StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath

StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath aims to help people, in a various number of roles and of environments, identify their talent to build their strength, improve their confidence, their sense of purpose, their health and their relationships.

Furthermore, Tom Rath claims, according to scientific research, that personality traits, skill sets, passions and interests inherited  at a young age are still present in adulthood and need to be jump started and regularly exercised and be improved with knowledge and skills. Without exercise your natural talents, the muscle stays under developed.

In the workplace, for example, when strengths are not identified and not used, workers tend to lose their engagement and the devotion to their work, to suffer from anxiety or depression.

This is why, in StrengthsFinder 2.0, Tom Rath has identified 34 “themes of talents” to categorize the different set of skills discovered in the workforce. Knowing your strengths allows you to distinguish blind spots, to be more conscious of them and to understand the impacts of such strength, to “be aware of your potential and your limitations”.

What about weaknesses?

StrenghtsFinder 2.0 helps identify weaknesses or “areas of lesser talents” in certain occupations. Surely, knowing your weaknesses will enable you to work around them or totally avoid them, to know who yo work with that can complement your skills set.

StrengthsFinder 2.0 is associated to an online tests from Gallup Inc. Using its database of interviewees, the test assesses and analyzes the top 5 themes of talent among the 34 themes of talents.

34 themes of talent?

Below, a brief summary of each theme of talent and in which job to apply the given talent.

  1. Achiever

Constant need for achieving something tangible every day in order to define success.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for jobs that allow you to work as hard as you want and gives you autonomy to measure your productivity.
  • Set challenging goals, create deadlines, measure progress.
  • Acknowledge success, personal and professional achievements before moving on to the next challenge.
  • Pursue your education by obtaining certificates, attending classes, conferences, etc…
  • Do not compromise on the quality of your work.
  1. Activator

An impatience to take action and a decisiveness over the steps taken. Ability to learn from every stages crossed, every steps taken and every results obtained.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job that allows you to make and implement your own decisions.
  • Ask not to be judged on your process but on the outcomes of the process.
  • Help others transform innovative ideas and concepts into concrete action.
  • Create plans of actions to move blocked situations forward.
  • Expose yourself to challenging situations.
  • Earn your bosses, managers and team members trust first and give the reasons for your desire to take action.
  • Energize plans and people. Motivate them to take action as well.
  1. Adaptability

A high responsiveness and reactivity to current situations as well as a flexibility in challenging situations.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where situations are constantly moving, unpredictable and unstructured.
  • Because you enjoy unpredictability, rolling with the punches, you remain calm, reassuring and collected in stressful circumstances.
  • Foster a reputation of being calm and reassuring during upsetting events.
  • Adjust your responsiveness to unanticipated events. However, on the job, because you are flexible to events, don’t compromise too much and don’t let people take advantage of you.
  1. Analytical

A need to test other people’s theory and to make sure that it is flawless, an enjoyment for analysing data, connecting data and searching for patterns in them.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job that lets you theorize, analyze data and find patterns.
  • Rely on trustworthy sources of information
  • Find the proper settings to beneficially communicate your thoughts.
  • Explore ways to apply and implement your theory.
  1. Arranger

A search for the most productive configuration possible and for the best way to do things. An impersonation of effective flexibility, an ease in dynamic situations and an excitement for complex multi-faceted projects.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where assignments are complex and events are concurrent.
  • Use your Arranger talents in team building and group organizing.
  • On your job, track your deadlines to reassure your boss or clients.
  • Avoid routines and static organizations.
  1. Belief

A possession of core values that can be family oriented, altruistic or spiritual, ethics and a value for responsibility in yourself and others.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job that aligns with your values and that has both meaning and purpose.
  • Balance work demands and personal life.
  • Motivate others by sharing your values with them and learn to understand different systems of belief.
  1. Command

A willingness to take charge, a comfort in imposing your view to others, in confrontation and directing.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where you can take the lead, persuade others, face intense and challenging situations and find a cause to defend in the face of resistance.
  • “Practise the words, the tone, and the techniques that will turn your ability to confront into real persuasiveness”.
  • Be candid to your colleagues on sensitive subjects.
  • As you are intimidating, ask for your colleagues’ opinion once in a while.
  1. Communication

