image I started to work for a new manager last year. The first thing my new boss asked me to do is to buy this book, “StrengthsFinder 2.0“, and take the test online. He assured me I would like that. Obviously, he took the test himself before and it has been tremendously helpful to his own career growth.

I bought the book, certainly. The introduction section explained why they think people should focus on their strengths instead of their weaknesses.

Their reasons are simple:

  • No one is perfect. We are all naturally good at something and fall short on other things.
  • It’s our talents and strength that makes out standout, in a good way. Not the shortcomings.
  • We are more engaged and happy when working with our strengths than working with our shortcomings.
  • It’s more efficient to develop our strengths than to remedy our shortcomings.

By the way, they are a group of psychologists working for Gallup, holding Ph.D and Master degrees in Psychology.

I think this concept have great value in current world. It has a underline assumption that somebody else will cover your shortcomings. So you don’t need to worry about them.

We are living in a inter-connected society and we are inter-dependent with each other. Nowadays, almost nothing significant can be accomplished only by ourselves. Teamwork and organization are the most common ways of working and living. We don’t need to worry too much about what we lack. Our team mates, colleagues, or partners will compensate us through their strengths.

This assumption may not work all the time in all circumstances. A extreme scenario is to put a stock trader to an disconnected island by himself. His strengths in financial arena hardly matters anymore. On the contrary, if he so focused on developing his financial skills and neglected his skills of making everyday living, his shortcoming in living skills may be the killing factor to him in the island.

This is just an extreme counter case. But the points are clear. We still need to spend sometimes on our obvious weaknesses to avoid them from dragging us down. Once our base is covered, we should follow the advice and focus on developing on our strengths. After all, our strengths are what make differences! They are why we are unique and they are what we are born for!

On the back of the book, I got this secret “access code” that led me through the door of the online tests. It’s a regular psychology test we all have been through. Usually, a scenario/statement was described and you needed to choose how you agree or disagree. However, the question was kind of vague and it’s hard to pick yes or no. To make it even worth, the time was really limited. I didn’t even have time to think everything through. Later on, I figured they deliberately designed so to test your intuition, which can most accurately reflect your underline characters.

After I took the tests, the test report was sent to me in an email. I was amazed by the accuracy. When I read the descriptions, I could see myself in it. It accurately described a lot of my behaviors and motives. Now, eventually I could have a clear mind on what I am good at and what I want to do.

I sent the report to my manager. It was helpful to him since he could fully utilize my strengths when he assigned job for me to do. He did that and it worked out well both for me and for him. Who don’t want to come to work everyday happily working on something we are good at and interested?

I consider it’s a good personal development tool and a good management practice. Strongly recommend it to anybody wants to know more about self and people around you.

Focus on your and others’ strengths, not shortcomings, will help you live a happier and more effective life!

Strengths Discovery Report:

LINPEI ZHANG

Your Top 5 Themes

  • Connectedness
  • Input
  • Developer
  • Learner
  • Positivity

CONNECTEDNESS

Shared Theme Description

People who are especially talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.

Your Personalized Strengths Insights

What makes you stand out?

It’s very likely that you bring people together. You form a bond with each individual as you begin to understand his or her circumstances. You naturally identify with someone’s situation. You have a gift for helping people discover what they have in common. Often this frees them to communicate and cooperate. Chances are good that you may convince certain people that a particular project or cause improves humankind’s quality of life. Occasionally you persuade them of the importance of protecting the planet’s resources for future generations. Perhaps you help people realize they can accomplish more good as a group than they can as individuals. By nature, you routinely take time to listen to the philosophies of people. You prefer to associate with individuals who share your optimistic outlook on life. You undoubtedly avoid people who complain, gossip, or blame others for their endless misery.

Because of your strengths, you frequently engage in laborious tasks. You yearn to dedicate yourself to worthy causes or noble purposes. Fortifying the bonds between yourself, the people you know, or even those you will never meet gives your life special meaning.

INPUT

Shared Theme Description

People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.

Your Personalized Strengths Insights

What makes you stand out?

Instinctively, you usually are quiet during conversations, taking in everything that is said. You are particularly attentive when intelligent people toss about their ideas, theories, or concepts. Often you acquire more information and gain more insights than the speakers do. When you choose to expound on a topic that interests you or pose pertinent questions, many individuals listen carefully to every word you utter. Driven by your talents, you have been described as someone who reads a lot. You probably carry reading material with you just in case you have to wait in line, eat alone, or sit beside a stranger. Because the printed word feeds your mind, you frequently generate original plans, programs, designs, or activities. Chances are good that you are determined to keep abreast of the news. You probably satisfy your hunger for current information by habitually reading newspapers, magazines, correspondence, memos, files, or Internet sites. By nature, you are willing to spend time sharing your ideas with intelligent individuals. Of course, you want them to tell you their latest thinking. Conversations that involve a lot of questions and answers stimulate your mind. You know you have spent your time wisely when you have a number of new ideas, theories, or concepts to somehow file away or remember for future use.

DEVELOPER

Shared Theme Description

People who are especially talented in the Developer theme recognize and cultivate the potential in others. They spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from these improvements.

Your Personalized Strengths Insights

What makes you stand out?

By nature, you place more importance on the purpose and value of what you do than on the monetary rewards that accompany success. Because of your strengths, you naturally tune in to the moods of group members. You can read the emotions individuals are experiencing. This increases your chances of responding to the person appropriately and at the right time. It’s very likely that you can ease the tension, anger, and agitation people experience in their dealings with others. You soothe the frayed nerves of individuals. This enables them to act more reasonably. In the process, you affirm their humanity and their dignity. You help numerous people find ways to handle problems without sacrificing their self-respect or eroding the confidence others have in them. Chances are good that you usually put aside what you want to do and even inconvenience yourself to serve others. People probably say you devote yourself to the welfare and interests of many individuals. You routinely put their needs ahead of your own.

LEARNER

Shared Theme Description

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.

Your Personalized Strengths Insights

What makes you stand out?

Instinctively, you have little difficulty giving intense effort to projects, problems, or opportunities that capture and keep your attention. Driven by your talents, you sometimes enroll in difficult or demanding classes. You might aim to expand your knowledge or challenge your thinking about certain things. It’s very likely that you see yourself as a contributing member of the group. You enjoy partnering with intelligent people. You like to exchange information, share observations, or offer tips for doing things more easily, efficiently, or swiftly. You are happiest collaborating with individuals who are not stingy with what they know. You have an ability to figure out how everyone on the team can benefit from each other’s knowledge, skills, experiences, or wisdom. Chances are good that you acquire knowledge more easily when you can talk with others about ideas, concepts, or theories. Thoughts come alive for you when questions are posed and answers are proposed. You have a delightful time thinking out loud and listening to intelligent people express themselves. You naturally document or store in your mind bits and pieces of discussions. You want to refer back to these insights or facts whenever the opportunity presents itself.

POSITIVITY

Shared Theme Description

People who are especially talented in the Positivity theme have an enthusiasm that is contagious. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.

Your Personalized Strengths Insights

What makes you stand out?

By nature, you realize life is good after you have shared your knowledge and skills with novice players, students, teammates, or associates. You probably are most gratified by individuals who want to improve personally or professionally. Because of your strengths, you probably consider yourself an idea person. Your job, studies, or life in general are more exciting when people ask you to generate novel assignments, activities, or campaigns. It’s very likely that you customarily take on additional duties or tasks when you feel optimistic about yourself and your life. Instinctively, you genuinely feel better about life when you can take the mystery out of complicated procedures. Often you outline in detail the steps to understand exactly what is happening and why.

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