Achieving Greatness Through HIGH5 Strengths
October 09, 2023
Humans are complex beings who have spent thousands of years trying to understand ourselves and others. We are also beings who like to categorise everything we see into boxes. We do this naturally by using pre-defined “schemas” which are created from our experiences.
For example, when going to the cinema, we do not need to think about how to dress, how to buy tickets, figure out what food is available, or what drink to order. Through our previous experiences, we have an expectation of what a standard cinema building looks like and we have a pre-defined plan of action on how to get from the entrance to your seat in front of the big screen with your favourite snacks and drink. This saves enormous mental capacity and reduces stress that may be induced by having to figure everything out from scratch each time.
These schemas are also applied to people we meet and interact with. We have a predefined idea of what to expect from our friends and what their personality is like. Society as a whole has been attributing specific character models to each other for a long time, such as astrology star signs or Chinese zodiac signs. More recently, we were able to develop a robust understanding of 5 main characteristics that people have: extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism.
In theory, we all possess these traits to varying degrees. Some people may be on the high end of extraversion while others are on the low end where they are classed as introverts. This system is helpful to not only recognise traits that you or others possess but it can also be used to understand which traits you would like to develop further. With practice, an introvert could exhibit more extroverted traits when they need to present or give talks, just as an extrovert may work to be more quiet and cautious when needed.
The Big 5 traits are particularly useful for self-development and reflection, but it can be difficult to decide which traits to focus on for specific goals, such as self-fulfilment or career progression. For this, the HIGH5 test is the perfect tool to identify your top 5 personality strengths, their dynamics, ways to develop them, best partners, and career applications. HIGH5 strengths are classed into 4 families:
To identify what strengths and families best reflect you, the test takes you through 120 statements that you are asked to rate on how much you agree with them – from 0% to 100%. These statements relate to the mentioned 4 families, but they are wide-encompassing and touch on everyday situations such as the ability to help others, being organised, acting spontaneously, freedom of expression, and others.
While taking the test, we found that some of the statements challenge you to reflect on personal values and ideologies. The test can be taken in just a few minutes, but setting time aside to truly consider what statements best reflect you as a person yields the best results.
My results felt very accurate and specific. My 5 main strengths were: Philomath, Strategist, Optimist, Catalyst, and Coach which fell in the “Thinking”, “Feeling” and “Motivating” families. The full report provided me with specific detailed tasks on how to further develop my traits, such as setting integrated goals to develop Philomath and regulating my reactions to make better decisions as a Catalyst. When looking at the best partners to support each strength, I already started thinking about which work colleagues have traits that would work well with my strengths. I was then able to identify work projects that we will be able to collaborate on for mutual benefit
Alongside my key 5 strengths, the full report also provided me with traits that I possess and can leverage as needed. For example, I had the Problem Solver trait which was the only strength in my top 10 from the “Doing” family. Having this trait as a Leverage made me feel confident that I can solve problems when needed, not just think of ideas and motivate others to succeed. Seeing Problem Solver as my leverage trait also allowed me to research more on the ways that I can strengthen the “Doing” side of my personality and use it more often - such as seeing projects to completion and not just starting multiple projects at once.
My next 5 strengths fell in the Navigate category. This category advises on how to leverage your top 10 strengths to navigate patterns that would otherwise hinder progression. One of my Navigate strengths was Peace Keeper which works to reduce friction in the workplace. I recognise that I am headstrong in work environments and may not always mediate conflicts successfully, but I now understand how I can use my Empathizer and Strategist strengths to empathize with different points of view, help colleagues understand the bigger picture and find an amicable conflict resolution.
The last 5 traits are in the Delegate category. This does not mean that they are my weaknesses, but they are just strengths which I do not frequently utilise to achieve outstanding results. As such, I now know to look for colleagues who have Storyteller or Time Keeper strengths that could evolve my work from good to great. While I am good at working with data and creating new workstreams, I can also benefit from a Time Keeper who is able to set specific goals and deadlines for projects and a Storyteller who would then be able to bring our findings together in an engaging way. These results have been immensely useful to me and my self-actualization. I now know to not only look for partners who would work well as part of an interdisciplinary team but also to look for people who have strengths which would complement my work.
You can take the HIGH5 test to identify and understand how to improve your strengths here.
If you would like tailored help and coaching to grow your HIGH5 strengths, Mindsum has a wide variety of psychological interventions that can guide you to achieve self-actualization.
Our tailored therapist finder will help connect you with the right therapist who will work with you to develop the best version of you.