Dr. Robin’s Top Five Strengths
Individualization | Strategic | Learner| Achiever| Activator
Classic career coaching focuses on having people identify their skills and combine those skills with interests and values to suggest satisfying careers. More recently, the strengths-based approach, exemplified by the Gallup Organization’s StrengthsFinder, has become popular, particularly with the two youngest generations in the workforce.
Based on Gallup’s research, the best route to job satisfaction is to develop your top five talents into strengths, and then, to accumulate a track record for using those strengths to make a contribution in your career. Strengths are a combination of values, motivating interests, talents you may take for granted, and skills you do almost effortlessly. StrengthsFinder Inventory cannot tell you how well you have actually developed those talents. For that information, it is best to get some type of feedback assessment.
StrengthsFinder helps you find the talents that come naturally to you, the talents you use most often and first, and that are most likely to become strengths if you use and develop them.
Many people feel that the StrengthsFinder Inventory also tells you what makes you stand out — what makes you unique. The sequence and blend of your top talent themes describes your talent DNA.
Strenthsfinder also organizes the talents into four Domains — Executing, Influencing, Relationships, and Strategic Thinking. These become particularly helpful when working with Team strengths to see what you have, and what you might need to balance the talents on your team.
Individuals and Teams say the list of action ideas in the StrengthsFinder reports are focused, practical, and helpful.
StrengthsFinder Talent Themes
- Achiever | Great deal of stamina, work hard, love to be busy and productive
- Activator | Make things happen, turn thoughts into action
- Adaptability | Go with the flow, now oriented
- Analytical | Search for reasons, causes, things that might affect a situation
- Arranger | Organize for maximum productivity
- Belief | Have unchanging core values with a defined purpose
- Command | Presence, charisma, take control and make decisions
- Communication | Find it easy to put thoughts into words
- Competition | Measure progress against performance of others, strive to win
- Connectedness | Faith in the links between all things, few coincidences, events have reasons
- Consistency | Need to treat people fairly by setting up clear rules they use
- Context | Enjoy thinking about the past as prologue to present
- Deliberative | Take serious care in making decisions and choices, anticipate obstacles
- Developer | Recognize and cultivate the potential in others
- Discipline | Enjoy routine, structure, order
- Empathy | Sense the feelings of others by imagining themselves in their lives / situations
- Focus | Can take a direction, follow through, correct, and stay on track; prioritize, then act
- Futuristic | Inspired by what could be and inspire others with their vision
- Harmony | Look for consensus and areas of agreement
- Ideation | Fascinated by ideas and able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena
- Includer | Accepting of others, aware when people feel left out and try to include them
- Individualization | Intrigued by the unique qualities of each person, with a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively
- Input | Have a craving to know more, collect / archive all kinds of information
- Intellection | Introspective, actively intellectual, appreciate intellectual discussions
- Learner | Desire to learn and improve; the process of learning rather than outcome, excites them
- Maximizer | Focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence
- Positivity | Contagious enthusiasm, upbeat, get others excited
- Relator | Enjoy close relationships with others, find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal
- Responsibility | Take psychological ownership of whatever they say and do; are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty
- Restorative | Adept at dealing with problems, figuring out what’s wrong and dealing with it
- Self-assurance | Feel confident in their ability to manage their own lives
- Significance | Independent but want to be recognized as important by others
- Strategic | Faced with any given scenario, they spot patterns and issues quickly and create alternative ways to proceed
- WOO (Winning Others Over) | Love the challenge of meeting new people, winning them over, and making connections with other people
Strengths-Based Skill Development Thoughts
The strengths-based approach applies insights from positive psychology and empowering behavioral research. Strength-based skills development suggests:
- You must own your development. Knowing what your strongest skills are boosts your confidence and encourages you to explore career options based on them. However, any strength overused can become a weakness if it gets in the way of being effective in a given situation. Working with you to understand and use your strengths effectively is the intent behind Strengths-based coaching.
- You are successful when you focus on who you are, not who you aren’t. Many people focus far too much on their limitations and not enough on their gifts. No matter what your strengths, choose to do what you love to do, not what you think you should do.
- All successful people need help — a network of developmental relationships, including mentors, coaches, friends, team members, and bosses — people who care about them, who care about their work, and who provide valuable support and feedback. Knowing who these people are and choosing to cultivate those relationships enhances your career effectiveness. Ask them for their feedback as well as their support. Feedback, even if critical, is a gift from them to you.
- Identify the source of your weaknesses, but don’t focus on those weaknesses. Is the source a lack of talent? Education? Experience? Opportunity? If you lack the talent (and you need that skill to do your work), partner with others. If you lack experience or education, remedy that as you can, even if it is volunteering to do something because you’ll acquire a skill you want. Lacking opportunity?