An incitement “to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public, and to write”.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where you have to capture people attention, speak publicly and present a subject.
  • Practise your speeches, study your audience, refine the words you use and improve the message you convey.
  1. Competition

A perpetual desire for competing and for winning.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where you can “measure your achievements”.
  • Select high achieving people in your organization to compete with.
  • Transform elementary tasks into competitive games.
  • Learn the reasons of your wins as much as the reasons of your loss.
  1. Connectedness

A belief that you belong to something larger and an understanding that everyone is connected.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where you can “listen and counsel” and benefit from multicultural and multinational experiences.
  • Explain to your colleagues, their respective strengths and contribution to the team.
  1. Consistency

A need for balance and impartially. A belief that everyone should be treated the same and should be held to the same rules, policies, procedures.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where you can uniformly be fair to all your colleagues, implement conscientious meritocracy and “enforce compliance to a set of standards”.
  • Define and apply the rules that you abide by.
  • Defend your beliefs even in the face of resistance.
  1. Context

A need to look at the past to understand the present and the future, to make better decisions.

Tips for improvement

  • Apply for a job where you have to remember and remind people of what has happened before, where you can study cases from the past and map the future with them.
  • Help your coworkers to study and learn from past projects.
  • As you learn from the past, avoid living in it but seek out mentors to relate their history to you.
  1. Deliberative

A need to assess risks and to weigh all implications before vigilantly going into the world that is a minefield.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where you can “advise and counsel” and take time to process a decision.
  • Observe your coworkers, help them consider the pros and the cons of their choices and temper their impulsive behavior.
  • Take heed of people pushing you to reveal too much of yourself. Conceal confidential information about yourself and detain your opinion until you get all the facts straight.
  1. Developer

A need to jump-start a growth and learning process in promising individuals in order for them to experience success. An inner drive for mentorship.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job that allows you to further one’s advancement and to push one to success.
  • Avoid loosing causes and extreme cases where the individual “is consistently struggling in his or her role”.
  • Remind yourself of your own development. “Find a mentor or coach who can invest in you”.
  1. Discipline

An urge for order, exactitude, perfectionism and predictability. A need for plans, timelines and deadlines.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job that demands structure and routine, with situations that need to be perfected, more effective and more time-saving.
  • “Accept that mistakes might depress you” and that “others may not be as disciplined as you are”.
  • Create well-organized spaces and deadlines in order to conveniently accomplish your task at hand.
  1. Empathy

An ability to understand people’s emotions and acknowledge their point of view and perspectives.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where you serve others.
  • Help your colleagues understand their emotions, their reactions towards themselves and others, and help them prevent misconduct.
  • Recognize and support great achievements in the workplace.

images (8)

  1. Focus

A need for setting goals, priorities daily and an ability to filter out unwanted and unfitted information that doesn’t efficiently lead you toward your destination.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where you are autonomous, able to select projects that align with your mission.
  • Measure your progress toward your goal, set deadlines and follow through on schedule.
  • Help your team members set and recall goals.
  1. Futuristic

A fascination for the future. A detailed, hopeful and inspiring vision of the future.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where you can share your futuristic ideas, your vision for an organization, for your career or someone else’s.
  • Spend time thinking about the future, find ways to concretely implement your ideas, to articulate them to a specific audience and to support them.
  • “Gain knowledge that will fuel your imagination”.
  1. Harmony

A will to minimize conflicts, confrontations. A continual search for consensus, common ground. An ability to keep your peace in conflict, your opinion to yourself and to adjust your goals to a situation.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job that requires networking skills, dealing with different perspectives and coming up with an agreement in a non competitive and non confrontational workplace.
  1. Ideation

A fascination for ideas and a constant search for the connections between them.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job that accredits your ideas.
  • Stimulate yourself constantly to avoid boredom by making small changes in the routine.
  • “Finish your thoughts and ideas before communicating them”. In addition, “learn to edit your own ideas”.
  • Identify the places, the people, the context that produce the most ideas.
  1. Includer

A resolve to include, accept, involve everyone in a group, and make them feel included and equally important.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job “in which you can take responsibility for representing voices that are not usually heard”, in which you can interact with people and “bring together people of divers cultures and backgrounds”.
  • Excluders and elitists are distasteful and irking to you but learn to include them as well.
  1. Individualization

