Back to Strengths Based Approach: meet our favourite tool to explore personal strengths!
This post will tell you a bit more about discovering your strengths using the Strengthsfinder 2.0 tool and it’s main advantages and disadvantages. If you wish to learn more:
- Read more about strengths based approach and why would a trainer use it in previous Trainers Toolbox Strengths based approach 101 – What is strengths based approach and how to use it? blog post.
- Check out Strengths based approach 103 – Strengths Assessment Tools for comparison of different tools to explore personal strengths
- For tools to Strengths Profile, make sure to check VIA and Strength Profile articles
Image 1.: The book StrengthsFinder 2.0 gives you an access to the online assessment tool and serves as a great guide through your strengths
Strengthsfinder 2.0 is the oldest in the group of strengths assessments (VIA , Strength Profile) and it is an excellent and practical assessment, built on years of practical business experience and research, on the foundation of “Now, discover your strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton published in 2001.
Strengthsfinder 2.0 provides list of 34 strengths and many practical tips on how to develop them and use them better. Book is short and straightforward yet rich with actionable and concrete ideas on both developing further and using own strengths and on understanding better other peoples’ strengths.
Strenghtsfinder 2.0 provides you with a short and sweet direct report that outlines “only” the 5 top strengths and many practical straightforward tips on how to work with those. Strengthsfinder looks into a list of 34 strengths. The list of these was assembled through interviewing several top performers on what makes people excel.
According to this theory, the basis of strengths is talent – talent is a naturally recurring pattern of thought, feeling or behavior that can be applied to multiple areas and it is a capacity to do something. A strength is the ability to provide a consistent, high-level performance in a given activity. According to Strengthsfinder, strengths are produced when talents are polished using knowledge and skills.
Once you complete the Strenghtsfinder 2.0 assessment, you receive a comprehensive “Strengths Discovery and Action Planning Guide” that includes a report on top 5 strengths, 10 ideas for action for each of the top strengths, a strengths discovery interview that helps one think about how your experience, skills and knowledge can help build the strengths. It also gives a strengths-based action plan for setting specific goals for applying your strengths throughout next week, month and a year.
The report is 10 pages long and split into the following sections:
- Awareness – description of each of your top 5 strengths in general but also your personalized strengths insight about what makes you stand out
- Application – many diverse ideas for action
- Achievement – how people with each of these strengths perceive achievement
The value of Strengthsfinder is in its simplicity and the fact it is quite straightforward and action oriented. The book is fairly short and the description of each strength is short, direct, but rich with information and creative in “painting the picture” of someone who has that strength. That makes it easy to remember the names of different strengths and use them in your vocabulary.
Even though the assessment can also be purchased on it’s own, the best way to buy Strengthsfinder 2.0 is to buy the Strengthsfinder 2.0 book and the assessment is included with the book. The book is short, informative, to the point, very action oriented and highly recommended.
In case of wishing to apply it to leaderships skills, check out for books (and assessment) called StandOut 2.0 and Strengths Based Leadership – these are both great work on area of leadership built with orientation on own strengths and strengths of others. If by any chance you find the difference between these two versions of leadership-strengths-assessments confusing, check this article – the author outlined some of the main differences.
And if you are interested in how this survey compares to the similar strengths assessment tools, check out Strengths based approach 103 – Strengths Assessment Tools for comparison of different tools to explore personal strengths.