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It’s time to think about the why behind your employees’ or colleagues’ actions. It’s too easy to focus on the what or how behind their choices, especially if those choices aren’t ones you’d make yourself.

Our abilities differ greatly from person to person, without even taking into account their level of training, education, etc. We are looking at their intrinsic, destined traits that make up the core of a person. 

Asking why is the key to understanding true motivation and unlocking the success that both the individual and the team want. Discovering the why is made possible through countless hours of meditation…or there’s a quicker way for those short on time.

The CliftonStrengths test evaluates how you act when you’re at your very best. To capitalize on your natural abilities, you must understand what they are – not what your mom says they are (she’s a bit biased).

The idea behind the test started with Donald O. Clifton and Paula Nelson’s book Soar With Your Strengths: A Simple Yet Revolutionary Philosophy of Business and Management. The widely successful book led to the creation of StrengthsFinder, which Clifton developed with a team of scientists and Tom Rath, his grandson. Our team took advantage of this unique test to learn how we can personally grow and we can better serve our team and our clients. Keep an eye out for StrengthFinders Part II where we reveal our results!

Discovering Your Strengths

The assessment has 34 qualities, a.ka. strengths, that pinpoint your talents and explain why you behave, feel, and think in certain ways. The philosophy behind this is that when you’re able to approach environments and situations with your known and well-developed strengths, you can make measurable, considerable improvements.*

*Strengths do require time and effort to build and become effective. Don’t get too excited about a quick fix.

These strengths are broken down into four core domains:

  • Executing
  • Influencing
  • Relationship Building
  • Strategic Thinking

StrengthsFinder Domain #1: Executing

*Cheers* from the Influencers and Strategic Thinkers! Look at you getting things done. As an Executor, you may like cleaning, organizing, problem-solving, and creating systems. The strengths in this domain are:

  • Achiever: A relentless need for achievement.
  • Arranger: You are a conductor.
  • Belief: You have certain core values that are enduring.
  • Consistency: You stick to your patterns and rules.
  • Deliberative: You identify, assess, and reduce risk.
  • Discipline: Your world needs to be ordered and planned.
  • Focus: Your goals are your compass.
  • Responsibility: You take psychological ownership for anything you commit to, and you feel emotionally bound to follow it through to completion.
  • Restorative: You love to solve problems.

StrengthsFinder Domain #2: Influencing

Here are the group leaders and trendsetters. They are able to influence others and get them motivated and traveling to the desired destination. 

  • Activator: “When can we start?” is a recurring question in your life. You are excited to engage with what comes next.
  • Command: You are decisive and don’t mind taking charge. 
  • Communication: You like to explain, describe, host, speak in public, or write.
  • Competition: You have a need to outperform your peers.
  • Maximizer: Excellence, not average, is your measure.
  • Self-Assurance: You have faith in your strengths.
  • Significance: You want to be very significant in the eyes of other people.
  • Woo: You win new people over.

StrengthsFinder Domain #3: Relationship Building

Here come the mediators of the group, everyone’s favorite person in the office. They are adept at empathizing and bonding with other people. They feel deeply and are comfortable with emotion. They are the glue that holds a team together when times get rocky.

  • Adaptability: You live in the moment and adapt to change well.
  • Developer: You see the potential in others.
  • Connectedness: You know that we are all connected, and nothing occurs by chance.
  • Empathy: You can sense the emotions of those around you.
  • Harmony: You look for areas of agreement and seek to create an environment free of friction.
  • Includer: “Stretch the circle wider.” You can include people and make them feel like part of the group.
  • Individualization: You’re intrigued by the unique qualities of each person.
  • Positivity: You are generous with praise, quick with a smile, and always on the lookout for the positive in the situation.
  • Relator: You derive a great deal of pleasure and strength from being around your close friends.

StrengthsFinder Domain #4: Strategic Thinking

The logical thinkers are stepping up to the plate. While people in this category will think and feel deeply, they express themselves in an intellectual way rather than an emotional way. 

  • Analytical: You consider the factors that will impact a situation and desire proof.
  • Context: You look back to understand the present.
  • Futuristic: “Wouldn’t it be great if …” The future fascinates you. You have a vision.
  • Ideation: You are fascinated by ideas and a wide number of possibilities.
  • Input: You collection information – words, facts, books, and quotations.
  • Intellection: Enjoy deep and thought-provoking conversations and discussions
  • Learner: You look for new learning and self-improvement opportunities.
  • Strategic: You see the different pathways to reach a goal. You create alternative ways to sort through the clutter and find the best route.