This week, I have been particularly busy helping my client, Aspiration Catalyst, put together training materials for her upcoming CliftonStrengths Finder workshops. I first became familiar with the Gallup Strengths Center about a month ago when I took my very first strengths assessment (of course my client turned me onto this very important work).
Since then, I have been fascinated with this information and wanted to share what I’ve learned, and how it might help you. First of all, the assessment itself is about 30 minutes long, and a tiny bit challenging. However, the results you gain from taking this assessment are profound.
The least expensive assessment is the Top 5 Strengths, which is the one I took. However, for an additional investment, you can reveal all 34 themes and where your skill set lies within each theme. Each of the 34 themes fall into four different leadership styles.
- Executing – Leaders with this dominant style are focused on making things happen and getting stuff done.
- Influencing– Influencers are always selling ideas inside and outside the organization – they are the ones to spread the word.
- Relationship Building– Leaders with this dominant style are the glue that holds people together; they build strong teams.
- Strategic Thinking– These folks are forward thinkers and always helping others see what could be.
To understand how it works, let me share my top five strengths, in order from 1 to 5.
Out of the five strengths, four of them fall into the Relationship Building domain. The achiever, as you would probably guess, is all about executing. You might wonder what you can do with this information. With the assessment, you learn detailed information about each of your strengths, what they are used for, how they make you stand out, and ideas for taking action with this powerful knowledge.
Just imagine what you could do if you not only knew your strengths, but the strengths of your family members, your friends, your co-workers. Think about how powerful you could be if you combined the strengths of a group and make them into one powerful team. Alone, we are only as successful as we can be with our own personal strengths, but together with everyone’s strengths, we can conquer so much more.
Take, for instance, my marriage. My spouse’s top five strengths are WOO, COMMUNICATION, POSITIVITY, STRATEGIC, AND ADAPTABILITY. We do not have a single strength in common. Each of us is good at something completely different, but in many ways complimentary. Instead of focusing on what makes us different, we can learn to work together and become a stronger unit.
Another way I recently used the CliftonStrengths was for evaluating career choices and writing a resume for my 26-year-old son. I asked him to take the assessment so I could more powerfully sell him to a future employer. His number one strength was COMPETITION. It doesn’t come as a surprise that he would pick sales, even though when he was a young boy, he wanted to become a professional baseball player. Either career largely depends on competition.
Of course, the most popular use of this amazing body of work is in a business setting, where leaders and team members are trying to work together to achieve a single goal or purpose. My client, Kimberly Svoboda, is a certified Strengths coach and she does a great job of outlining the impact this knowledge can make in her article “Building an Engaged Team with Staying Power”.
As a small business owner, not only is it important for you to identify your strengths, it would be great to know the strengths of each person you bring onto your team. To read more about the CliftonStrengths, check out the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Gath, or take this assessment at the Gallup Strengths Center.
Identifying Your Top 5 Strengths Using this Powerful Tool
July 21, 2017