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Strengths

When you arrive at Baylor as a freshman, there is (among others) a certain requirement: You are to take the Clifton StrengthsFinder test.  They do this to help prepare students to thinking about their calling, to help them meet other people and talk about similar or different strengths, and encourage students to build upon those strengths.

Well, I originally took the test during a break in staff training at camp in 2007 and I felt rushed and didn’t follow the instructions properly– the test consists of choosing between 2 statements about yourself, but with 5 choices:

1. A Strongly describes me

2. A describes me

3. Neutral

4. B describes me

5. B Strongly describes me

When both A and B described me, I chose Neutral, thinking it was half-way in the middle.  It’s hard when both are true.

Well, I got my results that first time, and they never sat well with me.  I always felt that they described me– but only somewhat.  Here they are:

Input, Connectedness, Belief, Context, Responsibility

Input– People strong in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.

Connectedness- People strong in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.

Belief– People strong in the Belief theme have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for their life.

Context– People strong in the Context theme enjoy thinking about the past. They understand the present by researching its history.

Responsibility– People strong in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.

I definitely agreed with Belief, and could see the others as well, but they never felt EXACTLY right.

Well, for years I said I would retake the test (which involves buying a 20 book) and I finally did it.  This time I took the test, and I had very different results.

Ideation, Connectedness, Strategic, Intellection, Developer

Ideation– People strong in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.

Connectedness- People strong in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.

Strategic– People strong in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.

Intellection– People strong in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.

Developer– People strong in the Developer theme recognize and cultivate the potential in others. They spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from these improvements.

 

So what does this mean?  I’ve decided that these new 5 “strengths” come out of three influences in my life: college, camp, and my struggle with depression.  College helped me become even more of a thinker than I was before (Intellection, Ideation).  This summer at camp I was on leadership and had to do a lot of planning and brainstorming (Ideation, Strategic) as well as work with people, help bring out the best in them (Developer).  Finally, I believe that my struggle with depression has made me more passive and lethargic– if you will, notice that all 5 of these strengths are about thinking, seeing, planning.  While I had Input (which involved information gathering) and Responsibility before, this time, most of my strengths are not action based.  Sure, they all involve action, but over the past year (and past couple of years) I’ve fallen more into just thinking about things and not doing them.

 

When I was at Baylor, I knew people that would not refer to the 5 strengths we received after the test (and had posted on our dorm room doors), but made up their own.  So I’m going to try my hand at that.  After all, they say that every person has some part of all the strengths, and that they don’t change over time, just shift in order.  Well, my 5 have definitely changed (except for Connectedness).  I really think that it depends on the day, month, season of your life that you are taking the test.  No one can be completely objective about themselves.  But I’m going to try.  So, here it goes.  Here are my five strengths, according to Evan on November 22, 2011.  (Descriptions taken from http://www.strengthstest.com/theme_summary.php)

 

The Clifton StrengthsFinder measures the presence of 34 talent themes. Talents are people’s naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied. The more dominant a theme is in a person, the greater the theme’s impact on that person’s behavior and performance. 

Significance, Ideation, Belief, Relator, and Connectedness

Significance– People strong in the Significance theme want to be very important in the eyes of others. They are independent and want to be recognized.

Ideation– People strong in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.

Belief– People strong in the Belief theme have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for their life.

Relator– People who are strong in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.

Connectedness– People strong in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.

This has one strength from the first test, one from the second, and one that was on both.  Adding the other two really rounds up who I am.  For now, at least.

 

 

 

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