However, despite the research that supports working on our strengths rather than our weaknesses we tend to pay more attention to the parts of ourselves where we’re weak while taking our strengths for granted.
Working on our weaknesses will improve them incrementally. But working on your strengths will improve them exponentially and has the potential to propel you further than you ever thought possible.
Strengths Finders 2.0 is a fantastic tool for assessing your innate talents and developing those talents into real strengths. With decades of research from the Gallup organization, the book has a code in the back that you enter into an online tool where you take the test. (Don’t buy a used book. The code is only good once.)
Here’s a little research to support paying more attention to what you’re good at.
Back in the 1950s a University of Nebraska professor wanted his students to retain more of the information he was assigning them to read. It was decided to put the freshman class through a speed-reading course. Prior to the course, all students were tested to see what their current reading/comprehension rate was. The students’ reading rates ranged from 90 words per minute (wpm) to 300 wpm. It was believed that the 90 wpm students would increase a great deal, but that the students who read at 300 wpm were already at the upper end of their ability and would therefore have a smaller percentage increase in their reading speed.
At the end of the six week course, the reading rates were tested again for all the students. As predicted, the 90 wpm students reading rate increased approximately 60% to 140 wpm. Very respectable. However, the 300 wpm students reading rate increased to 2970 words per minute—an increase of nearly 1000%!
The reason for the incredible increase was that the 300 wpm students already possessed a talent for reading quickly. Imagine how that same exponential increase could affect your life if you concentrated your efforts on your strengths.
Just in case you’re wondering, my strengths according to Strengths Finders 2.0 are:
Connectedness: I have faith in the interconnectedness of all things.
Ideation: I’m fascinated with ideas and able to find connections between them.
Intellection: I love to think.
Empathy: I can sense the feelings of others.
Futuristic: I’m inspired by the future and the vision I have for it.
I’d love to hear what your strengths are. Please let me know the results of your assessment!