I enjoy people.
<>That's me  <>Sometimes  <>Neutral  <>Sometimes  <>That's me

The test took probably 20 minutes, and when I was finished, they told me my top 5 strengths, which were:

1. 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."
I'll be honest, though. I don't really see this one. I see relationships and working with others as one of my biggest challenges. Interesting that it was #1, though. Maybe I see it as such a challenge that it's too much on the forefront of my mind and that's what was showing up in the test.  I don't know; this one eludes me.

2. Achiever  - "People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive."
Uh, yeah, kids; that's me.  ;)  I love to work hard, but you may have known that about me.  There's a certain someone who thinks that I'm too stressed out at get-togethers when I'm off in the kitchen doing the dishes or cleaning up.  But I really do enjoy it!  I AM learning the balance of putting people first, though, so I've stopped cleaning up right away for their sake, not mine.  ;)  

3. Command - "People who are especially talented in the Command theme have presence. They can take control of a situation and make decisions."
This one is a challenge for women sometimes because we don't want to come across as bossy or another "b" word we all know.  But hey, if you're a woman and you have a command strength, own it with grace!  It's a gift.  ;)

4. Activator - "People who are especially talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient." Yes, yes, yes!  I do not like to talk about things for very long; I just want to do it!  My biggest pet-peeve is when things get planned to death and never happen.  For me, this should have been my #1 strength.  Just do it!  :-P  

5. Focus - "People who are especially talented in the Focus theme can take a direction, follow through, and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act."This is basically just follow-through.  Gettin' stuff done.  Yep, that's me.  I hate to leave a project halfway done.  

Okay, so you might be thinkin', 'Well, gee, I don't have those strengths.  Annie's so pompous.'  And that's perfect!  Know YOUR OWN strengths!  The world wouldn't work as well if we all had the same ones.  

You don't have to take the test to figure them out (although if you do want to take the test, it's $10 - wah-wah).  A little journaling about it can probably uncover the same things that the test would and save you ten bucks.

Let me know what yours are!  I'd love hearing about it.  Most of all, just know them for yourself and be empowered!  :)

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