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Strengths Finding and Maximizing


Written by Plant With Purpose on September 23, 2009 in General

by Aly Lewis

I love personality tests. I mean, I really love personality tests. In the last year, the only times my roommates and I have stayed up gabbing past midnight have been to indulge in Myers-Briggs banter and psycho-analysis. No boy talk for us—unless, of course, we’re scrutinizing to death the men in our lives based on personality tests. My obsession was solidified when I realized I type the term INTP into my phone more often than the word goes while texting (and that’s not even my personality type!).

Another test I’m particularly fond of (although not quite as obsessed with) is StrengthsFinder. This test pinpoints a person’s top five strengths—the rationale being that it is easier to focus on and cultivate your strengths than to eliminate your weaknesses. In honor of StrengthsFinder and personality-test-lovers everywhere, I would like to highlight what I think to be one of Plant With Purpose’s greatest strengths: maximizing.

Simply put, a Maximizer is someone who can readily identify others’ strengths and helps them build on and improve these strengths. Some key characteristics of a maximizer include seeing talents and strengths in others, sometimes before they do, and helping others become excited by the potential of their natural talents. I know, I know, Plant With Purpose is not a single person but an organization, but if it were one single person, I’m pretty sure he/she would test Maximizer—every time.

One of Plant With Purpose’s main goals is to work with communities to discover and maximize their God-given talents. Our goal isn’t to take the limelight or prescribe a specific program, but to equip and encourage rural farmers to utilize and maximize the skills, talents, and resources they already possess. (I feel like I can’t stop writing about this transformational and radical process of empowerment, but, like the cat who just keeps coming back, I can’t seem to stray too far from my community development awe).

I want to thank all of Plant With Purpose’s international staff for their commitment to individuals and communities around the world, their compassion for struggling and impoverished farmers, and their dedicated efforts to help often overlooked and forgotten people to reach their full potential and transform their lives. Thanks for all the strengths finding and maximizing!


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