Archdiocese of Seattle
Supplement Resource for the
Equipping Young People
with an Understanding and Appreciation of Their God-Given Talents
In Application to Living Their Catholic Faith, in Preparation for the
Sacrament of Confirmation
A Strengths-Based Supplement Resource for Confirmation Classes and Retreats
The Archdiocese of Seattle Office of Parish Stewardship gratefully acknowledges
the partnership, materials and collaboration of the Gallup Organization® Faith
Division; Gallup’s StrengthsQuest™; Msgr. Bill Hanson and St. Gerard Majella
Parish in Port Jefferson Station, NY; author and national Catholic Strengths leader
Leisa Anslinger and Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Cincinnati; Holy Innocents
Church in Duvall, WA; Assumption Church in Seattle, WA; and the founders of the
Catholic Strengths & Engagement Community website.
Getting Started
Activities and Reflections
Resources and Handouts
What is a Strengths-based supplement for Confirmation preparation?
And why should we use it?
The most effective Confirmation preparation classes
result in true self discovery, especially in the context
of spiritual gifts and God’s design for our lives. This
can and should be a transformational experience.
You can help your students experience this personal
transformation by supplementing their catechesis
with a Catholic application of ‘StrengthsQuest’ and
the online ‘StrengthsFinder’ self discovery tool for
talent awareness. Using these scientifically and
statistically valid assessment tools in conjunction
with Gallup’s highly customized ‘Living Your Strengths’ Catholic Edition will ensure that
these supplemental lessons are in accord with the teachings and traditions of the
Catholic Church. By enhancing your classes with this Strength-based supplement, you
will help your students recognize and develop their unique, God-given talents as they
prepare to become newly Confirmed members of their parish communities.
Young people often focus on their perceived shortcomings and spend an inordinate
amount of time trying to be like everyone else. A more faith-based approach to self
reflection is to focus instead on what is positive and unique about each person – to
focus on the blessings of the innate gifts God has given to each and every one.
Understanding our spiritual gifts through the filter of our God-given talents, discovering
the ways we apply our gifts every day, and learning that we can develop our unique
talents into lifelong strengths can be a powerful and life-changing experience. Students,
as well as parents and sponsors, often become immediately excited and engaged when
they see the ‘real life’ validity of their ‘Themes of Talent’. Exploring the spiritual context
of their talents in preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation brings an additional
and meaningful dimension to the students’ spiritual development.
Introduction – Page 1 of 2
During this process, program leaders will truly recognize each student as an individual,
rather than as just one in a group. Many parents express interest in knowing their own
‘Themes of Talent’ when they witness the effect on the Confirmation students.
Students will become more conscious of their God-given talents and aware of how
developing and applying their natural gifts fulfills God’s plan for their lives. They will
become more productive and fulfilled participants in their family, school, and parish
communities. They will learn to understand and appreciate what is unique about them,
as well as become more understanding and appreciative of the uniqueness of others.
Understanding and appreciating the unique blessings of God’s gifts to each of us, that
we are designed by Him according to His unique plan for our lives, helps us to grow in
our relationship with Jesus Christ and helps us to obey the great commandment; that
we love one another as Christ loves us.
We trust that this supplement will be a blessing to your ministry. We pray for every
success for you and your program’s catechists, sponsors, parents and most of all,
Confirmation candidates, as you continue in your ministry of growing God’s Church.
Thank you,
The Archdiocese of Seattle Office of Parish Stewardship
The Archdiocese of Seattle Office of Catholic Faith Formation
The Archdiocese of Seattle Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry
Introduction – Page 2 of 2
Gallup’s StrengthsQuest is specifically designed for students starting at age 15. Living Your Strengths,
Catholic Edition is customized for use in the Catholic Church and is recommended as an adult
resource and group leadership guide, for the purpose of helping leaders maximize the spiritual
context of students discovering their calling and using their God-given talents in conjunction with the
Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Both StrengthsQuest and Living Your Strengths, Catholic Edition come with a
one-time-use Access Code for taking the Clifton StrengthFinder online assessment, a statistically
valid assessment tool for identifying an individual’s specific areas of innate talent.
1. Purchase StrengthsQuest book for each Confirmation candidate or for a more economical option,
order StrengthsQuest Personal Survey Access Codes (only) directly online to use with the materials in
this supplement and/or on the StrengthsQuest website.
