As a strength coach, people often ask me about retaking the CliftonStrengths Assessment. Though it may seem like your strengths would change over time, the answer to retaking the assessment is – no need most of the time.

No matter why someone wants to retake the CliftonStrengths assessment, Gallup’s research shows that their first completion of the assessment gives the “purest and most revealing results.” Let’s take a few minutes and look at a couple of reasons why people think they should retake the assessment.

I was in a bad mood the day I took the assessment.

In the 1990s, Donald O. Clifton developed the CliftonStrengths to measure talent potential. The assessment measures natural recurring thoughts, feelings, and behavior called talent. Through much research, Gallup has discovered that your mood when you took the assessment will have little effect on the results you receive. This doesn’t mean that your mood will have no impact whatsoever on your responses to the statements. What it does mean is that this assessment based on positive psychology and neuroscience will expertly measure your recurring patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior. By doing so, the assessment sees through the mood you are in that time to reveal your most dominant themes of talent.

One thing to keep in mind about Strengths and mood is, knowing your strengths, you can use your strengths to help your mood. If you are in a bad mood over things going on in your life, focus on your strengths and use them to help you develop a strategy to move past the place you are. Strengths are not just an assessment you take and then put it on the shelf till someone asks you your top five. Strengths are a living, breathing part of your life, or they should be.

I don’t like the strengths the assessment gave me.

Identifying where you have the greatest potential for building strength is what your assessment is assessing. Knowing this information is a starting point for you to grow in the areas that you have the greatest potential for building strengths. Building and using your strengths will make you become the best version of you, not an imitation of someone who has the strengths you think you want.

Your strengths will help you understand the unique ways that you operate and maybe even discover things about you that you did’t see. One of the ladies I work with was surprised when Strategic came up in her top five. Of all the ways she thought of and described herself strategic was not one of them. When she talked to friends and family, their response was – of course, you are strategic. Their evaluation of her took her completely by surprise.

She preferred to think of herself in the Relationship Building Talents, where most of her top five reside. After seeing this and getting feedback, her new strengths-awareness opened up new growth. When she had her yearly evaluation, her manager commented that she didn’t know what happened over the previous year, but she saw more engagement with the rest of the team and more productivity in her role, along with taking on new assignments.

For over 40 years, Gallup scientists have been studying strengths. From all this research, they have found that our strengths do not change significantly over time. The way the assessment is designed intentionally force’s you to make a quick choice preventing you from overthinking the response. If you decide to retake the assessment, you could be familiar with the questions, and since you could be trying to manipulate the outcome, this could lead to less accurate responses and skew your responses.

These are just a couple of the reasons that people give for wanting to retake the assessment. What kind of reasons do you hear people want to retake the CliftonStrengths Assessment? How do you respond? Let’s discuss in the comments below. Want to become a strengths champion for others? Visit https://brentobannon.com/courses/ and please schedule your free Ask Brent Anything call, and Let’s Talk Strengths.

If someone asked you to tell them the top 5 things they were good at, could you? Most of us would struggle with that question. If someone asks the top 5 things you were terrible at, I bet you would give a laundry list. What we do well should be evident to us, it is something we should be practicing every day, but we have been conditioned to see what we do wrong and correct that instead of what we do good and building on that.

Donald Clifton said, “Your weaknesses will never develop, while your strengths will develop infinitely.” So how do we help others to understand their value through their strengths? How do we show them how to move from raw to refined?

I wish there were a bulleted list that I could just insert here, but people and their particular set of strengths are varied. Think about your Top 5. If you were looking for someone else with the same group of Strengths in their Top 5 is about one in 275,000. If you want someone with the Top 5 themes in the same order as yours, then the odds are 33.4 million. With this much unique talent, how do we lead? We lead each one uniquely according to their strengths and not try to put them all in a category.

In our world, today, people are losing sight of their value. If people know their CliftonStrengths themes, then they know their talent DNA. These themes explain the ways they most naturally think, feel, and behave. When you help people tap these strengths naturally in their makeup, they have authentic behaviors that they can hold on to. 

If you listen intently to what someone says, you will find a wealth of knowledge in what they say and what they don’t say. You have to listen behind the words. With your focus entirely on the person talking, you can listen to the meaning of the words and then choose how to respond specifically to this person, to uniquely lead them. As Stephen Covey says in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People:” Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

Once you have listened and understood the person and their strengths, help them understand. Strengths give language for someone to become aware of their strengths and have a way to talk about them. Most people know their top 5 or even their full 34, but they see them as being independent of each other. Just knowing what the CliftonStrengths assessment says are your strengths is not enough. You need to help people become fluent in this language.

As with any language, people have to understand what words mean. In the language of strengths, you need to help the person you are working with understand the definition of each of their strengths. I have run into people who can tell me their Top 5 but can’t delve into each one. Though theme identification is the beginning of the development process, it can’t stop there.  

People can’t be labeled with just one word. You need to know that if you are an Achiever® that explains the drive, you must continuously get things done. Why what makes you feel good is to achieve something tangible. In the definition on the Gallup Website for Achiever, it says, “Your relentless need for achievement might not be logical. It might not even be focused. But it will always be with you.” Understanding something like this about yourself can give a person not only insight into why they do what they do but permission to do it. Think about that for a moment. Once someone knows their strengths, they may discover things about themselves that they have never seen before, and it can open a whole new world of achievement for them. Help them find this.

Once you have discovered the language and meanings together, look at their lives. What do they do? What do they want to do? How can they take what they know about strengths and apply it to their lives? This is a most incredible and rewarding journey that you can walk with someone through.

Who do you know that needs to better understand their value? How can you use the language and meanings of strengths to grow your team? Let me know in the comments below. Want to talk with me about how you could monetize your strengths or other business-building questions you have? Please schedule your free Ask Brent Anything call, and Let’s Talk Strengths.