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What is StrengthsFinder?
Clifton's StrengthsFinder Assessment is likely the most popular and widely adopted tool for helping you discover what you do best and creates a foundation for sharping your talents. It helps you define what your "34 strengths" are. The CliftonStrengths assessment is a Web-based assessment from the perspective of Positive Psychology. StrengthsFinder was developed by the Gallup Organization.
How Does StrengthsFinder work?
Gallup strengths are made up of three aspects: Talent, Knowledge & Experience
- Talent: Your natural way of thinking, feeling or behaving
- Knowledge: The sum total of the amount a person knows about his/her talent and how to apply it
- Experience: Experience is the amount of time invested in developing a certain talent.
As previously mentioned, there are 34 strengths in the StrengthsFinder test (aka CliftonStrengths test). With the standard results from the test (which costs $19.99), you will find out your top five strengths, in order. For an additional $39.99, you can find out all 34 of your strengths, from strongest to weakest.
StrengthsFinder Divides Strengths by Types or Domains
The domains are: Executing, Influencing, Strategic Thinking, and Relationship Building.
How Long Does It Take To Complete The StrengthsFinder Test?
The StrengthsFinder test (CliftonStrengths assessments) takes most people about 35-45 minutes to complete. You take the test online and then immediately see your results.
- Starting point for learning about yourself- your strengths and natural leanings.
- Gives you jumpstart for self discovery
- Helps you identify what your team has and what it needs
- Whatever your initial gifts are, you can find videos about how to hone them further. StrengthFinder has its own Youtube Channel that you can access here.
- Results vary compared to what you do with them. You get back what you put in - like with any investment. Therefore, results are difficult to "quantify"
- Can give a false sense of competence. It ranks strengths in relation to each other. You may be better at # 1 than # 5; however, you don't know if that is because you are a novice at five or you are simply underdeveloped in general. You might not have reached competence in any of them.
- you still want to work on gaining base level competency in other areas as opposed to ignoring weaknesses. Strengthsfinder is a starting point, not the finish line.
A Final Thought: StrengthFinder doesn’t address the all the problems workplaces face, nor was it meant to. As entrepreneurs, employees and leaders, we need to know how we fit into the equation and be able to look at the big picture. Strengthsfinder is a tool for growing yourself and your team. However, don't think that any one tool is the only solution for growing yourself and your team. Let it be a resource but don't rely on it to answer all your questions.
(For more information about the drawbacks of the Strengths approach, read Strengths-Based Coaching Can Actually Weaken You