2. Have each adult leader, sponsor and parent who wishes to participate purchase the book, Living Your
LIVING YOUR STRENGTHS, CATHOLIC EDITION: $13.59 per copy (no minimum, regularly $24.95)
Have parish staff member contact the Office of Parish Stewardship at 206-382-4271 or
[email protected] (Alternatively, books may be ordered from the StrengthsQuest
or Gallup websites.)
3. Send a letter home to parents and candidates describing the assessment and how it will help the
students prepare for Confirmation. Please see the following Sample Letter and ‘What Is
StrengthsQuest?’ Excerpt.
4. Have each participant take the online Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment. If possible, this is ideally
done using laptops at the parish as part of a Confirmation preparation session on the same day and
at the same time - in order to avoid stragglers. Allow up to forty five minutes, though the assessment
is usually completed more quickly. As Msgr. Bill Hansen tells the young people of St. Gerard Majella
parish in Port Jefferson station, NY, “In twenty minutes, you will know about you what God knows
about you.”
A variation on this idea is to have the parents and/or sponsors of the candidates also take the
assessment—using the code in Living Your Strengths, Catholic Edition. This can be an ideal session
for candidates, parents and sponsors to participate in together.
5. After students complete the assessment, their results are immediately available. Have students
provide you with their top five Signature Themes of Talent. Print copies for their sponsors and
Confirmation program leaders.
6. Create name tags labeled with each individual’s top five ‘Signature Themes of Talent’, for use
throughout all sessions.
Getting Started – Page 1 of 6
StrengthsQuest Registration Sample Letter
The following sample of a letter explaining the StrengthsQuest registration process is
adapted from one sent to Confirmation candidates of Assumption Parish in Seattle, WA.
Feel free to adapt this letter to your own needs.
‘What Is StrengthsQuest?’ Excerpt
The following StrengthsQuest information excerpt is adapted from a ‘Welcome to
Confirmation’ packet provided to Confirmation candidates of Holy Innocents Parish in
Duvall, WA. Though this excerpt addresses the candidates, the information it contains is
also applicable for explaining to parents the relevance and benefits of incorporating
StrengthQuest into their teen’s preparation for Confirmation. You may wish to copy this
excerpt, or use it as a basis in creating your own letter.
Getting Started – Page 2 of 6
StrengthsQuest Registration
Dear (Confirmation Candidate):
I hope this letter finds you well as we start preparations for the Sacrament of Confirmation. As
our time for Confirmation class draws near, you have an important job to do!
Each of you will be asked to fill out an online questionnaire called StrengthsQuest, an assessment
tool developed by the Gallup Organization that will help you recognize and understand your natural,
unique, God-given talents.
Everyone is different. No two people are exactly the same. We are unique because we think, feel
and behave in certain ways. These patterns are identified as ‘themes of talent’. The more you learn
about your talents, the more effectively you will be able to use them in every area of your life, including
your spiritual development.
When you are confirmed, you will receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. As you prepare for
Confirmation, you will learn more about this and how you can use your personal talents and strengths to
make the most of those gifts. I am confident that you will enjoy this process of self-discovery and that
you will gain a great sense of appreciation for the things that make you uniquely qualified to be the
shining light that you are.
Here is how you get started: Go to strengthsquest.com and enter the “Student” section. From
there, click “Register” in the upper right-hand corner. You will need a personal access code, which is
written below. Follow the directions for registering and taking the online assessment. This assessment
should take about 30 minutes. There is nothing to prepare and there are no wrong answers! Just give
the first answer that comes to you and then move on. After you have completed the assessment, you
will immediately receive a list of your top five themes of talent! IMPORTANT: Forward that list to me at
(Email Address). This list is required for the activities we will be doing at our retreat on (Date). [Or - This
list is required for the activities we will be doing at our first meeting on (Date).] In order to prepare for
these activities, I will need to receive your list of talents NO LATER than (Date).
Have fun and let me know if you have any questions.
Your personal access code: ____________________
(Name of Confirmation Leader)
Getting Started – Page 3 of 6
What is StrengthsQuest?
StrengthsQuest is an online questionnaire that helps you learn about what makes you uniquely
and wonderfully you. It helps you discover the person God created you to be! As part of your
Confirmation preparation, you will be invited to explore your God-given ways of thinking, feeling
and behaving – your talents. The ways in which we consistently think, feel and behave, our
talents, are the “equipment” God gives us for life – for the ways in which we interact with
others, the ways in which we serve, the ways in which we come to understand ourselves and see
the world around us.
Your Strengths are the seeds of your personal greatness -- your natural, God given talents -already in you. Therefore, your strengths quest -- your quest to achieve excellence and become
all you can be through your own natural talents – is really a quest to discover, develop, and
apply who you truly are.
