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Making the Most of Your Strengths - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Making the Most of Your Strengths. Why Do Self-Assessment?. Powerful personal development tool when used correctly Reflection and self-knowledge are cornerstones of leadership development Others are assessing you anyway!!. Why Use This Particular Assessment?.

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Why Do Self-Assessment?

  • Powerful personal development tool when used correctly

  • Reflection and self-knowledge are cornerstones of leadership development

  • Others are assessing you anyway!!

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Why Use This Particular Assessment?

  • Assessment is scientifically sound

  • Good ideas to accompany the assessment

  • Focuses on the positive

  • Is quick and inexpensive

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Underlying Assumptions

  • Building from strengths is more efficient and effective than working on weaknesses

  • Understanding your strengths can help you find “good fits” in your life

  • Your strengths shed light on who you are

  • Understanding your strengths can help you become a better leader

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A Crucial Difference

  • Skills: thoughts, feelings, or behaviors that you can learn and / or do

    • Skills are fairly easily acquired

    • Skills quickly degrade without frequent reinforcement

  • Talents: any recurring pattern of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied

    • Talents are unique and enduring

    • Talents are your “T1 lines”; spontaneous, top-of-mind reactions to situations

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A Quick Note



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Exercise: Making Sense of Themes

  • Write down your top five themes (or have your test output handy)

  • ID one of the themes that resonated with you

  • Put the theme into your own words by thinking of an example of when you used the theme

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Your Signature Themes

  • StrengthsFinder Signature Themes: these are your five most dominant themes of talent

    • In these areas, you have the greatest potential for a strength.

    • Focusing on these themes is an efficient way and effective to build from your strengths

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About Your Signature Themes

  • Represent top five areas for potential strengths

  • Rank ordered from 1st to 5th in dominance

  • Signature themes show consistency in repeated tests and over time

  • Absence of theme does not necessairly constitute weakness

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Exploring a Relevant Theme

  • Example of signature themes

    • Strategic

    • Learner

    • Futuristic

    • Achiever

    • Maximizer

  • Need to clearly understand the theme

  • Look for larger patterns

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Findings from Top Achievers

  • Top achievers build their lives around talents & develop talents into strengths

  • Top achievers are highly aware of “fit” in their life (they use strengths in roles that best suit them)

  • Top achievers figure out creative ways to use strengths when doing “grunt work”

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Using Your Themes

  • Read applicable book sections (p.83-116)

  • Highlight insightful and pertinent ideas

  • Look for talents underlying themes

  • Discern broad patterns in themes

  • Encourage others to take the StrengthsFinder

  • Check for congruency and fit

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Using Themes to Assess Fit

  • What do your themes tell you about your choice of academic major?

  • Choice of university?

  • What about choice of profession?

  • And your leadership style?

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Leadership Implications

  • Understand what Signature Themes say about you

  • Self-knowledge is cornerstone of effective leadership

  • Actively reflect on themes and talents

  • Use talents and strengths to enhance your leadership capacity

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Leadership Implications

  • Understand what Signature Themes say about others

  • People are unique

  • Effective leadership requires individualization

  • Use book p. 117-210 for insights on leading others according to themes

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Exercise: Your Greatest Hits

  • Think about your greatest successes and triumphs. Briefly write down the answers to the following three questions:

  • What has been your most successful experience in an employment, service, or volunteer work setting?

  • What has been your most successful experience in an academic, learning, or athletic setting?

  • What has been your greatest success in an interpersonal relationship, leadership role, club, team, or organization?

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Putting it all Together

  • What are the patterns between your greatest successes and your themes?

  • Do your themes shed light on fit—or lack of fit—in your life?

  • How can your themes inform your development?

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StrengthsFinder Lessons

  • Know your strengths and organize your life to best leverage them

  • Remember that the list is only top 5

  • Continually assess fit in your life

  • People bring different strengths to the table