You know, it’s funny how we think we know people. I mean I’ve been married to my husband for 31 years and just this week I found out who he really is. You see I had assigned labels to a few of his personality “quirks” as maybe some form of mild OCD or a need for attention. I accepted them and even enjoyed observing them, but I never really understood them and certainly didn’t celebrate them. But this week I discovered something new. And it didn’t just drop in my lap. I intentionally pursued knowing him better. He might call it “nagging” but for me I was just curious. Let me tell you how it happened.
So I am in love with the StrengthsFinder assessment and I bought the book for my husband and asked him (ok maybe more than several times!) to take the test. After a few weeks and a kind of resolve that it wasn’t as important to him as it was to me, I set it aside and moved on to other pursuits. Then one day he called me at the office telling me today was the day. He opened the book, took out the code in the back, logged on and started exploring his strengths. He was invigorated and I couldn’t wait to hear what he discovered!
His top 5 strengths are Strategic, Futuristic, Positivity, Arranger and Ideation and we began to explore what this really meant. As I coached him through his self-discovery it was only then that I really started to know the truly remarkable man I married. I mean I know he has great managerial talent, has run multi-million dollar budgets and tapped the talents of the human capital he has led. He’s the guru of conflict resolution and the mediator in over 1,000 tense disputes. But I learned how his strengths serve him well and how much more he has to do and to be when he has room to operate fully in them. I began to lean in and understand him, and yes even to celebrate those quirky but amazing strengths that are his gifts.
So what’s in this for you? Find out what your strengths are and the strengths of the people you do life with every day. I used my strengths of Curiosity and Relator to learn that I might just be married to Bill Gates – and that there is much to celebrate about the guy I do life with every day.