A lot of people ask me if they should take the StrengthsFinder assessment again. Maybe your life circumstances are different than they were when you first took the assessment. If you’re wondering should you take StrengthsFinder again, the short answer is no.
This isn’t because it will produce a bad result because it won’t. The first time we take the assessment, we really don’t know what to expect. It’s all new to us. The assessment tool gives us 20 seconds to respond to each of these two statements that are paired together so that we respond quickly with our gut reaction. It’s intentionally designed that way because some of us are thinkers.
Why You Shouldn’t Take the StrengthsFinder Assessment Again
We spend a lot of time thinking, analyzing and determining what we’d do in certain situations. What you learn is that you have to respond quickly and with your gut reaction. That way, the result comes from deep within. It’s an immediate response and reflects how you naturally feel and think.
We also have unconscious memory. So the first time we take the assessment it’s a bit of a new thing to us, and we are responding with our guts. The second time we take it, our subconscious memory might recall the format of the questions.
Our subconscious memory may even allows us to remember our prior results or first set of results and pick out one or two talents that may not feel as relevant to us (or maybe we don’t like them) Once we take the assessment that first time, we have our results. We take it again but the results will generally shift a little bit. So there’s not a great amount of value in taking it again. It’s going to be most accurate the first time we take the StrengthsFinder Assessment.
Again, the first time we take it, it’s going to be the most accurate.
Your Brain Wiring Doesn’t Change
Some of the people I speak with who contemplate taking the test again say that they have changed in terms of their lifestyle and thought process. I agree that you may be different from who you were in the past given what’s going on in your life at a certain time. However, your brain wiring doesn’t change.
The structure of the brain, the neural connections, and synapses don’t alter. What alters is the environment that we’re operating in, so that we draw on certain talents at any given time, some more than others, and some are more useful at a given point, then others are.
We have the same talents throughout our life and they don’t change. Now, I will tell you in full disclosure that it is possible for the brain to be changed. Those would be in situations where perhaps there’s a traumatic brain injury or a portion of the brain is damaged. Well, of course, we have to begin to sort of rewire and access other parts of the brain to be able to survive. But most of us don’t experience that most of us go through our lives as we are and experience new experiences, just as we are.
Focus on Your Top 10 Strengths
It may be that you feel you would be better served at a given point in your life to take the StrengthsFinder assessment again, but I strongly recommend against it. I also recommend that you get to know your top five talents. If you have access to them, review your top 10 because they truly are who you are.
Through conversation, we can delve deeper into those. I know that when I took the assessment the first time, I didn’t like one of my talents. I didn’t like activator because one of the cautions about activator is that may result in being somewhat impatient. Well, that’s true. It hit the nail on the head. I didn’t really like that. But I didn’t bother to pay attention to what’s good about being an activator because I was responding to what I sort of didn’t like.
When we’re growing up and beginning to evolve into the people we become is just raw talent. Our goal is to evolve our talents into strengths. Also, to let them demonstrate the potential that they have for use in our lives. The way we do that is to lean into them.
First to become aware of them by taking the StrengthsFinder assessment. Second, is by acquiring skills related that relate to that talent by acquiring knowledge about the talent. Ask yourself a few questions like: How does this work? What’s it look like in other people, what fits for me? When do I get myself into trouble with this? When is it the most powerful for me?
Start putting your strengths to work and considering it as you’re interacting with other people and when you’re considering a task that seems to be interesting. Realize that the more do you do this work, it’s aligning you with the things you’re naturally gifted at.
I’ll be honest, now that I’ve done that, I love my talents in the exact order they came out of in the first StrengthsFinder assessment and it feels natural to be who I am. You can do that too.