How I personalized my StrengthsFinder results

A few weeks ago, I took the Clifton StrengthsFinder test for a doctoral course. Though my skepticism was stimulated during the test, the results amazed. As part of the course requirement, I then discussed the findings with three friends, two of whom had taken the test. All three agreed with the findings and offered insight into understanding what these looked like in me. They even convinced me concerning the remaining object of skepticism: strategic. Here are my top five:

  • Learner
  • Intellection
  • Input
  • Ideation
  • Strategic

Giving my themes a Tangentrider spin

For the past couple of years, I’ve been writing a Tangentized Dictionary over on Laura’s (Tangential) Writings (LW). The writing process is accomplished via a technique I call Matrix Thinking, a “method for integrating apparently unrelated concepts by titling table columns with ideas from one concept, rows with another, and forcing new ideas from each pair.”

Defining my themes through the Matrix Thinking technique

I decided to apply this technique to the official definitions of my top five themes.

  • I labeled the matrix rows with key elements in the theme definition.
  • I labeled the columns “divergent” and “contiguous,” the key ideas in the definition of “tangent.”
  • In each cell of the matrix, I wrote down the idea that came to mind when the row and column titles were forced together.
  • After reading over and pondering the contents of the cells, I wrote a 25 word definition of the theme from my tangentized perspective. (Most posts on LW are 25 words.)

You can read the results of my process on LW.

Putting on your own spin

Tangentrider, my nom de plume, captures an important way I function in thought and communication. I first began to notice this characteristic as director of the college ministry at Torrance First Baptist, when I wrote up tangentizing rules for our group discussions. Years later, I revisited the rules and created a definition of tangentizing: “dialogical process by which allegedly off-topic tangents are leveraged to add insight, depth, breadth to the main topic. to be distinguished from mere side talk.” Over the years, observing my natural functioning and honing the related skills resulted in my taking on the Tangentrider persona. So for me, matrixing my top five themes with “tangent” was a good choice.

How does this relate to your personal spin?

  • Observe how you function in community.
  • Gather up the observations and look for patterns.
  • When you’ve gathered and pondered, find a metaphor that describes your way of functioning.
  • Take the StrengthsFinder test (free if you buy a book with the code, like Teach with Your Strengths
  • Run your top five themes through the matrixing process.
  • Come back here and share a link to of contents of your personalized defiinitions. Here is a link to mine.

© Laura Springer and Who in the World Are We?, 2005-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Laura Springer and Who in the World Are We? with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Laura

My name is Laura and I am on a journey, pondering the implications of God's glorious design of humanity and integrating every aspects of this design into a description of whole life health.
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4 Responses to How I personalized my StrengthsFinder results

  1. Joy Espinosa says:

    I totally agree with you that the Strenghtsfinder Themes have you pegged. I too was a skeptic but was totally amazed at the results. This has radically helped me understand myself and why I always like to talk!! 🙂 I knew we would have to share at least one theme (input) becuase we get along so well!

  2. Laura says:

    Joy, I agree–though, as I said above, I was skeptical of the strategic theme until my friends pointed out a bunch of things like shopping one day a week, figuring out bus routes, planning homework, etc.

  3. Pingback: Help wanted: Only ex-procrastinators need apply - Who in the World Are We?

  4. John Tuttle says:

    You and I share 4 of 5 strengths. Why am I not surprised?

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