What About the Skeptics?

strengthsfinder Aug 03, 2018

Not everyone immediately welcomes the insights from the CliftonStrengths©. There are skeptics. I have learned to welcome them because their resistance hones my ability to articulate a compelling message. I’ve written about this in the past too. Here, I offer some excerpts from an article from Gallup’s blog called “Embrace the Skeptics” by Jennifer Robison. In the article we talk about how I address skepticism with clients because there’s always going to be somebody in the room who’s just like, “This assessment can’t tell me who I am. I don’t need this touchy-feely stuff.”

“According to Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach Adam Seaman, skeptics can provide an important service to strengths coaches. “I welcome skeptics,” he says. “I want people to raise questions, and I consider it my job to make the case for why CliftonStrengths is such a valuable and potent tool. If I can get [a skeptic] over the...

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Theme vs. Strength

strengthsfinder Jul 24, 2018

I walked around for two years thinking that my top five themes were my strengths, and then upon re-reading a section in Donald Clifton and Marcus Buckingham’s book, Now Discover Your Strengths, I realized, no: themes don’t provide a name for strengths, themes provide a name for talents. This point is vitally important for our positive growth.

What is the difference between a theme of talent, a strength, and what’s the relationship between the two? Many people often interchangeably use the term strength/themes/talents. This gets confusing for people. They often think my adherence to this point is “word policing” but there is a powerful reason we need to be clear on the difference.

Here is Donald Clifton’s passage from Now, Discover Your Strengths (p. 29) defining the difference between a theme/talent/strength:

“We introduce you to three carefully defined terms:

  • Talents are your naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling or...
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How Talent2Strength Began

strengthsfinder Jul 20, 2018

When I first took the CliftonStrengths© it was at a friend’s suggestion. I have a thick file stuffed full of assessments so it was just a chance to sample a new one. I thought the results were interesting and, not knowing what else to do with it, I stored it away in my thick file of assessments. There it remained for two years. I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t know what made it different from other assessments. I did not even know that the Top 5 results it provided were not my “strengths.” Then a couple years later a friend of mine called and said, “Hey, I took this thing called the CliftonStrengths© and I’d love to talk with you about it.” We talked and talked and we started making connections that I hadn’t made before and I thought, “This is a really powerful tool.”

It helped me understand myself in a new way because I had always labeled myself as “lazy.” Or, more accurately,...

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Beginner's Mindset: Think Back to When You First Took the StrengthsFinder

strengthsfinder Jul 17, 2018

Think back to when you were first introduced to StrengthsFinder

- What was your experience like?
- What clicked for you?
- What didn’t?
-What happened that made you want to take CSF further (i.e. key experiences, interactions, etc)?
- Why do you want other people to have “this?”

Go back in your mind to when you were first introduced to the CliftonStrengths© . It’s important to keep that recollection. This is what most people you talk to about it will be experiencing. They will have a beginner’s mindset and it’s important to remember just what that feels like. 

I often forget what it was like for me and now that I’m so geeky about the CliftonStrengths© I want to talk about things on a much deeper level. If I’m working with a beginner and I jump into that level of depth, I haven’t brought my audience along with me and I risk diminishing their positive experience.

When you first took the assessment, was it immediately...

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Precise, Positive and Universal

These are the 3 of the main reasons we love the language of the CliftonStrengths 34 themes.

Precision: Many personality assessments place people into one of four categories (e.g. True Colors). Some put us into 16 (e.g. Myers-Briggs). The CliftonStrengths assessment evaluates people along 34 different “themes of talent.” Most people opt for the version that provides them with their Top 5 themes. The overall odds of two people having the same Top 5 themes are 1 in 278.000. The odds of two people having the same Top 5 in the exact same order are 1 in 36,000,000. This provides greater precision in understanding the nuances of how one person differs from another.

Positivity: The 34 themes articulate, primarily, positive traits that a person possesses. CliftonStrengths is inherently positive in how it views people. The very basis for the instrument is to help people see their most positive qualities and Dr. Clifton’s philosophy is to encourage people to strive for being...

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July Update!

strength based life Jul 03, 2018

Hello there!

We know we've been quiet these last few weeks, we are working on some new (top secret) awesome projects and are excited to reveal it to you soon! In the meantime, visit our shiny new Instagram account here: @talent2strength


And we have a new obsession with perler beads.

Make sure to follow us, if you want to!

See you soon,

The T2S team.

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The Differences Between Authority and Leadership

We believe that one of the biggest barriers to effective leadership is that it is so frequently interlaced with the concept of authority. While leadership and authority may have some similarities, the differences between them are clear. These differences should illuminate why it's so important to view them as distinct concepts. The list below outlines the differences between authority and leadership. 

Our definition of Leadership: Leadership is the effective mobilization of social force to move individuals, groups and organizations toward fulfillment of their highest potential which results in thriving.

What then, is social force? Social force is an aspect of human society that can be harnessed and channeled to evoke changes the feelings, thoughts or behaviors in individuals or groups. It describes how humans influence each other. Leading, in our view, is the use of social force to foster thriving in individuals and communities.


  • Formal power that comes...
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Your StrengthsFinder Themes Reveal Your Conditions for Happiness

strengthsfinder Mar 30, 2018

Whether we are fully aware of it or not, we all have conditions for happiness—things that contribute to our sense that life is going the way we want it to go. Most of us can name some of our conditions for happiness, but there are also many that lie below the level of our conscious awareness. Even the most self-aware people have conditions of happiness that they aren’t truly aware of. Our themes help surface many of the conditions for our happiness.

Using my Top 5 themes, here are some conditions of happiness for me:

• Strategic: I am happy when I have options and am able to decide which path to take to best reach my goals. I am unhappy when my options are limited by external factors or other people. When I have the freedom to survey the options and find the one that makes most sense to my Strategic theme.

• Individualization: I am happy when I can speak directly to a person and use my Individualization theme to understand their unique situation or qualities....

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