Strengths Finder 2.0

There's a certain inappropriateness about promoting a particular product here, maybe. But tools are where you find them, or buy them. We consider channeled information, and look at videos or websites where we know nothing of the source. We look to see if it "resonates" within. Well, I've come across some of my best tools in prosaic places.

One of the more exciting and interesting tools I have discovered recently is being marketed as a business management and motivational system. It is called Strengths Finder 2.0. It uses an ingenious combination of a book, an website, a survey, and a series of other tools to identify your five strongest abilities out of a somewhat arbitrary selection of 34. While this smacks of standardized testing, I've found it to be a valuable tool for becoming in effect one's own life coach. It has another value: networking.  A friend introduced me to this, and since I was broke he bought it
for me. I intend to do the same for others when I can. It costs $20.

One of the groups I have been meeting with is dedicated to sustainability and empowerment. Some of our projects involve helping to set up small business that require little startup such as landscaping and soapmaking, and retrofitting houses for self-sufficiency. Of about a dozen people, we cover an age range from 18 to 60. One of the intriguing aspects of this ad hoc group is that we all agreed to complete the Strengths Finder survey and share the results. Plotting the information on a graph, we now have a "Strengths Tree" that not only tells us where our strongest abilities lie as a group, but also our shortcomings - the kind of folks we'd like to attract.

For those who may already be familiar with this tool, here are my five main strengths, in order: Intellection, Input, Connectedness, Learning, Ideation.

We've discovered our little group is incredibly rich in Intellection and Ideation, along with Adaptability, Empathy, Positivity, and WOO (Winning Others Over). There are only a few areas in which we are not represented at all. The Strengths Finder book and website offer both specific suggestions for developing our strengths, but also action plans for building a life based on them. We're now developing a game which involves utilizing action steps to develop our abilities, both as a group and individually.

There are many ways of networking and forming bonds with people. While I strongly feel that Strengths Finder is a valuable tool, I wouldn't rely on it 100% . Putting people in boxes limits them in the end instead of empowering them, and we are all full of surprises. As regards the SF material, we're all a blend of all 34 of the identifies strengths to some degree. Using the tool as a team, we are accomplishing many of the things that take place within business organizations: brainstorming, setting up chains of logic and energy, and discovering how we can best benefit each other as well as ourselves.


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