I’ve always been plagued about what it is that I’m not good at. I seem to fail at more things tried than I have succeeded at. My pre-conceived notion before attempt would often sound something like ‘I am haven’t done this before so I’m going to suck doing this’ or ‘Sit this one out, you’ve already exceeded your five points tallied of failed attempt for the day’ and so, I nearly considered failure to be my utmost strength. It took the genius in me and the wise words of Albert Einstein to welcome my many trials and errors as he rightly puts that ” A person who has never tried anything new has never made a mistake”. So, the more things I try and not succeed at, I simply take note of it and call it experiences with a header of ‘What not to do again’.
I believe there are more things than one that defines me. A part of getting to know myself is not just to relentlessly speak of what I’m not effortless in doing, but to discover what it is that I’m good at. Where lies my strengths? How can I be intentional about it?. Through the DAB summer ’17 programme hosted by Dream Jamaica in collaboration with Youth Can Do I.T, I was granted with the opportunity of finding out my inherent and learned Strengths by participating in the Gallup Strengths Finders which is highly credible, used and referred to by Psychologists, Professionals and strengths coaches.
I’ve always opposed the view that a test was a true manifestation of my intelligence quotient. I always detested taking standardised examinations but I was assured that there were no ‘right or wrong’ answers to choose from and so, I completed a series of questions in no more than forty- five minutes. The assessment showed that my top five themes are: Input, Arranger, Developer, Ideation and Strategic. How can a ‘test’ determine what it is I am ‘good at’? The results I thought were refutable until I read, understood and reflected on the meaning of these themes and instances where they may or may not have been proven so.
I have realised and accepted that Clifton’s strengths test finder was not ‘wrong’. Learning about my talents allowed me to do some introspection and put things into perspective. My top five themes each granted clarity and reasons as to my thought processes, the different techniques I use and apply which I now perceive is not merely by coincidence. The connotative meanings of top 5 themes are as follows:
“People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they collect and archive all kinds of information”- from as long as I can remember, I have always been obsessed with the idea of finding things out, ‘being in the know’ and formulating my own interpretation of it and proving a point. One would often lead to another, then another thought of reasoning, new meanings to formulate which one leaves me to recording and storing arbitrary knowledge. It never hurts to know too much, but it does to know nothing at all.
“People who are especially talented in the Arranger theme can organise, but also have a flexibility that can complement this ability. They like to figure out how all of this pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity.” this theme ranked number two have led me to believe that these results are in no particular order since I would be the recipient of an award given for procrastination. Organising, flexibility and productivity are the contradicting words that could define my performance. With all things positive, I do not want to negate this strength though I do have a have a set methodology as to how I ‘Procrastinate’. When it matters, I manage to meet my targets and deadlines tactfully with minimum sanity. Though I’ve yet to see where I’ve effectively dominated with my arranger theme, I’m eager to apply this theme.
“People who are especially talented in the developer theme recognize and cultivate the potential in others. They spot the signs of small improvements in others and derive satisfaction from these improvements”. I solemnly can relate to this theme due to my experiences my encounter with people through relationships I’ve built and maintained. I thrive off assisting people who genuinely desire my help, opinion or idea. The contributions I’ve made for others have contributed to my own personal development immensely. We have all been clueless at one point or other. I believe that I have been through and overcame a struggle that someone else will go through. For me to share and assist in these situations. I call it a ‘Win-win’.
” People who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena”. Often times in reasoning I question whether or not I ‘Make sense’ or if I’m being understood. In my head, I overanalyse and conceptualise simple concepts and in turn attach different meanings. My unique way of looking at things have welcomed many thought-provoking discussions, arguments and a whole new perspective. for me to get the core understanding of a complex situation, I usually find other complex situations and find detailed ways in how it may be interrelated.
“People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.” I often see this theme manifested through problem-solving and decision making. In attacking a problem, I evaluate all the possible approaches I could take and the most suitable outcome.This is common whenever I am in charge of delegating a task. I employ assertive skills that support my cause and meets my goal.
I have learnt about my strengths which have led to ask a series of question of other questions; how can I apply themes it in different aspects of my life? Will I ideally become the woman I want to be with solely these strengths? How can I improve my weaknesses by turning them into strengths? Am I maximising my truest potential? How can positively affect people I come in contact with? I have accepted the challenge of learning about myself and strengths. I will also be more intentional about my strengths in order to fill this puzzle called life.
Now that you have gotten to know a bit about me. Likewise, I’d love to know more about you. If you like, feel free to share your experiences about learning about your strengths. And remember, our journey does not end when we do!
“You’re not nearly as bad as you think you are”
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