by Natalie Antonio
The StrengthsFinder Analysis was interesting to complete. I have taken other assessments before such as the Myers Briggs assessment and found it to be an extremely useful tool to analyzing what type of leader that I can become or what style of leadership I respond best to. The StrengthsFinder analysis was much more in depth than the Myers Briggs assessment. Taking the StrengthsFinder assessment was also useful in determining my top 5 strengths. These strengths included, input, learner, intellection, relator, and achiever. I found most of these to be very true for my type of leadership and the type of leadership that I like to be lead under. The StrengthFinder analysis helped me establish the ground work for discovery into how I can better myself in my classes and everyday life. These 5 strengths can assist how I go about accomplishing projects.
The first strength on the list was input. The strength of input says: that I am inquisitive, I like to collect things, even collect information, Input says that I collect things because they are interesting and worth keeping. Input says that my mind finds many things interesting. It says that the world is the most exciting because of the variety and complexity. It says that if I read a lot that I do not read to “refine” my skills but to add more information to my brain.When I travel it says that I like to collect new artifacts and facts. Because these can be stored away and brought out at a later date. The input also said that I could not feel comfortable throwing ideas out when it could possibly be useful at a later date.
When I listened to the input video and read the information on input, I agreed with what is said almost 100%, The qualities listed for input are being inquisitive, collecting things and keeping my mind fresh. I enjoy collecting things such as pressed pennies, and pins. I enjoy finding the pressed penny machines whenever I visit a new city and acquiring new pins to commemorate a trip that I’ve taken with friends and family that I love. The input can sometimes be a help to me, but it can also be a hinderance, because I am fairly introverted and I have a lot of ideas but do not always feel comfortable sharing them for fear that they may be wrong or not the right ideas. The input can be a help to me as a student and a leader by collecting things as they happen to hopefully remember them at a later date.
The second strength on the list was the learner strength. The first quality listed for this strength is that I love to learn. The subject that is the most interesting can be determined by other themes and experiences. I will always be drawn to the process of learning, more than content or the end result. StrengthsFinder says that a learner is always energized by a steady journey from ignorance to competence. the excitement leads me to engaging in adult learning activities. this enables me to thrive in work environments that ask me to take on short assignments and actually learn from them. The learning outcome is not to become the subject that is being learned but to become respected within the subject matter. The outcome of the learning experience is not as significant as the process of getting there.
This strength I do agree with also, I am always interested in trying to better myself. I think this comes from a life of living with a teacher for a mother. My mom had always read to me, encouraged me to take classes to better myself even if they were out side of my major or something that I was interested in. I have also been taking horse-back riding lessons since I was 5 years old, and I am constantly trying to better myself by learning how to train my horse. I love to show my horse, but I love the time that I have spent getting my horse prepared to go to the show, and putting in the effort to make sure we are working together as a team before we step foot in the show pen. One of my favorite quotes has always been “the will to win means nothing if you haven’t the will to prepare.” I believe this quote goes right along with the learner strength. I have picked up many hobbies as an adult that I did not participate in when I was a child. I joined the Ashland University Women’s Chorus (AUWC) when I was a sophomore in college, I had never even thought about joining choir until I had taken Music 150, Principles of Music Making. The professor who taught this class, was also the director for AUWC at the time. She encouraged me to audition for women’s chorus at the end of the semester. I am constantly learning in women’s chorus, where I have learned so much that I am currently reside as the co-president. I enjoy learning the ins and outs of being in chorus and learning how to work as a team towards a common goal. Another hobby that I picked up as an adult is leather working. I enjoy tooling leather projects, this started when my poppa gave me his old leather working set. I started to read the books that came with it and started stamping things out, one of my favorite projects to tool are saddle crosses, for my friends.
The third strength that was listed was intellection. By having intellection listed as a strength this means that I like to think, I like mental activity, I enjoy exercising my brain. Intellection tells us that I may need mental activity to be focused on one thing at a time. I am in tune to how others feel, or to solve a problem or develop an idea. On the other end of the spectrum this mental activity may lack focus on those activities. Intellection does not dictate what I could be thinking about at any given time, it just means that I like to think. People who have the intellection strength, enjoy spending time alone because he or she can use that time for refection and thinking. A person can also be introspective, I am my own best companion, I ask myself questions and try to see how the task will end. The down side to the intellection can lead the person to becoming slightly discontent, as that person compares what he or she is actually doing with the thoughts and ideas that the mind comes up with. This may lead the person to become more pragmatic with matters as the day wears on.
This strength I agreed with very much. I do tend to think a lot about too many things, my mind can be constantly humming from the minute that I wake up in the morning until I fall asleep at night. I am constantly thinking of what I need to be doing, or what needs to be done, or accomplished. This strength also ties in with a later strength that will be described further down. I do enjoy time to myself to think and reflect on my day either at the beginning of the day or at the end of the day. At the beginning of the day it is usually what I need to accomplish that day, or at the end of the day, what I have done during that day that will influence tomorrow. Having intellection as a strength also means that I enjoy my time alone. This can also have a downside for me as I tend to over think things and tend to isolate myself until my tasks are accomplished.
The fourth strength from the assessment was the strength of realtor. This can describe an attitude toward relationships. Which basically means that the realtor strength is drawn to people who they already know. Not that this person is shy, but that person does greatly enjoy spending time with close friends and family. This person is often comfortable with intimacy, once the initial connection has been made this person tends to develop a deepening within the relationship. The realtor wants to understand other people’s feelings, goals, fears and dreams. Being this close to people can put the person at risk that they might be taken advantage of, but that person is willing to accept that risk. A relationship can only have value when it is genuine.
This strength shocked me, I thought it would be higher up on the list. I do tend to have a few very close relationships, but not many acquaintances. This does open me up to a fair amount of being hurt by these relationships, but I tend to get to know someone before I judge them or let them hurt me. I was not very good friends with my roommate last fall, until we went on a Disney vacation together. We were sorority sisters and acquaintances through a mutual friend. During this trip we let our freak flags fly, got comfortable with each other and got so much closer by the time the trip was over. Looking back there is not a time in my life that I can’t remember without her being right there. She is one of my best friends and biggest supporters.
The fifth and final strength is the achiever. Having the achiever describes a need for achievement. That every day starts at zero and that things need to be accomplished by the end of the day. This means every single day, even on weekends and holidays. If the day passes without some form of achievement the achiever feels as if the day is a waste. The achiever has to live to learn with some sliver of discontent. The energy keeps the person up for hours without burning out. This theme keeps the person moving through out the day
This strength also surprised me, but after re-reading each of the blurbs about the strengths it made more sense to me. The achiever and the intellection strength kind of go hand in hand. The achiever keeps the intellection going, gives her the strength to keep going. This can be considered some what of a bad thing because with my mind constantly moving with the intellection, and the energy from the achiever, it can make things very loud in my mind, and unable for me to “turn things off” when need be. I am very motivated to accomplish things that are put in front of me. I enjoy achieving things that I have worked so hard to accomplish. A good example of this is when I achieved my first blue ribbon with my first horse. I had owned her for 2 years, and had shown at multiple different shows. One night at a Tuesday night horse show, with six other competitors in my class, I finally heard my name called for first place. I almost cried tears of joy, because I had worked so hard with my horse, and we were rewarded for our achievement.
In conclusion, these five strengths, input, learner, intellection, relator, and achiever, all tie together to make me who I am. More importantly they make me want to learn how I can utilize them in my organizations to become more effective. I think that organizations that relate to helping people would most likely benefit from these strengths.