Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Zero sum game (sort of)

The Gallup Organizaton has several great books including “First Break All the Rules” and “Now Discover Your Strengths” which has a “strenghtsfinder” test that you take and you learn what you are strong in. The concept is that oftentimes we try to train people to get better at what they aren’t naturally good at, rather than recognizing their strengths and developing those qualities in a person.

A few years ago both Su and I took the online test (you get a password when you buy the book to take it) and learned what our top 5 strengths were (there are 34 possible strengths). It was very interesting and we think very accurate. The cool thing is that once you recognize strengths (in yourself and others) you can learn how to navigate conflict in work and relationships. I decided to write on this topic today because of our long Presidents' Day weekend.

You see, for Achievers, (which is Su’s number 1 strength) every day, including weekends and holidays start from zero and it’s very important to get a lot of work done. Otherwise it’s just frustrating. Um…for me, the Achiever ranked #24 of 34 on the list). I guess somedays for me can just start and end on zero especially if it's a holiday.

On a positive note our guest room renovation is 98.5% done now.

P.S. For those of you who know us, please let me know if any of these descriptions make you laugh out loud and nod in agreement!

Susanne’s Top 5 Strengths
People strong in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive. Every day starts from zero.

People strong 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.

People strong in the Self-assurance theme feel confident in their ability to manage their own lives. They possess an inner compass that gives them confidence that their decisions are right.

People strong in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.

People strong in the Analytical theme search for reasons and causes. They have the ability to think about all the factors that might affect a situation.

Monica’s Top 5 strengths
People strong in the Ideation theme search are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.

People strong in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.

People strong in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.

People strong in the Individualization theme are intrigued by the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively.

People strong in the Arranger theme can organize, but they also have a flexibility that complements this ability. They like to figure out how all of the pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity.

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