Develop an Action Plan from Strengths Finder Assessment

In my work as a project manager I find it very valuable to be able to understand my own skills and talents as well as those of the people on my project teams.  To that end I am always looking to increase my understanding and assessing of talent.  At work we were given the opportunity a few years ago to take the assessment and recently (October 2012) we were asked to take the assessment again. 

The blog today is focusing on “Develop Action Plan” that I feel is third step needed to understand your strengths.  I will write a series of blog entries (three) on how to complete and benefit from Strengths Finder.  The series of blogs is based on my own experience as well as some references from the book “Strengths Finder 2.0” by Tom Rath.

Step 3 – Develop Action Plan
As previously mentioned there is a report that is provided upon completion of the assessment titled “Strengths Insight and Action Planning Guide”.   Today I will focus on the part of the report and that focuses on the Ideas For Action.   I will also touch on the topic of being aware of both your weaknesses and your blind spots.  It is important to remember when reviewing the report is to make sure that you ask yourself these types of questions as you review, analyze, and reflect on the report:

  • What is the unique talent that I have?
  • How to use this to add value to myself or my team?
  • What will I start to do differently now that I have this understanding?

Action Plan Based on Your Report

For each of the five strengths the report identifies (as outlined in Step 2) Description, Personalized Strengths and Questions.  In addition to these 3 categories of information the report also contains a category of information titled “Ideas For Action.

For each of the strengths in order to put together an action plan you will want to review the following for each of your five strengths:

  • Step 1 – Ideas For Action – this is a list of 10 ideas for action that are based on your assessment and the particular strength.  While you may feel that you all 10 action items will help you, I would suggest that you focus on 1-2 actions items so that you can accomplish those.  Remember that you have five strengths and if you take 1-2 for each of the 5 strengths you will have a total of 10 action items to monitor.
  • Step 2 – Be aware of Blind Spots – this is not a category of information on the report.  However, I would suggest that you analyze and reflect on the information on the particular strength and become aware that other people may view your strength as a weakness.
    • As an example, my #1 strength is Individualization.  This strength is awareness of others talents and utilizing those individual strengths to get work completed.  A weakness is potentially spending too much time planning tasks rather than just getting them completed as I look for the perfect match of talent and work assignments.  Another area to watch for in this is that I may have misread people’s strengths so I need to be sure to monitor work progress in case the person is unclear of how to approach a task.
    • Another example, my #2 strength is Learner.  This strength is that I enjoy learning and helping others.  I need to be aware that this may be viewed as I am a “Know it All” and the team may want to spend some time trying to figure out and learn it on their own.
  • Step 3 – Be aware and managing your weaknesses – this is also not a category on the report.  The book includes 34 potential strengths and your report includes your top 5.  So this would indicate that some of the other 29 strengths may actually be a weakness of yours.  For each strength in the book it includes some suggestions on how to work with people that have that strength.
    • As an example, since I tend to focus on my team’s individual strengths I am not always aware that I am not including everyone when I am discussing an issue.  I tend to invite the subject experts that I have worked with previously.  By partnering with someone that has a strength of “Includer” that person can help me review the list of attendees to a meeting and offer suggestions on who else might be included.

My suggestion is that you now make a list of your action items identified in Step 1 above and incorporate some of the items in Steps 2 & 3.  I would review this list on a regular basis (at least monthly) and ensure that you are making progress on your action plan.


While my awareness of my Strengths was increased the first time I took the assessment I now have a renewed interest in utilizing my Strengths.  I am really glad to know that I am able to utilize my strengths in my current job.  I hope this series of entries will be of value to you and I recommend that you pursue the Strengths Finder 2.0 assessment. 

PS. When you purchase the book the assessment and access to the reports are included as part of the book.   Each book has an access code that is used to create a userid to the strengths finder website.

Good Luck!

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