1) The book puts a lot of emphasis…, danspira In celebration of Teachers' Day in Singapore, Gallup-Certified StrengthsFinder Coach Victor Seet outlines a few dominant talent themes that this vital demographic is strong in. Reed, glad to hear you’ve had some positive personal experiences in sessions that featured the Strengths Finder tools. I also think it’s important to distinguish the terms “very popular” from “research-based.” From what I see, there is very little peer-validated, evidence-based work when it comes to Strengths Finder… or many other tools, for that matter. Right. February 5, 2010 @ Are you someone who never feels bored of meeting the same old friend week after week? I say screw that, let’s pull back the curtain and see The Wizard… open source, baby! However many … It’s all about keeping that pessimistic eye out for people with the Exploiter strength and protecting against them. More than that though, it did have the quality of a horoscope. Let's talk … May 1, 2014 @ I want to say yes. I also think it’s important when thinking about this stuff to get past the theoretical extremes and deep personality disorders — people who are 100% antisocial or profoundly narcissistic or whatnot — and deal with the more usual case of the people who have some non-absolute, highly situational, and moldable tendencies. You take the initiative to understand someone on a deeper level by sharing your fears, goals and dreams and encourage them to share the same with you. Is there anything that can help us decipher these vital relationships? I applaud the effort, but also think the data behind the effort should be more accessible. you can “acquire” those traits.. but not thru “courses” or “exercises”.. but it takes things like deeply painful experiences or major selfconfidence boost.. or any drastic personality changing experiences. 1:37 am. I’m a fan of some of Marcus Buckingham’s post-Gallup work, too. You have different levels of relationships with people. People exceptionally talented in the Maximizer CliftonStrengths® theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. Much. First, there’s no way to check results based on the scientific method. creating a survey, polling people, and developing an assessment tool does not create a defendable assessment instrument unless it can be shown that it conforms to certain requirements that have been set for question formulation, data gathering techniques, target population selection, etc. I read through your blog as I was interested in your “take” on the work of Donald Clifton. The only contribution I might add to this thread is that, in my experience, the task of predicting human behavior, whether in a work or social setting is far more complex than any single scientific or social assessment tool that has ever been invented can accurately measure. I can understand why Gallup haven’t revealed what’s actually going on under the hood, I mean how could they guarantee that they wouldn’t be ripped off!?? 10:48 am. danspira In 1998, the Father of Strengths Psychology, Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D. (1924-2003), along with Tom Rath and a team of scientists at The Gallup Organisation, created the online StrengthsFinder assessment. “Going to the Cloud” is a Psychological, Not a Technical Hurdle « Meme Menagerie One of its messages is that excellence also comes through lots of practice, luck and help from friends. They can chisel away at any wall and hope gold will appear, or they can choose which wall to chisel against, based on what hints they can see, using their own experience, tools and talent as prospectors. Yes, “potential” is what this stuff is all about — helping people achieve their desired potential. "The greatest growth comes from working on your weaknesses." May 1, 2013 @ Themes provide a range of “actions, attitudes, and behaviors” that are similar in a few particular ways but vary in how they are applied, in what situation, for what purpose, and to what outcome. At any rate I took the basic assessment which, besides reminding me of a list of hits from High Fidelity, is tantalizingly frustrating. 8:20 am, Chris – You’ve presented so many interesting and powerful ideas here, starting with, “Strength comes from exercise.”. Thanks for examining this pop pscyhology/culture phenomenon, from one contrarian to another. I know the Seligman test tends to be more “life” oriented whereas Clifton’s descriptions are more workplace oriented. Hmmmm… if for the price of the assessment Gallup would allow multiple runs over a period of time, that would be VERY interesting for the customer and not necessarily require too much additional expense to Gallup other than upfront software development. This holds true for whatever strengths-based system/vocabulary you’re using, including the Gallup StrengthsFinder book + instrument. I am from Albania, a small country in development, south east of Balkan / Europe. Wow, Neal… you’ve pretty much captured the essence of this post, as well as much of the subsequent discussion. When you see the stick figure who looks strong, you can consider how these things fuel you up at work. The firm I work for often uses a formula that has a similar structure: EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE = (KNOWLEDGE+SKILLS+PROCESS) MINDSET. Or maybe we just ignore “failure” altogether. ‘Cause I’m contrarian like that. The Strengths Profile (formerly the REALISE2) from CAPPInfinity is long established and well-respected assessment along with Gallup’s CliftonStrengths (formerly Clifton Strengthsfinder) and VIA Character Strengths. danspira This is the 2nd article of Using StrengthsFinder for Work- Reflection of an Educator. Families are complicated…and some more complicated than others. 