Is artistic, musical, or verbal talent captured by StrengthsFinder?
A. StrengthsFinder does not measure musical talent, mathematical talent, or public speaking talent. Nor does it measure the poetry of your prose, the timbre of your voice, or the beauty of your brushstrokes. If you do indeed possess these talents, you will discover them by the most direct method possible: public expression. The proof of these talents is in the performance: "Can I play the piano, or not?" "Can I speak in public, or does it terrify me?" "Can I paint, or will I never be a Michelangelo?"
By contrast, StrengthsFinder helps most by measuring those talents that are woven so tightly into the fabric of our lives that we, and others, fail to discern them. Talents within the Focus theme -- such as the talent to discern what is important from what is not -- or within the Command theme -- such as the talent to confront people and subjects dispassionately -- do not reveal themselves in one, very public performance. Instead, if we possess them, these talents reveal themselves in every one of our actions and interactions. They can become so familiar, so commonplace, that we cease to value them. And yet they pervade, and to a great extent, explain everything we do. The chief purpose of StrengthsFinder is to help you step back from yourself for just a moment so that you can identify, value and then refine these talents in all of your endeavors -- whether in music, art, public speaking, or business.
Handwriting reveals artistic leanings, and that can include musical talent. It shows literary ability and suggests the presence of having a way with words, such as fluency and fluid thinking ability.
Q. Can talents be misused?
A. Yes. Talents are morally neutral, as are knowledge and skills. No talent is "good" or "bad." How you use a talent is what counts. Each talent is simply a recurring pattern of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied. Naturally, each talent holds the potential to be built into a strength. For example, it is useful for a person to focus on his Command theme, acquire the relevant product knowledge and selling skills, and build these talents into a strength for selling. However, the same talent can also be cultivated for negative ends. It is not useful for a person to focus on his Command theme only to become confrontational and belligerent with his friends, family, and colleagues. This is misuse and self-indulgence. To build a genuine strength, always focus your efforts toward a productive application.
Handwriting offers clues about defiant attitudes as well as domineering propensity and lack of fellow-feeling.
Q. Is it possible to overdevelop a theme of talent?
A. No. It is impossible to be too talented or too successful. A person can always do what he or she does best -- better. An Olympic gymnast can always develop better control and form, and a teacher can always develop a better method of reaching students.
However, if you focus on developing only one theme of talent, other themes may suffer as the natural balance among your themes is upset. For example, in a genuine effort to best use the unique strengths of her teammates, a manager may choose to concentrate her own development efforts solely on her Individualization theme. Such intense focus on this theme -- and lack of attention to other themes -- could cause her to make so many exceptions for individuals that she allows her team members to repeatedly miss deadlines they are expected to meet. If this happens, the manager, her individual team members, and the team as a whole will suffer from her lack of attention to her Responsibility theme.
To most effectively work from your strengths, strive to properly balance your themes of talent -- and consider them singly and in combination with each other.
The two tools of the StrengthsFinder Profile and handwriting analysis used together, round out a fuller picture of a person's themes or patterns—a good foundation of a coaching relationship.