Analyzing Personalities and Strengths

Yesterday, a new acquaintance handed me a copy of Strengthsfinder 2.0. I’d been aware of this book and online test for a few years, but had yet to take it.

Here were my results:

1. Learner ~ People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.

2. Input ~ People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.

3. Achiever ~ People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.

4. Intellection ~ People who are especially talented in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.

5. Analytical ~ People who are especially talented in the Analytical theme search for reasons and causes. They have the ability to think about all the factors that might affect a situation.

And although they only present the top five, I would venture to guess these are 6 & 7.

6. Strategist ~ People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.

7. Futurist ~ People who are especially talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.

I have taken other personality and strengths tests before such as the Myers-Briggs (result: INTJ/INFJ) and the DISC profile (result: D). Honestly, this test sums me up pretty well.

Four of the top five are related to taking in, processing, learning, introversion, absorbing, etc. Achiever, placed right in the middle of the five, highlights the fact that this information, this knowledge, this absorption must go somewhere or be used for something! Knowledge without use is, well, useless – especially in my opinion.

The point of this post isn’t to analyze my own strengths and weaknesses but to make one point: If churches or organizations are NOT using some sort of strengths and personality assessments, you are at a serious disadvantage to achieve growth!

Self-awareness is one of the most essential ingredients to building successful teams and churches. How can you possibly grow if you don’t know where you need to grow and where you are already grown?

Beyond that, others-awareness takes it to the next level. If you don’t know the personality and strengths of your teammates, how in the world can you work together to achieve growth?

It is my utmost belief that every staff member (paid and non-paid) should be subjected to a personality test, and from this assessment, I would argue it should be Strengthsfinder 2.0. This allows individuals who may not do so already to take an in-depth look into their personalities, strengths, and weaknesses.

Beyond that, it is vital to analyze those of your teammates. Rather than being upset that John is driving towards completing a task, a teammate could just shrug it off and say, “You know what, that’s his style and it is nothing personal.”

Even further beyond simple awareness would come actual training sessions working with each other on how best to place people in their sweet spots and how to recognize those unhealthy, unsweet spots.

It’s quite simple: Churches, teams, or organizations that are not using some sort of strengths assessment to build the quality of their team, staff, or leadership are seriously at a disadvantage!