Why Do Self-Assessment? • Powerful personal development tool when used correctly • Reflection and self-knowledge are cornerstones of leadership development • Others are assessing you anyway!!
Why Use This Particular Assessment? • Assessment is scientifically sound • Good ideas to accompany the assessment • Focuses on the positive • Is quick and inexpensive
Underlying Assumptions • Building from strengths is more efficient and effective than working on weaknesses • Understanding your strengths can help you find “good fits” in your life • Your strengths shed light on who you are • Understanding your strengths can help you become a better leader
A Crucial Difference • Skills: thoughts, feelings, or behaviors that you can learn and / or do • Skills are fairly easily acquired • Skills quickly degrade without frequent reinforcement • Talents: any recurring pattern of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied • Talents are unique and enduring • Talents are your “T1 lines”; spontaneous, top-of-mind reactions to situations
A Quick Note • CONSISTENCY = FAIRNESS in book • INCLUDER = INCLUSIVENESS in book
Exercise: Making Sense of Themes • Write down your top five themes (or have your test output handy) • ID one of the themes that resonated with you • Put the theme into your own words by thinking of an example of when you used the theme
Your Signature Themes • StrengthsFinder Signature Themes: these are your five most dominant themes of talent • In these areas, you have the greatest potential for a strength. • Focusing on these themes is an efficient way and effective to build from your strengths
About Your Signature Themes • Represent top five areas for potential strengths • Rank ordered from 1st to 5th in dominance • Signature themes show consistency in repeated tests and over time • Absence of theme does not necessairly constitute weakness
Exploring a Relevant Theme • Example of signature themes • Strategic • Learner • Futuristic • Achiever • Maximizer • Need to clearly understand the theme • Look for larger patterns
Findings from Top Achievers • Top achievers build their lives around talents & develop talents into strengths • Top achievers are highly aware of “fit” in their life (they use strengths in roles that best suit them) • Top achievers figure out creative ways to use strengths when doing “grunt work”
Using Your Themes • Read applicable book sections (p.83-116) • Highlight insightful and pertinent ideas • Look for talents underlying themes • Discern broad patterns in themes • Encourage others to take the StrengthsFinder • Check for congruency and fit
Using Themes to Assess Fit • What do your themes tell you about your choice of academic major? • Choice of university? • What about choice of profession? • And your leadership style?
Leadership Implications • Understand what Signature Themes say about you • Self-knowledge is cornerstone of effective leadership • Actively reflect on themes and talents • Use talents and strengths to enhance your leadership capacity
Leadership Implications • Understand what Signature Themes say about others • People are unique • Effective leadership requires individualization • Use book p. 117-210 for insights on leading others according to themes
Exercise: Your Greatest Hits • Think about your greatest successes and triumphs. Briefly write down the answers to the following three questions: • What has been your most successful experience in an employment, service, or volunteer work setting? • What has been your most successful experience in an academic, learning, or athletic setting? • What has been your greatest success in an interpersonal relationship, leadership role, club, team, or organization?
Putting it all Together • What are the patterns between your greatest successes and your themes? • Do your themes shed light on fit—or lack of fit—in your life? • How can your themes inform your development?
StrengthsFinder Lessons • Know your strengths and organize your life to best leverage them • Remember that the list is only top 5 • Continually assess fit in your life • People bring different strengths to the table