I've used a wide range of assessment tools for my clients over the years - some with mixed results. But I like Gallup CliftonStrengths so much, that I just wrapped up my certification training to become a Strengths Champion Certified Coach.
If you haven’t heard of the Gallup CliftonStrengths assessment (formerly Clifton StrengthsFinder), it ranks 34 different talent areas from highest to lowest specifically tailored to you.
The assessment is based on decades of research that shows investing in your talents brings a much higher return in productivity than the same effort spent trying to improve your weaknesses.
So far I’ve coached over 60 hours with my clients using this tool, and have gotten consistently good feedback. Here are the top three reactions I get from my clients when they see the results for the first time:
- “I didn’t know this was a strength - I thought was a weakness!” These people really need to be affirmed and appreciated for their contribution, but they've probably taken a lot of criticism over the years. This is especially true if they have one of the strong influencing or leadership talents. The takeaway? Have the courage to develop those talents you've been suppressing.
- “Why is this talent ranked so high on my list? It’s really not a big deal." Then, after we explore the talent in depth, they'll start to see that it plays out over and over in their lives. But it’s such an integral part of who they are, they just couldn’t identify it beforehand. The key here is to realize that your talents are unique and powerful. Then you'll be able to develop them further.
- Guilt relief over their weaknesses! Years of striving to improve an area of weakness that yields little progress does a number on their self-esteem. They find freedom when they realize they don’t need to be someone who they’re not designed to be. That’s not an excuse to slack off. But the better approach is to partner or manage around a weakness rather than investing in it in hopes that you'll be great someday.
WeAlign is a coaching company that has a powerful process to walk their clients through CliftonStrengths. I like it so much that I joined the company :-) We cover all 34 talents, not just the top 5, and I’ve seen great results using this method with my clients. Check us out at www.wealigncoaching.com
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And feel free to contact me if you have any questions about CliftonStrengths or WeAlign.