Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Buzz About Strengths

If you haven’t heard about Strengths, i.e. naturally occurring abilities resulting in consistent excellence in a given activity, the concept is soon to be part and parcel of every water cooler discussion. As popularized in widely circulated books such as Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham, strengths talk has infiltrated selected college campuses and and become part of corporate culture as well. It’s not uncommon for someone to list their top five strengths on their resume, figuring that “those who know, know”.  Marcus Buckingham himself is scheduled to appear on Oprah this week and reveal his secret to a better life, a better you.

There’s a lot to be said for the theory. In brief, the Strengths assessments enable an individual to discover their top five strengths out of a list of thirty four possibilities. Time and energy then can be devoted to developing those strengths rather than endlessly trying to shore up weaknesses, an endeavor which at best leads to mediocrity.

For some, personal strengths discovery has been incredibly encouraging, providing language to express what may have only been intuited on a gut level. For others, I’ve noticed a more tepid response. But in those cases, little has been done beyond reading through the results in a cursory sort of way.

Interested? If you’re a current student at Calvin, you can find out more about Strengths Finder by emailing Aunt Bonnie. Or call the Career Development Office and ask for Karen.

All the best from Aunt Bonnie, aka Ideation/Strategic/Input/Adaptability/Empathy

Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 04/16 at 01:55 PM
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