Thank you for registering for the Administrative Professionals’ Day Program. As the invitation indicated, this event will be centered around StrengthsQuest, a web-based assessment tool from the perspective of Positive Psychology. The assessment must be done by next Wednesday. The Clifton StrengthsFinder is a 45 minute, web-based assessment that measures the presence of talent in 34 areas called “themes”. You have 20 seconds to respond to each item.
a) The invitation I got to Administrative Professional's Day made it sound like there would be a nice breakfast buffet and possibly a raffle. Nowhere, anywhere, were personality tests mentioned.
b) Jesus Christ, if I don't respond within 20 seconds is my laptop going to give me an electric shock?
c) Wait, isn't the point of Administrative Professionals' Day to appreciate one's office admin, and not give them more work to do?
But I took the test, because I'm a sucker for hilariously stupid personality tests. This is the kind of thing I had to answer every twenty seconds for half an hour:
Please note: You can only click one of the radio buttons. Those were my options.
I clicked Neutral a lot.
Where is the "yes" button?
Where is the "you're an idiot" button?
Now you're just fucking with me, aren't you.
In the end, I was given my results: the top five "talents" I possess. Shall we see what my talents are?
You are inquisitive. You collect things. Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting. If you read a great deal, it is not necessarily to refine your theories but, rather, to add more information to your archives. If you like to travel, it is because each new location offers novel artifacts and facts.
With all those possible uses in mind, you really don’t feel comfortable throwing anything away. So you keep acquiring and compiling and filing stuff away. It’s interesting. It keeps your mind fresh. And perhaps one day some of it will prove valuable.
That last sentence is like the saddest thing I've ever read in a personality test. I don't need your pity, motherfuckers!
You like to think. You like exercising the “muscles” of your brain, stretching them in multiple directions. This need for mental activity may be focused; the exact focus will depend on your other strengths. On the other hand, this mental activity may very well lack focus.
The theme of Intellection does not dictate what you are thinking about; it simply describes that you like to think. You are introspective. In a sense you are your own best companion, as you pose yourself questions and try out answers on yourself to see how they sound. This introspection may lead you to a slight sense of discontent as you compare what you are actually doing with all the thoughts and ideas that your mind conceives. Or this introspection may tend toward more pragmatic matters. Wherever it leads you, this mental hum is one of the constants of your life.
You like to think. Maybe you have focus, maybe you don't. Did we mention you like to think? Maybe thinking makes you unhappy, or it might make you happy. But you definitely like to think.
Do you think?
You are careful. You are vigilant. You are a private person.
I AM SPARTACUS!
You know that the world is an unpredictable place. Rather than denying these risks, you draw each one out into the open. Then each risk can be identified, assessed, and ultimately reduced. Thus, you are a fairly serious person who approaches life with a certain reserve.
You select your friends cautiously and keep your own counsel when the conversation turns to personal matters. You are careful not to give too much praise and recognition, lest it be misconstrued. If some people don’t like you because you are not as effusive as others, then so be it. For you, life is not a popularity contest. Life is something of a minefield. You walk with care.
You are a cruel person, faint with praise and quick to condemn. Your cold reserve will someday cause your loved ones to turn from you. You will die alone.
You love to learn.
I also have it on good authority that I like to think.
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. You are energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence. Your excitement leads you to engage in adult learning experiences. 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. The outcome of the learning is less significant than the “getting there.”
True facts: before I joined my department, the entire Research team took this test. They showed me the spreadsheet. Every single person on the team got "Learner" except one. Poor woman drew a frowny face in the blank spreadsheet cell where her name and "Learner" intersected.
Your Individualization theme leads you to be intrigued by the unique qualities of each person. You are impatient with generalizations or “types” because you don’t want to obscure what is special and distinct about each person.
It's true I am very impatient with personality tests that divide people into types and then make broad, vague, contradictory generalisations about them. I'm funny that way. I think it's because I like to think.
You instinctively observe each person’s style, each person’s motivation, how each thinks, and how each builds relationships. This theme explains why you tailor your teaching style to accommodate one person’s need to be shown and another’s desire to “figure it out as I go.” Because you are such a keen observer of other people’s strengths, you can draw out the best in each person.
This Individualization theme also helps you build productive teams. While some search around for the perfect team “structure” or “process,” you know instinctively that the secret to great teams is casting by individual strengths so that everyone can do a lot of what they do well.
In all, apparently, I am a friendless, hypervigilant, manipulative hoarder.
I will say that there was one part of the assessment that I truly enjoyed, and that was the part where they asked me:
What is your reaction after reading the report?
I replied, "I think the survey itself is flawed and the report is vague, generic, and based on repeating to me what I told the survey in the first place. But then I like to think, apparently, and am impatient with generalizations and types."
With the goal of truly learning about & embracing your newly identified Top 5 Themes of Talent, click the SHARE tab to ask family members or friends these questions and to reply to you in 4 days:
What was your initial reaction to my report?
Which theme or themes do you see most in me? Can you give me an example?
When have you seen me excited, engaged or at my best in a role or situation?
What kinds of things should I be doing more/less of?
What do you see as my greatest strength?
Do share, Cafe.
At any rate, on Administrative Professionals' Day I think I will go to the breakfast buffet and then quietly slip out before the Strength Finding begins.
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