“Strengths Finder”: The Intro

A couple weeks ago, I took one of those repetitive personality test things. Only this test was different. This one was Strengths Finder. You heard?

My church uses Strengths Finder in its leadership, and it’s frequented our many life groups over the years. I joined my current life group about a year after they took the test, and I didn’t even know about its existence until just a month ago.

Imagine my surprise when my life group leader told me, “Oh,  yeah, we all know the 5 most pivotal strengths in our lives and it pretty much sculpts our entire existence! You should probably take the test, too.”

Okay, so he didn’t quite word it like that, but he did hand me my own official Strengths Finder book, and with its unique access code I was able to go online and take my own personal Strengths Finder test. It was a thrilling 175-question test that requires you to answer each question within 10 seconds before it moves to the next question.

No waffling; gut reactions only.

The Strengths Finder questions are formatted so that you choose between which of two options describes you better. Some pairings are naturally opposites (such as: Are you a morning person or a night person?). Other pairings make no sense whatsoever (such as: Do you like meeting new people or would you rather bake a cake?).

The test is amazing, though. Twenty minutes after starting, I joined the rest of my life group and uncovered my 5 most pivotal strengths. Boom.

Strengths Finder 2.0

Strengths Finder is a book and online-questionnaire developed by Gallup, so it’s non-religious in nature. The book comes with detailed descriptions of each strength and “action plans” for furthering said strengths. Its “2.0” version of the test claims to be even more accurate in pinpointing one’s strengths.

Out of 34 assembled strengths, Strengths Finder determined my top-5 strengths to be the following, in this order. ARE YOU GUYS READY?

1. Intellection: one who enjoys thinking and thought-provoking conversation often for its own sake, and also can data compress complex concepts into simplified models

2. Harmony: one who seeks to avoid conflict and achieve success through consensus

3. Input: one who is constantly collecting information or objects for future use

4. Responsibility:  one who, inexplicably, must follow through on commitments

5. Empathy: one who is especially in tune with the emotions of others

ME? EMPATHETIC? Hogwash.

Actually, the Strengths Finder test was freakishly spot-on. I am all of those 5 things and then some. (regarding input: How did it know I collect cards/rocks/EVERYTHING?)

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be more closely examining my 5 strengths and blogging about each one. It should be a fun new series and change for my blog, and I look forward to this continued journey of discovering who I am.

In the meantime, have you ever taken Strengths Finder? If so, what are your top-5 strengths? Do we share any in common? If you’ve never read the book or taken the test, I highly recommend the experience! I’d love to hear your strengths.

  • Ashley

    We have almost the same top 5…in a different order. Mine are developer, harmony, input, empathy, intellection. I took it last summer. It’s cool but I haven’t thought much about it in the last year… I should think more about it as I’m searching for jobs now. 🙂 I wanted to blog about my top 5 too but never got around to it. Have fun and looking forward to reading them!

    • TMZ

      Wow that’s crazy! I’ve met others who have shared 2 of my strengths, but never 4. Awesome. It’s definitely beneficial to know your strengths — if only for job interviews, even!

      • Ashley

        Yeah for sure! I guess I did use those strengths a little bit (in a more deliberate way) in a few group projects I had in grad school shortly after taking the test, but then I kind of forgot about them. Except for empathy, because that one, I think, is pretty related to my spiritual gift of mercy. Spiritual gifts have been a lot more on my mind in recent months, largely because we talked about them for a while in my small group. 🙂

  • Rebecka

    I’ve never taken Strengths Finder, but I’d love to, it seems very informative and like a lot of fun!

  • MLYaksh

    I took a version after I saw your post a few weeks ago on facebook. Here are my top 5 in order: Belief, Woo, Learner, Harmony, and Responsibility. And how true these are all of me… So hello, fellow harmony-loving, responsibility-fulfiller person. Can’t wait to see you analyze yourself!
    That last sentence sounds weird…

    • TMZ

      High five for harmony! On the rebound for responsibility!

      Oh the analyzing that is coming…

  • KENCHEN

    I took the test before. Mine are these following:
    (1) Positivity- enthusiastic, get people excited
    (2) Ideation- idea generation maker
    (3) Empathy- uh… you know
    (4) Developer- cultivate other people’s potential
    (5) Adaptability- go with the flow… (This one is more about my personality… if you took myers briggs, I am a big “P”)

    Well, we share 1 at least…

    • TMZ

      Those are some awesome strengths, Ken! Thanks for sharing. GO EMPATHY.

  • FirstTimeReader

    Great post, thanks for sharing! I took my test a few years ago, and it helped me understand why I love ministry and why it is so natural to me. My top 5:
    1. Strategic – Way of thinking: exploring all the potential approaches, then selecting the best strategy

    2. Belief – I have core values that are unwavering and that I build myself and my life around

    3. Positivity – not only am I positive, but I can make it contagious, and energize others

    4. Relator – I build deep, lasting, meaningful relationships that are healing and enduring

    5. Woo – “Winning others over”, making immediate relationships upon first meetings
    I excel in relational ministry with my last 3, share of myself by minstering and sharing my #2, and I figure out how to do all that and run programs with my #1! I was clearly built with a specific intent in mind!

    • TMZ

      What awesome strengths! I love RELATOR. Thanks for commenting and sharing. Always love hearing from “first time readers.” All best in your ministry work, and I hope you’ll continue following my journey here!

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