The Now Discover Your Strengths Chapter book is the foundation for the philosophy behind the tool. This book is primary source material from Donald Clifton. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it. The chapters delve into the differences between a theme/talent/strength and give a number of examples as to why there is a distinction. It covers the origins of CliftonStrengths© , what it is and what it’s not, and the philosophy behind it as well.
Let’s cover some key highlights from Now Discover Your Strengths. The main one is that we are raised in a deficit-based world, we’re just born into it. I look back at it now and I really feel the effects of it from my past. I was branded as lazy, and I can be but that’s not the full story, it doesn’t explain why I was considered “lazy”. I would hear things like, “Adam does not apply himself.” What they didn’t say is, “he seems...
Each of us exist in an ever-shifting environment of relationships, circumstances, opportunities, limitations. To the degree the individual is properly matched to his or her environment is what we refer to as alignment. To the degree that individual and the environment are out of sync is what we call contrast. Our primary aim at T2S is alignment. To achieve great alignment is to know the gap to reduce the gap between Contrast (0) and Alignment (100).
We help others excavate the authentic self (Clifton CliftonStrengths© and COIN are some examples of the tools we use) and help others shape their environments (Strengths Interventionist support). Helping people to live to their highest and best use is what we are after. When people are forced into situations where they’re not able to do that, then they are not the best version of themselves. They are living below their potential.
For example, in schools, the potential for human development is impeded by an outdated...
I recently met with one of the students who graduated from my youth leadership program, and she came back from College after a couple of years and one of the things we talked about was a student in her group who had committed suicide. It was a very painful discussion for both of us because we cared about the student very much.
I know there’s a lot more at play in something so tragic than the scope of what this can cover and I don’t want to oversimplify it but part of what he was going through was attempting to find his fit between who he was and the world around him. I just know from personal experience, and I know from talking to these other young people where depression rates are so high, that the pressures they are under (i.e. to pick a major, be somebody in life, etc.) contribute to these rates. As young people, they face all of this stuff when they aren’t equipped to understand who they are and how to find the fit with the world around them.
Most of the people...
Here are some helpful resources that Gallup has developed to support their CliftonStrengths© (formerly known as the StrengthsFinder ©) assessment. Gallup’s Reports offer a great deal of insight into your themes and can provide assistance when discussing your or your client’s development with each theme. The first two resources can be found after you take the assessment in your personal results page on the Gallup website www.GallupStrengthsCenter.com
Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide: This report is approximately 20 pages long. Section I of this report is the same as the Strengths Insight Guide with the addition of two questions for each theme. Section II provides a list of action steps ideas for developing each theme further. This report takes the Insight Guide a little further by offering some stock recommendations for developing each theme. Because of its length, I often forego using this report in workshops; however, many people...
What is a Strength Interventionist? The definition of intervention is “to enter an existing set of circumstances with the purpose of creating greater alignment.” We believe this is a helpful way to define our role in working with others to build strength-based lives.
As you consider your role as a strength interventionist, the following questions can be useful. What is your purpose for being a strength interventionist? Why is it important for you to become an strength interventionist? Your Top 5 themes might be able to help guide you in this matter: How can each theme lend to your performance in this task? Could your themes inhibit your performance? Do you possess the specific skills that you need in order to execute productively?
The following theory is based on the work of Chris Argyris. The concept of an interventionist helps gauge how effective your daily performance is and how it reflects in your environment. The 3 requirements of an interventionist tell us when we...
A Few Seats Left for Our Upcoming Class
Hope everyone had an enjoyable labor day! This is always such a great day. It resonates the changing of the seasons- the leaves are beginning to turn and fall is coming. We are energized and ready to spice things up.
Have you heard our next online class begins this month?
Why online? Your life is full. You don’t have to take time out to travel in order to have access to quality training anymore. We also believe that content is best absorbed and more meaningfully applied over time. Finally, the technology has caught up and we can evolve with the times.
If you have not yet had the chance to go through one of our online classes, then you really don’t know what to expect. Before the class, participants will experience our online Foundations workshop that will give you experience with one of our core models. Then each week, participants will watch the pre-session video for that week (60-90 minutes). Then, during the pre-arranged weekly...
Did you ever wonder how Talent2Strength began?
The StrengthFinder© assessment has been around long enough to where many of us have either taken the assessment or at least heard of it. If you have not had the chance, and you are beginning a journey for self-improvement or helping others on their journey, then we recommend you check out the assessment. Years ago, Adam Seaman (founder of Talent2Strength) completed his assessment and wanted more, he thought: what’s next? He read what was available on the themes at the time but he wanted more. There was something bothering him, he wanted to help people apply their themes to excel daily. He wanted to answer the question: how? At this point, these themes or talents were just information to him, bits of information that he enjoyed learning about himself. Adam was determined to find how to make them useful and to apply them to everyday activities. This began the process of years of research and time...
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...
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:
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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