Saturday, July 10, 2010

Strengths - Originally posted 27 March 2007

So, for work, we have to read this lovey-dovey book titled "How Full is your Bucket." From the title, I thought that it was a book on managing your workload so as not to overfill with work. But no... the bucket is an imagery for basically emotional input that people can have on you... you receive praise, it's a drop in your bucket... someone criticizes you, it's a drop out of your bucket. That type of thing. Anyway, part of the goal is to focus on someone's strengths in order to motivate them to achieve even more. As I said, lovey dovey.

I had been told that, once you do your strength analysis, you will be amazed. Well, I was very skeptical since, the last time someone said that to me, it was for this training called "Insights into Personal Effectiveness", which categorizes people into "colors" (blue, green, red, or yellow). So you take this test and then it gives you your primary and secondary color and then a little report about you. Well, I ended up being "black" or "rainbow"... no color really... close to the center... meaning that I can adapt. Meaning also that the report was useless for me.

But now, this time, it's pretty accurate!

Here are my 5 strengths:

You are inquisitive. You collect things. You might collect information-words, facts, books, and quotations - or you might collect tangible objects such as butterflies, baseball cards, porcelain dolls, or sepia photographs. Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting (from me: now, ain't that the truth?). The world is exciting precisely because of its infinite variety and complexity. If you read a great deal, it is not necessarily to refine your theories but, rather, to add more information to your archives. If you like to travel, it is because each new location offers novel artifacts and facts. These can be acquired and then stored away. Why are they worth storing? At the time of storing it is often hard to say exactly when or why you might need them, but who knows when they might become useful? With all those possible uses in mind, you really don't feel comfortable throwing anything away. So you keep acquiring and compiling and filling stuff away. It's interesting. It keeps your mind fresh. And perhaps one day some of it will prove valuable.

There were quotes from people who also have this strength and one of them was about this guy who said that, in his opinion, the internet was the best thing since sliced bread because information is readily available. I have said that so many times!

You like to think. You like mental activity. You like exercising the "muscles" of your brain, stretching them in multiple directions. This need for mental activity may be focused; for example, you may be trying to solve a problem or develop an idea or understand another person's feelings. The exact focus will depend on your other strengths. On the other hand, this mental activity may very well lack focus. The theme of Intellection does not dictate what you are thinking about; it simply describes that you like to think. You are the kind of person who enjoys your time alone because it is your time for musing and reflection. You are introspective. In a sense you are your own best companion, as you pose yourself questions and try out answers on yourself to see how they sound. This introspection may lead you to a slight sense of discontent as you compare what you are actually doing with all the thoughts and ideas that your mind conceives (from me: huh... yeah... discontentment happens a lot... so many ideas, so little time!). Or this instrospection may tend toward more pragmatic matters such as the events of the day or a conversation that you plan to have later. Whatever it leads you, this mental hum is one of the constants of your life.

Your Achiever theme helps explain your drive. Achiever describes a constant need for achievement. You feel as if every day starts at zero. By the end of the day you must achieve something tangible in order to feel good about yourself (oh boy!). And by "every day" you mean every single day - workdays, weekends, vacations (oh boy!). No matter how much you may feel you deserve a day of rest, if the day passes without some form of achievement, no matter how small, you will feel dissatisfied (oh boy!). You have an internal fire burning inside you. It pushes you to do more, to achieve more. After each accomplishment is reached, the fire dwindles for a moment, but very soon it rekindles itself, forcing you toward the next accomplishment. Your relentless need for achievement might not be logical. It might not even be focused. But it will always be with you. As an Achiever you must learn to live with this whisper of discontent. It does have its benefits. It brings you the energy you need to work long hours without burning out. It is the jolt you can always count on to get you started on new tasks, new challenges. It is the power supply that causes you to set the pace and define the levels of productivity for your work group. It is the theme that keeps you moving.

Huh... yeah... I'm an achiever... sometimes even an overachiever.

You can sense the emotions of those around you. You can feel what they are feeling as though their feelings are your own. Intuitively, you are able to see the world through their eyes and share their perspective. You do not necessarily agree with each person's perspective. You do not necessarily feel pity for each person's predicament - this would be sympathy, not Empathy. You do not necessarily condone the choices each person makes, but you do understand. This instinctive ability to understand is powerful. You hear the unvoiced questions. You anticipate the need. Where others grapple for words, you seem to find the right words and the right tone. You help people find the right phrases to express their feelings - to themselves as well as to others. You help them give voice to their emotional life. For all these reasons other people are drawn to you.

Well, I'm not sure about the description of that one. I mean, I do feel people's emotions and I do understand their motives and things like that but I'm not sure that I can really put them into words for them. Close enough.

Excellence, not average, is your measure (from me: guilty as charged! lol). Taking something from below average to slightly above average takes a great deal of effort and in your opinion is not very rewarding. Transforming something strong into something superb takes just as much effort but is much more thrilling. Strenghts, whether yours or someone else's fascinate you. Like a diver after pearls, you search them out, watching for the telltale signs of a strength. A glimpse of untutored excellence, rapid learning, a skill mastered without recourse to steps - all these are clues that a strength may be in play. And having found a strength, you feel compelled to nurture it, refine it, and stretch it toward excellence. You polish the pearl until it shines. This natural sorting of strengths means that others see you as discriminating. You choose to spend time with people who appreciate your particular strengths. Likewise, you are attracted to others who seem to have found and cultivated their own strengths. You tend to avoid those who want to fix you and make you well rounded. You don't want to spend your life bemoaning what you lack. Rather, you want to capitalize on the gifts with which you are blessed. It's more fun. It's more productive. And, counterintuitive, it is more demanding.

Well, now the "maximizer" one is a bit trumped by the "input" one... there are sooooooooo many things that interest me! And, yes, I end up being at least good at a lot of 'em... and, yes, it annoys me that I am not better... when I get to the "good" status, it's not good enough. lol

That's pretty much me in a nutshell! Does that explain a lot to my friends? ;op

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