I recently took an online strengths inventory called StrengthsQuest. I usually don’t have a problem with assessments like these because they often agree with my perception of myself. With StrengthsQuest however I was not initially pleased with my report. According to the inventory these are my top five strengths, I’ve also attached severely abbreviated definition to each one:
- Ideation – creative, brainstormer, develops new ideas and concepts, sees things from multiple perspectives
- Connectedness – bridgebuilder, reflective thinker, ability to see the web of relationships
- Learner – loves learning new things, keeps up with innovations in different fields, loves the learning curve, learning builds your confidence
- Communication – you like to talk, you can explain things and make them clear, capturing people’s attention is one of the things you do best, storyteller
- Input – you crave information, you like to collect things, natural researcher, active curiosity
How could communication be my fourth strength? I majored in communication. Finished a grad degree in communication. I teach communication courses. I’ve served as a communication officer. I have a collection of communication books. Communication is what I do. Isn’t it supposed to be number one?
Apparently it’s number four.
Coming up with new ideas and concepts coupled with the ability to see things from multiple perspectives is my primary strength.
At this point I have two options. I can either embrace this new information about myself or I can deny it altogether. I can hold to the idea that I am primarily a communicator (which sounds a whole better than being an ideator), or I can build on the strengths that come from ideating, connecting, learning, and inputting.
The more I studied the report, the more I could attest to its validity.
Think about your résumé, online profile, or bio.
Is it an accurate depiction of who you are or are you trying to make yourself out to be something that you are not? What strengths might you be overlooking or denying in exchange for attributes that don’t belong to you?