Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Writing Wednesday: StrengthsFinders 2.0

In Monday's post, I mentioned that I am a "maximizer" and promised to explain more about that. I'm really excited to introduce you to this cool book!

Recently at work, every member of our marketing department received a copy of StrengthsFinders 2.0 to read. This great book is all about helping you discover your talents, specifically talents that will help you in your career, and I highly recommend it.

And while the book is incredibly helpful, the most important part is the StrengthsFinder assessment, which is an online quiz that measures your talents in 34 general areas called "themes." You answer 180 questions about yourself, which are each timed for just 20 seconds so that you don't overthink them and answer honestly.

At the end of the quiz, you receive a list of your five "signature themes," which are natural talents and can become strengths in your life (or may already be strengths). It's pretty interesting to read through them and see whether you agree with them.

So, I've already mentioned one of my signature themes, Maximizer, but here's my full list if you're curious and a brief explanation of what each one means.

  • Communication: You like to tell stories, to explain, to write — and "you want your information to survive."
  • Activator: You are impatient for action, and you know that only action brings results.
  • Input: You are inquisitive, and you collect things and, in many cases, information.
  • Responsibility: You feel emotionally bound to follow anything you commit to through to completion.
  • Maximizer: Transforming something strong into something superb takes just as much effort as making something slightly above average but is much more thrilling.
The funny thing is, when I first read these I was kind of disappointed because they didn't really seem to fit me. And then I read them to my husband, and he was nodding his head at every description and wondering why I didn't see that they totally described me.

Isn't it interesting how you think you know yourself well but it takes another person to point out either strengths or weaknesses in you? Since taking the assessment, I have been thinking about it all the time and noticing how my signature themes affect the way I respond in different situations. I've always known I was a maximizer, i.e. a perfectionist, but I hadn't realized that it can be a good thing at work when it means that I'm never satisfied with just getting stuff done if I know that it could have been better.

Of course, I wanted Andrew to take the quiz, too, since I think it would really help him in his professional life — and then he came home with his own copy of the book because he's in a leadership class that requires it. I'm excited to see what his signature themes are.

If it's not obvious from this glowing review, I think everyone should read this book! It has helped me so much in understanding my co-workers (since we're all talking about our strengths and how we can work together) and has reframed some of the things I've thought of as weaknesses — like impatience for action and my constant need to tell people stories — as talents.

Have any of you taken the StrengthsFinder assessment or a similar personality test? What did you think? Any books you recommend?


  1. Would you recommend this book to a person who is "between careers?". I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Would it be helpful for me?

    1. Thanks for your reply, Lindsay. I tried to buy it on my Kindle, but it is not available. I think this is a good reason to visit the mall (Barnes and Noble) this weekend...

  2. OOh how cool they give you this and the assessment sounds like something I'd really like to do. I hope I'm a 'maximizer' too like you. :) Nice post, thanks for sharing this because I hadn't heard of this test.


  3. I love the insight that books like that/personality tests give you. Helps you to see why you think a certain way I guess.


Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts! I love reading them.