As an effort by my department to improve our so called soft skill, the boss bought each of us Strengths Finder 2.0. It cost something like RM75 per book, but here is the thing, the value of the book is not in the book. The value is in this passcode, sealed at the back of the book, that allows you to take ONE online strengths test. The test is a series of questions that will ultimately reveal your inner strengths. One passcode only allows you to take one test. So if you want to get the whole department to take the test, then buy everyone one book.
After finishing the test, the site will send you a report on what are your top 5 strenghts, what does it mean and how you can take advantage of those strenghts. Half the book tells you what this test is all about. How they come up with this test and what does it mean for the organisation. The other half, list down all the strenghts and what they all mean and how to make use of the strenghts.
So the value of this book is in the test.
For me at least, I find that the test is quite accurate. Most of my colleague who took the test also say the same thing, that the test is quite accurate. So it is worth the money.
I find that one of the objective of this book is insightful. Our culture, community and organisation always concentrate on your weakness. If you are not good in talking, they send you for communication class. Don’t have the skills in planning? send the poor fellow to project management class to polish up the skill, so called. This book says we should not concentrate too much on the weakness. It does not give a good ROI. Concentrate on the strengths and work on them. Use the strengths with the right opportunity and the ROI would be better. The example given was a boy, who was not good in football (american football that is), who worked his way up by hard work, training and perseverance till he finally made it to the professional football team. The people adores him and always quote him as a good example. The book says, if people knew what his real strengths were, he could have tried something else, same success, less effort!
My top strength is communication. It says that I can my thoughts into words. I should be a journalist, marketing, sales or Ministry. Ministry? as in spreading the word of god? Hmm.. I find this true, apparently people who have communication strength loves to talk and write. I have a blog. That has to be true. Although I may be good in communication, it does not mean that what I say is right. I could be communicating junk. So one of the thing to fix so that I can fully make use of this skill is to get more knowledge. Learn more so that I can communicate the right ideas, the right facts.
My next strength is belief. Apparently, people with a belief strength lived by a set of values. According to the examples given in the book, people who join scouts and NGO’s, mostly have belief as strenghts. I think this is true.
The test also say that I have the need to know history and what happened in the past, in order for me to move on with the future. History is important to me and knowing what happened when is important. I find this a bit true. I personally belief that everything done has a story and I want to know the story. That is why these days, I ask people “what’s the story” when they want to tell me something. I will then “let me tell you THE story”, when I am trying to explain things to people. It is all about THE STORY.
I also found out, though not the first time, that I have the capacity for useless information as a strengths.
What else is new?
But the book gives a beautiful insight as to what I need to do, in order for me to capatilize on my strengths.