StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This isn't the one that started it all. I think that distinction goes to 2004's How Full Is Your Bucket? But this is the one I use with clients to start them on their journey along the wide-open road of strengths-based living. I always try to explain what I am up to: I believe that people work best when they are doing things they enjoy, which is a predicted by things they are already good at. I believe that teams work better together when everybody knows something about everybody else and supports each other's unique ability to contribute to group success. Blah Blah Blah. I explain it... but there is no substitute for making someone sit in a chair and take the online Strengthsfinder test. I have watched as people read the computer printout of their unique strengths and realize that what is written there is absolutely true for them. And then they share it with their colleagues. Such opening up occurs! I've had people report to their supervisors and other colleagues that I am a genius... and all I did was introduce them to Strengthsfinder.
So what if everyone has to have their own copy of the book in order to get the secret code to take the online test? It is absolutely worth it. Still, click here to download a two-page summary to whet your appetite.
The 30-page explanation of the science of the test and the background of the strengths theory is quick and easy to understand. My favorite part of the book is the Ideas for Action that accompany the descriptions of each of the 34 signature themes of talent. I've gone back to them again and again for ideas about how to unstick myself or get along better with someone I know to have a particular talent. I can't imagine the giant jigsaw puzzle these authors had to put together from their billions of data bits, but I am glad they figured it out. Anyone who picks this up and takes it seriously will benefit.
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