나의 5가지 강점 – Strength Finder
나는 어떤 사람일까?
2011년 가을과 겨울에 (당시 미국의 몇 개 학교 MBA essay를 준비하던 상황이었고 essay를 쓰다 보니 자연스럽게 이런 질문들에까지 오게 되더라) 난 나의 본질이 무엇이며 나의 궁극적 목표는 무엇인가 나는 어떤 삶을 살 것인가 등등에 대해 많은 고민을 했었다, 지금 생각해 보면 GMAT 등 공부할 때보다 더욱 힘든 시기가 아니었다 싶다.
(결론적으론 불합격 했고 지금은 미국 MBA 가는 것을 여러 개인적 이유로 drop한 상태지만 MBA를 준비하면서 난 아주 많은 것을 얻었다고 생각하고 이 부분에 대해서는 나중에 다시 한 번 내용을 정리할 예정이다)
좀 창피한 얘기지만 내 생각에 나는 보다 성숙이 필요한 사람었고 지금도 그런 것 같다. 남들은 한번쯤 다 해봤을 법한 이런 문제에 대해 이전에 생각해 본 적도 없었고 사색과 자아에 대한 고민이란 것을 깊게 해 본 적이 별로 없는 것 같다.
뭐 여튼 나는 어떤 사람인가? 에 대해 대답하기가 참 쉽지 않았고 조금이나마 도움이 될 만한 것들을 찾다가 Strength Finder를 알게 되었다. 마침 우리나라에 번역서로도 책이 나와 있는 상태였다.
‘위대한 나의 발견, 강점 혁명’ by 마커스 버킹엄
이 책을 구입하면 인증 코드가 있어서 Strength Finer 홈페이지에 들어가 test를 할 수가 있다.
Test는 심리 test와 비슷한 형식인데 대략 200여개 정도의 문항에 대해 답을 하면 여러 분야 중 자신이 어떤 분야에 강점이 있는지 나오는 형식이다.
Test를 통한 나의 5가지 강점은 아래와 같이 나왔고, 고개를 끄덕이며 보았고 어느 정도 나의 모습을 설명해 주는 것 같다. 하지만 뭐 깜짝 놀랄 만한 나도 모르던 나의 모습? 같은 건 없었다.
You want to be very significant in the eyes of other people. In the truest sense of the word you want to be recognized. You want to be heard. You want to stand out. You want to be known. In particular, you want to be known and appreciated for the unique strengths you bring. You feel a need to be admired as credible, professional, and successful. Likewise, you want to associate with others who are credible, professional, and successful. And if they aren’t, you will push them to achieve until they are. Or you will move on. An independent spirit, you want your work to be a way of life rather than a job, and in that work you want to be given free rein, the leeway to do things your way. Your yearnings feel intense to you, and you honor those yearnings. And so your life is filled with goals, achievements, or qualifications that you crave. Whatever your focus—and each person is distinct—your Significance theme will keep pulling you upward, away from the mediocre toward the exceptional. It is the theme that keeps you reaching.
“Where am I headed?” you ask yourself. You ask this question every day. Guided by this theme of Focus, you need a clear destination. Lacking one, your life and your work can quickly become frustrating. And so each year, each month, and even each week you set goals. These goals then serve as your compass, helping you determine priorities and make the necessary corrections to get back on course. Your Focus is powerful because it forces you to filter; you instinctively evaluate whether or not a particular action will help you move toward your goal. Those that don’t are ignored. In the end, then, your Focus forces you to be efficient. Naturally, the flip side of this is that it causes you to become impatient with delays, obstacles, and even tangents, no matter how intriguing they appear to be. This makes you an extremely valuable team member. When others start to wander down other avenues, you bring them back to the main road. Your Focus reminds everyone that if something is not helping you move toward your destination, then it is not important. And if it is not important, then it is not worth your time. You keep everyone on point.
