Golden Key hosts Student Life’s Ben Messner to speak of assessing strengths
Published: Monday, March 19, 2012
Updated: Monday, March 19, 2012 20:03
Last Thursday on March 15, the Golden Key Honors Society, VITA, USG and Alpha Kappa Psi teamed up with the Office of Student Life to offer their members a “discover your strengths” workshop.
“We decided to pair up with Student Life because their staff also operates in a dynamic and healthy way,” said Brian Lung, the chapter president of Golden Key.
“Student Life employees have taken the Strengths Finder test and therefore have become much more cohesive and efficient,” he said. This event helped many representatives from different organizations recognize their strengths, and therefore, their specialty within a team,” he added.
During the previous weekend, Golden Key sent an e-mail to its members urging them to take a personality test. From the questions in the survey, the test, simply called Strengths Finder, evaluated and ranked the test takers top five strengths out of a possible 34.
“The test relates to business because so many employees of business firms always focus on weaknesses,” said Lung.
He followed up by saying that “people can only improve so much when they try to fix what is wrong with them. Recognizing your strengths and building upon them will allow for much more rapid growth and success.’ If every employer from every firm or company realized this, they would be so much more distinguished and successful.”
Lung’s top five strengths were maximizer, activator, positivity, futuristic and competition. “My strengths can definitely help me because now I know what to do to get things done more efficiently,” he said. “Knowing the strengths of my officers can now allow me to address them in respective ways where they feel motivated to love Golden Key as much as I do.”
Messner, the associate director of Student Life, was brought in to help students assess their results and help them realize the positive aspects of their personalities and strengths.
A strength, according to Messner, has to be a two-way street. It must benefit both you and the people around you. If it only benefits you or only benefits the people around you then it is not a strength.
“I like working at Baruch because the students are the least entitled I have ever encountered at any college I’ve ever worked at,” he said. “The students are motivated and high-achieving; the downside of that, and it’s strange, is that a lot of students here want to focus on weaknesses. They wonder where they are weak and how to be better there and they don’t shine a light on where they are talented and work in increasing that.”
The majority of people are not happy with what they’re doing said Messner. He pointed to a survey where participants, were asked: “Do you have the opportunity to what you do best every day?” Only 20 percent said yes. Strengths finder tries to change that.
He said he fell in love with Strengths Finder because it was the most well rounded personality test he’s ever encountered.
It takes into account how much time it takes you to answer a question, making it so that you only have one in 33.5 million chance of getting the same results as someone else.
Messner told the audience his top five strengths were: strategic, arranger, individualization, relater and responsibility. His job description revolves around these five strengths, which, according to Messner, allows him to perform much better at his job.
The students were then asked to participate in a series of exercises.
The first one consisted of students reading through a paragraph explaining one of their strengths and underlining the parts they felt described them perfectly. They then had to introduce themselves to the person next to them by describing their own characteristics.
The room was soon filled with chatter and phrases like “hi, I am discipline” or “hi, I am responsibility.”
Afterwards Messner would name a couple of strengths like harmony and learner. Each student had a sheet that listed 14 characteristics of the specific strength and they had to determine whether or not a certain characteristic applied to them.
Messner said this was to prove that even though two people possess the same strength it doesn’t mean they use it the same way, hence the one in 33.5 million chance of getting the same result as someone else.
He brought up examples of Marco and Meagan, two people he had worked with who both had “woo,” or the ability to persuade people, but only Marco had “positivity.”
They both come across as convincing to other people, but they did so in a completely different manner.
When Messner’s presentation was over he spent some time talking to students who were interested in knowing more about Strengths Finder.
Lung was very satisfied with Messner’s presentation, “the event was very successful,” he said. “Attendees loved Ben as he was a knowledgeable and enthusiastic speaker.
Several students stayed after the event to talk more with Ben about their strengths and how it would affect them in the near future.
This was eye-opening to all students, including the officers of Golden Key, AKPsi and VITA,” said Lung.