Friday, January 1, 2010

A Dork On Paper

Internally I always knew I was a dork. I mean, really? I'm not one that tries to kid myself, I am who I am (like Popeye I guess)... and I know I'm a dork. I've told others that before, and regularly admit it. However, I never had it "down on paper" that I was a dork. And now, for all to see... I'm a dork, even on paper.

I was asked to take a StrengthsQuest assessment to find out what my five greatest strengths or talents (out of 34 options) were. The reasons as to why I had to take this assessment will be fully revealed in another post because that is not the point of this post. So I took a 30 minute or so assessment that asked me many "are you like this or more like this" questions or "do you like this or do you like this more?". Once I completed the 100+ question assessment I was given a list of my five greatest strengths/talents... this is where the dorkiness hits the paper.

  • ACHIEVER - People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
  • RESPONSIBILITY - People who are especially talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.
  • LEARNER -People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.
  • COMMUNICATION - People who are especially talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.
  • DEVELOPER - People who are especially talented in the Developer theme recognize and cultivate the potential in others. They spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from these improvements.
See, I'm a dork. I'm not saying these talents or strengths are bad... but when you put it on paper, it spells out HEATHER IS A DORK. It's crazy how they hit the nail on the head with these things... check out some of these full descriptions. Those that know me well are going to have a field day and crack up on a few of these...

Your Achiever theme helps explain your drive. Achiever describes a constant need for achievement. You feel as if every day starts at zero. By the end of the day you must achieve something tangible in order to feel good about yourself. And by “every day” you mean every single day—workdays, weekends, vacations. No matter how much you may feel you deserve a day of rest, if the day passes without some form of achievement, no matter how small, you will feel dissatisfied. You have an internal fire burning inside you. It pushes you to do more, to achieve more. After each accomplishment is reached, the fire dwindles for a moment, but very soon it rekindles itself, forcing you toward the next accomplishment. Your relentless need for achievement might not be logical. It might not even be focused. But it will always be with you. As an Achiever you must learn to live with this whisper of discontent. It does have its benefits. It brings you the energy you need to work long hours without burning out. It is the jolt you can always count on to get you started on new tasks, new challenges. It is the power supply that causes you to set the pace and define the levels of productivity for your work group. It is the theme that keeps you moving.

Your Responsibility theme forces you to take psychological ownership for anything you commit to, and whether large or small, you feel emotionally bound to follow it through to completion. Your good name depends on it. If for some reason you cannot deliver, you automatically start to look for ways to make it up to the other person. Apologies are not enough. Excuses and rationalizations are totally unacceptable. You will not quite be able to live with yourself until you have made restitution. This conscientiousness, this near obsession for doing things right, and your impeccable ethics, combine to create your reputation: utterly dependable. When assigning new responsibilities, people will look to you first because they know it will get done. When people come to you for help—and they soon will—you must be selective. Your willingness to volunteer may sometimes lead you to take on more than you should.

You love to learn. The subject matter that interests you most will be determined by your other themes and experiences, but whatever the subject, you will always be drawn to the process of learning. The process, more than the content or the result, is especially exciting for you. You are energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence. The thrill of the first few facts, the early efforts to recite or practice what you have learned, the growing confidence of a skill mastered—this is the process that entices you. Your excitement leads you to engage in adult learning experiences—yoga or piano lessons or graduate classes. It enables you to thrive in dynamic work environments where you are asked to take on short project assignments and are expected to learn a lot about the new subject matter in a short period of time and then move on to the next one. This Learner theme does not necessarily mean that you seek to become the subject matter expert, or that you are striving for the respect that accompanies a professional or academic credential. The outcome of the learning is less significant than the “getting there.”

You like to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public, and to write. This is your Communication theme at work. Ideas are a dry beginning. Events are static. You feel a need to bring them to life, to energize them, to make them exciting and vivid. And so you turn events into stories and practice telling them. You take the dry idea and enliven it with images and examples and metaphors. You believe that most people have a very short attention span. They are bombarded by information, but very little of it survives. You want your information—whether an idea, an event, a product’s features and benefits, a discovery, or a lesson—to survive. You want to divert their attention toward you and then capture it, lock it in. This is what drives your hunt for the perfect phrase. This is what draws you toward dramatic words and powerful word combinations. This is why people like to listen to you. Your word pictures pique their interest, sharpen their world, and inspire them to act. You like to talk, and you probably are good at it. -Hmmm... is this "strength" the reason my sister and brother in law have friends that nicknamed me "STORY TIME". Yes, they seriously call me that!

You see the potential in others. Very often, in fact, potential is all you see. In your view no individual is fully formed. On the contrary, each individual is a work in progress, alive with possibilities. And you are drawn toward people for this very reason. When you interact with others, your goal is to help them experience success. You look for ways to challenge them. You devise interesting experiences that can stretch them and help them grow. And all the while you are on the lookout for the signs of growth—a new behavior learned or modified, a slight improvement in a skill, a glimpse of excellence or of “flow” where previously there were only halting steps. For you these small increments—invisible to some—are clear signs of potential being realized. These signs of growth in others are your fuel. They bring you strength and satisfaction. Over time many will seek you out for help and encouragement because on some level they know that your helpfulness is both genuine and fulfilling to you.

So what do ya think? If you're one of those folks that know me well, the comments section is now open... did the StrengthsQuest hit the nail on the head in your opinion? Or miss the mark?

One thing is for sure... my dorkiness is now on paper, I could not deny it anymore, even if I tried.

Although you have to buy the StrengthsQuest book in order to get the one time use code to take the assessment I took, there are free online personality assessments you can see. See what THIS TEST says about you? Feel free to leave your results in the comments section.


Jeff Brannon said...

Heather, I could have saved you 30 minutes ;)

love you dork

Mr. McGoo said...

The fact that you have your own bookshelf on a BLOG leads me to believe that your dork has manifested itself into a full blow NERD

Kelly said...

I think the bookshelf is cool! So, "dork" and "nerd" are in the eye of the beholder :) And I think the test describes you very well :)

Elian Levatino said...

I disagree. It means you are an adult. However, this is coming from another dork. So take this for what it's worth.