11:08 am. It is not measuring specific unique “behaviors” (constructs). 10:58 pm. I been in business leadership positions for 25 years, especially sales and marketing. 6:28 pm. October 7, 2013 @ On the surface that sounds trite, and it might be, but… well… just read the damn book. This kind of awareness can lead to better performance in the work place – or to looking for a different kind of work! March 31, 2014 @ You assess & grade them in the CV review, phone screens or follow-up in an interview. We learn from both our mistakes and our successes, although natural selection suggests that too many failures leads to fewer opportunities. So, the results? The new book by Malcolm Gladwell is an important read too. This reply has been a lot longer than I had originally envisioned. Harmony 32. Also Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment tool is sort of sexist: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/gallups-strengthsfinder-sexist-werner-zorman?trk=prof-post, Copyright © Dan Spira,All Rights Reserved, 2020 Vanuatu Vision: Rites of Passage between Decades, Interactions: The 3 Fears and 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/11/magazine/11Genome-t.html, Say the Same Thing, but in Different Words « Meme Menagerie, What Kind of Personality Test Are You? For example, my top three are: We don’t argue in the morning. EXECUTING themes help you make things happen. I could go on and on. April 26, 2013 @ Initially, they might confuse what you are doing with complacency. Career, Coaching, Learning, Management, Talent Yucks for CliftonStrengths Responsibility What's a Yuck? Yes, despite the emphasis on strengths in SF, you can certainly develop your weaknesses, and I’ve done so. The authors make numerous, valiant attempts to discourage pigeonholing and insist that, used properly, a strengths-based approach to talent development should have the opposite effect. John Smith The StrengthsFinder Talent Themes that are categorized in the Relationship Building domain include Adaptability, Connectedness, Developer, Empathy, Harmony, Includer, Individualization, Relator and Positivity. November 11, 2013 @ it also adds a very positive spin on things which I think is additionally valuable. 7:00 am, Wonderful, careful use of “attributed to Einstein”. For my students I suggest they take a full year of reflecting, reading and research to come to terms with their results. As for your second part about getting feedback from others, I’ll make this part quick: 1) No, I hadn’t read that Adam Grant piece before but it is excellent. They're your energy takers. Yet, as much as I hate to admit it (especially after decrying StrengthsFinder’s opacity in my blog post), there’s a part of me that says “no.” April 17, 2009 @ “Strengths are what strengthen you” is still a bit of a Fixed Mindset statement, with a hint of External Locus of Control. It sounds as though SF has provided some really valuable practical use. My own experience is that there a wide assortment of tools to help people achieve their personal potential and more effective business outcomes. In my opinion, once you allow for the exception of profound existential experiences / desire to change as a way to reshape core personality traits , it all becomes semantics anyway. February 3, 2009 @ And I want data to make me feel like this is more than a random roll of the dice. On the level of mechanics, the VIA test is transparent – before writing this reply to you I tried out the free test here: http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/questionnaires.aspx While taking the VIA test it was very clear and obvious how it was being scored: 10 x 24 questions about 24 things, in pretty much the same order on each of the 10 screens, for a total of 240 questions, on a five-point Likert scale. — If you get value out of it, have at it. Since VIA was free and since it was so simple and transparent in its mechanics, my sense of its validity was lowered. Likewise, thank you for these thoughtful comments and questions. I want to know (out of the BIG34) what the distribution is from people who took the test, because, naturally I want to know if I’m part of the crowd or just wildly special. my two cents worth. What caused you to exercise the particular areas that StrengthsFinder highlighted? Great suggestion, re: having the career center people call up the psychology department people. John Smith Use the House-Tree-Person for all I care and let Gallup know that you’ve “improved” SF and use it for selection and see what they say..maybe they are missing something you’ve discovered an will now advocate for it as a solitary selection assessment (ask them). Yeah, I like this idea. “When I am too much of an Arranger, I…”. This is not to say such critical self-awareness has to