Do you know your strengths?

Do you do what you do best every day?

Often, individuals do not fully realize what their true talents are, especially how to maximize them to the fullest. So in 1998, psychologist Donald Clifton, Tom Rath and some scientists at Gallup created the StrengthsFinder assessment to help folks understand and learn how to build upon their key strengths.

One of the morning workshops this morning explored people’s core strengths. We had Paul Allen from Gallup to talk about his journey to Strengths Finder and lead a group in interactive learning activities for folks to harness their top 5 strengths.

Allen has been working with data long before the big data movement. He’s worked a number of years in data preparation and has cofounded a few well known data-based sites, such as Ancestry.com. His journey to Gallup and Strengths Finder highlights the enabling power of knowing the right data – knowledge about yourself.

Allen highlighted some great context regarding the strengths and workplace employee engagement. According to a Gallup report, State of the American Workplace, employee engagement in the US is estimated at around 30%. Around the world, this figure is around 15%, while the lowest lingers around 8%. Allen believes that these figures can be doubled if managers were able to manage their employees based on their strengths and if employee are utilized based on their strengths.

So it’s important to synthesize your strengths!

Allen highlighted 3 key steps: name, claim and aim.

  1. The first step is to know your strengths, for which the online Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment is useful.
  2. An individual claims their strengths by acknowledging them and learning about them – the StrengthFinder reports help.
  3. Aiming means targeting your work with strengths in mind.

In groups of two, participants shares stories showing moments during which they felt their strengths were strongest. A partner group from each table shared their stories. What I learned from the presentations was that it’s important to team your strengths with others who have different strengths.

More key points from the session include:

  • Mentorship is key.
  • Strengths can become a workplace culture.
  • Strengths can have a dramatic impact on employee engagement.

Do you know your strengths?

Do you employ your best strengths at work?

Learn more from the Gallup Strengths Center.

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Profile Photo Marie Koko

As a career counselor, I really love this assessment. Unlike the MBTI or Strong, I think it’s a lot easier for clients to conceptualize their strengths and see how they apply in their daily lives. I definitely agree with mine and get to use most of them more often than not at work.

Profile Photo Elizabeth Fischer Laurie

I think the challenging part for me is that while I understand my strengths it is sometimes hard to translate that into the right work environment. This is not a black and white discovery. I am also quickly realizing that this is a life-long process for most people.

Profile Photo Jay Johnson

Love StrengthsFinder! We’ve used it here at our DoD command for a few years. It started as a grassroots effort and was evidentually picked up by our training department. It is a journey of continuous improvement. I’m still looking for new ways to think of and communicate my strengths.