An acute ability to observe, consider and appreciate the unique qualities, styles, motivation, thinking pattern of an individual.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job that requires noticing people unique qualities, understand and working with diversity, and that helps people realize and capitalize on their strengths.
  1. Input

A desire to collect and store interesting information and objects in the hopes that some day they will serve a purpose.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job “in which you are charged with acquiring new information each day” and are able to become an expert.
  • Implement a database to efficiently store the acquired information.
  • Identify occasions to share you knowledge. Find ways to articulate and output the acquired information.
  1. Intellection

An enthusiasm for introspection, for the thinking process, mostly done in solitude.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job in which you can pursue studies, engage in intellectual debates, challenge and evaluate people’s thinking, in which “you get involved in the front end of projects and initiatives, rather than jumping in at the execution stage”.
  • Take time to think and “follow an intellectual trail”.
  1. Learner

An enticement for the learning process without seeking to become an expert or acquiring academic schedules.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job as a consultant, that requires “some form of technical competence” in a “field with constantly changing technologies or regulations”.
  • Understand and improve your learning process, and celebrate every milestone.
  • Regularly schedule and subscribe to learning programs at work or in your community.
  1. Maximizer

A thrill for cultivating an existing strength into excellence.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job to help people succeed by focusing on their strengths.
  • Identify your own talents, cultivate them and find out how theory can lead to success by rubbing shoulders with successful people.
  • Come up with ways to measure your performances and those of other people.
  • Find ways to make your weaknesses irrelevant.
  1. Positivity

An ability to see the best in every situation and inject drama in every situation. A contagious enthusiasm, optimism, energy and an excitement for life.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where you are able to “highlight the positive” and encourage people.
  • Steer clear from cynics, negative people. “Spend time in highly positive environment that will invigorate and feed your optimism”.
  • Acknowledge challenges and use your positivity to get through them.
  1. Relator

A comfort in intimacy, in building relationships. A willingness to trust and share feelings, goals, dreams, fears in order to deepen an existing relationship.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job in an informal organization.
  • Schedule social events with your colleagues to forge genuine bonds with them.
  1. Responsibility

A duty to take “psychological ownership” for performing or completing a task, to be accountable for the success or failure of projects.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job in which determination and autonomy are needed, where .
  • Volunteer for more responsibility at work, asess your talents before handling a particular project and review your performance at the end of the project.
  • Learn to refuse opportunities before committing to them, by selecting the areas of opportunities that come your way.
  1. Restorative

An enticement for solving complex problems, finding solutions, analyzing challenges and restoring a situation back to normal.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job in which you “solve problems or in which your success depends on your ability to restore and resolve” and your ability to turn failing situations around.
  • Communicate to your team members that you enjoy solving problems but learn how to let them solve their own problems.
  • Learn how to “anticipate and prevent problems before they occur”, how to identify and prevent existing patterns and reoccurring causes of a problem.

  1. Self-Assurance

A solid self-confidence in your strengths, ability and judgement.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job in which no rules have been set yet, you are independent and able to freely make your own decisions, and you are able to persuade people.
  • As you are hardworking, independent and self-assured, aim for ambitious goals that may seem impossible.
  1. Significance

A need for recognition, for admiration. An urge to stand out and steer clear from mediocrity.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job in which you “determine your own tasks and actions”, your performance is visible and the stakes are high.
  • Define in details your expectations for your reputation.
  • Match your performance to the goals that you claim for yourself.
  1. Strategic

An ability to envision several possible outcomes of a situation, to select the best outcome and to move towards it.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job in which “you are involved in the front end of new initiatives or enterprises” and anticipate potential issues.
  • Take time to reflect on your objectives, identify potential issues and share them with your team to prevent pitfalls.
  1. Woo

An ability to Win Others Over. An enthusiasm for meeting new people, breaking the ice and connecting with them.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job in which “you can interact with many people over the course of a day” and in which you can network.
  • List on file the people who you have met and participate to social events.

Review

imagesStrengthsFinder 2.0 is an update version of the book StrenghtsFinder 1.0 and differentiates itself in the resources available and in the results of the assessment test. However, StrengthsFinder 2.0 remains a clever and insightful book that made me wonder why I haven’t read it sooner. You quickly notice all the hard work and expertise that have been injected by Tom Rath into this book.