be overwhelmingly negative or demotivational. January 29, 2012 @ I’m not trying to scare anyone and the fact is that when you use an assessment in the hiring process, laws apply. Perhaps you are all of these. April 30, 2013 @ … I’d probably be stronger in Command or some other action-oriented strength. November 11, 2013 @ It definitely can help someone understand what it is that he or she prefers and help guide him or her to roles or assignments that leverage that strong preference. Overall, thumbs up. November 12, 2013 @ February 1, 2012 @ Most of the other stuff online seems very cheerleader-y. May 4, 2014 @ meaningful information from reference checks of prospective employees have led many employers to use personality tests as part of their hiring process. I’ll try to write a future post on some of the interesting things that happen in the world of sales, including sales performance, sales leadership, sales management, sales coaching, and sales training. That happened to me SO many times in meetings and I couldn’t understand it. LOLed on the job description, well played! Dave George Jim, as for your other comments about the subjective nature of self-assessments in general and the multiple meanings of the “neutral” option between a pair of options, in this case I’m actually a fan of how SF is set up. I especially appreciate that you get the balancing intent of this post and its subsequent discussion! Clifton StrengthsFinder Singapore. Of course, I took it with an open mind and a willingness to just see what resonated or would give me a fresh perspective on things… I never imagined that people would try to use this for more than self-understanding and improvement. it takes some serious challenges in life.. and overcoming them.. to be able to start gaining those “strengths”. The original version of the book, Now, Discover Your Strengths was co-authored by Clifton and Marcus Buckingham, who has since left the Gallup organization to start his own gig. Copyright © 2000 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved. Eg, I’m far from a natural empath but I’ve forced myself to learn this skill (because reasons) – and it’s been invaluable. As part of a health care executive team, I was privileged to spend several days at Gallup in group as well as individual sessions. Others love it – power to them. Awesome post and comments. At the end of year two I was offered the head of sales position for the entire company. CHARACTERISTICS. Imagine a rich conversation taking place in the family about what each other is doing right? Around the community getting involved with this (where I work) the reaction smacks of Meyers-Briggs pop from a few years back. As you indicate, the answer to that may depend on the intended purpose: The VIA inventory goes deeply into character, personality and intrinsic (positive) feelings, while the StrengthsFinder inventory focuses more on external behaviors and other talents that could easily apply to a white collar career / job description. A Practical Activity to Build … (Morning theme developing. 5:10 am. Empathy 30. It does not attempt to capture stuff outside of those areas — and in many cases, there can be important stuff. Command 28. But overall, these models maintain a similarly strong line about a person’s core personality being locked in their mid-to-late-teens. When you see the stick figure who looks weak, consider if these things are draining you at work. Enjoyed your balanced review (and the thoughtful debate in comments). I think the next verbal trick is give ourselves permission to add the conditional phrase, “up until now,” when desired. The life they live is a life worth living, and they make their choices accordingly. In other words, lately I’ve found myself actively reducing the number of jerks that I work with. April 25, 2013 @ Simply put – it works. When I first got out of college, my developer score would not have been strong. I’m only commenting now, because I intend to use SF with clients, but want to go in with ‘eyes wide open’ as it were. I got a lot of good information from my other strengths as well – for example, that my Strategic thinking can put people off if I immediately go into the mode of thinking things through to a possible conclusion and then bring up what could go wrong, because people who don’t think that way think you are being negative. 4:50 pm. We have to take in considerations other things. Wow! This does not frighten you. Another area that can help: In the Action Planning section of StrengthsFinder, some of the strengths descriptions note how other people might (mis)perceive you… you may be able to use that as a kind of guide to knowing if and when are over-expressing a given strength, and figure out how best to modulate (or co-develop) your strengths in a way that is optimal. My Strengths « Irresistible (Dis)Grace Learn the definition of Relator and how to use it to succeed. the bottom line is still simple.. someone who is antisocial, hates talking to people.. has no business being in sales or customer support etc…. Some articles have been making the rounds lately, based on a study that came out a while back, “THE USE OF PERSONALITY TESTS AS A HIRING TOOL: IS THE BENEFIT WORTH THE COST?” by Prof. Susan J. Stabile. Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach Meiling Tan shares from her personal experience. This is slightly annoying. You have required experience and/or skills for the job that are go/no go (called a job posting). My brief research intrigues me and I have a good feeling about this one. Hope this helps… and do please let me know if you come across anything else! Once the deliberation cycle is fulfilled, it’s like opening a floodgate. THEME #2) PERFECTIONIST: By defining a strength as “consistent near perfect performance in an activity,” and by laying down the opening premise that “Each person’s greatest room for growth is in the areas of his or her greatest strength,”  the authors push an agenda which is fraught with difficulties in a world which is less than ideal. I’m an education consultant, based in London, and I stumbled across your sight a few years ago whilst also looking for ‘downsides’ to SF. Also, because VIA provides the ranking for all 24 items in its inventory, it could more easily be used as part of a ‘discover and improve on your weaknesses’ exercise. It would also provide all kinds of new data to Gallup, with the possibility of metadata such as time of day, self-reported mood, etc. 10:54 pm, […] People In The World: Those Who Think There Are Two Kinds of People In The World and Those Who Don'tTop Five Weaknesses of StrengthsFinder Skill-Will Matrix Revisited: Taking the Employee’s Point of ViewSame Data, Different Graphs (aka […], EOY Blog Clean-up « Meme Menagerie Intellection: People who are especially talented in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. danspira Your comment has actually sparked some ideas for additional posts. April 29, 2013 @ Unlike the other two, its reports not just the strengths you use, but your unrealised strengths , your learned behavior and your weakness. One of the things I find myself doing more and more, drawing from the field of Positive Psychology, is to uncover the “positive intent” embedded within a behavior and finding better ways to satisfy that intent. But, yeah, as Richard (Executive Impact) points out, it’s on the promoters of SF to provide the proof of validity, not on those of us who have had mixed experiences with it. Or worse, I’d better say I prefer X so my boss/team doesn’t question why I’m doing X). 2) Even when doing self-administered feedback, I like to ask people something along the lines of “what would other people say about you?” as a way of framing their focus on behaviors/decisions rather than intentions/desires, 3) Some of the best feedback comes from honestly appraising our decisions about how we spend our time and our money. The mind races to think of all the factors that would keep those departments from collaborating with each other… and what it would take to overcome those factors. I would guess that all of my strengths are related to adversities suffered during my life. The first people to use bows and arrows didn’t wait until Newton worked out all the equations for understanding projectile motion. First, know that StrengthsFinder will help you figure out your potential. It’s start of a discussion.” It reminds me of something Douglas Adams once wrote in his book Mostly Harmless, “It’s just a way of thinking about a problem which lets the shape of that problem begin to emerge.” Mind you, Adams was talking about horoscopes, not psychometric instruments… but I think he would have regarded the statement as applicable to both. So thanks again, for taking out the time to write out your reflections. In contrast, from a personal development point of view, working on the weaknesses would definitely be a much more productive exercise. Where this seems better (in some respects) is the attempt to develop action plans based on your knowledge. June 11, 2009 @ #Strengths Together. At the end of it I read off my top five, and was left with the feeling that I already knew that about myself. I’m at a cross-roads in my life and I got the book and took the test so I would get a better insight on what professions I would be happiest in, because perhaps there were a few that I might have misconceptions about. What’s interesting to me is that I think the intuitive concept “find and emphasize your strengths” is highly valid. I started to think about people whom I know who think that they are perfect, when they are totally the opposite of that. August 26, 2013 @ How To Have A Positive Attitude Everyday Companion Lyrics | purathrive reviews on another note, talking about extremes is the only way to be able to connect social sciences to arithmetic (which i have to mention again, i strongly disagree with, even if i sing a similar tune as the strengthdfinders ppl). You assess & grade them in the CV review, phone screens or follow-up in an interview. No, I didn’t even test high for ANALYTICAL on StrengthsFinder, but perhaps this is just a combination my IDEATION and INTELLECTION themes, and my being a GEMINI and having a moon sign of…wait… I forget…, StrengthsFinder exhibits many characteristics of the Forer Effect, namely, that people lend credibility to descriptions of their personality that are vague and generally applicable, especially when those descriptions appear to be tailored to them, authoritative (backed by science, ancient wisdom, surveys of 2 million people, etc. If you aren’t careful about your decisions, people looking for a target or scapegoat will easily exploit them for their own enjoyment or gain. While it would expose the possibility of changes in one’s “signature strengths,” given the right pre-frame / inoculation, the publisher could spin it in a way that does not diminish (or even add to!) However, some people like the idea of being measured and compared to other people, so in addition to the advantage of having social proof, popular assessments like SF will also have the advantage of providing a “benchmark” for people who want to know how well they “stack up.”