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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

NPH Miscellany

Monday, February 12, 2007

Last week NPH participated in a three-day retreat in which he was asked to take the Clifon Strengths Finder inventory. If you don't know (and we didn't before last week) the inventory is based in the theory of positive psychology, and it was taken up by the Gallup Organization and packaged as a book for churchgoers and leaders. Content-wise it's pretty thin, and the research methodology is somewhat suspect, since Gallup is so tight-lipped about how the inventories actually get scored. But we love things that tell us about ourselves, no? It's important to remember to take them with a grain of salt.

In any case, NPH was told that his "strengths" run in a number of themes: input (collecting stuff and information), harmony (getting people to agree), restoring (fixing problems), positivity (praising and encouraging), and including ("stretch-the-circle-wider"). The nub of positive psychology is that a person will function best when they're working in their strengths, rather than when they are trying to "fix" their deficiencies. It's a good insight. NPH is witholding judgment about its effective application.
Tomorrow night NPH begins a Financial Peace University class at the church. We've put this off for nearly two years, and only now have decided to take the plunge and ask people to pay the $95 it takes to participate. Personally, we've believed in the worth of Dave Ramsey's financial counsel, but we've just been squeemish about pushing that on others. We just got to a point where we decided we couldn't justify doing nothing in the face of the financial wreckage in our community. Early returns are good, since nearly 20 people have signed up, nearly half of whom are from the community and not the church.
posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 5:20 AM


I love this stuff. I, too, took the Strengths Finder test, which resulted in a career change for me!

My strengths in order of dominance are:
1) Strategic - "you see patterns where others see complexity"
2) Intellection - "mental hum is a constant of your life"
3) Connectedness - "you have faith in the link between all things"
4) Ideation - "you are delighted when you find an elegantly simple concept benaeth a complex surface"
5) Input - "You are inquisitive. you collect things"

One good thing about knowing your strengths is that you also (should) know your limitations. I find that this has been uber-helpful as I pastor a church because I know enough to say to my folks "I'm sorry, but I don't have a clue what I'm doing here. So-and-so shows real strength for this - let's invite them to participate/lead."

These things are a great way to flesh out the priesthood of all believers in a real practical way.
BTW - I think this book underpins scale with the research methodology you were looking for.
Bub, just wanted to say a big-time thanks for spreading the word about Dave Ramsey and debt freedom! The sooner joes and jills learn to deep-six their debt and connect with their cash, the better. Way to go, baby! www.debtective.com
commented by Blogger DEBTective, 9:11 AM  
Dude, the debt free stuff is great...we just took a course here in SJ, CA and loved it. Also, the strengths stuff is really interesting. One of the lead researchers who first published a lot of the work on the topic was a faculty member at Azusa Pacific in LA (a very Christian university). TO see it get picked up by Gallup and then packaged (in which APU makes out bigtime) is kind of neat.
commented by Blogger Scott, 12:15 PM  

I actually teach it here at APU. My five are Activator, Competition (explains some things huh), strategic, maximizer and analytical! I don't know how it works in the business/church world, but it is GREAT for college students!
commented by Blogger Michael, 1:35 PM  

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