At Greater Sum, we use the Clifton Strengthsfinder assessment to learn more about the apprentice’s personalities and strengths. The thing I love about this test is that it focuses on your strengths instead of your weaknesses. By understanding our strengths, we can focus on bolstering them. Which is far easier than focusing on areas that we are not naturally good at. That’s not to say that there is no room for improvement in areas where you may be weak. However, if you are constantly trying to improve in areas where you are naturally weak, you may miss the opportunity to excel in areas where you are naturally talented.

If we focus on improving areas that we are inherently good at, we have the potential to become great at those things.

 

A great example is a professional basketball player. If you are born 5’ 5” and aren’t very athletic, no matter how hard you practice or try to improve, you may not ever be as good as someone who is 6’ 11”, naturally athletic, and shows natural talent at basketball. However, if that same 6’ 11” person never tries to improve their basketball skills, they will never know how great they could truly be. The hope of the Strengthsfinder test is that once we become aware of what our strengths are, we can find ways to develop them.

 

Taking the Strengthsfinder assessment helped me learn a lot about myself. It helped me to better understand why I chose to pursue a career in coding. It was mainly because of my Restorative strengths. The Restorative strength means you like to solve problems, you like to look at things and take a new approach. You are excited at the opportunity to ‘figure it out’. I was also surprised to find that some of my other strengths would help me if I were to ever pursue a career in teaching. I have always avoided positions in leadership where I may have had to teach others. Although

now, I am curious how I would actually perform in a leadership position knowing my strengths would likely help me in that role.

 

However, I feel as though I still don’t have a strong desire to be a ‘leader’. After talking about my results with one of the other apprentices, she did lend some good insight and said, “Just because you’re naturally good at something doesn’t mean you will always like it.” This was valuable advice and helped me to realize that just because I got a certain result on an assessment, that doesn’t mean that is what I’m meant to do. Though,

Developing your strengths can help you to become truly great at things you are naturally talented in.

 I am still curious. I have thought about possibly taking more of a leadership role in the future just to see if it was something I would be good at.

After taking your Strengthsfinder assessment, you get a personalized Strengths Insight summary. It is a written summary based on your top 5 strengths and seemed to be very accurate. The first few sentences, which I will share with you, describes me perfectly,

“By nature, you often ponder what you must do better. You find new ways to deliver on the commitments you have made. Keeping promises is just one way you enhance the quality of your work. Chances are good that you are honest with yourself about yourself. You can admit your shortcomings. You speak frankly about the areas where you need to do things better and more completely than you have done them in the past. Instinctively, you may be the team member who reflects on what you could or should have done better. Assessing what you did wrong, what you might have done differently, or what resources you needed to succeed sometimes prevents you from making the same mistakes in the future.”

I feel like knowing these things about myself can help me in the future. For example,

I understand that I am naturally good at reflection, so speaking my mind in a retrospective could help others who are not so good at reflecting.

 

Overall, I felt like this was a great assessment of my strengths. Though my results aren’t the results I would have dreamed of, I am happy to know some of my core strengths and because of this, be able to improve on them. It really is a great tool that helped me to learn more about myself and what I can contribute as a team member.

 

Leah Wynn
Apprentice at Greater Sum

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