Becky's Reviews > Strengths Finder 2.0

Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath
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Feb 13, 2016

it was ok
bookshelves: non-fiction, 2010, disappointing, owned, reviewed, at-the-office
Read from July 28 to 29, 2010

Right, so this book was assigned to us at work so that we can find our strengths and play to them, supposedly. I dislike assigned reading type stuff, but hey, I also like having a paycheck. So I read it. And then took the assessment...

I thought that the first part of the book, the part that explains why this method was invented, was actually pretty interesting, and I think that it makes sense to do what you have a natural ability to do, and what you like to do. It makes sense to use the limited time that we're alive to get really good at what we're naturally good at, rather than trying to fit our square selves into round holes.

But the assessment itself, and the results... Iffy to me. Maybe I'm just an anomaly and I'm some weird irregular specimen of a person who just has quirky weird innate talents that aren't useful at all and therefore aren't looked for in this type of assessment. I mean, stranger things have happened. But, I think maybe the assessment itself is flawed, because according to the intro, they culled Gallup's database of 10,000 interviews, and then created the assessment, with 34 possible strengths or talents.

10,000 seems pretty limited to me. Such a small pool of people when we're talking about a planet with BILLIONS of people on it. And who are these people? This is a Gallup "project", and they are always the pollsters that are referred to when any "reputable" poll is mentioned, or at least one of them, but I don't know one single person - not one- who has ever been included in a Gallup poll. We're "in the system" with voter registrations, drivers licenses, credit cards and bills and rent and/or mortgages etc... So I have to wonder who these respondents are. High-power business professionals? AmEx Platinum cardholders? Republicans? Those over 40? People who drive hybrids? People who attend the First National Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge? Martians? Anyone crossing 1st and Main in Newark on Thursdays between 2:36pm and 4:17pm?

No idea. There were a lot of quotes from "regular people" in the book, but they sounded like no homemaker/baker/carpenter/sales rep I've ever talked to. These people sounded like they had PhDs in self-analysis. All of them. Fishy.

So, my (suspect) Top 5 Strengths:
Context - Looking back to see where we're going. (Sounds reasonable right? Except for this sociopath who says: "I have very little empathy, so I don't relate to people through their current emotional state. Instead I relate to them through their past. In fact, I can't even begin to understand someone until I have found out where they grew up, what their parents were like, and what they studied in college." (CREEPY!!)

Adaptability - Again, sounds reasonable. I go with the flow. But that's not what the book indicates this means. This book seems to indicate that "adaptability" means spontaneous and wishy-washy and flighty. Not me at all. I can roll with the punches, but I don't change my mind and my goals and my life as the wind blows.

Connectedness - They use this to mean that I believe that things happen for a reason, and that I believe that there is a kind of spiritual connection between everything and everyone... Not necessarily "God", but a similar overarching theme of everything being one. Errr... not really. I know that we AFFECT each other by our interactions with each other, and that we are connected in that way, but I don't think what they think that I think. =\

Harmony - This and the last one are the closest to true. This one basically says that I find a middle ground in conflict and disagreements, which I do. I am a Libra, so I can generally see both sides of an issue. But I don't seek to make everyone friends, I just naturally see things from two perspectives, and try to make it easy for others to do the same.

Intellection - This one claims that I like to be alone with my thoughts, and that my brain is always going going going... Which is partially true, because I do like to be alone, but my brain doesn't need 19 distractions just to be able to concentrate like Michael P., Marketing Executive does. Apparently his brain is so overactive that he can't concentrate at all unless the kids are running wild and the TV is on in the background to distract him. =\

Overall... I don't think that this was a very comprehensive or accurate assessment. The questions are ambiguous, so depending on your interpretation of what kind of situation they are referring to, you'll get different results. I hope upper management finds something useful in this... They bought us all copies of the book for $22.95 each!
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Reading Progress

07/28 page 1
1.0% "Assigned for work... *sigh*"
02/13 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

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message 1: by Nikki (new)

Nikki That sounds far too exciting for me lol. Hope you get through it unscathed ;)

Felina I read this in college and found my 5 talents to be pretty spot on. I'm going to dust off my copy and see what they were. I'll tell you too even though you probably don't care.

Becky That sounds awesome. I can't wait. :P Good to know that you're among the normal 10,000. :D

Felina Yep. Thats me. Totally normal. I'm actually curious to see if I've changed since college.

Becky Which was when? Last year? :P

Felina Its been three years. I think I'm only a year younger than you so don't pull out the baby jokes. ;P

message 7: by Felina (last edited Jul 29, 2010 09:04PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Felina Alright I had:

Maximizer - "Excellence, not average, is your measure. Taking something from below average to slightly above average takes a great deal of effort and in your opinion is not very rewarding. Transforming something strong into something superb takes just as much effort but is much more thrilling.' That is way me. I've always said that trying to be well rounded is a waste of time but being amazing at something should be the goal. I know what my flaws are and I simply don't care.

