StrengthsQuest is self-assessment tool used to identify an individual's top five strengths. It focuses on each individual's unique strengths because it aims to promote an emphasis on what we are good at and fostering those skills to work collaboratively in varioius settings. I have used StrengthsQuest for the last few years to identify my strengths and put a lot of stake in the assessment. It is important, however, to note that knowing your strengths is simply the first step. One must take time to continue to build on their strengths and understand how each strength works with each other and how they show up in different contexts.
You love to learn. The subject matter that interests you most will be determined by your other themes and experiences, but whatever the subject, you will always be drawn to the process of learning. The process, more than the content or the result, is especially exciting for you. You are energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence. The thrill of the first few facts, the early efforts to recite or practice what you have learned, the growing confidence of a skill mastered—this is the process that entices you. Your excitement leads you to engage in adult learning experiences—yoga or piano lessons or graduate classes. It enables you to thrive in dynamic work environments where you are asked to take on short project assignments and are expected to learn a lot about the new subject matter in a short period of time and then move on to the next one. This Learner theme does not necessarily mean that you seek to become the subject matter expert, or that you are striving for the respect that accompanies a professional or academic credential. The outcome of the learning is less significant than the “getting there.”
Your Achiever theme helps explain your drive. Achiever describes a constant need for achievement. You feel as if every day starts at zero. By the end of the day you must achieve something tangible in order to feel good about yourself. And by “every day” you mean every single day—workdays, weekends, vacations. No matter how much you may feel you deserve a day of rest, if the day passes without some form of achievement, no matter how small, you will feel dissatisfied. You have an internal fire burning inside you. It pushes you to do more, to achieve more. After each accomplishment is reached, the fire dwindles for a moment, but very soon it rekindles itself, forcing you toward the next accomplishment. Your relentless need for achievement might not be logical. It might not even be focused. But it will always be with you. As an Achiever you must learn to live with this whisper of discontent. It does have its benefits. It brings you the energy you need to work long hours without burning out. It is the jolt you can always count on to get you started on new tasks, new challenges. It is the power supply that causes you to set the pace and define the levels of productivityfor your work group. It is the theme that keeps you moving.
You see the potential in others. Very often, in fact, potential is all you see. In your view no individual is fully formed. On the contrary, each individual is a work in progress, alive with possibilities. And you are drawn toward people for this very reason. When you interact with others, your goal is to help them experience success. You look for ways to challenge them. You devise interesting experiences that can stretch them and help them grow. And all the while you are on the lookout for the signs of growth—a new behavior learned or modified, a slight improvement in a skill, a glimpse of excellence or of “flow” where previously there were only halting steps. For you these small increments—invisible to some—are clear signs of potential being realized. These signs of growth in others are your fuel. They bring you strength and satisfaction. Over time many will seek you out for help and encouragement because on some level they know that your helpfulness is both genuine and fulfilling to you.
“Stretch the circle wider.” This is the philosophy around which you orient your life. You want to include people and make them feel part of the group. In direct contrast to those who are drawn only to exclusive groups, you actively avoid those groups that exclude others. You want to expand the group so that as many people as possible can benefit from its support. You hate the sight of someone on the outside looking in. You want to draw them in so that they can feel the warmth of the group. You are an instinctively accepting person. Regardless of race or sex or nationality or personality or faith, you cast few judgments. Judgments can hurt a person’s feelings. Why do that if you don’t have to? Your accepting nature does not necessarily rest on a belief that each of us is different and that one should respect these differences. Rather, it rests on your conviction that fundamentally we are all the same. We are all equally important. Thus, no one should be ignored. Each of us should be included. It is the least we all deserve.
By nature, you spontaneously gravitate to roles where you can handle tasks or deal with issues the moment they arise. Life is wonderful when you have the freedom to do what you decide is necessary. You probably are grumpy on the days you are forced to follow rigid schedules or procedures. Instinctively, you declare, “Life is grand” when people stop and listen as you describe your hopes for the coming months, years, or decades. You probably share your images of the future with at least one individual a day. This is just one way you keep your dreams alive. It’s very likely that you enrich your own and others’ lives by thoughtfully listening to what individuals say. You have experienced the wonder of someone understanding you as a unique human being. You probably want to give that same gift to the people in your life. Driven by your talents, you are a happy-go-lucky individual who can find the good in just about anyone or anything. Your optimism and enthusiasm are wonderful gifts that you share. Because of your strengths, you feel pleased when friends seek your counsel. Being asked for guidance uplifts you. It often gives meaning to your life.