Conventional wisdom teaches us that if we want to improve, we must work on our weaknesses. Think back to your school days when your parents found you a tutor if you were struggling at English or Math. We are so focused on fixing our weaknesses that we don’t often think about increasing our strengths.
Enter Donald O Clifton. Dubbed the father of Strengths Based Psychology, he developed the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment (clearly he was high Significance), an online assessment that identifies the talents in which an individual has the greatest potential for turning into strengths.
Now I know what you’re thinking: ‘I thought it told me my strengths, its StrengthsFinder, not TalentFinder.’ If you had this thought then you’re not alone. Clifton StrengthsFinder measures talent in 34 themes and by identifying and working to build on these talents, you can then turn them into strengths. Think of a child who has a natural talent for basketball; it’s all well and good to have this natural talent, but until they practice and invest time into building on this talent, it will never turn into a strength.
Gallup use the following formula to show how you can turn a talent into a strength:
Talent (a naturally recurring pattern of thought feeling or behaviour that can be productively applied)
Investment (time spent practicing and developing skills and building knowledge base)
Strength (the ability to consistently provide near perfect performance)
It’s usually around this point that someone asks “why?” Why should I take the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment?
People who use their Srengths are:
- 6 times as likely to be engaged in their jobs
- 6 times as likely to do what they do best every day
- 3 times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life
And perhaps my favourite of all: people who learn to use their strengths every day have a 7.8% greater productivity! That’s like having almost 2 more hours in a day! Just take that in for a second, how many times have you been guilty of saying: “There’s just not enough hours in a day”? But hey, from Richard Branson to Elon Musk, we all have the same amount of hours in a day; it’s all about how you use them and I’d say learning to use your Strengths to be more productive is a VERY good start!
If you are the owner of a business, a manager or just work in a team, and those stats aren’t enough to convince you to do Strengths, then the below stats definitely will:
Teams that use their Clifton Strengths are:
- 10-19% as likely to be engaged in their jobs
- 14-29% increase in profit
- 14-29% increase in engaged employees
- 26-72% lower turnover
If you still aren’t convinced by now at just how incredible StrengthsFinder is (this might say something about your Strengths), I encourage you to go and do your assessment, look at your results and just try to deny that what comes out on the report isn’t you to a tee.
If you are interested in finding out a bit more about StrengthsFinder, having some coaching sessions to understand your strengths or finding out how you can embed Strengths into your company or team, contact as at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Human Performance Specialist
Input Empathy Maximizer Positivity Developer