As you explore your talents while preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation, you will learn
more about what makes you a child of God who is uniquely created, a person who is precious in
God’s sight, already part of the body of Christ through your baptism, already gifted with the Holy
Spirit, called to witness to God’s love with others through selfless service. Now, as you begin this
final preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation, you will reflect on what it means to be a
disciple, which is a lifelong process of learning, growing, and living as a follower of Jesus Christ.
The more you learn about your talents, the more effectively you will be able to use them for the
glory of God - now and for the rest of your life.
Here are some ideas for incorporating ‘Strengths’ into your parish’s Confirmation curriculum.
Please adapt, customize and add to these suggestions in whatever ways you feel are most
appropriate for your program.
Use Living Your Strengths, Catholic Edition as a group leadership guide in order to maximize
the spiritual perspective of Strengths (Talent Themes) as a means to discovering our calling
and using our God-given abilities in conjunction with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
At the first session, have each participant share their top five themes with the large
group (or, if the group is too large, do this in smaller groups). Explain Strengths as it
applies to us being uniquely created in the image and likeness of God - and to our call to
use our individual gifts to build up the Kingdom of God and fulfill God’s plan for our lives.
Refer to the following page, Strengths & Calling, for material as well as inspiration.
Start the meeting with a fun icebreaker exercise that focuses on Strengths.
The attached Activities and Reflections section contains many fun exercises for
formation and community building.
Use the more reflective exercises in the Activities and Reflections section in small group
settings in order to maximize the transformative experience of true self discovery, self
acceptance and respect for others.
Create one or more take-home assignments focused on Signature Themes. You will find
several appropriate assignments among the exercises in the Activities and Reflections
Use the materials in the Resources and Handouts section to help students recognize all
thirty-four themes of talents and to understand and honor the talent themes in others.
Include Strengths-based questions into teaching when appropriate and be attentive to
opportunities for candidates to affirm a particular Talent Theme of their own and
especially of their fellow candidates. Intentionally point out, acknowledge and call upon
the confirmation candidates to participate as appropriate.
If the preparation program in your parish requires candidates to provide letters to the
pastor requesting the Sacrament of Confirmation, consider having the candidates include
in these letters examples of how they are applying their own Talent Themes.
Getting Started – Page 5 of 6
Strengths & Calling
Excerpt from ‘StrengthsQuest on the College Campus’, Gallup StrengthsQuest
Written by Larry Braskamp
Strengths Vocational Advising Template of Lee University
 We believe that our strengths and talents were given to us by God.
 We believe that we have the talents and strengths needed to achieve success [in
life]. The challenge is to learn how to best apply them.
 Our strengths were not given to us just so that we can achieve our own goals. Our
strengths were given so that we can fulfill God’s purpose and plan for our lives.
This is the concept of vocation, or calling.
 The most basic issue in vocation is to establish a listening, obedient, love
relationship with God. He first calls us into relationship with Himself.
 Then God calls us to become the person He created us to be and to get done what
He created us to do.
 When Jesus was asked to name the most important commandment, He said:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart soul, mind, and strength, and love
your neighbor as yourself.” As we commit our lives to loving God and others with
the abilities He has given us, the very best thing that we can ever do is to fulfill
God’s purpose and plan for our lives.
Editor’s note: We recommend you use this template as a guide to help you encourage
Confirmation candidates to:
o Carefully and critically consider their talent themes,
o And the potential for growing these talents into strengths,
o And the connection between their talents and their spiritual growth, particularly as
it pertains to receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit and using these gifts in the
context of living their Strengths.
Getting Started – Page 6 of 6
A Strengths Based Supplement for Confirmation Classes and Retreats
Select your choices from the following Activities and Reflections, which are appropriate
for use as a supplement to all types of Confirmation preparation classes; weekly sessions,
day-long retreats and overnight retreats. You will find here activities ideal as fun icebreakers and activities that enable self discovery and deeply personal insights, as well as
activities that foster a much deeper understanding and appreciation of others. In all
cases, we anticipate that you will witness lively and meaningful engagement among your
students. If you choose, some of these activities may be used as take-home assignments
in preparation for a following Confirmation class.
Many of the following activities are from Gallup Organization’s StrengthsQuest™, are designed to be used
in conjunction with the StrengthsQuest™ book and are marked to indicate that they may only be
reproduced in conjunction with StrengthsQuest™ text. Gallup®, StrengthsQuest™, StrengthsFinder®.
