I love Strengths Finder by Tom Rath and Strengths in Leadership by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie.
Both of the above are books that include a code to go online and answer several questions about yourself. At the end of the online assessment you will be given personalize customized information about what your strengths are.
I not only learned a lot about myself and why I think certain ways, I also learned a lot about other people and really opened my eyes up to how different all of our strengths are. For example I am a self proclaimed introvert but my number one strength in Relator, meaning how I relate to people. There is a very long list of strengths in this book/ assessment and what I learned was while I may be good at relating to people and I have the ability to make others feel comfortable. There are others who have completely different strengths which are entirely different than mine and those folks can really help me to see a different perspective. Because really how much of the way I think is just perspective verses fact. Another great book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephan Covey talks about paradime shifts.
I also never thought much about working to increase my strengths instead I have often thought what I need to do get better on my weaknesses. Which whats the point of trying to be better at something I am never going to be good at or more than mediocre. Instead I thought a lot about focusing on my strengths and increasing my ability in the areas I am already naturally good at.
Here is a good example, if you have a child who always gets A’s in math and science but they struggle to get a C in English what should they work on? A lot would say English right? Wrong. They should focus on Math, in the end they will probably not do anything in there life in which English needs to be a strength. Instead they may be a doctor, scientist, engineer, architect. Something that math and science needs to be a strength.
Or here is another thought, do you ever work on something and time just gets away from you. You look at the clock and can’t believe how much time has passed? Usually that is because it is something you are passionate about and really enjoy doing. Usually it is a strength. On the other hand you will notice when you are doing something you are not passionate about and really are not very good at time will just drag on. Often not a strength at all quite the opposite actually.
So in knowing what your strengths are and others strengths are why not have them do what they are good at and you do what you are good at.