Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Interview with Mike Taylor Developer of StrengthsMapper for MindManager

Last week I had the opportunity to interview Mike Taylor the developer of the recently released MindManager 8 add-in called StrengthsMapper. Mike was kind enough to invite me into the beta testing of StrengthsMapper so that I could get a chance to use it before it was released. I also had the opportunity to read StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath and Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie which is the foundation for understanding how StrengthMapper can be used on a personal level and with a team in a business environment. Essential to understanding how StrengthsMapper can be used is the notion that as an individual we all possess strengths which when identified can be used to propel us forward in our personal and professional lives. As a psychologist, I can certainly relate to these premises and in my own work with children and adults know how important it is to help focus on an individual's strength as a means to work through their difficulties.

In 2001, Gallup introduced an online assessment, StrengthFinder which helped individuals identify their Top 5 talents among 34 different themes. You can find out more information about the online assessment which has been updated to StrengthsFinder 2, and take the assessment online for a nominal fee. Once you have identified your Top 5 themes you can now begin to put together an Action Plan around them. During the interview, Mike Taylor explained to me that as an engineer and business consulting he learned early on that he could make more headway with his clients when he focused on their individual strengths. Managing talent by helping others focus on their top 5 themes and then developing an Action Plan was a very powerful tool and one that Mike wanted to share with others. Being an avid MindManager 8 user, Mike thought that if he could marry the power of MindManager 8 and present a graphic depiction of an individual's 5 Top themes that he could have a very powerful personal development tool. With this, Mike set out to do just that and developed the MindManager 8 add-in called StrengthsMapper.

Once you take the StrengthsFinder 2 online assessment, you can quickly key in the information into StrengthsMapper and have a visual depicition of your Top 5 themes. You can see my 5 Top themes in the map to the Left. The power of this tool is not only on being able to visually stay focused on your strengths but by being able to build an Action Plan for the week, month and year ahead. StrengthsMapper is an easy and powerful tool to help you tune into your strengths and to build upon them via the Action Plans you create. Two version of StrengthsMapper are available, one for personal use called StrengthsMapper, and StrengthsMapper Pro which was developed for building effective teams by helping organizations to match talents and skills that are needed for a project. For more information you can go to StregthMapper.com

To listen to the audio interview click here or hover over the speaker icon: Interview with Mike Taylor

 
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