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Avoid Burnout – Knowing Yourself Well

August 16, 2010

A teacher has to be secure in who he/she is.  In order to be secure in who you are, you have to know yourself, and know yourself well.   That takes years, and there are no shortcuts.

However, there are tools out there.

Recently, I tried out Clifton’s strengthsfinder 2.0.  This is an assessment that can help you hone in on your particular strengths.  The authors contend that rather than spend loads of time on fixing the things that are ‘wrong’ with us, we should instead look at our strengths, and build upon those.  That is not to say you should totally ignore your weaknesses – in fact you should truly be aware of those aspects of your personality.

The reality is that a person who has always struggled with numbers is likely to be a great accountant or statistician. Even the legendary Michael Jordan who embodied the power of raw talent on a basketball court, could not become, well, Michael Jordan of golf or baseball no matter how hard he tried.

Yet it’s clear from Gallup’s research that each person has greater potential for specific success in specific areas, and the key to human development is building on who you already are.      – Tom Rath, Strengthsfinder 2.0

Strengthsfinder 2.0 is available via many bookstores, or online through sites like Amazon

I found the online assessment to be a slightly frustrating to take, but trusted in it’s ability to do what it purports to do.   The questions are set up with two traits on opposite ends of a scale, and you are to choose a rating closest to the one that describes you.  On some of them, I found the items listed were not necessarily opposites of each other, and often had to choose a neutral position as either neither description fit, or both did.  Oh yes, and you are limited to 20 seconds per question to choose your response.

Despite that quality to the assessment, I was able to choose enough items on one end or the other for the assessment to come up with some findings.  I will say, I found the assessment to be very accurate.  For my part, I had not realized that some traits I knew I possessed were something that could be considered valuable in the work place.

I received my list of five top strengths, and those were followed by a list of suggested career directions that might best fit.

I wish this assessment had been available to me at an earlier point in my life.  I have chosen a career path that very much fits me according to this assessment, however, it took me 46 years on my own to figure that out.  Taking this assessment, say, in my 20’s or 30’s might have saved me a lot of angst and a lot of money while I tried to find my path.

Now, the downside to this particular assessment.  You can only get an access code by purchasing a copy of the book.  The access code can only be used once by one person, so whatever you do, don’t buy a used copy!

Gallup additionally publishes similar books/assessments on leadership strengths, personal strenghths, and wellbeing.  All worthwhile.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. phillip lacock permalink
    August 16, 2010 6:26 pm

    …as the kids would say today…”wow..first post”….ha..!

    but fran my dear…your quote…”…Taking this assessment, say, in my 20′s or 30′s might have saved me a lot of angst and a lot of money while I tried to find my path…”..made me laugh…!..

    “you” know…and “i” know….no one could tell us the best way to go when your 20..30…because at that age we believe we have it all figured out…(eyes rolling)….

    what i like to tell ‘kids’ is…buy don’t rent…for the same money…they could buy a small house..sometimes nothing down…and something to show for their earned monies..instead of renting for 20 years before they figure that out…

    guess what…?…20…30..year olds dont listen to advice for the above reasons…

    i wish someone told me this years ago…mabey someone did…and i didn’t hear what they where really saying….becaue i had it all figured out…


    • August 17, 2010 1:00 pm

      As always, a different perspective is welcome here. I still contend that this tidbit of info at a different age ( not having come from my own parents) probably would have influenced me to some degree.

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