Saturday, October 06, 2007

Reflections on Trader Strengths

I very much encourage a return to my prior post to read the many fine comments of readers regarding the strengths that distinguish successful traders from less successful ones. There are excellent insights among the reader observations, including perspectives on cognitive flexibility and the ability to know and act upon probabilities.

A particularly rich set of comments to the blog post came from Dr. Bruce Hong, who asks a series of penetrating questions of traders. He also posted the questions to his Trader Psychology blog, which I heartily recommend.

Here's a post that captures the spirit of the strengths-based approach to performance. Some of the best work in the area is being done by the Gallup organization; here's their page on strengths development.

The fundamental premise of the strengths-based approach is that we are more likely to further our development by building upon existing strengths than by remediating weaknesses. Many times traders approach coaching (and self-coaching) efforts by setting goals of doing less of a negative behavior. Far more promising is a thorough investigation of what traders are already doing well--the solution-focused perspective--and building a career around that.

One nice thing about traveling from Australia to the U.S. is that it provides plenty of opportunity for brainstorming. During the flight, I mapped out my own draft questionnaire of trader strengths, based on several key dimensions. Now I will integrate the readers' ideas to broaden out my items and release the first formal draft of a Trading Strengths Questionnaire early this week.

My hope is that the questionnaire provides a stimulus for traders to identify the ingredients of success--and to see where they might have strengths that could anchor their future development. Thanks to readers for taking the time to share valuable ideas.