Investigate: Values and Strength

I am always been fasnaciated by human ability to understand the world and who we are. Humans are one of the few species who recognise themselves but also understand about self identity, who we are and personality.

I think one of the wonders of life is learning about who we are, why we act the way we do and what’s important to us.

Who are you?

Throughout our lives we are tested. From school to university and beyond- constant tests defining us telling us what we are and aren’t, trying to define who we are but in reality we spend our lives trying to be the person other people see in you and you start to beleive it.

This year I read “Quiet: The Power of Introverts – By Susan Cain“. I thought as an extrovert, know for being talkative , loud and expressive, I could learn what it is like to be an introvert, quiet, thoughtful and patient (the normal stereotypes). As I read I realised something “I am an introvert” -who am I? I read on, I am a pseudo-extrovert which means I act like an extrovert but need my time to recharge by myself. I thought if I didn’t know this what else don’t I know.

What are your values?

Guilt is one a trait of mine. I feel most guilty about is not finishing things that I think are important and letting people down. But why then do I always find time for writing my blog, twitter, emails, tv etc. the things that I don’t think are that important to my life.

I investigated… my housemates suggested finding out what I truly value by answering some simple questions and answering them as truthfully as possible.

What you value the most?

  1. Family and friends
  2. New experiences and adventures
  3. Knowledge and Learning

So if these are my values then I wonder whether my strengths/weakness are associated. We spend alot of our time focusing on weakness and improving those.  We should focus also on our strengths. We shouldn’t let our natural strengths go untapped. Hey lets do another test. Strength finder 2.0 is a book with an online test. Its based on a large database of people asking questions about themselves which they have managed to formulate 34 strength themes. My found out that my strength themes are

  1. learner
  2. empathy
  3. achiever
  4. responsiblity
  5. activator

But what does this mean?

Strength Finder

Learner

You love to learn whatever the subject you will be drawn to the process of learning which is particularly exciting for you. You are energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence. Your excitement leads you to engage in adult learning experiences. This enables you to thrive in dynamic work environments where you asked to take on short assignments and expected to learn a lot about the new subject matter in a short period. It doesn’t mean you strive to be subject matter expert. The outcome of the learning is less significant than the “getting there”.

 

Actions: Refine how you learn e.g. teaching. Develop ways to track progress of your learning. Take time to celebrate progress (set levels if they don’t exist). Be a catalyst for change– others might be intimidate by change-Your willingness to soak up this newness can calm their fears and spur action. Seek roles that require technical competence- acquire and maintain this expertise. Shift your career towards field with constantly changing technologies and regulations- you are energized by the challenge of keeping up. You are not threatened by unfamiliar information (consultation role might be good- going into new situations picking up new competencies or languages). Create individualized learning milestones, and reward achievements in learning. Make sure you take advantage of learning programs at work and home. Honour your desire to learn- sign up for a least one new academic or adult learning course each year. Time disappears and your attention intensifies when you immersed in studying or learning.

 

Empathy

You sense emotions of those around you. You can feel what they feel as though they are your own feeling. You do not necessarily agree with each person’s perspectives, pity for each person’s predicament or condone their choices but you understand. This instinctive ability to understand is powerful. You anticipate need and unvoiced questions. You find the right words and tone where others struggle. You help others find the right phrase to express their feelings. You help people give voice to their emotional life. For these reasons other people are drawn to you.

 

Actions: Help people be more aware of their peers if they’re having a difficult time- you have the ability to pick up on sensitive situation. Act quickly and firmly when others behave in a way that is unhealthy for themselves and others. Serve people as a confidante and mentor. Trust is paramount- people are likely to feel comfortable approaching you with any need. Your discretion and desire to be genuinely helpful will be greatly valued. Sometimes your empathy for other people may overwhelm you – create rituals help end work. Identify friends who understand. Sensitive to feelings of others, you readily gauge the emotional tone of the room- use it to bridge understanding and mutual support. Witnessing the happiness of others brings you happiness. At each opportunity, deliver a kind word of appreciation or recognition. Use your intuition and trust your hunches they may turn out to be valuable assets. You are sensitive to the emotions of others and can help you understand how they feel. Ask me how I feel and how I think others feel about particular issues. For me, emotions are a real as other more practical factors. I can help people understand why actions are necessary.

