by Kenzie Fischer
Taking StrengthsFinder 2.0 has not only allowed me to learn my top strengths, it has also taught me how to utilize them. It is usually difficult for me to look at myself and analyze my strengths. However, after taking StrengthsFinder 2.0 and reading about my top five strengths, it is easy for me to identify these strengths and how to use them in the near future.
When one is empathetic, they can sense the emotions of people around them. They can feel what others are feeling as if the emotions were their own. They can see the world through others’ eyes and share their perspectives. They perceive people’s pain or joy, sometimes before it has even been expressed. Their ability to understand is extremely powerful; they can hear unvoiced questions and anticipate needs. They help people give voice to their emotional lives.
I feel that this trait represents me perfectly. While others struggle to find the words, I always seem to find exactly the right things to say and strike the right tone. I’m the person my friends come to with advice or if they just want to vent about their day. I always help people express their feelings, to themselves as well as to others. Ever since I was young, I have had a knack for sensing how people are feeling even before they have expressed it out loud. Having this trait has made people very trustworthy of me. People trust me because I let that person know that I know how they are feeling. If someone is lying to me, I can always catch on. All I have to do is look at their face or listen to their tone of voice, and I know instantly whether or not they are telling me the truth.
My friends always feel understood by me and seek my company. I have been told all my life that I am too sensitive, overly emotional, or that I wear my heart on my sleeve. Personally, I do not think that is a bad thing. People have told me that I pick up on feelings that even they don’t notice. I’ve noticed before how sensitive I am to others’ emotions. I can enter a room and have a sense of the general mood of the environment.
In a group setting, I feel like being empathetic can be helpful because I seem to know things without being told. I sense what needs to be done or what is about to happen. My gut feeling almost always proves to be correct. I can also help my colleagues be aware of the feelings of coworkers. Possessing this trait, I must have my alone time at the very least once a day. I have routines at the end of each day that allow me to destress.
Although being empathetic has many strengths, it also has several weaknesses. Negativity overwhelms me. I cannot stand raised voices, conflict, or anger. I feel physically sick as a result of negative energy. I also often show up with the symptoms of people around me. If someone close to me is depressed, I will develop the same thing. Although I love listening to people and giving them advice, I am too often the dumping ground for other people’s problems. People always gravitate towards me and unload all of their pain and problems on me. I feel compelled to help, but sometimes it can be too much for me.
People who are restorative love to solve problems. They enjoy the challenge of analyzing symptoms, identifying what is wrong, and finding the solution. While some are unsettled when they encounter yet another breakdown, people with strong restorative talents are energized by it. They like bringing things back to life by fixing them or rekindling their value. They bring courage and creativity to problematic situations.
When I first read that my second trait was restorative, I was confused. I thought that there must have been a mistake, that isn’t me. But as I started to read further, I now understand why being restorative is one of my strengths. I bring a solution oriented mindset to daily problems. I am always ready to take on new projects, no matter how difficult they might be. I know I’ll find a way to succeed. I can analyze a situation, identify potential limitations, and make necessary accommodations.
In the work force, my success depends on my ability to look to problems, and resolve them. Whether this happens with people, organizations, or intellectual problems, I always do the same thing: 1. I discover what is not working for me. 2. I look for resolution. 3. I guide people. 4. I increase my performance. Solving problems has just always come naturally to me. I can always help.
Harmonious people want peace and to try to bring others together. Not much can be gained from conflict. Those with strong harmony see what people have in common, even during conflict. They try to steer others way from confrontation and toward reconciliation. They seek to help individuals, families, and organizations work together. When others argue, they steer clear of the debate, wanting to talk about practical, down- to- earth matters on which everyone can agree.
I feel that harmony is a great representation of my personality. I believe that when people work together, everything goes a lot more smoothly. Having a group of friends with differing perspectives is important to me because I feel that having an open mind to other points of view will help me learn. In everyday life, I do everything in my power to achieve my goals. It is proved that harmonious people are excellent problem solvers, much like my restorative trait. If my friends are having a problem, I like to get to the root of issue. I ask them to share their thoughts about the problem. When people voice their side of the story, I can find things where everyone can agree.
People who have the input trait are inquisitive. They always want to know more. They crave information. They like to collect certain things, such as ideas, books, or memorabilia. Whatever they collect, they do it because it interests them they find many things interesting and have a natural curiosity. The world is exciting precisely because of its infinite variety and complexity. Their pursuits keep their mind fresh and they know that one day some of the information they have in their minds will prove valuable.
While I love adding to my knowledge, I also enjoy collecting books. I have been collecting books ever since I was ten years old. I have a collection of books in many different genres, but my favorite books are about mental illness and eating disorders. These books have helped me store knowledge and will be helpful in the future when I intern with the National Eating Disorder Association.
I recognize my strengths and always try to find more information about them. In my busy schedule during the day, I try my best to read a book for at least an hour if I have time. While I’m reading, if I stumble upon an interesting fact or quote, I write it down and look back and think about it later on.
Balance is important to people with consistency. They are aware that they need to treat people the same, no matter what. They see themselves as guardians of what is right and fair. They believe that people function best in a consistent atmosphere with clear rules that apply to everyone. They know what is expected and it is predictable.
I am diagnosed with ADHD, so I feel that consistency suits me well. I can easily make judgements on people and situations. As a result of this, people have confidence in me and see me as trustworthy. I am always realistic about the situation. Whatever the issue is, I always try my best not to jump to conclusions. I sit down and think about the best solution for everyone involved. My actions always match my words. Although sometimes it is hard not to be a hypocrite, I treat myself and other people equally. I try to do what I can to eliminate negative thinking. This is my biggest weakness. If I get stressed out about schoolwork, it is easy for me to get in a negative mindset. But I calm myself down and turn those thoughts around. I set goals. Setting goals for myself is one of my biggest values. Whenever I set a goal for myself, I stay focused on my performance. I slowly make change. I learned a few years ago that if I try to do everything at once, all I’m going to do is overwhelm myself. I now make gradual changes in my life instead of jumping in head first. I hold myself accountable. Even though it hurts me to do so sometimes, I make sure that I recognize when I don’t come up to the standards and goals that I have set for myself. I increase my motivation. If I don’t stay motivated, I won’t make changes. I have learned to sort my different goals out one at a time and I remind myself why these things are important to me.
After looking and reading through my five strengths, it is very helpful for me to see my leadership styles and how I will be able to use my strengths and succeed in my future career. All of my strengths tie into each other and I am able to achieve the goals that I set for myself and accomplish whatever I set my mind to. Although all of my strengths come with weaknesses, all of them come together and pertain greatly to me.