It’s time to recognize your innate talents and focus on your true potential.
Millions of people have taken the CliftonStrengths® assessment. If you do not recognize the name Don Clifton or CliftonStrengths, I hope this blog post inspires you to read any of his books or to take the CliftonStrengths online talent assessment. Known as the Father of Strengths-Based Psychology, Don Clifton changed how society views people’s strengths and weaknesses. His research and philosophy focuses on the premise that people have more potential for growth when they develop their strengths instead of correcting deficiencies.
As cleverly noted in the inside cover of Don Clifton’s book Discover Your CliftonStrengths, a quote from Benjamin Franklin reads, “Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?”
Often we find ourselves spending time trying to improve our weaknesses and shortcomings. What we should be doing is concentrating on our natural talents. If we devote more time to understanding our strengths and applying the proper strategies, we will be able to focus on what we do best.
Gallup has spent decades researching how talent can be applied in a variety of roles and the importance of having the opportunity to develop strengths. According to Gallup’s survey of ten million people, approximately seven million people do not have an opportunity to focus on what they do best.
The research goes on to state that when you are not able to use your strengths at work, chances are you
- Achieve less on a daily basis
- Have fewer positive and creative moments
- Dread going to work
- Have more negative interactions with colleagues
- Treat customers poorly
Also, your health and relationships can suffer. So that is why it is important to understand and assess your strengths.
The CliftonStrengths assessment is based on Gallup’s 40-year study of human strengths and identifies 34 of the most common talents. The assessment guides and helps people discover their top talents. It measures the natural patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving, and orders the talent themes by the users’ responses to the questions.
Here’s a sample of three of the 34 talent themes:
- Restorative: You love to solve a problem and are energized with the challenge of identifying what is wrong and finding the solution.
- Futuristic: You are driven by the promise of the future and your innovative and visionary traits pull you to a better team, product, or world.
- Includer: You believe in the acceptance of all and strive to include people and make them feel part of a group.
Now, consider the power of knowing your individual strengths or the strengths of your colleagues. By understanding the strengths, needs, and triggers of each theme, you can begin to get a better understanding of each other’s abilities. There is a greater opportunity to match different strengths and to build a high-performing team.
I recently had an opportunity to take the CliftonStrengths assessment to learn my five top talent themes. The assessment was part of a four-day training program for employees at The Training Associates. We had one of our talented learning and development consultants, Kisha Dixon, onsite to deliver the communications excellence training program. She incorporates this methodology into many of the workshops she delivers to clients (so we figured it would be a great learning experience for us too).
The thirty-minute assessment exercise proved to be an interesting and rewarding experience. I now have an understanding of the five areas where I have the greatest potential to grow as a person. To me, this is powerful information.
As stated in Discover Your CliftonStrengths book, studies show that people are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life in general when they are using their strengths. All you need to do is to discover your untapped natural abilities. Productivity, happiness, and confidence are waiting there for you to find.
Your natural talents are worth discovering and developing!