Activities and Reflections Index
 I Am Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
 Exploring Our God Given Gifts
 Love – Crazy – Admire
 StrengthsFinder Reflection
 Verifying Your Signature Themes
 Exploring My Signature Themes
 The Talent Connection
 Scavenger Hunt
 Strengths Bingo
 Theme Matching
 Circle of Strengths
 Talent Jamboree
 Suggested Reflections
“I Praise You Lord, For I Am Fearfully And Wonderfully Made.”
and each of the 34 StrengthsFinder® theme names are trademarks of the Gallup Organization. Psalms 149:14
It’s normal that we relate more to some parts of our Talent descriptions than we do to others.
Identifying the parts that describe us best helps us relate to and better understand our talents.
Directions: In each of the 5 paragraphs describing your top 5 Talent Themes from your Gallup
Strengths report, highlight the sentences that best describe you. Of the highlighted items pick
what you feel are the most accurate descriptions and write below with your Talent Themes.
Take turns sharing your answers among your group.
Group Activity
Editor’s Note: Prior to this activity, make sure that students have reviewed their StrengthsFinder
Signature Theme report, or the ‘Affirming Your Signature Themes’ section of the StrengthsQuest
book, or the section for their Talent Theme in the ‘Full Talent Theme Descriptions’ found in the
‘Resources and Handouts’ section of this Supplement. You may choose to read this example
aloud, or to provide a copy to each group leader to use as a guide in helping the students.
Talent Theme:
My talent in me (I am ‘adjective’)
Hard worker
My talent in action (what I do)
I keep busy. I make lists of things I want to accomplish.
My talent requires (what I need)
I need to feel like I’ve accomplished something by the end of the day.
My talent fosters (what I love)
To make goals and complete tasks. I love to get things done!
My talent avoids (what I dislike)
Idleness. Boredom, too. I don’t like wasting time.
My talent looks like (use a metaphor or draw a picture)
Check it out! (or should I say check it off? )
How my talent gets distorted or misunderstood (barrier label)
People might think that I think work and grades are more important than
friendships. (I don’t!)
One liner for my talent: “The world belongs to the energetic.” Ralph W. Emerson
Or “Making a list and checking it twice!” Santa Clause 
Group Activity
Directions: Choosing one of your top five Talent Themes, fill out each section below for that
theme. When everyone has completed their page, take turns sharing with the group.
Talent Theme:
My talent in me (I am ‘adjective’)
My talent in action (what I do)
My talent requires (what I need)
My talent fosters (what I love)
My talent avoids (what I dislike)
My talent looks like (use a metaphor or draw a picture)
How my talent gets distorted or misunderstood (barrier label)
One liner for my talent (a quote, a line from a song, etc.)
Directions: Choose from your Top Five Signature Themes of Talent to answer the first two
questions. Select a Talent Theme from the entire list of 34 to answer the last question. Share
your answers with the group.
A talent you love having and why?
A talent that drives you crazy and why?
A talent you admire and why?
Activity Description: StrengthsFinder® Reflection
The purpose of this activity is to have the student reflect on his or her reaction to the
StrengthsFinder Signature Theme report.
StrengthsFinder Reflection worksheet
StrengthsQuest Signature Theme Report
Hand out the StrengthsFinder Reflection worksheet as a take-home assignment, or use it for an
in-class reflection.
In groups, ask students to discuss their reflections and what insights those reflections provide.
Have the students share some of their reactions and insights with their small group, or with the
larger group.
Copyright © 2002 The Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ. All rights reserved.
StrengthsFinder® Reflection
1. What was your first reaction to the Signature Themes on your StrengthsFinder report?
2. What Signature Themes do you feel fit you best? Why?
3. Which of your Signature Themes hold the talents you use most frequently?
Where do you use them?
4. Were there any surprises?
5. Which talents do you most want to develop?
Copyright © 2002 The Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ. All rights reserved.
Activity Description: Verifying Your Signature Themes
This activity is designed to allow students to gain a better understanding of how others perceive
them and help them have a better insight into others’ perspectives of their Talent Themes.
Editor’s Note: This activity provides an ideal opportunity for meaningful interaction and bonding
between the student and parent or other loved one.
Verifying Your Signature Theme worksheet
Signature Theme Report
Ask your students to choose three people with whom to share their results. You may
want to give them specific direction as to whom they should include in this activity, such
as a parent or their sponsor. Also, by directing them to interview different types of
people and with whom they have different relationships, they may gain a broader insight
into how different people perceive them in the context of their Talents.
