In our last post we looked at buried treasure, those personal talents that may be hidden or suppressed in our lives. The first step to find our treasure is to find out who we are.
To find out the “who” we can look at three areas.
- We need to take a look at our strengths and our personality
- We need to look at our mission field. Who we can help, train, or mentor. Who are our customers, clients, or students?
- We need to look at our mentors. People that can help us grow and succeed.
In number one above, there are tests that can help us get a picture of who we are. The first one I would suggest is the Strengths 2.0 test by the Gallup organization.
Currently the best way to take this test is to purchase the book, Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. This book includes a membership card in the back that allows you to login to their web site and take the test. The test takes under 30 minutes and will highlight your top five strengths.
This test is highly informative and each of the strengths is outlined in the book. The book will give you a good starting point to build on your strong areas.
It’s also a good idea to take a personality test of some type. I like the Meyers-Briggs test, but there are many to choose from. Many of these tests can be done online for little or no charge. The most complete way to do this is to pick up a book such as What Type Am I by Renee Baron, which includes the Meyers-Briggs test and informative follow-up material.
Once you have taken the tests it great to write down the results on paper. Make a list of your top five strengths and your four quadrant personality type.
In number two it’s nice to make a list of people that you know, clients that you have, and create a comprehensive database list. A good exercise is to take your strengths list and look how you would be able to help or teach the people on this form. Web sites such as LinkedIn and others provide a good way to keep track of these acquaintances and track their talents and strengths.
In number three above, it can be helpful to identify mentors in different strength areas of your life. According to the strengths finder book, it is easier to improve your skills by focusing on your strengths than your weaknesses. If you identify people who share your strengths, you can easily collaborate and grow by sharing information.
As you explore the different areas of your personal talents, it is helpful to keep a journal and track your progress. We’ll dig a little deeper in the chest tomorrow…