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Strengths Finder 2.0

I’ve made the commitment to read and review 12 books over 12 months as a part of continuous personal development. This is my second book.

While this is a book review, the first thin you need to know is that the Strengths Finder 2.0 book is actually just a written, in-depth, support document for the test that you take on the StrengthsFinder web site.The core idea to the test and the book is to identify your strengths and work on them instead of spending all kinds of time trying to fix your weaknesses. If you just think about it a little bit, it makes sense that you can spend days and weeks trying to improve in an area where you are not terribly strong while improvement in areas where you are already strong will come to you, fast & furious.

The book is broken down into two parts, an introduction that goes over the concepts and science behind finding your strengths, and a huge section that defines all the various strengths identified in the test. Between reading the first and second section, you’re supposed to take the test.

The book is really interesting to read. The first section brings out a number of interesting facts from different areas of psychological research that seem… accurate. I’ve read some psychology types of books where so much of the “science” reads like so much feel-good claptrap. This is not one of those. There are discussions about the fact that you still have weaknesses and blind spots that you’ll need to take into account, even as you work on your strengths.

My test came out with the following strengths:

  • Achiever
  • Input
  • Self-Assurance
  • Learner
  • Significance

Personally, reading through the descriptions, I think it shows an accurate test (and Mrs. Scary sure thought it was accurate). With these results and the book in hand, you can start to set goals to change how you work and perform in life. You’ll have a description of what each of these words means, and more importantly, a list of ideas for how you can apply them to start trying for improvement. Better still, the book has a section on each strength called “Working With Others Who Have…” for each strength so you can understand how better to deal with others.

At least that’s the theory as laid out by the book. I do find this all very useful. I appreciate the insights into what makes me more motivated. It works. Unfortunately, I haven’t also incorporated a regular review of these goals into my workload and I think to fully realize the results that needs to happen. Also, a psychological test I went through with my previous employer emphasized that knowing yourself is important, but that knowing others and figuring out how best to communicate with them (note, not adjusting yourself, just your message, you can do this and stick to your strengths) is the best way to improve your working relationships. Because of that, I feel like I only have half the tools I need. Yeah, I can make guesses at what other people might be (and sometimes it’s obvious), but not knowing, it is possible to still mess up the communication.

Overall, a great read, good information, extremely useful, but still not quite enough for what it sets out to do, at least in my opinion. However, I am going to try to focus on this on a regular basis (daily) so that I can start to use what I’ve learned and learn more (after all, I’m a Learner).

The Scary DBA

I have twenty+ years experience in IT. That time was spent in technical support, development and database administration. I work forRed Gate Software as a Product Evangelist. I write articles for publication at SQL Server Central, Simple-Talk, PASS Book Reviews and SQL Server Standard. I have published two books, ”Understanding SQL Server Execution Plans” and “SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled.” I’m one of the founding officers of the Southern New England SQL Server Users Group and its current president. I also work on part-time, short-term, off-site consulting contracts. In 2009 and 2010 I was awarded as a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. In the past I’ve been called rough, intimidating and scary. To which I usually reply, “Good.” You can contact me through grant -at- scarydba dot kom (unobfuscate as necessary).


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