‘They say’ when you pair an emotion with a moment in time it forges a memory. It must be true though because I vividly remember the day I took the Clifton’s Strengths Finder 2.0 test sitting on the floor in our living room, laptop on my ottoman. I spent the 40-ish minutes answering each question and when I was finished I was astounded – finding myself both laughing and crying simultaneously. How did this test know me so well? Since then, this test and related glossary-like book have been a cornerstone of my business and team…
It was in 2010, one short year into my business, that my friend and associate Kathie Nelson introduced me to this resource. It started as a poll put out by Gallup which identified 34 inherent strengths in humans. The corresponding test brings your top 5 daily operating strengths into your awareness. The full version of the test even lists out where you stand in all 34 strengths – in order of strength – seriously.
You *could* simply pay for and take the test online, but I always recommend buying the book because it acts as a reference guide and it includes the sealed, unique code you need to take the test online.
Plan to spend an hour answering the questions and reviewing your results. When you’re taking the test, answer as accurately as you can, but know that you only have around 8 seconds to answer each question. They tell you that the first answer which usually comes to your mind is the right one. Go with it. That’s usually the right answer.
What I’ve found:
I’ve heard that your strengths could possibly change over time, but I’ve personally found that mine have not. What I’ve learned is that often times they might change given your career or job path and the strengths you need to use for different work scenarios or in different seasons of life. Maybe that is true. I’ve been in this same career since I took the test, so I can’t confirm that.
What I learned about myself was so spot on that I use it daily to remind myself who I am and what strength I might be pulling in or operating from.
I also often ask clients and team members to take the test and share with me. It is eye-opening to understand how people work, what strengths they bring to the table, and how well you might work together in various ways. It can also reveal when we might be operating in a strength to our detriment because, after all, your strengths could ultimately be one of your greatest weaknesses.
Case in point: My top strength is responsibility. I am a HYPER-responsible individual. That means I have to be very careful not to take on more than I am actually responsible for. Clarifying my involvement in most things means tuning-in to what I’m committing to, and not take on more than I should.
How businesses might use it:
Managers of teams often use SF2.0 to make sure the right butts are in the right seats within their organization, or they might use it to do team development, reinforcing each individual’s role and participation in their company.
No matter what the application, I’ve relied on this test and book to actively help me understand others in both personal and professional ways, and I encourage you to do the same.
There are coaches around the globe who facilitate individual and group Strengths sessions for all kinds of reasons. You might consider going to this site and finding a local coach in your area, or I could also recommend one of my awesome clients who can help support you in this work. Her name is Kristine Carey and she’s based out of San Francisco, but can do everything virtually. You will LOVE her!
Have you taken the test?
I would LOVE to know what your strengths are. Please share in the comments below. Here are mine:
- Responsibility (My word is my bond.)
- Futuristic (Planning is my jam. I like to know what to expect & I’m a really good at mapping out expectations.)
- Maximizer (Efficiency is my middle name. Seriously. Ask my mom.)
- Relator (I’m a never-met-a-stranger type. That’s a dad trait.)
- Command (No one ever said I wasn’t a leader – like, ever.)
I even begged my husband to take it one year and that was my Christmas gift from him. And I tell you what, his strengths revealed and confirmed a LOT about how we work together, too!
No matter what, this test can be instrumental in understanding how people around you work and operate, and it doesn’t have to be from a business or professional standpoint. It could be a personal application, too.
To your personal, professional, business, and team growth. There is much to know, learn and understand about people. Get the process started. You’ll be so glad you did.
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