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StrengthsFinder 2.0 - Tom Rath Right, so this book was assigned to us at work so that we can find our strengths and play to them, supposedly. I dislike assigned reading type stuff, but hey, I also like having a paycheck. So I read it. And then took the assessment...

I thought that the first part of the book, the part that explains why this method was invented, was actually pretty interesting, and I think that it makes sense to do what you have a natural ability to do, and what you like to do. It makes sense to use the limited time that we're alive to get really good at what we're naturally good at, rather than trying to fit our square selves into round holes.

But the assessment itself, and the results... Iffy to me. Maybe I'm just an anomaly and I'm some weird irregular specimen of a person who just has quirky weird innate talents that aren't useful at all and therefore aren't looked for in this type of assessment. I mean, stranger things have happened. But, I think maybe the assessment itself is flawed, because according to the intro, they culled Gallup's database of 10,000 interviews, and then created the assessment, with 34 possible strengths or talents.

10,000 seems pretty limited to me. Such a small pool of people when we're talking about a planet with BILLIONS of people on it. And who are these people? This is a Gallup "project", and they are always the pollsters that are referred to when any "reputable" poll is mentioned, or at least one of them, but I don't know one single person - not one- who has ever been included in a Gallup poll. We're "in the system" with voter registrations, drivers licenses, credit cards and bills and rent and/or mortgages etc... So I have to wonder who these respondents are. High-power business professionals? AmEx Platinum cardholders? Republicans? Those over 40? People who drive hybrids? People who attend the First National Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge? Martians? Anyone crossing 1st and Main in Newark on Thursdays between 2:36pm and 4:17pm?

No idea. There were a lot of quotes from "regular people" in the book, but they sounded like no homemaker/baker/carpenter/sales rep I've ever talked to. These people sounded like they had PhDs in self-analysis. All of them. Fishy.

So, my (suspect) Top 5 Strengths:
Context - Looking back to see where we're going. (Sounds reasonable right? Except for this sociopath who says: "I have very little empathy, so I don't relate to people through their current emotional state. Instead I relate to them through their past. In fact, I can't even begin to understand someone until I have found out where they grew up, what their parents were like, and what they studied in college." (CREEPY!!)

Adaptability - Again, sounds reasonable. I go with the flow. But that's not what the book indicates this means. This book seems to indicate that "adaptability" means spontaneous and wishy-washy and flighty. Not me at all. I can roll with the punches, but I don't change my mind and my goals and my life as the wind blows.

Connectedness - They use this to mean that I believe that things happen for a reason, and that I believe that there is a kind of spiritual connection between everything and everyone... Not necessarily "God", but a similar overarching theme of everything being one. Errr... not really. I know that we AFFECT each other by our interactions with each other, and that we are connected in that way, but I don't think what they think that I think. =

Harmony - This and the last one are the closest to true. This one basically says that I find a middle ground in conflict and disagreements, which I do. I am a Libra, so I can generally see both sides of an issue. But I don't seek to make everyone friends, I just naturally see things from two perspectives, and try to make it easy for others to do the same.

Intellection - This one claims that I like to be alone with my thoughts, and that my brain is always going going going... Which is partially true, because I do like to be alone, but my brain doesn't need 19 distractions just to be able to concentrate like Michael P., Marketing Executive does. Apparently his brain is so overactive that he can't concentrate at all unless the kids are running wild and the TV is on in the background to distract him. =

Overall... I don't think that this was a very comprehensive or accurate assessment. The questions are ambiguous, so depending on your interpretation of what kind of situation they are referring to, you'll get different results. I hope upper management finds something useful in this... They bought us all copies of the book for $22.95 each!