Once you've completed the StrengthsFinder assessment, you will be given your results. It is important to understand that a talent is a building block to a strength. With that foundational understanding, I'd like to talk to you a little bit about where to begin as we go through your StrengthsFinder journey, or your journey from talent to strength.
A great place to start: read a report called the Signature Themes report that Gallup produces for anyone that's taken StrengthsFinder. It might have been emailed to you once you finished the StrengthsFinder, or you can log into GallupStrengthsCenter.com and access that report. It'll be one of three or four reports, depending on which version of StrengthsFinder you take.
I start people with the Signature Themes report, because that report gives you Gallup's standard description of a given theme. Read through that report, maybe even print it off, and have a pen handy so that you can underline key words and phrases that resonate for you. Make notes of how the underlined phrases feel accurate for you.
This will begin your journey, because what happens when people take StrengthsFinder is some lights go on for them. They begin to say, "Oh, there's a name for that quality. I didn't know there was a name for it." You'll see several of the themes will have words that you don't normally use in conversation, or even if it is a common word, you might think you know what it means but you really have to understand the way Gallup means it. For example: the Communication theme has many nuances beyond the simple definition of the word communication. You can't go by the name of the theme to really understand it. So it is important to go to the standard definition or description. The first place to start is to recognize the patterns that you have developed.
Now, there's 34 themes of talent that are measured in StrengthsFinder. Why are they called a theme of talent? What's the relationship between the word theme and the word talent? Well, a theme of talent comes from the research Dr. Clifton did with two million people who were identified as exceptional performers. In one report I read, it said that Dr. Clifton identified over 400 different talents that were identified by people as their keys to success, and 400 is a pretty long list. So he clustered those 400 or so talents into talents that relate to each other. They weren't identical, but they overlapped, perhaps.
The result of this process produced 34 clusters, or what he called themes of talent. So each theme of talent is made up of several specific talents and that's what you'll see in the standard descriptions in your Signature Themes report. You'll see about seven or eight sentences describing that theme. And if you look at each theme you can begin to see that each sentence describes a different talent. That's what a theme of talent is in the StrengthsFinder language, and that's what your top five themes of a talent are.
I also want to mention too that Gallup recently made available the ability to unlock the full 34 report. The standard top five report, or results, is currently priced at $19.99. But for $89.99 you could purchase the full 34 report. Or, if you've already bought the top five report but you want to unlock the other 29 of your 34 themes, you can pay $69 to do that on the Gallup website. You don't have to take the assessment again.
Now, personally, I recommend holding off on unlocking your full 34 report. First, before you make that investment, find out if StrengthsFinder is something you want to invest more to learn about. You can invest quite a lot of time into just your top five themes. They are the most important five, and it is important to understand them and improve your application of them before you actually delve into the rest. It could actually be overwhelming to look at your full 34 report, but of course the choice is yours.
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