Saturday, January 8, 2011

Strengthsfinder and enneagrams

My sister got me interested in taking the Strengthsfinder assessment (personality test geared toward vocational life) -- it is all the rage where she works. So she got me the book for my bday and I just finished the test. Out of 34 possibilities, it selects the top 5 that describe you after you take an online assessment. Interestingly, the ones I had pegged as being "me" weren't the ones it came up with, but they all fit well once I read about them: input, connectedness, learner, responsibility, achiever.

It's eerie how well I think my new job dovetails with these qualities. I will have to share with my boss, after tax season. That is too big to be a coincidence! (Part of "connectedness" is the feeling that there aren't coincidences.) Right now, the song that describes my place at my new office is, "Feels So Right." Maybe I really was born to be a tax accountant, as horrifying as that thought is on some levels. But then there's my secret life, which includes this blog, that I love just as much, probably much more.

Along the same lines, my friend Karen thought I should come with her to an enneagram retreat in February. This is a personality-spiritual type of analysis which is supposed to date back 1000 years or more ?? I guess I'll report more when I know more! There are just 9 basic types of people in this view. I am really looking forward to that little getaway. I will actually go spend the night at my friend's house rather than staying on campus, because the retreat is popular and there is a shortage of dorm space. (She lives much closer to the retreat center in Boerne than I do.) This will really make it so enjoyable, such a nice little respite from the rest of my life.

Interesting that two of my closest people have drawn me toward these things, as I already think I am high in self-awareness. Perhaps  it's because I am quite fascinated by the nature of Julie. It's one of those things I study as a hobby!

I've got to get back to the rest of my life ... time at home is so fleeting and precious, these days.

OK, I'm at a break now. Housework, cooking, etc. never really come to an end, but there are stopping points. Sort of like life, which never really ends, it just flows from one thing to the next. (Or replace life with mass/energy, if you please)

Glass of wine in hand, sweet potato pie in the oven ... life is good. Now, if it would rain. Please, rain, come, and stay all night long! Oh Lord, please bring us rain.

About the Strengths etc., I am now thinking, why didn't it realize I am analytical? Where did empathy go, or intellection? Or my sister's quality, harmony, which I was certain was one of my top 5 too? With analytical, maybe it was because of that one question about making major decisions: more with your head, or heart? I leaned more toward the heart on that one. Really, doesn't everyone? Apparently not.

Now I imagine going back through the test questions and gaming the system, giving different answers, to see what exactly it's picking up on. I could, if I were willing to pay for a new book and access code each time! There just aren't that many questions to come up with 5 out of 34 of the strongest personality traits. And who exactly came up with these 34 qualities? A bit crowded field, don't you think? You couldn't narrow it down some?

Interestingly, Austin just took this exact test at school a few days ago! It was one of those random coincidences which, in my book, is of course no coincidence at all. The school was picked to do a trial run of the test, then one of his teachers was picked to be one of the ones to administer it, and that teacher picked one class, which was Austin's. (Undoubtedly, his most brilliant class of students!)  Anyway, I think the only area of overlap with my son is Responsibility. How Very Responsible We Are. That makes two of us, anyhow. No, Dwaine's got a strong dose of it himself. In fact, the only ones in the household who are truly irresponsible are Mimi, Peter, and Backpack, and you can figure out who they are. Bunch of lazy bums! Sleep, eat, pee and poop, with a little playing and relaxing in between, that's their life.

But back to my son. Austin tested way higher on the people side of things: influencing others, communication, that sort of thing. As I keep saying, he would make an outstanding politician. Those things are not my bag, except when I'm writing, which is rather an indirect way to try to influence others! There's a quality called "Woo" -- winning others over -- that is one of Austin's strengths, and I think my husband would test very high on that as well. He also tested high on individualism -- i.e., we are all separate individuals and should be treated as such, no lumping into larger groups, he finds that offensive. He's a rugged individualist himself, right now. (i.e., Republican.) Despite my efforts to counterbalance his obviously skewed viewpoint.

Andrew heard all the hubbub about the Strengths test and now he wants to take it. In fact, he seized my book and was going to steal my access code, except I protested it was my darned birthday gift, and could he leave it be, perhaps? He may be a little young to understand all the nuances of the questions. It recommends the test-taker have a vocabulary at least of a 15-year-old. It's the maturity level that is still evolving, in my opinion. But oh, well, he could take it again later. This is version 2.0, so doubtless there will be a 3.0 and so on later, at least until this fad has run its course.

I announced I had taken the test, and my husband remarked that he was very glad that it discovered I had a personality. Apparently, that was in doubt.

I am feeling very blessed in my life right now. Today, at least. Right now. (Could it be the wine? Yeah, probably.)

A la Miss Piggy -- it's moi! Three of us ladies in my immediate family took turns posing for a portrait against the backdrop of a painting at Paesano's on the Riverwalk, and it turns out the photos have a portrait-like quality as a result.

1 comment:

  1. Love the picture!

    I also have bums living in my house - but they do earn their keep in the joy they bring - sometimes. . .

    Looking forward to hearing about your retreat. Sounds like it will be great.


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