As part of our pre-field training, Kristin and I recently took a strengths profile. First, we read Now, Discover Your Strengths in order to better understand why it is important to isolate and develop our strengths rather than slip into “damage control” by focusing on our weaknesses. Then, we took a thirty minute online survey that helped us identify our signature themes – personality traits or talents from which strengths are developed. The underlying idea is simply that we should almost always play to our strengths, rather than defensively dwelling on our weaknesses. Not surprisingly, Kristin and I tested quite differently.
Here are Kristin’s top five strengths:
1. RESPONSIBILITY – This is pretty self-explanatory. Kristin doesn’t make excuses, but takes full ownership of anything to which she is committed.
2. DEVELOPER – Kristin sees the potential in others, and invests in them with her time, talent, and energy.
3. ARRANGER – Kristin is a conductor and organizer – “an example of effective flexibility.”
4. CONNECTEDNESS – Kristin feels an innate connection to her teammates, her neighbors, and others around her; she appreciates the inter-relatedness of community.
5. LEARNER – Kristin loves every aspect of learning: the content, the process, the results. Even when outside of a formal program, Kristin is always learning.
Here are my top five signature themes:
1. CONTEXT – Brett wants to know how things came to be – the origin and development of a situations. It’s all about making connections, understanding the context.
2. MAXIMIZER – Brett is never satisfied with average; he is intensively competitive and tends to focus on his strengths rather than weaknesses.
3. INPUT – As an expression of his curiosity, Brett is a collector. He wants to have all available resources within reach.
4. LEARNER – Brett loves every aspect of learning: the content, the process, the results. Even when outside a formal program, Brett is always learning.
5. INTELLECTION – Brett exercises his mind by reflecting on life: the theoretic and the mundane. This is often expressed as introspection.
Obviously, these traits can be weakness, so the point is to develop these “signature themes” into strengths – and use them in ministry as a team. What do you think?