fostering a community of people interested in exploring strengths
What this assessment defined me as completely missed the mark. I read the action steps with complete disinterest as it is about someone else... so not me.
I am currently running a one person operation. All of these team questions were such a stretch for me to answer, I had to go back to where I was four years ago or picture myself in various scenarios,.. but they weren't questions I could really relate to today in many cases.
I am a HUGE fan of self assessments as they usually provide you a written portrayal of you that knows you better than your mother does. Strengths Finder 2.0 was brilliant. Thomas profiles, and other tests I have done have always nailed me.
This one is completely wrong. I feel deflated from the missed opportunity and the waste of $20.
I was defined as an influencer/provider.
I am an optomistic futuristic thinker which influencer touches on, but I am so not the drive to the finish person that description provides... it might be nice if I were. My bottom rank was Teacher which is what I do for a living. I love it, and pursue opportunities to develop myself and others at every opportunity.
I don't understand "Provider" as a descriptor for me at all.
I was sooo looking forward to this, I got my book club to jump on board for our next meeting so we can see how to bring out the best in ourselves... this just missed.
I thought this book would give me ideas on how to be a better me in my market. It seems too focussed on how I should be with my huge team, that I don't have.
Don't get me wrong. It's not that I presume to know everything about myself. I have had surprises in assessments from how I envisioned myself. Those can be eye opening and of huge value.
Its when you read one that feels like you are reading a complete stranger, it's hard to connect. that was my issue.
Why doesn't StandOut resonate with some people?
I've pondered this issue, since I know from my own experience, some questions in assessments are sort of not really relevant to you, and as such... well, it's sort of like taking an exam on a subject you don't know. You can answer, but if you aren't drawing on anything you have experience with or knowledge of, your answers will have no context, and thus the "error," so to speak, will carry through to the results. ("Error" isn't the best word, but I'm trying to use math as an analogy.)
As an example, I find the Strengths Test in Go Put Your Strengths To Work to be not always easy to answer, since some questions are very suited to more corporate environments. Which makes sense--you can very much see that sort of focus when you look at TMBC.
Just wording a question slightly differently can yield completely different answers (because it triggers different "clusters" of your experience and feelings around certain things).
Some solutions, and figuring out why some people resonate, and others don't
I think the solution then is to individualise even more and create questions that are tailed to individual audiences, so when a question is asked, instead of people having to extrapolate and imagine in instances where they don't have much experience with what the question is asking, the test could ask a few questions to begin with to determine the category this person fits into, and then from there, it can present a set of questions that are more relevant to that type of audience.
You'd also have to create prescriptive "ideas for action," etc, that resonate with that particular audience. (That's one thing I notice assessments don't do as well--create action steps that are really relevant. But that's a very subjective thing, so maybe they're relevant to some people. But there lies the issue again--not individualising enough.)
Perhaps that's outside of the scope of TMBC. In that case, another solution would be to describe who the target audience is for something. I think in trying to be too inclusive when something is designed for a certain audience can indeed lead to some people feeling sort of disengaged and not resonating with something as much as other people might.
I very much understand that in some cases you may not be intellectually aware of, or have much intellectual knowledge of, what your strengths and uniqueness looks like, or looks like in action (and I reason certain talent themes make gaining self-awareness easier to do this than others).
But in other cases... well, I think it'd be interesting to see a study done on the people who don't resonate with their results of StandOut to discover why. I reason that some might later come to resonate with their results, and that some people would be part of a group of people who don't resonate with the questions asked.
You'd also want to study the people who really resonate with it. I bet you'd find that they have some sort of experience within the working world.
And oh, this reminds me of something. I was reading something about, I think, How Full Is Your Bucket, a book by Gallup (or something like that... my memory is a bit hazy in regards to what it was about exactly). Apparently they were sharing it with an different audience in another country (again, "or something like that"--I just glanced at the post), and none of the stories resonated. So it had to be changed, or updated, or something, to make it more relevant.