 

Achiever

I have a constant and relentless need for achievement. Achievement makes me feel good. Every day you start at zero. You can always start new tasks and challenges.

 

Actions: You need a job that allows you to work as hard as possible and encourage to measure you own productivity. You relish feeling busy but need to know you are done. Remember to build celebration and recognition into your life. Meetings need objectives and progress to be made. You need to continue your education and learning by education and lectures. Use self motivation by setting challenging goals. Partner with hard workers. More works excites you. Seemingly endless reserves of energy will always create enthusiasm and momentum.

 

Responsibility

Psychological ownership for anything you commit to (I am emotionally bound to follow through to completion). If for some reason you can’t deliver, you will look for ways to make it up to the other person. You will not live with yourself until restitution. Excuses and rationalizations are totally unacceptable. This conscientiousness, this near obsession for doing things right, and your impeccable ethics, combine to create your reputation: utterly dependable. When assigning new responsibilities, people will look to you first because they know you will get it done. You willingness may lead to you take on more than you should.

 

Actions: Emphasize your sense of responsibility especially in job hunts- describe your desire to be held accountable for the success of failure of projects. Intense dislike of unfinished work and you need to make it right if a commitment is not met. Keep volunteering for more responsibility. You thrive on responsibility and you can deal with it effectively. Partner with other who share your sense of responsibility. You flourish when working with people who share your determination to get things done. You work best when given the freedom to follow through on your commitments. Push yourself to say no – its sometimes difficult to refuse opportunities- you must be selective. Ask for more responsibility in only the areas that matter most to you. You naturally take ownership of every project you are involved in. Make sure your capacity to own does not keep you from sharing responsibility. Allow others the opportunity to experience the challenges of ownership. Learn to manage your responsibility talents by considering whether you really are the person who should be handling a particular issue. Defer your existing responsibility before undertaking additional burdens as you may be skimping on quality if you have too many tasks and competing demands. Partner with someone with discipline and focus who can help u stay on track and prevent you on overload. Be sure to clarify expectations so everyone knows there tasks and can take ownership. Clear goals and expectations need to be set so you can effectively gauge if you have effectively meet expectation.

 

Activator

“When can we start”-recurring question in your life. You are impatient for action. Only action can make things happen. Once a decision is made, you cannot not act. You believe that action is the best device for learning. You make a decision, you take action, you look at the result and you learn. This learning informs you new action and the next. You must put yourself out there– you must make the next step. You know you will be judged not by what you say , not by what you think, but by what you get done. This does not frighten you, it pleases you.

 

Actions: Seek work where you can make your own decisions and act on them. Look for a start up or turnaround situations. Make sure you your manager judge you on measurable outcomes rather than your process. Your process is not always pretty (this is contradictory to achiever). You can transform innovative ideas into immediate action. Look for creative and original thinkers and help them move their ideas from conceptual theory to concrete practise. Look for areas bogged down by discussion- create a plan to things moving and spur actions. You learn more from real experience than from theoretical discussions. To grow, consciously expose yourself to challenging experiences that will test your talents, skills and knowledge. Your tenacity is powerful and this may intimidate some. Most effective when you have first earned others’ trust and loyalty. Identify the most influential decision makers in your organisation. Make sure you express your ideas- this can support our activation and provide critical resources. You can easily energize the plan and ideas of others. Partner with focus, futuristic, strategic or analytical people who will lend their direction and planning your activation and provide critical resources to make your ideas happen. Give the reason why your request for action must be granted– otherwise others might dismiss you as impatient. You possess an ability to create motion and momentum in others. Be strategic and wise in the use of the activator talents. When is the best time, where is the best place, and who are the best people with whom to leverage your valuable influence?

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