I have long been a fan of the Strengths revolution, but it became even more powerful to me when I spoke about Strengths recently at the Indiana SHRM 2015 conference. I spoke the morning after listening to Susan Cain, the author of Quiet. I had heard her speak before, and also had read her book. I found her and the book to be fascinating. As Catherine mentioned in her post last week, Quiet is about the power of introverts.
Although I am clearly an extrovert and a certified Strengths coach, I continue to have to be hit over the head, at times, with reminders on how individuals are different, how our power lies within us, and how we are each happiest and at our best when we can be more of who we are. It’s a very simple concept. Simple to understand, not always simple to remember or to implement.
So, why did this, all of a sudden, become more powerful to me? For the first time, I saw the connection between the Quiet story and StrengthsFinder. The concept, of course, is not about the book or the assessment. It’s about understanding ourselves – however we choose to do so. In Susan Cain’s talk, she asked us to think about “What is in your suitcase?”. She shared a story about going to summer camp with a suitcase full of books only to be asked to be R-O-W-D-I-E like a cheerleader all summer; it simply was not her, but she did it anyway.
StrengthsFinder is one way to help us articulate what’s “in our suitcase.” Over 33 million people have taken this assessment. I wonder, though, how many of them are actually using what they find is in there. If you have taken the assessment and know your top 5 talents, what are you doing with them? (and, if not, you can do so here) Did you find that you would prefer to be alone reading a book, but act more like a cheerleader?
Those who focus on actually using their strengths are 3 times happier and 6 times more engaged in their careers. The consultants at Purple Ink can help you open up your suitcase, find out what’s in there, and use it somehow. Then, use it some more tomorrow.