02 December, 2012

Pieces of Me

Each of us have strengths and weaknesses that are established (or unestablished) throughout our lives, and others that are intrinsic to who we are. We are socialized to work on our weaknesses and to make those parts of us that naturally weak, stronger -- in order to become more efficient, seemingly competent or just simply better. The concept of working on your natural strengths, those qualities that you are innately born with, is a concept that should be encouraged instead of discouraged. Mainly because we all have talents that are there, we just don't know what they are. I've learned a lot about others through finding out what my strengths are, and in doing so it has given me an understanding of why so many things went right, wrong and just hit a dead end. Of the 34 recognized strengths, according to Tom Rath, each of us has 5 top strengths that we operate out of throughout our lives. I honestly think that people use horoscopes to learn about who they are, but the true essence of who we are are what we are made of, and horoscopes are way too general for me. I wasn't shocked when I found out what mine were, it was more affirming than anything:

You live in the moment. You don't see the future as a fixed destination. Instead, you see it as a place that you create out of the choices that you make right now. And so you discover your future one choice at a time. Unlike some, you don't resent sudden requests or unforeseen detours. You expect them. You are, at heart, a very flexible person who can stay productive when the demands of work are pulling you in many different directions at once.

If you possess a strong Belief theme, you have certain core values that are enduring. Belief theme causes you to be family-oriented, altruistic, even spiritual, and to value responsibility and high ethics - both in yourself and others. Your values give your life meaning and satisfaction; in your view, success is more than money and prestige. They provide you with direction, guiding you through the temptations and distractions of life toward a consistent set of priorities. Your Belief makes you easy to trust. It also demands that you find work that meshes with your values.

You can sense the emotions of those around you. You can feel what they are feeling as though their feelings are your own. Intuitively, you are able to see the world through their eyes and share their perspective. This instinctive ability to understand is powerful. You hear unvoiced questions. You anticipate the need. You help people find the right phrases to express their feelings. You help them give voice to their emotional life. For all these reasons other people are drawn to you.

Relator describes your attitude toward your relationships. In simple terms, the Relator theme pulls you toward people you already know. You are comfortable with intimacy. Once the initial connection has been made, you deliberately encourage a deepening of the relationship. You want to understand their feelings, their goals, their fears, and their dreams; and you want them to understand yours. You know that this kind of closeness implies a certain amount of risk - you might be taken advantage of - but you are willing to accept that risk.

The strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large. This perspective allows you to see patterns where others simply see complexity. Guided by where you see each path leading, you start to make selections.

Source: Strengths Finder 2.0, Tom Rath, Gallup Inc. 2007.

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