. Connectedness is an interesting one for me. Based on the opportunities available to you, which working environments and organizational cultures are the best fit for you? Rather, just as the StrengthsFinder test will give anyone their Top Five Themes of Strength, I will now proceed to pick out what I think are the Top Five Themes of Weakness of StrengthsFinder. April 28, 2014 @ Early failures lead to later successes, and early success should more often than not lead to continued success rather than failure. We then developed a hiring profile, interview questions to uncover strengths, bought the assessments for all leading job candidates to share with us and then executed a hiring plan to bring in sales talent that most closely matched our profiles (per job type). I’m reminded of a managers’ meeting ten years ago. I use a tool called Motivational Maps (see here for a video I created on this https://youtu.be/wOB2vKVA0Ak), for which I’m a licensed practitioner. On your point #1) I like how you referenced self-awareness… seems like self-awareness is a required “meta-strength” if one is to do strengths-based developmental work… and true self-awareness doesn’t come from ignoring the weaknesses/critique points about ourselves. While well-meaning in their intent, the authors give less the less-nuanced reader a powerful tool for stereotyping themselves and others… it’s like handing out scalpels to  non-surgeons. The MINDSET variable includes things like attitudes, values and beliefs. That’s an interesting point you make about using extremes to isolate variables. And I understand that you wrote the contrary position to offer balance, not to dismiss the value of StrengthsFinders. Plus, I should organize them. But then I wouldn’t be such a deep thinker. Strengths Resources; Blog; Contact; Maximizer. February 1, 2012 @ I hope you are well. Well that, and a lot of statistical training that helps me better understand the way data is often data mined in non-valid ways. It’s simply deliberation applied to social interaction. People with Relator (CilftonStrengths • StrengthsFinder) talents gain immense energy from being with a close group of friends. When you see the stick figure who looks weak, consider if these things are draining you at work. We call them natural talents or natural patterns. The manager looking for talent is like a prospector looking for gold. Overview of the Relator® Strength. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with close friends to achieve a goal. Shouldn’t there be a difference? e.g. November 11, 2013 @ CliftonStrengths Assessment examines personality employee’s and managers’ strengths yo find potential weaknesses and Strengths. The novelty was that I came up with the idea that the secret of happines at work is to do sth tha you are REALLY good at. Nevertheless, regardless of the “black box” quality of the strength theme process, I […], 2010 in review (auto-generated navel-contemplation) « Meme Menagerie A friend of mine gave this book to me about 10 days ago. Employers choose from a wide variety of tests in an effort to both weed out job candidates with undesirable traits, such as dishonesty, or tendencies toward violence or tardiness, and to judge the “fit” between the prospective employee and the job by seeking to identify prospective employees possessing personality traits likely to predict success in the job in question. It also can stimulate some good team dialogue about diversity and how different preferences/styles might contribute to outcomes. We know you're here because you want to turn them into superpowers in your career, so here's the gist: People exceptionally talented in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships … Or maybe I’m just improving in my “Common Sense” attribute (oops, just kidding… “Common Sense” is neither a VIA theme or a StrengthsFinder theme… alas…). 12:11 pm. Weaknesses are the flip side of strengths – for you to be highly observant and tuned in to the world around you, you can’t always be creating new visions in your head. February 1, 2012 @ "The greatest growth comes from working on your weaknesses." August 20, 2015 @ Here is a fantastic recent article from the New York Times Magazine, by fellow Montrealer Steven Pinker. I’ve had a similar experience coaching other people who have their StrengthsFinder results in their hands and who ask me the question, “Yeah, ok, so now what?”. Say the Same Thing, but in Different Words « Meme Menagerie April 12, 2015 @ 10:32 am. It often includes a Gallup StrengthsFinder profile. If I don’t know where I can maximize my strengths in combination, then WTF?