Have students email their Signature Theme Report from StrengthsQuest or make hard
copies to give to three people.
Ask students to go through the Verifying Your Signature Themes worksheet with the
three people they choose.
Possible Questions to discuss in the group:
How did your interviews go? How did it feel to ask these questions about your talents?
What one insight did you get from the Verifying Your Signature Themes exercise?
Did some people see your themes differently than you did? How so?
Were you surprised by some of their responses?
What additional themes did they see in you that aren’t in your top five?
What one theme did you use this past week and, in doing so, realized it is one of your
Signature Themes?
Slightly adapted text
Copyright © 2002 The Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ. All rights reserved.
Verifying Your Signature Themes
As you reflect on your Signature Themes and what it all means, we suggest that you talk with
people who know you very well and care about you. If you are able, email your Signature Theme
Report from the StrengthsQuest site or make hard copies to share. The object is to see your
gifts through another’s eyes. Either in person, by email or on the phone, tell the person about
the StrengthsFinder assessment and your Signature Themes. Please complete this interview with
three different people. Let the person read through the StrengthsFinder report, or read it to him
or her, and then ask the following questions. Record his/her answers.
For each of your Signature Themes ask:
1. Do you see this theme in me? Please give me an example. (Repeat for all five.)
2. What surprises you?
3. Which of the five themes have you noticed most in me?
4. Are there any additional themes of talent that you see in me?
Copyright © 2002 The Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ. All rights reserved.
Activity Description: Exploring My Signature Themes
Verbalizing our strengths and blessings helps us have a greater understanding of who we are and
how we use our strengths to become more fully the person God intends us to be. This activity
will give each person an opportunity to talk about him or herself as well as learn about others in
the group.
Exploring My Signature Themes worksheet
Signature Theme Report
Break the group into subgroups of four to six individuals.
Have the groups share each of their five Signature Themes and the definitions that they
created on the following Exploring My Signature Themes worksheet. Allow time for each
person to share his or her themes.
Ask the group to make a list of three things they have learned so far:
1. About people in general,
2. about strengths,
3. about this discovery process, etc.
When all groups are finished, have each subgroup’s spokesperson share these three
insights with the group at large.
Slightly adapted text
Copyright © 2002 The Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ. All rights reserved.
Exploring My Signature Themes
Take your Signature Themes report and highlight the words, phrases, or sentences that you feel fit
you the best. Now, complete the matrix below by writing a definition for each of your five Signature
Themes in your own words.
Signature Theme of Talent
Definition of Theme in Your Own Words
Can only be reproduced in conjunction with the StrengthsQuest text.
Copyright © 2002 The Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ. All rights reserved.
The Talent Connection
Below, place your five Signature Themes in the first column. Then, think about what those Themes allow you
to do. Identify one specific example of having recently used each theme. An example is provided. Afterward,
take turns sharing your answers with the group. Follow with a discussion using these questions:
How were the stories similar or different among those who shared the same Talent Theme?
What new discovery did you make about someone in the group?
I listen well and can provide suggestions
that help others solve their problems.
A friend was having a disagreement with her boyfriend. I
was able to understand the situation and give her advice on
how she should handle the situation.
Can only be reproduced in conjunction with the StrengthsQuest text.
Copyright © 2002 The Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ. All rights reserved.
Activity Description: Scavenger Hunt
This activity is designed to help students better understand Signature Themes that are different than
their own.
Editor’s Note: Limiting the time for each ‘hunt’ and using a timer to signal the next round will add an
extra element of fun and excitement, as well as allow the leader to exercise control of the total time
required for this exercise. Though be careful not to have too fast a pace, so that student’s have
enough time for meaningful exchange.
Scavenger Hunt worksheet
Have each student complete the Scavenger Hunt worksheets.
Ask students to share their answers to the Discussion Questions in a large or small group.
Possible Questions to discuss in the group:
1. What one discovery did you make while doing this exercise?
2. What did you learn about yourself?
3. Were there some students who had themes that you know you could benefit from if you
partnered with them?
4. Think about one of the themes that seem least like you. Were you surprised by its benefit?
5. As you interact with or develop deeper relationships with the other students in this class,
how can you continue to build a better understanding of their unique talents?
Copyright © 2002 The Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ. All rights reserved.
Scavenger Hunt — Part One
 Locate and interview 10 people who have at least one Signature Theme (top five) that is not
among your Signature Themes.
 Record the name of each person you talked with, the theme you discussed, and at least one
benefit of the theme.
