StrengthsFinder Theme #4: Harmony

People who are especially talented in the Harmony theme look for consensus. They don’t enjoy conflict; rather, they seek areas of agreement.

This is probably the theme that surprised me the most when it first came up in my StrengthsFinder Assessment results.  I don’t go looking for conflict, but I don’t shy away from it, either.  I stand up for myself, and I will confront others when I have to.  I do try to keep confrontation calm and focused on practical things, though.  I’d rather see results than win, if that makes sense.  So in that regard, I do prefer harmony.  Harmony is more practical and gets better results, so when I disagree with a boss or a coworker – or even when an argument breaks out in my classroom – I look for common ground, for the areas where people agree, and then build my case from there.  Taking a look at my Personalized Strengths Insights from the Gallup Report, it makes more sense.

Because of your strengths, you feel content when you are surrounded by practical, credible, or experienced specialists. Often they help you find the right answers to your questions or the correct solutions for your problems. They repeatedly offer reassurances that you will not upset people.

I can easily gauge my happiness in a certain job by the practicality, credibility, and experience of my bosses and coworkers.  I will happily work for someone that is an expert and that has proven themselves to be practical.  However, I have a harder time when I see people in authority over me making impractical decisions or demonstrating a lack of knowledge.  I once worked for a school administrator that off-handedly called studying English “just celebrating old dead guys,” and that really upset me.  I felt the need to correct that comment and explain (and validate) what it is that I do every day.  However, I found a way to speak to him in a diplomatic manner, basing my points on common ground I knew he valued, such as quoting the AP website.  When I have bosses that I respect and can look up to as experts, I love it!  I will go to them for advice again and again as I continue to grow as a teacher.

Chances are good that you characteristically are good-natured and even-tempered in your dealings with individuals. Your friendly disposition causes others to feel comfortable in your presence. You are apt to accept the differences and commonalities you find between yourself and these people.

Yeah, that sounds about right.  Especially as a sub – I can be good-natured and even-tempered, even as I write down the names of students that are misbehaving.  As such, students feel comfortable around me.

It’s very likely that you fondly recall the attention or care given to you by an educator or coach. The individual probably encouraged you as a youth.

9th & 10th grade it was Mr. Lund.  11th and 12th grade it was Miss McIntyre.  One encouraged me in my English nerdiness and the other mentored me as I prepared to become a teacher myself.  Other teachers liked me, but those two took a special interest in me and I think of them often as I teach my own classes.

Consequently, you have an easy time establishing a rapport with others. Your personable style and optimistic attitude attract people. By nature, you tend to be more practical than creative.

In my resume and cover letter, I usually say something about being able to quickly establish a solid rapport with my students.  I’ve done it over and over again.  After just one day in the classroom I become a first-choice sub and a favorite among the students.  When I teach full time, my lessons do tend to lean more towards the practical than the creative.  I do like creativity in the classroom and we do have fun, but not at the expense of learning the necessary content.

You usually think through problems or situations step by step. You identify the facts to make the unknown known. You fill in missing information. You clarify ideas, proposals, or rules. Using your intelligence or common sense, you diplomatically show people what is true and what is false.

Yeah, I like to be diplomatic.  I find it gets better results than passionately arguing based on emotions.

Generally you are the unifying force between individuals who are upset, mad, irritated, or in direct conflict with one another.

Ok, this one made me chuckle, because it’s actually kind of annoying.  They say “unifying force”, but I see “get stuck in the middle” of two individuals who are upset at each other.  This happened to me so much in college.  Ugh.  I mean… it’s one of my strengths… yeah….

Instinctively, you characteristically gravitate to situations where you can team up with people. Being a practical and objective person, you probably present ideas that have produced good results in the past. You appreciate teammates who give the same consideration to your suggestions as they give to everyone else’s.

I hate it when I don’t feel like I’m being heard.  I know I still have a lot to learn, but I also know that I am good at what I do.  I really am willing to listen to others, to learn and to grow, to explore new ideas and become a better teacher – but please at least give me the respect of hearing me out as well.

And if you’re still reading this… wow.  🙂  I write these posts more for myself, because I have a hunch they might be kind of boring to an audience.  But I want to have a better understanding of how the StrengthsFinder assessment works, and writing these posts help.  I have one more theme to write about (Woo!), and then I’ll write a summary of my thoughts from there.  I want to get through all of this before I start down another path in my research.  Thanks for following along on this journey!

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One thought on “StrengthsFinder Theme #4: Harmony

  1. Pingback: StrengthsFinder Closing Thoughts | Avoiding Neverland

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