[this post is also on my other blog lifeadventureswithsarah.wordpress.com]
A couple of months ago I took the Gallup Strengths Finder quiz for work. I’m always amazed by how accurate tests like this are at describing me flawlessly. Seriously, who writes these things and figures out how the results work?! Anyway, upon getting the results I told my direct manager and a few of my supervisor counterparts that it’s funny how accurate the results were for me; and how some of my strengths explain why I’m a great leader and others are why I’m great at getting things accomplished on my own.
The first one that came up on my list of five was relator. Here is the exact quote from the packet I got:
“People who are especially talented in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.”
True story, I love people and making friends. I am most definitely a people person, and as my degree will tell you I love communication. At first glance, this strength goes into my “why I’m a leader” category, but as I read through my “Personalized Strengths Insights” I realized that it actually falls into both.
On the leadership side: I will initiate conversation with anyone. I’ve been that was since before I can remember. My parents have told me some pretty entertaining stories from when I was young and started introducing myself to people at adult functions. I like to make people feel welcome and comfortable, no matter the situation. I also fully believe in supporting my leadership and/or team’s plan to outsiders/corporate/newcomers/etc no matter what. Whatever “beef” I have with the plan is between me and whoever is part of the plan, not the person/people I’m discussing the topic with. I also LOVE to coach and train people, and luckily that is the core responsibility of my job. I want to get better at it, and I love helping people reach their goals at work or in life.
On the individual side: My “Personalized Strengths Insights” point out that I “feel most fulfilled when [ I am ] busy and simply performing routine tasks.” This is completely true. I have very recently had conversations with my general manager and my direct manager about my “daily business rhythm.” That’s the fancy way to talk about a daily routine. When I started my role it took me about six weeks to fully settle in and find a routine that worked. I figured out how to get everything done on time or early, and I even had time to work on my own development or go above and beyond on a few aspects of my role. Then, three months later my entire world was turned upside down. Everything that was working, was suddenly against the plan. I truthfully don’t like change, so this literally screwed up my world for the better part of two months. My GM was concerned about my engagement at work and wanted to make sure I was still on board with my goals, and my manager was wondering why I was always behind. I just couldn’t make things work again, no matter how early I tried getting things done I was always five steps behind somehow. Now, thankfully, because we’ve changed one hour (yes, only one hour of the 40+ that I work in a week), my life is suddenly starting to get back to where it should be. I like structure and plans, and I love finishing task lists. As my strengths finder has summed it up perfectly:
“You deliver peak performances when you can tackle a task. You experience tremendous satisfaction each time you accomplish something. You probably like being held accountable for your actions and words.”
Those three sentences sum me up to a tee. Like I said before, it amazes me how perfectly these tests seem to assess me. How do they do it?!
My new challenge moving forward is to do my best to use my strengths to make me an even stronger leader. I believe that this is one of my strongest strengths, but there’s always room for improvement!