Book Review: Strengths Finder 2.0


I admit it: I was a skeptic.

It seemed impossible that a personality test could clearly identify my inherent strengths and give me ideas for how to bring those strengths into a work environment. I was determined to keep an open mind, though, when a friend suggested I try Strengths Finder 2.0. Based on the research of Donald Clifton and the Gallup Research Center, the Strengths Finder 2.0 is a series of dual-option questions, each answered within 20 seconds. You’ll then receive a personalized report of your “Top Five Strengths” and suggestions for actions to take to bring these strengths more fully into your workplace.

Settling in for a 20-minute adventure, I went into the questionnaire thinking “Hey, I might learn something, and it’s not a huge investment.” But I finished the questionnaire, and briefly looked at the results, and burst into tears.

Knowing my natural strengths — and utilizing them — helps me feel more grounded in my work.

When I looked over the results for the Strengths Finder 2.0, I suddenly saw myself as a capable and strong person with traits that are valuable to the work I am moving into (project management and user experience). The specific strengths that came up as my “Top Five” are all things that have gotten me “in trouble” in previous employment situations, but learning how to manage these characteristics and utilize them in my work makes me a stronger, more capable businesswoman.

My top five strengths:

  • Activator
  • Strategic
  • Futuristic
  • Learner
  • Individualizer

Learning more about these traits in myself, I feel like a new person. No longer am I the annoying, bossy, constantly-pushing-you-to-succeed lady. Or at least, I don’t have to be. By sharing what I know that I do best, the skills I bring to a project, I have the ability to share with my colleagues my talents and learn their strengths to make an incredible, dynamic team and make magic happen.

When we share our natural talents with those around us, it helps them learn how to interact with us in ways that benefit everyone.

Learning our strengths improves our life by reducing conflict, by giving us projects that use our skills and make a huge impact, and by challenging our natural inclination to stick with only the things we’re good at by learning ways to connect with others in their strengths.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Strengths Finder 2.0

  1. I agree, Sara. I was encouraged to take this test by my career coach. It was really helpful. We are all different and it’s helpful to know our strengths and how to use them best (and how to work with others with different strengths). It’s especially helpful to talk through strengths with those you work closely with.

    Here are my top 5 (looks like we have quite different strengths!)
    • Deliberative
    • Developer
    • Adaptability
    • Connectedness
    • Responsibility

  2. I completely agree. I’m junkie for personality tests, but they have to feel legit. Myers-Briggs, etc. When I tried Strengths Finder years ago, it changed how I approached my work. In fact, it changed how I marketed my business! Now, it is my go-to when coaching clients who want to make a career change.

    (Love the idea of women sharing stories with each other by the way. Awesome idea, Sara, and completely necessary!)

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