By: Lewis Forrest, II, M.Ed, Associate Dean, University Life
“What will happen when we think about what is right with people rather than fixating on what is wrong with them?” Donald Clifton, founder of CliftonStrengths
Our personal strengths remain constant during uncertainty. While we deal with challenges, we can tap into our strengths to stay focused on what’s good and pursue valuable self-development opportunities. Discovering our CliftonStrengths and learning how to use them well can strengthen our well-being significantly.
Since 2015, nearly 29,000 Mason Patriots have completed the CliftonStrengths assessment. This talent assessment tool is used to magnify, identify, understand, and develop individuals. Exploring your CliftonStrengths can help you experience greater well-being, achieve goals, and boost your growth academically, professionally, and personally. Patriots all across our campus have embraced the assessment as a useful tool for work and partnerships with others.
A simple equation to help you remember the core meaning of this assessment is: Your Talents + Skills + Knowledge = Your CliftonStrengths.
Gallup describes this assessment as a way to measure the specific order of your 34 CliftonStrengths themes. Gallup research finds that people who know and use their CliftonStrengths are 6 times more likely to be engaged in their jobs, 6 times more likely to agree they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day, and 3 times more likely to report having an excellent quality of life!
Strengths Activity: Well-Being Practices Related to Your CliftonStrength Themes
- Identify one theme and write in a journal about how you will more intentionally use it. Practice with a peer or colleague.
- Identify a goal for maximizing your CliftonStrengths to impact your leadership.
- Simply write down your top 5 CliftonStrengths and commit to learning one aspect of each of them.
- Identify a specific task in your life with which you have difficulty (academic, work, home). Think about how you could use your Strengths to approach that difficulty in a different, more productive way.
- Identify three tasks that you do with little effort. Connect those tasks to your Strengths and reflect on how you can continue to develop.
- Identify a way you can support a friend, colleague, or family member. Then think about how you can leverage your TOP 5 Strengths to be of greater service.
- Learn about all 34 CliftonStrengths themes.
- Visit strengths.gmu.edu for many tools to support your understanding of your top 5 CliftonStrengths (videos, plans, workbooks, etc.).
- Download the CliftonStrengths App from the App Store (Apple users) or Google Play.
- Read this Resilience Resources Weekly feature on knowing and using signature strengths.
Write one of these Thriving Together Series features! We’re looking for contributions on all topics related to well-being. Read other Thriving Together Series articles here and contact us at email@example.com for guidelines. Thank you for helping our Mason community thrive together online!