Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Our Greatest Weakness is NOT Knowing Our Own Strengths

For my BLAST course, I have been reading Now, Discover Your Strengths (Buckingham & Clifton). The premise of the book is based around two core assumptions:
1. Each person's talents are enduring and unique.
2. Each person's greatest room for growth is in the areas of the person's greatest strength.

Is it going too far for me to say that I think EVERYONE should read this book?!

So often we focus on all the things we need to "fix" in ourselves that we lose sight of the fact that God has placed unique talents, abilities, and passions in each one of us. There is nothing more affirming or empowering than to spend a few minutes reading true words about what you're good at.

An added bonus (especially for a girl who loves doing surveys, inventories, and assessments) is that the book comes with a code for an online Strengths Finder evaluation, which helps to identify your top 5 strengths.

Since you already know way too much about me, you are probably dying to hear what they are. Right? ;) Here they are, all changed to first person since I'm talking about myself. Okee-dokey?

1. Relator - I am pulled toward people I already know. I don't necessarily shy away from meeting new people, but I do derive a great deal of pleasure and strength from being around my close friends. I am comfortable with intimacy. For me, a relationship has value only if it is genuine. And the only way to know that is to entrust myself to that person and share openly (even if it means I risk being taken advantage of).

2. Strategic - This perspective allows me to see patterns where others may simply see complexity. Mindful of these patterns, I play out alternative scenarios, always asking, "What if this happened?" This helps me to see around the next corner, discarding paths that lead nowhere, that lead to resistance, and that lead to confusion until I arrive at the chosen path - my strategy. Armed with my strategy, I strike forward.

3. Arranger - I am a conductor.When faced with a complex situation involving many factors, I enjoy managing all of the variables, aligning and realigning them until I am sure I have arranged them in the most productive configuration possible. I spend time mulling over just the right combination of people and resources to accomplish a new project.

4. Empathy - I can sense the emotions of those around me and feel what they are feeling. Intuitively, I am able to see the world through their eyes. I do not necessarily agree with each person's perspective, nor do I necessarily feel pity for their predicament. I do not necessarily condone the choices each person makes, but I do understand. People tend to be drawn to confide in me.

5. Communication - I like to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public, and to write. I want my information to survive, to divert other's attention toward my idea and then capture it and lock it in. This is what drives my hunt for the perfect phrase.

Now, didn't that make you want to run out and discover your own strengths?!

Wanna meet my friend, Deb, whose strengths are so different from mine that it's shocking?

P.S. This review was completely unpaid and unsolicited, done of my own free will on a book I paid for. Just so ya know. :)

1 comment:

  1. Tyler! Great post. I agree, this book is a must read. I too discovered a ton about myself that I would agree with wholeheartedly that are my strengths. Celebrating how God wires us uniquely and not beating myself up for not being strong on the other areas. That is where community- diversity- unity comes in.

    Enjoy being you my BLAST small group friend!


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