“Most People think they know what they are good at. They are usually wrong….And yet, a person can perform only from strength.” –Business guru Peter Drucker (1909 – 2005).
Through out history our society focuses on people’s weaknesses or shortcomings. We try to improve our limitations rather then develop and grow our strengths.
Tom Rath, an author of several books including Strengths Finder 2.0, was part of a team that developed the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment which helps people discover and describe the 34 most common talents. These talents are based on a Gallup’s 40-year study of human strength. The study was led by the Father of Strengths Psychology, Donald O. Clifton.
One of the examples that Rath mentions in his book Strengths Finder 2.0, is a misguided maxim? “You can be anything you want to be, if you just try hard enough”(p.5). What Rath is saying is that the statement is flowed. You can study to be the best surgeon in the world, but if you do not have a steady hand you will not be a successful doctor. Rath revises the statement to be more accurate “You cannot be anything you want to be – but you can be a lot more of who you already are” (p.9). He also mentions the following statistic:
Seventy Seven percent of parents in the United States think that a student’s lowest grades deserve the most time and attention. Parents and teachers reward excellence with apathy instead of investing more time in the areas where a child has the most potential for greatness. (p.7)
I want to be the parent that acknowledges my children’s potential and helps them grow in the areas where they are able to be successful. I also want to keep things in perspective for them. My daughter might enjoy singing, but she will probably never be the Next American Idol.
To wrap up my little rant, I am not saying we should squash our children’s dreams or our own for that matter, but I encourage people to evaluate those dreams and see if they are reachable.
I personally enjoy psychology and love learning about myself and other people. In my previous employment, I got the opportunity to take the strengths finder assessment and discover my top five strengths. I want to share my strength with you as I am very proud of them.
- WOO – People who are especially talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person.
- Communication – People who are especially talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.
- Context – People who are especially talented in the Context theme enjoy thinking about the past. They understand the present by researching its history.
- Positivity – People who are especially talented in the Positivity theme have an enthusiasm that is contagious. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.
- Input – People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.