(I'd share a link to that story if I knew where it was.)
Take the details of that story with a grain of salt since I only scanned the blog post briefly, but the idea behind it makes a lot of sense to me, and I think that is what is happening with StandOut (and other assessments) in some cases. Like reading words in another language, if you don't relate to the language of "teams" of "corporate working life," questions about that probably won't really draw on your experience, and will yield results similar to trying to create strengths statements (as shared in Go Put Your Strengths To Work) that draw on someone elses experience, instead of yours.
That's my theory, at least. :)
Glen, some ideas for you:
Idea 1 - review the StandOut roles (solo or in a group) to see which resonate most
If you have a decent amount of self-awareness already, you can probably just read through the StandOut roles and get a feel for which roles resonate with you. It's not the same, I know, but I still think you can find some usefulness in StandOut (especially if you have the book, since I'm pretty sure it describes things about each role that the online assessment doesn't cover--but I'm not 100% certain on that).
StandOut is all about how you appear to other people, so if your book club read StandOut, you could perhaps do a review of your results with them (even if they don't resonate with you) and ask them if they think the results seem to resonate with you, and if not, which roles they think would be more fitting. If you have people on your book club who have individualisation or maximiser as talent themes (as measured by StrengthsFinder), definitely ask if they're open to sharing their opinion.
Idea 2 - an alternative: the Strong Life test
Marcus has another test called the StrongLife test that is very similar to StandOut, in that it has 9 roles, and also a set of questions that are situational judgement questions. (It is related to the book, Find Your Strongest Life, a book written to help women--and also interested men.)
I took the test recently before I took StandOut (which I also took recently), and it identified the same top 3 roles that StandOut did, just in a different order.
I don't recall if the questions were worded differently to StandOut, but yeah, maybe it's something you can check out:
Idea 3 - discover activities that strengthen you using a different process
Marcus has another book called Go Put Your Strengths to Work, which shares processes you can use to identify your strengths in a way that doesn't rely on online assessments, and is much, much more individualised to you (by nature, you have to draw on your own experience to do the "capture, clarify, and confirm" process that the book shares).
Basically, the book helps you identify activities that strengthen you, and activities that weaken you, and helps you to create statements that you can use to better identify those situations in your life, and then shares strategies you can use to do more of what strengthens you, and less of what weakens you.
You may find it tricky to answer some of the questions in the "strengths test" questionnaire in the book (the process is intended to help you "confirm" a strength to make sure that a strength is indeed a "true" strength), since a few of the questions in there are more so tailored to people in traditional working environments (e.g. one of the questions is about whether you've received recognition or awards for doing an activity that you identify).
But if you're okay with the idea of that, and are open to perhaps managing around that, you may still benefit from the book.
If you don't have it already, perhaps see if it's in a local library before you buy it, which will let you see if it resonates.
* * *
I've been thinking for a long time that we do indeed need more assessments and tools that are individualised to entrepreneurial people, and also people who don't have much work experience to draw on, or have work experience that is not conventional (like an artist--lots of artists might work from home and prefer working that way, and the idea of a team is very foreign to them).
There are solutions out there, but they're not as nice as StandOut or StrengthsFinder are and require more work and investment, and I don't think everyone is willing to invest that much in a set of processes and prefer things that are more simple.
I don't resonate with that approach, but then I have Achiever as a talent theme (means doing lots of work towards something I want is fine with me :D ), and I think sometimes if you have lots of life issues, you may not have the stamina to do lots of work... at which point, more simplified tools like StandOut (but more individualised for the people I mentioned above) become useful.
But, as with everything, the people who make these assessments are doing new things not done before. So it's a learning process for them, too. StrengthsFinder 2.0 provided results for me that felt much more individualised than StrengthsFinder 1.0, and indeed, that's the nature of things. So we're sort of in this journey together, with the creators of these tools and content.
If something doesn't resonate now, perhaps check back in a few years. And, as always, there's more than one way do go about something. :)