Strengths Finder 2.0 Tom Rath

This is a succinct insightful book that helps you to identify the strengths of your personality. It is a quick read. Most people will have the text and the Strengths Finder test completed within 2 hours. Although I wasn’t blown away by the results, it validated what I already knew about myself.

The premise of the book is built upon the concept that we spend too long focusing on our weakness and trying to improve them. Instead we should learn how to cope with our weaknesses as best we can and really try and play to the strengths of our personality. I believe this to be a very plausible mindset and something I have espoused myself for many years. Why spend hours upon hours trying to make an improvement in one of your weaknesses when you will never really excel in that area of your life. Instead concentrate on the talents that you have been given and allow them to flourish to bring about your true potential.

The first step is to identify your strengths. The book contains a unique code to access the Strengths Finder 2.0 test. This is an online test and the code can only be used once. So don’t be tempted to buy this book secondhand or borrow from the library, if the code has been used it will render the book useless. The test itself takes about 25mins to complete. It contains a series of questions in which you are given two preferences and a likert scale in which to rate your preference. There is a time limit of 20 seconds per question. This caught me out on two questions where I was genuinely torn between the choices. You are asked to go with your gut reaction. I do feel a little dubious about likert tests at the best of times but in fairness the results of the test proved to be pretty accurate for me.

You receive your top 5 strengths and you can print out a report on each strength. The strengths are also detailed in the book. There are 34 themes and ideas for action chapters and your 5 strengths fall within these categories. Each strength is described briefly, there are short case studies of people who have this strength, you receive ideas for action with this strength and finally ideas on how to work with someone of this strength.

Overall this is a compact and easy read. For me the results were pretty accurate. It is a good resource for self exploration. It would be useful for someone who is looking to progress in their career or to change career. Knowing where your strengths lie can give you the confidence for action.

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