How To Use Strengthsfinder To Identify Your Individual Strengths
Your Actual Strengths May Not Be What You Think They Are!
This is a follow up to a previous post, How To Pick Your Target Prospect For Your Marketing Efforts. In that post, I laid out the importance of picking your target market to ensure that you are speaking directly to that market in your marketing efforts. However, there is one thing that I left out that you should do as part of that exercise. That is to define how YOU will add value for your market, and how you want your market to perceive you, and that starts by defining your strengths. What I mean by this is that my target market is those people who are looking to move out of the corporate world and becoming an entrepreneur by owning their own business. Anyone taking this on needs to change their mindset in order to be successful. I have been through this and know how to relate to them in my writing.
However, how will my audience perceive me? How will they relate to me? What is a consistent value message that I can provide to them that will get them to know, like, and trust me? That is something that I was missing before I picked my target market, yet completely necessary. So how do you go about doing setting your value message?
How To Get Started?
Well, you need to get a good understanding of what you have to offer your target market. And a good understanding of your core values, so your messages are consistent. This consistence will get you the trust with the audience that you are talking to. So where do you start?
I suggest starting with a book called StrengthsFinder 2.0, by Tom Rath. This book allows you to do an assessment about what your individual strengths are. There is a code in the back of each book that gets you online to do your assessment. Once you take your assessment, you get a full report of your top 5 strengths with suggestions on how you can continue to build these strengths in what you do every day. Let me give you some examples.
I took the assessment, which asks you general questions about how you observe and react to things in life, as an individual, and in group situations. It takes about 35 minutes to complete the survey, and you have just 20 seconds to answer each question as you are encouraged to go with your gut reaction to the question without too much thought. After the survey, you get an assessment of your strengths based on your answers to the survey. I was quite surprised by the results, which I will share with you here. My top 5 strengths were Adaptability, Futuristic, Maximizer, Arranger, and Empathy. These strengths are defined as:
- Adaptability – These are people that prefer to ‘go with the flow’. They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.
- Futuristic – These are people that are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.
- Maximizer – These are people that focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.
- Arranger – These are people that can organize, but they also have a flexibility that complements this ability. They like to figure out how all of the pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity.
- Empathy – These are people that can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations.
At first glance I would not have classified myself as having these strengths, or at least my top 5 strengths, but once I read these descriptions, I realized that they were EXACTLY in line with my strengths. It was quite amazing how accurate the detailed descriptions were for each of these, and how much they resonated with me.
I will not go into a lot more details on how the report breaks down each of these areas, I will leave that up to you to discover for yourself. However, the report directs you to review the details of each strength area, and write out the points that you most relate to. Then it has you pick out the one point in each strength that you would want people to know you by. This I will share because it is the point of my writing this post.
- Adaptability – I like to make decisions and act without seeking and getting approval from someone else
- Futuristic – I am inspired by the future and what could be
- Maximizer – I use my talents to enhance my chance of success
- Arranger – I figure out how all pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity
- Empathy – I pose probing questions to direct the thinking of others
When I want to be seen as a leader by my target market, and someone that they can trust, these points summarize my strengths and make me relatable to my audience. This was an incredible exercise, an awakening exercise, and one that will definitely help my audience understand me more and relate to me more than ever before. Be sure to check out the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 and do your own strengths exercise. Next steps, on to my top 5 core values and honing in on my own personal brand, guided by my strengths and values that best define who I am and the value I can bring to others.
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