 Continue with part two of this activity.
Person’s Name
Name of Talent Theme
Benefit/Blessing of the Theme
Can only be reproduced in conjunction with the StrengthsQuest text.
Copyright © 2002 The Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ. All rights reserved .
Scavenger Hunt — Part Two
 Locate and interview 10 people who have at least one Signature Theme that is not among your
Signature Themes.
 Record the name of each person you talked with, the theme you discussed, and at least one benefit
of the theme.
 Answer the questions below.
Person’s Name
Theme Name
Benefit/Blessing of the Theme
Discussion Questions:
1. What one discovery did you make while doing this exercise?
2. What did you learn about yourself?
3. Were there some students who had themes that you know you could benefit from if you partnered with them?
4. Think about one of the themes that seems least like you. Were you surprised by its benefit?
5. As you interact with or develop deeper relationships with the other students, how can you continue to build a
better understanding of their unique talents?
Can only be reproduced in conjunction with the StrengthsQuest text.
Copyright © 2002 The Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ. All rights reserved.
Activity Description: Strengths Bingo
This activity is great for either an icebreaker or as a way to re-energize the group.
Distribute Strengths Bingo cards. You can use the sample card provided or
create your own.
Instruct students to move throughout the room and find other students who have that
same Talent Theme in their top five, marking that square when they do.
The first person to fill in the five boxes of their own Talent Themes wins!
Laminate the cards if you wish to use them repeatedly.
If you prefer a more challenging variation of Bingo, consider these versions: Four Corners,
Postage Stamp, Magic 7 , or Coverall.
Slightly adapted text.
Can only be reproduced in conjunction with the StrengthsQuest.
Copyright © 2000 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.
Strengths Bingo
ComMunIcatiOn SIgnifIcaNcE
Can only be reproduced in conjunction with the StrengthsQuest.
Copyright © 2000 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.
Activity Description: Theme Matching
Editor’s Note: This activity will help students more easily recall basic characteristics of Talent
Themes that are not in their own top five. It will provide a foundation for learning more about
the Talents and blessings of others, which is particularly helpful for group discussions. Be sure to
offer both Sections 1 and 2 together as a single activity.
Instruct the students to find the answers be referring to their StrengthsQuest books - or provide
them with the ‘Talent Theme Quick Reference Guide’ or the ‘Full Talent Theme Descriptions’
found in the Resources and Handouts section of this supplement.
Theme Matching – Section 1 of 2
Match each of the Signature Themes with the word or phrase that best describes it.
________1. Achiever
a. Potential grower
________2. Activator
b. Number one
________3. Adaptability
c. core values
________4. Analytical
d. flexible
________5. Arranger
e. Juggler
________6. Belief
f. Storyteller
________7. Command
g. History
________8. Communication
h. Order and structure
________9. Competition
i. Aware of others’ feelings
________10. Connectedness
j. Motivated and driven
________11. Consistency
k. Confrontational
________12. Context
l. Cautious and careful
________13. Deliberative
m. ‘Stick-to-it-iveness’
________14. Developer
n. Equal treatment
________15. Discipline
o. No coincidences
________16. Empathy
p. ‘Just do it’
________17. Focus
q. ‘Prove it!’
ANSWER KEY: Theme Matching – Section 1
10. o
11. n
12. g
13. l
14. a
15. h
16. i
17. m
Can only be used in conjunction with the StrengthsQuest text.
Copyright © 2008 The Gallup Organization. All rights reserved.
Theme Matching – Section 2 of 2
Match each of the Signature Themes with the word or phrase that best describes it.
________1. Futuristic
a. No one is a stranger
________2. Harmony
b. Genuine and intimate
________3. Ideation
c. ‘Widen the circle’
________4. Includer
d. Collects things or ideas
________5. Individualization
e. Problem solver
________6. Input
f. Loves the process of learning
________7. Intellection
g. Sorts and decides
________8. Learner
h. Contagious energy
________9. Maximizer
i. Admiration is needed
________10. Positivity
j. Utterly dependable
________11. Relator
k. Common ground
________12. Responsibility
l. Thinker
________13. Restorative
m. Place talent where it can survive
________14. Self-Assurance
n. Loves ideas
________15. Significance
o. Each person is unique
________16. Strategic
p. Self-confident
________17. Woo
q. Vision
Can only be used in conjunction with the StrengthsQuest text.
Copyright © 2008 The Gallup Organization. All rights reserved.
