If you’ve ever sat through a performance review or been cut from a team, it’s likely that you’ve endured a conversation focused on your areas of weakness. It’s easy to overlook the impact of leveraging your strengths. Imagine how much more fulfilling your life could be if you learn how to lead from your strengths. At the Kacmarcik Center, we’ve leaned into the Clifton Strengths assessment to help our team and our community grow and flourish as leaders.
What are the Clifton Strengths?
The Clifton Strengths is a tool developed by Gallup to identify an individual’s dominant strengths or talents based on a set of 34 themes. These themes are grouped under four domains, including Strategic Thinking, Relationship Building, Influencing, and Executing.
Todd Kraiss, Performance and Coaching Leader at the Kacmarcik Center, believes that the Clifton Strengths assessment is a powerful tool.
Kraiss shared: “Clifton Strengths is a tool to find out what a person’s strengths are and how strong each strength is in their life. It’s used not only for their work life but also in their personal life. When a person knows their strengths and uses them on a daily basis, the more success they can and will experience.”
Organizations use Clifton Strengths in a variety of ways. One of the most common applications is for talent management and development. By identifying employees’ strengths, organizations can leverage their talents to improve performance, engagement, and job satisfaction. For example, an employee with high strength in Strategic Thinking can be given a role that involves problem-solving and innovation. Someone else who is strong in Relationship Building skills can be assigned to a customer-facing position.
At the Kacmarcik Center, every team member takes the Clifton Strengths assessment. This helps directors understand their new employee’s strengths, and the new employee can better understand who they are as a leader. Out team’s results surprised us a bit; we occupy all four domains, but have the most team members in the Strategic Thinking domain.
Clifton Strengths is an excellent tool for team building. By understanding each team member’s strengths, leaders can create a more balanced and effective team that leverages the collective talents of its members. For example, a team with a mix of strengths in Execution, Relationship Building, and Strategic Thinking can be more adaptable, productive, and innovative.
It might seem obvious, but the Clifton Strengths can be very effective for in-depth leadership development. By identifying and developing leaders’ strengths, organizations can create a leadership pipeline that is better equipped to lead, inspire, and motivate others. For example, a leader with high strength in Influencing can be trained to communicate more effectively and persuade others to follow their vision.
Recently, the Kacmarcik Center partnered with NEWaukee to launch the LEAP Institute for nonprofit leaders. Each of these leaders has taken the Clifton Strengths assessment. They’re going to gather for a workshop that breaks down their results to help them explore how they can best lead from their strengths in the unique landscape of the nonprofit world.
If you’re interested in learning more about how the Clifton Strengths can help your team engage their strengths, connect with us here.