Saturday, January 9, 2016

Strengths Finder 2.0: Discovering & Understanding Your Strengths

I am fascinated by people’s strengths!

f you have not already done so, I highly encourage you (& your spouse if you have one) to take the free test and follow up by reading the book: StrengthsFinder 2.0. It would also be beneficial in business or any other organization where people are working together.


It is so insightful to know and understand your strengths.

The books says that Talent (a natural way of thinking, feeling, or behaving) x Investment ( time spent practicing, developing your skills, and building your knowledge base) = Strength (the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance).

I took the test almost 4 years ago, and I don’t think I fully embraced the results at that time. I have looked at it again during different leadership retreats, but I just revisited my results and I feel like I am looking at this through a totally different lens now. It gave me so much clarity and understanding as to why I do the things I do and how I operate. I truly believe that knowing and understanding both mine and Jonathan’s strengths is going to improve our marriage & how we work together. The book also gives you specific ideas on how to cultivate your strengths so they best serve you and your goals. My top 5 strengths are:

  1. Maximizer
  2. Empathy
  3. Acheiver
  4. Activator
  5. Communication

Reading through their descriptions, I found that they were SPOT ON for me.

#1 Maximizer


Yes, yes, and yes. I am not one to focus on weaknesses (although I have plenty) & I love that it encouraged you to find a way to make weaknesses irrelevant. For example, problem solving is draining for me. It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s that I just don’t like to and I feel like my time can be used better somewhere else than fixing something. It honestly sucks the enthusiasm right out of me, so I am SUPER thankful Jonathan is a phenomenal problem solver & actually enjoys it! That compliments me so well & allows me to focus on my strengths.

I am all about excellence in every area. I like spending time with people who appreciate my strengths and won’t try to “fix me.” I LOVE knowing someone else’s strengths and helping them play on that. When people sometimes ask for areas where they can improve, I’m not great at coming up with answers. I’d much rather tell them what they did well because that is where I tend to naturally focus.

Knowing that I am a maximizer is going to help our marriage in two ways specifically. 1.) I can be more mindful not to get frustrated with Jonathan when I don’t feel like he is maximizing his time.  He compliments me on my ability to get a LOT accomplished every day, and sometimes I don’t feel like he utilizes every second of the day like I do. 2.) It will give Jonathan some insight into why I feel the need to constantly improve our marriage. I am always trying to make our marriage better,and y’all, we already have a really great marriage. Jonathan isn’t complacement by any means, but sometimes he doesn’t get why I am so focused on it. He’s said to me a few times, “You know, other people have REAL problems Danielle. What if we were dealing with some of those?” And I have always responded with “I am not comparing our marriage to anyone else’s, I just want ours to be the BEST if can be.” That sounds so cheesy, but that’s genuinely how I feel and why I want to “polish the pearl until it shines.”

#2 Empathy


I don’t always agree with others thoughts, perspectives, or actions, but I usually “get it.” I understand where they are coming from, and I feel like I am pretty effective (tactful) in communicating that to others.  There is a difference between sympathy and empathy for sure. The book says to consider acting as a confidante or mentor to others, and I feel like I do serve in that role for many of my friends. One area I can definitely improve is “act quickly and firmly when others behave in a way that is unhealthy for themselves or others.” That is something I definitely need to work on. Understanding someone’s emotional state does not mean  you have to excuse their behavior, and I think because I “get it,” I tend to excuse it. That is not helpful. It also says that witnessing the happiness of others brings you great pleasure, and that is SO true!

#3 Acheiver


Jonathan is going to retake his test because he says he doesn’t remember if he took it seriously the first time. If I had to guess on his, I would say Restorative, Responsibility, Competition, Deliberative, & Learner. (Maybe not in that order.) He has so much common sense that honestly he is often frustrated with others who seem to act without thinking. It’s interesting to hear his perspectives and see how his mind works. He has very strong problem solving skills (he can seriously figure anything out) and he enjoys learning. He will study something until he can master it. He is thoughtful & somewhat cautious, but so relatable & genuine. I cannot WAIT for him to take his test so I can read the results. (The maximizer in me wants him to do it RIGHT now! Ha!)

For those of you that have taken this test, what are your top 5??

1 comment:

Natasha said...

Hi Danielle! I love taking these kinds of tests! I've taken the test twice within the last 2-3 years and mine have shuffled around a little. The second time around, my top 5 are:

Restorative-adept at dealing with problems.
Learner-have a great desire to learn and want to improve.
Input-crave to know more.
Discipline-enjoy routine and structure.
Analytical-search for reasons and causes.

When I read the names of the strengths, I thought, 'good grief! How boring can I be?' But after reading the descriptions, I realized they describe me to a T!