Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O Clifton PhD
I’m currently studying online at Marie Forleo’s business school to learn more about how to develop my online practice.
One of the suggested books on the reading list is Now Discover Your Strengths.
Based on the research work of Donald Clifton who used Gallup surveys to ask millions of people around the world ‘what are your strengths’ (amongst other positively-framed questions), Donald Clifton and Marcus Buckingham wrote this book to start the ‘strengths revolution’.
Now Discover Your Strengths – so THIS is what I’ve been doing!
OK that may sound a little flippant 🙂 however the first few lines really resonated with me and made me happy!
Guided by the belief that good is the opposite of bad, mankind has for centuries pursued its fixation with fault and failing.
Doctors have studied disease in order to learn about health.
Psychologists have investigated sadness in order to learn about joy.
Therapists have looked into the causes of divorce in order to learn about happy marriage.
And in schools and workplaces around the world, each one of us has been encouraged to identify analyze and correct our weaknesses in order to become strong.
I have come across this concept of discovering my strengths before…
I began learning about these concepts initially whilst attending NLP™ (Neuro-Linguistic Programming™) workshops with Richard Bandler who suggested directly to me ‘How much bliss can you stand?’ Nobody had ever framed the world quite that way before.
Later in my ‘training period’ I worked with renowned expert in entrepreneurial and professional transformation Dr Joseph Riggio who suggested the following premise “Why go where the problem IS? Instead, go where the problem ISN’T!”. Again, a concept I had never been exposed to before.
What is a Strength?
A Strength as defined in Now, Discover Your Strengths is “consistent near perfect performance in an activity“.
Now before we get too put off by this definition, the aim here is to find your natural talents, or ways that you express yourself in the world that you find the easiest because your brain works that way.
Or, even more simply, ‘What are you really good at?’
There are 34 Strengths defined in the book, some examples are – Achiever, Maximizer, Learner, Ideation, Strategic, Restorative.
Now remember that this book is written from a relatively new paradigm, that of Positive Psychology – new paradigms require new language – so some of these terms may not yet be familiar to you.
How to discover your strengths using the Now Discover Your Strengths book
The book comes with a sealed packet at the back containing a code (if you want to learn more about your Strengths and do the Strengths Finder profile, buy a new book, the code can only be used once).
Once you have read to a certain point in the book you will be directed to open the packet, visit the web site and enter the code in order to complete your Strengths Finder Profile. Average time about 35 minutes. Each question has a 20 second time-out rule on it so that you give your ‘top of the brain’ answers rather than getting too internal about it.
Once you have completed the survey, you will receive a report containing your top 5 natural Strengths – you can have it emailed to yourself or print it out there and then.
One of my Strengths – Connectedness – and how it relates to my Spiritual Journey
One of my Strengths is the Strength of Connectedness – defined as
Things happen for a reason. You are sure of it.
You are sure of it because in your soul you know that we are all connected.
Yes, we are individuals, responsible for our own judgements and in possession of our own free will, but nonetheless we are part of something larger.
Some may call it the collective unconscious. Others may label it spirit or life force. But whatever your word of choice, you gain confidence from knowing that we are not isolated from one another or from the Earth and the life on it.
This feeling of Connectedness implies certain responsibilities. If we are all part of a larger picture, then we must not harm others because we will be harming ourselves. We must not exploit because we will be exploiting ourselves.
Your awareness of these responsibilities creates your value system. You are considerate, caring, and accepting. Certain of the unity of humankind, you are a bridge builder for people of different cultures.
Sensitive to the invisible hand, you can give others comfort that there is a purpose beyond our humdrum lives. The exact articles of your faith will depend on your upbringing and your culture, but your faith is strong.
It sustains you and your close friends in the face of life’s mysteries.
Connectedness – not only a Strength for me but a Life Value and a way of seeing the world
Now if you’ve read my blog and have been learning about my Spiritual Journey for a while you will know that after many career twists and turns I have focused the last 16 years on studying energy work and the concept that we are all connected.
Clients always giving me positive reviews for my EMF Balancing Technique Sessions.
As you can see from the definition of Connectedness – my beliefs, world views and relationships spring from this Strength.
So, working in this area of life, I have a natural talent! (Talents in the book are defined as “naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling or behavior. Your various themes of talent are what the Strengths-Finder Profile actually measures“.)
This isn’t meant to sound egoistical or to imply that you need to go out and become an energy worker – what I’m demonstrating here is how discovering your Strengths can be empowering and enlightening – either confirming your current path in life or indicating that movement towards a new one may be due.
If anyone has read Now Discover Your Strengths, I’d love to hear more about your results and experiences
This book is revolutionary. It’s a very different concept to consider simply building on your Strengths rather than ‘plugging the skills gap’ and shoring up your ‘weaknesses’.
What you do think about the Strengths revolution?
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