Relator - Relator describes your attitude toward your relationships. In simple terms, the Relator theme pulls you toward people you already know. You do not necessarily shy away from meeting new people but you do derive a great deal of pleasure and strength from being around your close friends. You are comfortable with intimacy. Once the initial connection has been made, you deliberately encourage a deepening of the relationship. Wow, I'm freaked out. I am totally this. I have very little interest in having a lot of friends. I am only interested in having a very small group of extremely close friends. And with those close friends I am very open.

Input - You are inquisitive. You collect things. You might collect information - words, facts, books and quotations - or you might collect tangible objects. Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting. Yeah I collect books. This makes perfect sense. However, the description goes on to make this sound like a hoarder and I am not a hoarder. I throw everything away except written information. I have all my old text books.

Ideation - You are fascinated by ideas. What is an idea? And idea is a concept, the best explanation of the most events. You are delighted when you discover beneath the complex surface an elegantly simple concept to explain why things are the way they are. An idea is a connection. Yours is the kind of mind that is always looking for connections, and so you are intrigues when seemingly disparate phenomena can be linked by an obscure connection.
Yep. That me.

Adaptability - You live in the moment. You don't see the future as a fixed destination. Instead, you see it as a place that you create out of the choices that you make right now. And so you discover your future one choice at a time. We share this one. I don't think the description sounds flighty and wishy-washy. But this is also me and from my 'Maximizer' side I don't see this strength as having any kind of downside. :)

I actually think this applies more to me now than it did in college.

Becky From the description, no, Adaptability doesn't sound wishy-washy, but I read one of the little people-blurbs about it and the way that described "adaptability" was. And if it's open to the kind of interpretation where someone has plans to do one thing but then decides last minute to do something else... that's flighty, not adaptable. I'm not like that.

message 9: by Jayme (last edited Jul 31, 2010 08:36AM) (new)

Jayme K, I have a question. Even if you did agree with your tests outcomes, how does knowing that you're adaptable or a relator help you know what your strengths are and what you should be doing with your life? Does the book touch on that?

Becky Jayme wrote: "K, I have a question. Even if you did agree with your tests outcomes, how does knowing that you're adaptable or a relator help you know what your strengths are and what you should be doing with you..."

Hmm... I want to say yes, but I can't remember. I'll try to remember to look at the book again and let you know. Or maybe Felina can. :)

message 11: by Jayme (new)

Jayme Aw, don't work too hard. I won't lose any sleep over it.

Becky Jayme wrote: "Aw, don't work too hard. I won't lose any sleep over it."

LOL I think it does, but I kind of zoned out around that point since I didn't like the interpretation I was seeing. :P

message 13: by Jason (new)

Jason Cooperrider Becky wrote: " I am a Libra, so I can generally see both sides of an issue."

Do you believe in astrology? If so, the, I find it ironic that you brought this up in the "Harmony" paragraph, which immediately follows the "Connectedness" paragraph, as astrology requires a belief in the connectedness of such unrelated phenomena as time of birth, position of celestial objects, etc. with one's personality, future events, etc..

Becky Jason "plasborgma" wrote: "Becky wrote: " I am a Libra, so I can generally see both sides of an issue."

Do you believe in astrology? "

No, not really. I recognize that there are certain attributes in myself that are associated with Libras, and since my birth corresponds with that astrological sign, I can call myself one, and embrace certain parts of Libraness. But I don't believe that the sign I was born under really rules my life or makes me who I am.
For instance, Libras are generally regarded as social butterflies.... and I am a total homebody. I'm awkward in social situations and really, really really hate crowds and noise and chaos.

So... umm... the short answer is: not really.

message 15: by Jason (new)

Jason Cooperrider Becky wrote: "Jason "plasborgma" wrote: "Becky wrote: " I am a Libra, so I can generally see both sides of an issue."

Do you believe in astrology? "

No, not really. I recognize that there are certain attri..."

Aww, the irony would have been amusing. ;-) It would have surprised me if you had said "yes" though.

message 16: by Felina (last edited Aug 06, 2010 12:18PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Felina Jayme wrote: "K, I have a question. Even if you did agree with your tests outcomes, how does knowing that you're adaptable or a relator help you know what your strengths are and what you should be doing with you..."

Adaptable and relator are the strengths. So it helps you to understand what types of activities you are good at and what things you should avoid. The book also has outlines for bosses so they can put you in charge of tasks that you'll excel in. Take me for instance, one of my strength is Input meaning I excel at the collection and storage of data. I LOVE LOVE LOVE making databases and filing systems. I got a job once as a receptionist that was very heavy on data entry. I told my boss in my annual review that I could be a huge asset to the company if they shifted some of my duties to the data entry side of my job and moved me from reception. I'm not good with customer service cause I can be kind of a bitch.

Its best for companies to know this information because then they can utilize your skills better and take away duties that don't suit you're strengths and would make you hate you're job. I liked my job much more after I was moved from reception.

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