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Monday, December 16, 2013

And the Winner Is...the Test

By Stacey Adamson

This past September I went through the Accelerated Coaching Class at the Riverfront Campus in Omaha with the fabulous Jeremy Pietrocini and Curt Liesveld. To anyone considering the class, I strongly encourage you to follow up on that consideration. I am new to the Gallup StrengthsFinder data, but my week in Omaha catapulted me forward on this journey. It was a little like learning a foreign language; the total immersion was effective! One week under Jeremy and Curt's tutelage, reporting to the Riverfront facility, observing the company culture from the inside, and learning from my fellow brilliant students was definitely worth the investment.

My top five themes are as follows: Strategic, Achiever, Learner, Ideation, and Input. Without even meeting me, after reading my top five strengths you already know that I loved this program. It encouraged us to look at people in a different, out-of-the-box way, and Gallup sent me home with ample materials to satisfy my Learner, Ideation, and Input needs. Even with all that Gallup sent me home with, I have been obsessing over Gallup materials, and even purchased books on Audible to listen to as I drive. 

Given that background and the knowledge that Belief is in my top 10, you could surmise that I am turning into a Gallup evangelist. However, even an evangelist can have doubts. Tonight, I started to doubt. I doubted whether the test (the Clifton StrengthsFinder) could provide an accurate report. 

I was preparing for a group of people to take the test, and I purchased codes from the Strength Center so that I could get a copy of the results as well as the people who were taking the test. It had been a few months since I took it, and I wanted to make sure I was familiar with each step so that I could explain it to the group when they redeemed the codes. Therefore, I purchased an extra code and had my husband take the test. 

My husband is proficient and gifted in many areas; however, technology is not one of them. He types slowly, doesn't love the computer, and he definitely doesn't like to be rushed into decisions. Because I was wanting to see each step from log-in to starting the test, I sat and watched him go to the website and set up an account. It was painful to sit there, as I just wanted to grab the computer and type for him. He likes to tease me, so I think he may have been typing even more slowly than normal. 

Finally, it was time for him to take the test. Personally, I loved taking the test. I love new experiences and new things. My husband is not wired in this way. The first question popped up, and he was immediately frustrated because of the two options. He stated to me, "I can't choose." I asked him to just pick the best option and move on. He did not enjoy the testing process at all, and more than once he said, “I wish there weren't just two options.” I quietly watched him take the test, and he did not answer the questions in the way I would have thought were the best descriptions of him. We've been married 22 years and have also run businesses together. However, he wasn't answering the way I thought he should. Many times he chose neutral, and I was thinking to myself, “You aren't neutral; you're the hardest worker I know. How could you not put strongly agree on that question?” I kept my mouth shut and did not allow my body language to transmit my thoughts, I just watched. I watched until I couldn't watch anymore. I thought, “This is simply not going to be an accurate assessment.”

When the test was completed, I went back and we pulled up his top five: Harmony, Achiever, Responsibility, Deliberative, and Competition. As we read the insights, we burst out laughing. The test described him perfectly. The test described him better than his wife of 22 years would have described him. I was completely in awe. What I loved was that we both share Achiever, yet his insight report for Achiever was vastly different than my insight report for Achiever.

My doubts were washed away and the Gallup evangelist has returned, now stronger than ever.

The references to “the test” in this blog refer to the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment.

Stacey Adamson is a 6th to 8th grade teacher in the Cody-Kilgore Unified Schools. She is the co-founder of the Circle C Market, a 3500 square feet functioning grocery store, built from the ground up as a five-year student project. Watch a video here. Stacey recently completed Gallup’s Accelerated Strengths Coaching course and is continuing on her journey to become a certified strengths coach.

Stacey’s top five: Strategic, Achiever, Learner, Ideation, Input

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