This past week I attended a one hour facilitated group session that was a continuation of the Strengthfinders assessment. One part was looking at where our strengths were in regard to four team zones (3 of mine fall into strategic thinking) and the rest was looking at the potential weaknesses that correspond with a strength. Intuitively that seems sound and something I’ve always tried to be mindful about. For example, being a Learner was one of my top 5 strengths and the potential weaknesses include trying to learn things that have no direct bearing on the job (yes, that’s me at times!) and learns a lot but produces little (I’d like to think I’m reasonably effective at getting things done).
We had a group discussion with optional participation, a fine bit of facilitating – it lets everyone interact as they prefer. It just reinforced me for differently we see the world. For example Achievers are driven to get stuff done – whatever stuff they can find if they don’t really really focus. Empaths absorb emotion – a colleague that is down brings them down, and vice versa. There is nothing with those, or a Learner like me, they are just different. Its a useful context for discussion. The one downside I see is that with so many categories it’s hard to just think about someone and identify their strength compared to a tag like “introvert”. I’m curious to see if the next session goes into that more.
They say your strengths change at times, I don’t know. Maybe? Or is just the ones that you’re using right now? Really interesting to figure that out.
I don’t know that we’re born with our strengths, but they certainly form at an early age. My Mom tells a story about me at age 4 or 5 or 6. She finally got me a toy truck I’d wanted and then I took it apart – I wanted to see how it worked. I don’t know that I’ve changed much since then, I like to know how things work!
As a team builder this is simple, useful, and fairly non-intrusive from the perspective of a usually introverted and definitely private person. It probably depends some on the facilitator. One of the other attendees shared that they knew of a time that hired based on the assessment (I don’t know if that was to achieve balance or to get particular strengths). Considering them seems logical, but I don’t know that I trust it enough to make hiring decisions based on it. I think it would be a very interesting interview question to discuss how they mitigate the potential vulnerabilities that come with their strengths – I’d care less about the answer and more whether they acknowledged the potential vulnerabilities at all.