When Personality Traits Collide: Clifton Strengths A-B

Cover of the book, Strengths Finder 2.0I’m working my way through the list of Clifton strengths alphabetically, a few strengths at a time. That way I can thoroughly process them before I move on to the next group (like the HSP introvert I am!).

Each section in Strengths Finder 2.0 begins with a long paragraph describing the feelings, mindset and behavior associated with the strength under discussion. Next comes a “how it sounds” section, with quotes from several people about their experiences with the trait. I find this section especially helpful, as the language they use is often different from the description paragraph.

Next comes “Ideas for Action,” which lists ways to work with your strength so it doesn’t drive you – or the people around you – crazy. The approach to each strength is relentlessly positive, beginning with the strategy of framing arguably neutral personality characteristics as “strengths” in the first place. However, it is obvious from reading between the lines that each type can be unhappy and/or obnoxious with a mismatched environment or companions.

This brings to mind Marianne Cantwell’s assertion that “a weakness is a strength in the wrong environment,” a reframe which is probably not original to her, but which gave me much hope when I first read it. Gallup (the organization behind the Clifton Strengths system – yes, the poll people) is upfront that their agenda is to encourage people to work with their personality rather than beating their heads against the wall trying to be what they’re not. That’s hard to argue with.

Each strength description wraps up with a few words to the wise for those who find themselves interacting with people who have that trait. Advice is given on what they will be best at, and where to adjust expectations, or allow them some latitude.

The A through B strengths are Achiever, Activator, Adaptability, Analytical, Arranger, and Belief. Achiever is the only one I read last time I had the book, and as I’ve mentioned, it resonated. This left me wondering whether I’d find the other strengths equally easy to identify with. Continue reading

By George, I think she’s got it!

3 years ago, I sat down in the middle of my life and refused to budge until I figured out why it wasn’t working.

I have learned a lot about myself since then.

I have learned that I am an introvert
(“No way!”

I have learned that I’m an HSP, and what that is. These days, I think of myself as a “deep engager.” I’m not sure how much of that is introvert, how much is HSPS, and how much is my unique personality, but wherever it comes from, it’s a good description.

These days, I think of myself as a “deep engager.”

This improved self-understanding has allowed me to acknowledge without shame or apology that the following characteristics in a job make me miserable:

Continue reading

Strengths Finder 2.0 – Still Looking

Woman with rolled up sleeve showing bicep from famous Rosie the Riveter WWII posterAs I discussed in a previous post, identifying my strengths has been a huge challenge for me. A couple of weeks ago, I discovered the Strengths Finder test, first released by the Gallup Poll people in 2001, and updated to Strengths Finder 2.0 in 2007. The philosophy of the assessment is that there’s too much focus on overcoming one’s deficiencies, which may not even be doable, instead of on recognizing and developing one’s natural talents. There’s a book that accompanies the test to explain the 34 different strengths.

While I was waiting for the library copy of the Strengths Finder 2.0 book to become available, I took a free Strengths Finder test offered by a virtual coaching website, workuno. Continue reading

Test of Strengths: What Am I Good At?

Readers who follow SensitiveType will have read my description of trying to work some advice I read on the Free Range Humans blog (advice which you can hear many other places as well): Find your strength.

I was baffled about what my strength might be for the longest time.
Two southeast Asian women sit in a hut constructing lanterns
Now that I have finally figured out what I want to do, if not quite how to do it, guess what I came across today? StrengthsFinder 2.0. That’s right, there is a test for that. What’s more, it’s been around for several years. Why didn’t anybody tell me?!
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