Of course, after reading StrengthsFinder 2.0, I took the 40-minutes-long strength assessment tests at www.strengthsfinder.com that was of course accurate and eye-opening. My five top strengths are:

  1. Achiever
  2. Learner
  3. Belief
  4. Responsibility
  5. Structure

I was almost expecting these results as I took the StandOut assessment test last week and had correlated the results.

Favorite quote(s)

Across the board, having the opportunity to develop our strengths is more important to our success than our role, our title, or even our pay. In this increasingly talent-driven society, we need to know and develop our strengths to figure out where we fit in.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Tom Rath

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About journeytoleadershipblog

I started this blog to improve my leadership skills, to retain and share the tips that I use on a daily basis in the workplace. I also review book that are essential to leadership development.
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43 Responses to StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath

  1. Pingback: Tom Rath | Journey To Leadership

  2. I loved taking this and finding out my top strengths! I took it about 2 years ago now and I’d love to take it again–then I got Responsibility, Positivity, Relator, Empathy, Arranger.

    Like

  3. This is so interesting. I totally believe that if you aren’t allowed to work to your strengths you can feel undervalued and less engaged!

    xoxo Christie

    Like

  4. elenasts says:

    Seems like a great book and the tips are really awesome. I find my self in a few categories and totally agree that you have to find the right job for you in order to be happy.

    Like

  5. jaycer123 says:

    Oh wow, what great information. I’ll have to check it out.

    Like

  6. There is a ton of great info in there, huh? I think I Need to check this book out.

    Like

  7. Jenny Temcio says:

    I am truly giddy with excitement over being able to read this book. I just went into business for myself and this will give me incredible insights that I can use to be more productive, more strategic and set new goals for myself.

    Like

  8. Amber says:

    Wow, this is so helpful, thank you! I will keep this in mind for sure.

    Like

  9. There are so many different kinds of skills and traits out there in the world. I think a lot of us don’t realize how skilled we actually are. Having things broken down this way definitely helps!

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    • It is a sad reality that most people won’t bother assess their strengths because either they are not interested in self-development, they have been negatively affected by the system or they are too busy observing someone else. Thank You Alayna Frankenberry for commenting!

      Like

  10. Jennifer says:

    Really great tips on how to find a job according to your personality traits. I have always desired a job to serve the community. I also like jobs which are challenging and allow me an opportunity to grow as an employee.

    Like

  11. Lexie Lane says:

    Wow! This is a great breakdown of weaknesses and strengths. I like the tips you provide for growth and helping to improve each area you may or may not be particularly strong in.

    Like

  12. This sounds like a very good read. I would be interested in knowing what my strengths are.

    Like

  13. momknowsbest15 says:

    I like that this talks about improvement. We should always be trying to do better.

    Like

  14. Far too often we think of physical talents like singing, acting, or playing musical instruments – all of which I have none. It’s great to see these other talents getting some love.

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    • Talent, natural gift, does not need to be loud or visible. For example, being an active listener is a talent which can grow into being an understanding manager. We should learn to value the quiet talents, that when improved, can lead us to success in life. Thank you Aduke Schulist for commenting!

      Like

  15. These are really great tips. I loved working as a nurse because I was taking care of others. Serving others is what I do best.

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  16. teamrakbo says:

    Those are such valuable tips. I definitely need to find the book and read it.

    Like

  17. Sounds like a great book! I can’t wait to check it out!

    Like

  18. I need to check and learn who am I and what are my traits. Need to check out and find my strengths too.

    Like

  19. I really love this. It is a great way to get motivated and to get your goals in check.

    Like

  20. nadaliebardo says:

    I love strengths finder! It’s kind of amazing how much a questionnaire can reveal about you.

    Like

  21. Elizabeth says:

    Gosh, this all seems rather complicated! Thought-provoking though. Just a heads’ up – you spelt the title of this post incorrectly.

    Like

  22. I should have read this when I was still working the corporate 9-5 job. I freed myself from the bondage of the corporate jungle and I am now happy doing what I love to do. I can confidently say that my strengths are Focus and communication.

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  23. This looks like a good book. I need to buy these to read with my son. He needs to find out his talents.

    Like

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