“Now, Discover Your Strengths” Helps You Do Just That
A few years back when I was running a 12 person IT department, I inherited what “Now, Discover Your Strengths” can bring to a team. My predecessor had purchased a copy of the book for each team member and had them take the online assessment that comes with the book. (Note: You need a new copy of the book. If you get a used copy, the key provided in the book will NOT enable you to take the online assessment.)
The book describes 34 possible strengths areas and provides an online assessment showing where the reader’s strengths lie. The author states that instead of working to repair our weak areas as if we were broken, we should identify areas where we are strong and make use of those strengths to perform at our best.
We were not a company that had a ton of money for expensive training and assessments so this book was a real treat. I purchased a copy for myself and for the new team members that hadn’t gone through it and without a huge investment we got some decent results.
I found that the insight provided by the assessment helped us better understand each other’s perspectives and why would would take the positions we took as individuals. We had several people who were identified as “Learners.” These are folks that love to research and read and learn for the sake of learning. We could typically count on these team members for an indepth understanding of whatever topic they took on. However, sometimes these people could take forever. The results mattered less to them than the experience of learning.
As a supervisor, I used this information to pair up “Learner” with “Achievers.” Achievers thrived on getting things done. They were driven by accomlishing things. Together I saw what I expected. “Learners” and “Achievers” complement each other well and together succeed like they might not as individuals.
There is a “Woo” category (which is one of my strengths). These people enjoy interacting with others and get a thrill off of meeting people and connecting with them. Everyone clearly knew who these were on the team. It was interesting to see others on the team engage these folks when they needed help interacting with other departments on issues that required some delicate handling. Again, here we were this very nonsense, get-things-done kind of team embracing what we learned about each other. The results were very real and practical.
Consider getting this book to help you identify your strengths, as the title implies, and the implications. I think you’ll get even more out of it in a team environment and how it helps team members learn about each other.