In class recently, we each were asked to take the StrengthsQuest inventory, which is a test designed to identify our top five “strengths.” My top five, in order are:
Taking The Test. I’m generally a good test-taker, but I think I might be a terrible personality test-taker. What time I don’t spend over-analyzing each question to try to guess the algorithm, I spend over-thinking my responses. Add in my difficulties resisting the temptation to answer repeat questions with the opposite response out of spite . . . and you don’t have a good recipe for personality test success. Despite this, I found myself generally agreeing with the results of this one. In this blog post, I discuss a few thoughts on my test results.
Being Competitive in an Anti-Elitist World. Like my classmate Tanya, my #1 strength is competition. I can definitely agree with this assessment — I am someone who likes to win. This is not always seen as a strength. At times, telling others my top “strength” is competition has felt more like a confession . . . I just hope no one reports me to the Handicapper General.
A few other quotes from my “signature themes” that I found to be particularly powerful:
Life is something of a minefield. Others can run through it recklessly if they so choose, but you take a different approach . . . You walk with care.
So . . . I guess not everyone sees life as a minefield? Ha ha. This quote is from the description of Deliberative. I’ve always thought of myself as a bit paranoid, but I like this reframing of the attribute — paranoid walking down the street is one thing, but in a minefield? Well, that just makes sense.
You enjoy the challenge of analyzing the symptoms, identifying what is wrong, and finding the solution . . . you enjoy bringing things back to life.
I really liked this one (from Restorative). I’d never thought of my love of puzzles and problem solving in this way — as an enjoyment of bringing things back to life.
On Wednesday you might have a strong desire to make headway on a goal you’re passionate about.
Well, I did get a lot done on Wednesday, I guess . . . but this one was from my weekly horoscope, which brings me to my final point . . .
You are impatient with generalizations or “types” because you don’t want to obscure what is special and distinct about each person.
So, although I found this inventory to be a fun an interesting exercise, I have trouble taking the results of any personality test too seriously. The general human tendency toward confirmation bias guarantees that we will find something to agree with in our test results.
I would love to hear more about your experience with StrengthsQuest or other personality tests — do you feel they accurately described you?