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Personal strengths or weaknesses how do you view development and training?

(For individual use only, not to be reproduced or used in any way without permission)


How personal strengths and weaknesses are viewed has a significant bearing on an individual employees utilization, growth and satisfaction as well as an organizations overall performance. Managers and organizations are changing their view on how best to develop and utilize individual strengths and the role of weakness. Some deeply ingrained obstacles and beliefs about training, promotion, employee development and organizations must be confronted and challenged.

The following quiz can assess your understanding of the most effective way to view personal strengths and weaknesses.

Instructions:

Take the quiz without looking at the answers, but when you are reviewing the answers, the questions and answers are "linked" so that you can easily move back and forth between them. When you've totaled your scores, find out how to interpret the score.


 

1. A satisfying career is one where the person feels that they are doing the right things or are cast in the right part.  How many employees feel they are miscast?
  A. 2 out of 10
  B. 4 out of 10
  C. 8 out of 10
       
2. Should the developmental plans established with ones manager:
  A. Focus on correcting weaknesses?
  B. Focus on building upon strengths?
  C. Focus on complementing the strategic direction of their work unit?
       
3. How should managers or organizations view personal development?
  A. Learning that is based on developing weaknesses is at best damage control
  B. A good training program can benefit everyone
  C. With enough practice everything is learnable
       
4. Do you think most potential employers and interviews are more interested in
  A. Your education and credentials
  B. Your unique talent or strengths
  C. Past experiences
       
5. At work how often do employees have the opportunity to do what they do best every day?
  A. 10% of the time
  B. 20% of the time
  C. Most of the time
       
6. What is the best source for defining your strengths:
  A. Career or personality tests
  B. Feedback from a Guidance or Career Counselor
  C. Personal achievement, things you learned rapidly and enjoy doing
       
7. Which best represents organizations beliefs on excellent performers?
  A. They must be well rounded with multiple skills, abilities, and experiences
  B. They must be sharp, with their natural strengths well honed and developed.
  C. Challenging assignments allows the cream or best performers to rise to the top.
       
8. If you were to describe your strengths do you
  A. Describe situations, actions and results you have produced to illustrate your strengths.
  B. Relate your education and work experience
  C. Find it hard to describe your strengths
       
9. What contributes to defining personal unique strengths so difficult?
  A. There is no systematic approach to considering all the information we should
  B. We overestimate our strengths
  C. We assume that everyone can do what we do well
       
10. How many unique strengths do individuals possess?
  A. 4-6
  B. One, if it is truly unique
  C. Some people are generalists and have many experiences but no pronounced strengths

The Answers

Question 1

A= 0, B= 0, C= 10

8 out of 10 employees feel they are miscast; they never have the chance to reveal the best of themselves. Based on The Gallup Organizations survey of 1.7 million employees working in 101 companies from 36 countries and reported in Marcus Buckingam & Donald O. Clifton. Now Discover Your Strengths.  The Free Press, New York, NY. 2001

Question 2

A= 0, B= 10, C= 0

Usual performance reviews focus on what was done well then quickly turn to areas we can do better which are usually individual weaknesses.  Reality is that developmental plans translate to improving individual weakness not building strengths.  What should happen is just the opposite, building strengths.

Question 3

A= 10, B= 0, C= 0

Most development efforts and training dollars are spent to address weakness and applied to everyone as opposed to selective training to build strengths.  At best development based on weakness is damage control, they should not be ignored however they will never be alleviated.

Question 4

A= 0, B=10, C=0

They already know your credentials and can read about your past experiences from your resume.  The real question they have is: So what, what can you do and contribute that is unique?

