Weekend Reads: StrengthsFinder 2.0

Strengths Finder 2.0Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every once in a while, you find a book that can only be labeled life-changing. This is one of those books.

I was given a copy by a friend who had found the book enlightening. At the back of each book is a sealed code (good for only one use) for the StrengthsFinder.com assessment — and it’s important that readers take the assessment before reading the book. The assessment consists of 177 questions that may seem irrelevant, but responses to each pairing (which are scaled) helps develop the Top 5 strengths profile.

In this case, strengths can be seen as talents — and the premise is that we do best at our work and our lives when we have opportunities to play to our strengths rather than trying to bring up areas of weakness (which is how most performance appraisal systems seem to work nowadays).

I read the in-depth sections on my top five first, then went back and re-read all 34 of the strengths’ summaries and “how to work with people” sections for additional reference. My overall assessment is that all of us contain the 34 strengths to some degree or other, but that focusing on our top five is important to mental health and satisfaction.

Frankly, I was surprised by the key words for my top five … but in-depth reading saw me nodding my head and saying “Yes, that’s me to the proverbial tee.” Knowing how I can focus career progression and personal development to further play to those strengths will be key to making 2017 a banner year.

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