ANSWER KEY: Theme Matching – Section 2
10. h
11. b
12. j
13. e
14. p
15. i
16. g
17. a
Can only be used in conjunction with the StrengthsQuest text.
Copyright © 2008 The Gallup Organization. All rights reserved.
Circle of Strengths
Editor’s Note: This activity is most effective and meaningful after the group(s) of students have
had adequate opportunity to interact and bond. It is ideal toward the end of a retreat.
Ask the students to sit in a circle with an adult leader.
One student begins this activity by telling the group his or her top five Signature Themes of
Talent. (Or, students may display the Themes on their name tags.)
This student is to remain silent as others in the group share their observations about this
student’s Signature Themes. Specifically, students should share the following observations:
• How has this theme been exhibited in this person’s behavior?
• How has this observed talent been a blessing to others?
Remind students not to interrupt one another and to limit their comments so each student
receives an approximately equal number of affirmations. If students have difficulty
affirming a fellow candidate, the adult leader should provide affirmation.
The following chart may be used for students to prepare their comments and/or for adult
leaders to record the affirmations each student received from their peers and present these to
the students afterward.
Slightly adapted text
Can only be used in conjunction with the StrengthsQuest.
Copyright © 2008 The Gallup Organization, All rights reserved.
Signature Theme
Can only be used in conjunction with the StrengthsQuest text.
Copyright © 2008 The Gallup Organization. All rights reserved.
Talent Jamboree
Editor’s note: Special thanks to Holy Innocents Parish in Duvall, WA
Candidates (and parents and sponsors if present) are separated into three groups and rotate
among three locations featuring these activities:
COMMUNITY BUILDING GROUP EXERCISE to help candidates and parents get to know
each other. Choose from Activities in this section or create your own.
ONE-ON-ONE STRENGTHS FEEDBACK from an adult leader who elicits examples of the
candidate/parent/sponsor Talent Themes at work. Note: This adult leader needs to have
a basic understanding of the 34 themes of talent. Living Your Strengths, Catholic Edition
is an excellent resource for this, or refer to the ‘Full Talent Theme Descriptions’ found in
the Resources and Handouts section of this supplement.
Here is a small list of sample questions that help elicit responses:
o Do you feel that your Signature Themes of Talent describe you well? Why? Or
why not?
o Of the things you are good at doing, what do you enjoy the most – what are you
the best at? (examples: explaining ideas, planning parties, comforting friends,
getting good grades, athletic ability, a particular skill, etc.) Do you see one or
more of your talent themes in action?
o Think of something that frustrated you recently. How do you think your talent
themes related to this frustration? (example: A person high in Activator may be
frustrated at being forced to wait when they would rather take action in a
situation.) Do you think understanding this will help you next time you are
frustrated this way?
SERVICE PROJECT BRAINSTORMING based on the Talent Themes. Candidates may also be
assigned to teams and design a service experience.
Suggested Reflections
for Leading Discussion in Small Groups or Entire Group
Why do you think God make each of us differently?
What does God expect us to do with our talents?
How can you put your talents to use and serve your immediate and extended
family, your parish, your community, and your world?
What did your Signature Themes of Talent tell you about yourself?
What did you learn about your own Talent Themes as you shared them with others?
How can knowing and developing your Signature Themes of Talent help you? How can knowing
your God-given talents help you plan your future?
What one Talent Theme have you discovered in another individual that seems to be most
different from you? How will that difference affect your interaction together?
How does knowing another person’s themes of talent help you in your relationship with them?
There are times when we interpret someone’s behavior negatively. The next time this happens,
try to look beyond and see why the person has responded they way they have. Could it be that
they are just different from you?
A Strengths Based Supplement for Confirmation Classes and Retreats
 You Are Unique
 Talent Theme Quick Reference Guide
 Full Talent Theme Descriptions
 Talent Theme Barrier Labels and Affirmations
 The Genius and Beauty Found Within, by Edward Anderson, PH.D.
Co-author of StrengthsQuest™
In addition to these resources, we strongly recommend referring to Living Your
Strengths, Catholic Edition for several scripture quotes applicable to each Talent Theme.
You Are Unique!
Chances of meeting someone with the same
‘top five’ as you, in ANY order:
Less than 1 in 275,000
Chances of meeting someone with the same
‘top five’ as you, in the SAME order:
Only 1 in 33 Million!
Chances of meeting someone with the same
‘top SIX’ as you, in the same order:
Only 1 in a BILLION!
Chances of meeting someone with the same
‘top SEVEN’ as you, in the same order:
Not enough people born from the beginning of time
through the next 100 years!!