Question 5

A= 0, B= 10, C= 0

What a tragedy, employees have the opportunity to do what they do best every day only 20% of the time! Is the corollary that organizations operate at 20% capacity? Based on The Gallup Organizations survey of 1.7 million employees working in 101 companies from 36 countries and reported in Marcus Buckingam & Donald O. Clifton. Now Discover Your Strengths.  The Free Press, New York, NY. 2001

Question 6

A= 0, B= 0, C= 10

Achievements or what you have done is the best predictor of what you will do in the future.  Strengths are also discovered in things you learned rapidly and enjoy doing.  Why, because they are easier for you than others.

Question 7

A= 0, B= 10, C= 0

Unfortunately, organizations place their training dollars and developmental time on developing well rounded contributors.  The argument is that organizations and individuals would be more productive and satisfied if they focused on sharpening or honing the persons strengths.

Question 8

A=10, B=0, C=0

Past behavior and results are the best predictor of the futuredescribe situations, actions and results you have produced to illustrate your strengths. Most find it hard to accurately describe their unique strength in behavioral terms; they usually talk about education and work experience.  These experiences are like tickets to a sporting event, they get you in the door, articulating strengths are what allow you to play in the game.

Question 9

A=0, B=0, C=10

Defining strengths is hard work; we would rather focus on our weakness than give ourselves credit for what makes us truly unique.  If anything we underestimate our strengths. Our biggest enemy is that we assume that everyone can do what we do well; we take our strengths for granted. Systematic approaches are available yet underutilized resulting in an incomplete answer to what makes each of us truly unique.

Question 10

A= 10, B= 0, C= 0

At least 4-6 will allow you the focus to develop these to an exceptional level.  This number will also be useful in determining for which careers these 4-6 strengths are mandatory for superior performance. The real tragedy in life is not that each of us lack enough strengths, its that we fail to identify and use the ones we have.  Wasted strengths, or what Benjamin Franklin called sundials in the shade.

80-100

You are in tune with the importance of strengths in the workplace, how to define your personal strengths and what to emphasize in your personal growth and development.  This knowledge is an important first step; our hope is that you are putting this knowledge to practice in managing your career and personal development.  If not we would encourage you to implement a process for identifying and verifying your unique strengths and under what conditions or situations these strengths are best utilized.  You would be an excellent candidate to share your perceptions and experiences with others in a Career Club setting.

50-70

You have some mixed views of the importance of personal strengths versus weaknesses and their role in your personal growth and career satisfaction.  Sometimes your focus and thoughts are on your weaknesses or you are in doubt about how to best identify your unique strengths, and the importance progressive managers and organizations place on strengths.  It is our position that you should develop your strengths to the point where any personal weaknesses are irrelevant.  The best way to do this is to implement a process for identifying and verifying your unique strengths and under what condition or situations these strengths are best utilized.  Review your individual answers to each of the questions for clues on where it would be best to work on those areas causing some doubt about the importance of personal strengths. A Career Club might be an alternative source of help in resolving these issues.

Below 50

Either your present career or future career will likely be very frustrating since you focus on weaknesses or havent sought help or taken the time to identify what makes you truly uniqueyour strengths.  Or, you feel progressive managers and organizations are more concerned with improving your weaknesses versus building your strengths.  We would suggest you seek help in elevating strengths to their proper position for your career satisfaction as well as implementing a process for identifying and verifying your unique strengths and under what conditions or situations these strengths are best utilized. Although your individual answers to each of the questions will provide you clues on where best to start on this journey, we would recommend seeking help similar to the Career Clubs discussed on http://careerclubsinternational.com .


About the Quiz

By, Matt M. Starcevich, Ph.D., CEO, the Center for Coaching and Mentoring, Inc., a firm devoted to executive coaching, training and consultation in Team Work, Coaching, Mentoring, and Leadership, Co-author of Teamwork: We Have Met The Enemy and They Are Us, The Coach: Creating Partnerships for a Competitive Edge, and Win Win Partnerships: Be On The Leading Edge With Synergistic Coaching.

For more information call (918) 333-6609

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Contact Matt Starcevich at matt@coachingandmentoring.com
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