© 2018 by Kent Slocum. All Rights Reserved.

Strengths & Skills

"When you stop growing, you start dying."- William S. Burroughs

 

This is more than just a clever proverb: it's the truth. Thanks to constructive criticism from friends and family, I am constantly growing, changing, and improving. The best way I have found to learn skills and develop strengths is to read books and try new things. Here are just a few of the many things I have discovered about myself.

Talent Type

Clifton StrengthsFinder & Gallup StrengthsQuest

     When Don Clifton pioneered the StrengthsFinder assessment, he believed that a deeper understanding of their strengths would help individuals be more successful.

     Now administered by Gallup, the StrengthsFinder assessment uses a series of questions and statements to help participants find their top five areas of talent (out of a total of 34). These five "Signature Themes" are helping me identify my natural talents, build them into strengths, and leverage them into personal and career success. I describe my top five Signature Themes below, along with a brief description of which behaviors they describe.

  • Restorative: I am adept at dealing with problems; I figure out what is wrong and resolve it. I have learned the immense value of listening to others and empathizing with them. 

  • Learner: I have a great desire to learn and continuously improve. I have learned to enjoy both the process of learning and the outcome; celebrating hard work and accomplishments. 

  • Relator: I derive deep satisfaction in working hard with teammates to achieve a goal. Even though I work well alone, I have learned to depend on others for support and assistance. 

  • Responsibility: I take psychological ownership of what I say I will do. While committed to stable values such as integrity, accountability and trust, I have learned to have fun as well. 

  • Discipline: I find peace in routine and structure, creating order out of complexity. I have learned to thrive in unpredictability and uncertainty, staying calm under pressure. 

 

Skill Types

Career Liftoff Interest Inventory

     The Career Liftoff Interest Inventory (or CLII, as it is known) is a powerful tool for assessing my interests and preferences for different types of work activities. People who choose a career based on interests and their capabilities tend to be more satisfied and successful in both their educational and career pursuits. Therefore, the CLII helps identify career fields that are in alignment with my interests and that I will find personally satisfying. The CLII is designed around the RIASEC model of Career Choices, which measures an individual's interests across six broad career interest areas: Organizers, Persuaders, Helpers, Doers, Thinkers, and Creators.

According to the CLII, I am primarily an Organizer and Persuader:

  • Conventional: I like working in structured situations and working with details or data. I am good at organizing, following procedures, learning regulations/rules, and calculating or budgeting. I solve problems by being organized. I typically value efficiency and self-control, and I typically respect the prevailing values of society.

  • Enterprising: I like to work with people or data, have an impact, and achieve goals by persuading, selling, influencing or directing others. I tend to be assertive and enthusiastic. I solve problems by taking the lead and taking risks. I typically value having influence on others, status, excitement, making decisions, and selling ideas.

 

According to this data, I match well with the following occupational areas:

  • Information Technology

  • Production Services

  • Administrative Support Services

  • Customer Service

  • Retail Sales

  • Banking & Finance

  • Business Administration

  • Business Entrepreneurship

  • Hospitality/Tourism

  • Education

With this information, it is no wonder I enjoy working at Disney!

Leadership Type

DiSC Assessment

     The DiSC assessment is a measure of my leadership type on four different dimensions: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientious. I have taken this test twice, and scored highly on both Dominance and Conscientious styles. This places me in the "Creative" category (see below).

     The DiSC assessment is an extremely valuable and useful tool, because it gives me practical insight into how to lead others. Everyone has some level of each of the four basic types, and the DiSC makes it clear how those differences can be used constructively on a team. An optimal team will have at least on member from each of the four DiSC leadership types.

 

Personality Type

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

     The MBTI is a description of my personality, but not a definition of who I am. My personality has changed over time, and will continue to change. Nevertheless, the MBTI is widely used to answer the following questions:

  1. How do I gain energy? (Extraversion, introversion) E/I

  2. How do I gather information? (Sensing, Intuition) S/N

  3. How do I process information? (Thinking, Feeling) T/F

  4. How do I interact with the world? (Judging, Perceiving) J/P

I identify myself as an ISTJ, which means I tend to recharge by myself. I like to live in the moment, but I also focus on the big picture. I tend to make decision based on logic and pre-determined objectives, and prefer a planned and organized approach to life.

    There is no "Right" or "Wrong" with the MBTI; everyone exists on a spectrum. As I mature and grow in my professional capacity, I am confident that the MBTI will help me identify areas for improvement in my personality.

 

Proficiencies

Things I Am Good At

     Recently, my family and I experienced an Escape Room together. We had 1 hour to find clues, solve riddles, and complete our mission. Here are the skills I have that helped us get out of the Escape Room with time to spare:

  • Solving Tricky, Multi-Layer Puzzles

  • Working in a Team

  • Paying Attention to Detail

  • Listening to Others

  • Reading (and Following) Instruction Manuals

  • Bending Down

  • Motivating Team Members to Finish Strong

  • Reaching High Places

  • Sending and Receiving Messages via Computer

  • Avoiding Claustrophobia

  • Speaking a Smattering of Spanish

  • Resolving Disagreements

  • Posing for Celebratory Pictures Afterwards

 

Learnings

Things I Am Getting Better At

     If you are reading this, congratulations! You have reached the most important part of this entire website. Why is it so important, you ask? Well, this is where I list the valuable and thought-provoking resources that I am currently using to keep learning new skills and knowledge. Some of these entries may become full blog posts in the future. Check out at least some of these resources--you just may learn something!