By Jonny Goldstein, envizualize.com
It can be difficult to self-assess what you are good at. I am great at helping people uncover their own strengths, but turning that same ability on myself is a challenge. But I realize that an awareness of my strengths is a critical element in being strategic about my career. Luckily, soon after joining the IFVP Board, our fearless Chair, Jeannel King sent all the board members a resource so we could assess our strengths. That resource was the Strengthsfinder 2.0 book, published by the Gallup organization.
If you are having trouble identifying your core strengths, you might want to check it out, and of course, being a visual practitioner, once you get the results, you may want to turn them into something visual.
Here's how the Strengthsfinder 2.0 works. You get the book, with the book comes a unique code. You use that code to log into the Strengthsfinder website http://strengths.gallup.com/default.aspx and respond to a series of questions. Then you submit it and the site generates a report of what it assesses to be your top five strengths in order (out of 34 possible). The book and the website tell you more about the particular strengths--a description as well as activities that might be useful or utilizing that strength. I found the report fascinating, and the results rang true to me.
Recently, I created a quick visual representation of my Strengthsfinder 2.0 results, using a tree as a visual metaphor. Each strength is represented by a root of the tree, with my strongest of those top five strengths being the thickest root and the weakest of the top five the smallest root with the others in between (Note that all of these strengths are quite present in me as they are the top 5 out of 34). The name of the strength is highlighted with a unique color, and accompanied by a couple of other pieces of info about that strength.Then I drew four apples in the upper part of the tree, labeling them with goals that are important to me. To create the chart, I used a drawing app on the iPad called Paper.
I am hoping this chart will help me keep my strengths and goals in mind, so I can make even better decisions about what projects I pursue, and how I pursue them. I think this will lead to even more powerful outcomes for clients, partners, and myself.
How about you, do you feel like you have a good idea of your strengths. Have you visualized them? What's your method for finding your strengths and graphically representing them? Want to share in the IFVP newsletter? We'd love to hear about the way you visualize your strengths.