You look for areas of agreement. In your view there is little to be gained from conflict and friction, so you seek to hold them to a minimum. When you know that the people around you hold differing views, you try to find the common ground. You try to steer them away from confrontation and toward harmony. In fact, harmony is one of your guiding values. You can’t quite believe how much time is wasted by people trying to impose their views on others. Wouldn’t we all be more productive if we kept our opinions in check and instead looked for consensus and support? You believe we would, and you live by that belief. When others are sounding off about their goals, their claims, and their fervently held opinions, you hold your peace. When others strike out in a direction, you will willingly, in the service of harmony, modify your own objectives to merge with theirs (as long as their basic values do not clash with yours). When others start to argue about their pet theory or concept, you steer clear of the debate, preferring to talk about practical, down-to-earth matters on which you can all agree. In your view we are all in the same boat, and we need this boat to get where we are going. It is a good boat. There is no need to rock it just to show that you can.
Excellence, not average, is your measure. Taking something from below average to slightly above average takes a great deal of effort and in your opinion is not very rewarding. Transforming something strong into something superb takes just as much effort but is much more thrilling. Strengths, whether yours or someone else’s, fascinate you. Like a diver after pearls, you search them out, watching for the telltale signs of a strength. A glimpse of untutored excellence, rapid learning, a skill mastered without recourse to steps—all these are clues that a strength may be in play. And having found a strength, you feel compelled to nurture it, refine it, and stretch it toward excellence. You polish the pearl until it shines. This natural sorting of strengths means that others see you as discriminating. You choose to spend time with people who appreciate your particular strengths. Likewise, you are attracted to others who seem to have found and cultivated their own strengths. You tend to avoid those who want to fix you and make you well rounded. You don’t want to spend your life bemoaning what you lack. Rather, you want to capitalize on the gifts with which you are blessed. It’s more fun. It’s more productive. And, counterintuitively, it is more demanding.
“Wouldn’t it be great if . . .” You are the kind of person who loves to peer over the horizon. The future fascinates you. As if it were projected on the wall, you see in detail what the future might hold, and this detailed picture keeps pulling you forward, into tomorrow. While the exact content of the picture will depend on your other strengths and interests—a better product, a better team, a better life, or a better world—it will always be inspirational to you. You are a dreamer who sees visions of what could be and who cherishes those visions. When the present proves too frustrating and the people around you too pragmatic, you conjure up your visions of the future and they energize you. They can energize others, too. In fact, very often people look to you to describe your visions of the future. They want a picture that can raise their sights and thereby their spirits. You can paint it for them. Practice. Choose your words carefully. Make the picture as vivid as possible. People will want to latch on to the hope you bring.
사람들은 보통 자신의 약점을 cover하기 위해 노력을 하지만,
이 책에서 강조하는 중요한 것은…약점을 보완하는 노력을 하기보다는 강점을 더욱 강하게 하기 위해 노력하는 것이 효과적이라는 것이다. 이 내용은 예전에 재밌게 읽었던 책 중 하나인 ‘아웃라이어 by 말콤 글래드웰’에서도 비슷한 맥락을 강조하는 것을 발견할 수 있다.
나의 강점을 알고 그것을 위해 정열을 다해 노력해라, 알지만 사실 이렇게 하기가 쉽지는 않다.
나는 사실 책을 재미로 보기 보다는 남들만큼 아려면 많이 봐야 해 라는 생각을 가지고 있고 이것은 내가 약점을 극복하려는 것임을 극명하게 보여 준다. (생각은 이렇게 하지만 실제로 내가 보는 책들은 즐기기 위한 책들이 더 많은 것 같다 ㅋ)
천재는 노력하는 자를 이길 수 없고 노력하는 자는 즐기는 자를 이길 수 없다는 말처럼 자기가 잘 하는 것을 하루하루 즐기면서 사는 것이 결국 가장 효율적인 것이 아닐까?
내가 누구인지 잘 모르겠거나, 어렴풋이 알 것 같긴 하나 글로 표현을 하긴 힘든 분들, 또는 잘 알더라도 tool을 통해 확인을 해 보고 싶은 분들이 있다면 한 번쯤 Strength Finder를 해 보는 것도 좋겠다.