Monday, August 6, 2012

StrengthsFinder

Before eMi orientation starts, we were asked to take the StrengthsFinder survey from the book by Tom Rath. This quiz helps determine one's individual talents and areas in which one has the greatest potential to develop strengths. My results are as follows:
Achiever
Responsibility
Connectedness
Harmony
Futuristic
I guess in orientation they will help us begin to develop these talents, but until then I will share what I've learned from Rath's book.
     Achiever doesn't sound like [most of the time] me. Maybe I subconsciously answered the questions for how I wish I was, because I would love to have the drive that they describe here, "Achiever describes a constant need for achievement...every single day -- workdays, weekends, vacations." Not me. But some quotes I really understood: "select jobs that allow you to have the leeway to work as hard as you want and in which you are encouraged to measure your own productivity." ahem, ARCHITECTURE. There is no better definition, it fits my five years in studio perfectly. And "Your drive for action might cause you to find meetings a bit boring." This makes sense...I hated when we would have class meetings around the table talking about absolutely nothing when we could be getting so much work done!
     Responsibility defined me a little bit better. In one of the book's examples an employee's inability to separate his personal ethics from business ethics cost him his job...but he found that a responsibility to do the right thing was most important to him. This sense of responsibility as well as taking ownership for anything I commit to are both talents I should learn to build on.
     I'm thrilled to get Connectedness, because it describes something I didn't even know was a talent. In fact, it explains a lot of disagreements with people in the part that says, "Don't spend too much time attempting to persuade others to see the world as a linked web. Be aware that your sense of connection is intuitive." Connectedness is all about understanding that things happen for a reason, that we are part of something larger, and that this implies certain responsibilities to others and to the earth. This actually touches a lot on why I'm going abroad for this internship. It says "you are a bridge builder for people of different cultures" and "seek out global or cross-cultural responsibilities that capitalize on your understanding of the commonalities inherent in humanity." I hope to make the lives of all humans better, not only to those who can afford it, but to orphaned children in Africa as well.
    Harmony definitely describes me. I don't like conflict and I don't like debate for the sake of debate. Unfortunately the negative that comes from this is that I am not good at resolving conflict without confrontation so it might get built up into passive-aggressive behavior. The book is helpful in pointing this out, so hopefully this talent does not lead to a weakness.
    Lastly, Futuristic. I think this must be a very common adjective to describe architects, because our whole job is about creating something new and bettering the place where it's built. The book suggests Futuristics pair up with Activators so that we aren't simply dreaming, but that the dreams get put into action. This also closely relates to my internship with eMi, as their slogan is "designing a world of hope". This experience really will be about putting my dreams for the future into action, and conjuring up ideas of a better life for the people I will be helping.

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