My top 5 strengths

november-11A couple of years ago, I got introduced to Tom Rath‘s Strengths Finder and since then the concept of soaring with strengths has stayed with me.

The way we are brought up or taught in schools is to work on our weaknesses. We are told to practice Mathematics, to pay more attention to language or to focus on thinking differently. However, most of the times we are not told to focus on what we are good at. We are not told to keep on excelling in what we do. We practice Mathematics and eventually give up on writing essays. Everyone has some strengths and some areas that need work but does it really matter to keep working on what we are weak at without any results? Should we not leverage our strengths more than we work on our opportunity areas. 

While I leave the idea to you to figure out what works for you the best, Strengths Finder through a long yet simple assessment, brings to you your top 5 strong areas. This assessment can be taken only once and when I tried it, my top 5 strengths came out to be:

  • Harmony – People who are especially talented in the Harmony theme look for consensus. They don’t enjoy conflict; rather, they seek areas of agreement. I am worried about running into conflicts. I like agreeing even if there is disagreement and I can’t sleep sound around conflict. Personal or professional, I like peace and I end up making peace in all situations. With people, I forgive, forget and move on. 
  • Arranger – People who are especially talented in the Arranger theme can organize, but they also have a flexibility that complements this ability. They like to figure out how all of the pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity. I am always found juggling multiple things and that keeps me going. I love to be told (nicely) how can I do things better and I take all feedback very easy. I love connecting dots and seeing what relates to what.
  • Learner – People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them. I am always in for the journey. I enjoy what the process of learning brings. A recent example is my desire to converse in Kannada. I haven’t yet perfected it and I am still learning. Recently with crochet, I had those high moments of creating beanies and then I moved to learn how to let go. It goes on and on for me.  
  • 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. I feed my soul with the fact that I cannot be lonely. Sometimes I even bite more than I can chew. Look at how November is going. Managing stuff home with the cash crunch, usual work, NaBloPoMo and then I am also editing Wikipedia for the Asian Month.  I don’t think I work smart. I just work hard. 
  • Individualization – People who are especially talented in the Individualization theme are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively. I love stories that people have to share. Their wins and then their learning are a way for me to know them better and I talk equally openly. I share my life’s stories to build relationships as I take people along. 

I have always found it hard to talk about what I am good at. You may give this any name but I know that as a person I sometimes need others to tell me what I can do best. As I read through the report from the assessment, I could not help but agree with what I know of me. You may agree to some and some parts are too closed to figure out but for now, I would urge you to recognize your strengths. Know what you are good at and keep at it. 

For Day 11 of #NaBloPoMo, I am going a little detailed and personal. Also this topic has been written for the Friday Reflections prompt for November 11, 2016 hosted by Sanch and Corinne


33 Responses

  1. That’s an interesting analysis…interesting to know your strengths. I agree about needing to focus on strengths and build them and use them to our advantage rather than just focus on weaknesses.
    Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life recently posted…7 things I hope to be remembered for #FridayReflectionsMy Profile

  2. Suzy says:

    This strength finder rings a bell. I’ve always believed that we should play to our strengths not our weaknesses. There is a story about Tiger Woods who at a point in time was focussing on improving his weak areas. That year he did not do well. So he decided to abandon that and focussed on his strenghts and was back in top form. Nice post.

  3. Shailaja V says:

    What a fascinating analysis! I’m tempted to look it up, although I’d be keen to discover how much of an in-built lie analysis the tool contains. In Psychology tests we always had a lie meter. Questions which typically people would lie on, if they did, then the test was more valid. Would be curious to know how this matches up. That said, I think your analysis seems pretty spot on.
    Shailaja V recently posted…Parenting like an AuntMy Profile

  4. Loved the concept of strength finder buddy and this is a perfect post before I enter my world of dreams as it leaves me so motivated. The idea is actually perfect and you forced me to think that why we work on our weaknesses n not strengths while ideally it makes more sense to do vice versa.

  5. The Individualisation strength is clearly visible through your awesome #WomenAtWork posts. You have this apt way of sharing the things that people do, in ways that they never would have been able to express clearly. And that certainly is a super strength: helping people feel proud and happy about themselves and their contributions 🙂

  6. Ness says:

    I’ve never heard of the strength finder. It sounds really interesting. I’ve never thought of it that way: that we’re taught to work on our weaknesses instead of playing to our strengths. Reminds me of that quote by Albert Einstein: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” You have some truly wonderful strengths! I’m curious to find out mine now!

    • Parul Thakur says:

      Ness, I have first hand experienced and seen that we all work towards what we are not good that. We are told to not quit trying which is true but look at the way that if the job can be done easily playing with strength, what’s the need to work on it by overcoming a weakness. Makes sense?
      Thanks much for stopping by. Let me know what yours turns out to be.

  7. Modern Gypsy says:

    This sounds fascinating! I agree with the school of thought that believes in playing to your strengths rather than focusing on your weakness. I will have to look up the strength finder. Thanks for introducing me to something new!
    Modern Gypsy recently posted…On my art table: Soulful surrenderMy Profile

  8. wow I found this so fascinating. I see myself as a learner, I think when we continue to learn we are always stretching out our branches to the sun #Fridayreflections

  9. With the developmentally disabled brother in law I advocate for, too much of his life was spent trying to analyze his weaknesses. Attention was never really paid to his strengths. Slowly, but happily, this is changing.
    The Unknown Journey Ahead recently posted…Why Fairy Tales Are More Than TrueMy Profile

    • Parul Thakur says:

      I’m so happy to hear that. With developmentally challenged people, talking about strengths is a good way to boost confidence. This is something I have personally seen. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  10. Ramya says:

    The strength finder is interesting! Will try. I feel, individualisation is great quality as we work with different people.

  11. Vinodini says:

    Wow, this is interesting! I’ve never heard about a strength finder. I’m sure it lifts a lot of cloud off your mind when you know your strengths with such precision.

  12. Shalini says:

    Kudos and you are always inspiring, Parul. From the very first AtoZ (two yrs ago), I admire you and your work. Thanks for letting us know of this test. I need to figure out where exactly I belong 🙂
    Shalini recently posted…The Suriani KitchenMy Profile

  13. Each one of this is so you , Parul. And I know how it sounds because I haven’t met you yet. But I just feel like I know you in some ways and these are exactly the qualities I would associate with you. Where can I take this step to find out my strengths? Like you, I find it hard to talk about my strengths too.

  14. Amazing list of strength , Harmony is something I feel we have in common. Enjoyed reading this post and I sure would want to go to the book and find more about me.
    Menaka Bharathi recently posted…Seperation of Kamal Haasan and Gautami – 5 Questions to Ask Yourselves before Living TogetherMy Profile

  15. Sulekha says:

    I know what my test result will be 😊 Lovely article, good to know a bit more about you.

  16. SHILPA GARG says:

    Wow! Those are some amazing strengths you have. Tom Rath’s Strength Finder is something that I’d like to check out too 🙂
    Thanks for sharing, Parul!

  17. I will definitely like to take this test and see what it comes out for me . Good initiative

  18. Bellybytes says:

    What a well written and well thought out post . Enjoyed reading it immensely. Must try out the book when I get home

  19. Rajendra says:

    I think I can write- working on the singing. But seriously, I agree with this guy (and you) that we stand a better chance nurturing our talent.

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