You are fearfully and wonderfully made!
Psalms 139:14
Talent Theme Quick Reference Guide
Page 1 of 3
ACHIEVER People especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and
work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
ACTIVATOR People especially talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by
turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.
ADAPTABILITY People especially talented in the Adaptability theme prefer to “go with the flow.”
They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at
a time.
ANALYTICAL People especially talented in the Analytical theme search for reasons and causes.
They have the ability to think about all the factors that might affect a situation.
ARRANGER People especially talented in the Arranger theme can organize, but they also have a
flexibility that complements this ability. They like to figure out how all of the pieces and
resources can be arranged for maximum productivity.
BELIEF People especially talented in the Belief theme have certain core values that are
unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for their life.
COMMAND People especially talented in the Command theme have presence. They can take
control of a situation and make decisions.
COMMUNICATION People especially talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy
to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.
COMPETITION People especially talented in the Competition theme measure their progress
against the performance of others. They strive to win first place and revel in contests.
CONNECTEDNESS People especially talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links
between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a
CONSISTENCY People especially talented in the Consistency theme are keenly aware of the need
to treat people the same. They try to treat everyone in the world with consistency by setting up
clear rules and adhering to them.
CONTEXT People especially talented in the Context theme enjoy thinking about the past. They
understand the present by researching its history.
Copyright © 2000 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved. Gallup®, StrengthsFinder®,
Clifton StrengthsFinderTM, and each of the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme
names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.
Talent Theme Quick Reference Guide
Page 2 of 3
DELIBERATIVE People especially talented in the Deliberative theme are best described by the
serious care they take in making decisions or choices. They anticipate the obstacles.
DEVELOPER People especially talented in the Developer theme recognize and cultivate the
potential in others. They spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from
these improvements.
DISCIPLINE People especially talented in the Discipline theme enjoy routine and structure. Their
world is best described by the order they create.
EMPATHY People especially talented in the Empathy theme can sense the feelings of other
people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations.
FOCUS People especially talented in the Focus theme can take a direction, follow through, and
make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act.
FUTURISTIC People especially talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and
what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.
HARMONY People especially talented in the Harmony theme look for consensus. They don’t
enjoy conflict; rather, they seek areas of agreement.
IDEATION People especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are
able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
INCLUDER People especially talented in the Includer theme are accepting of others. They show
awareness of those who feel left out, and make an effort to include them.
INDIVIDUALIZATION People especially talented in the Individualization theme are intrigued with
the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how people who are
different can work together productively.
INPUT People especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they
like to collect and archive all kinds of information.
INTELLECTION People especially talented in the Intellection theme are characterized by their
intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.
Copyright © 2000 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved. Gallup®, StrengthsFinder®,
Clifton StrengthsFinderTM, and each of the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme
names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.
Talent Theme Quick Reference Guide
Page 3 of 3
LEARNER People especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want
to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites
MAXIMIZER People especially talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to
stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something especially talented
into something superb.
POSITIVITY People especially talented in the Positivity theme have an enthusiasm that is
contagious. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.
RELATOR People who are especially talented in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with
others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.
RESPONSIBILITY People especially talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological
ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty
and loyalty.
RESTORATIVE People especially talented in the Restorative theme are adept at dealing with
problems. They are good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it.
SELF-ASSURANCE People especially talented in the Self-Assurance theme feel confident in their
ability to manage their own lives. They possess an inner compass that gives them confidence
that their decisions are right.
SIGNIFICANCE People especially talented in the Significance theme want to be very important in
the eyes of others. They are independent and want to be recognized.
STRATEGIC People especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed.
Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
WOO People especially talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people
and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection
with another person.
Copyright © 2000 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved. Gallup®, StrengthsFinder®,
Clifton StrengthsFinderTM, and each of the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme
names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.
Full Theme Descriptions
Your Achiever theme helps explain your drive. Achiever describes a constant need for achievement. You feel
as if every day starts at zero. By the end of the day you must achieve something tangible in order to feel good
about yourself. And by “every day” you mean every single day — workdays, weekends, vacations. No matter
how much you may feel you deserve a day of rest, if the day passes without some form of achievement, no
matter how small, you will feel dissatisfied. You have an internal fire burning inside you. It pushes you to do
more, to achieve more. After each accomplishment is reached, the fire dwindles for a moment, but very soon it
rekindles itself, forcing you toward the next accomplishment. Your relentless need for achievement might not
be logical. It might not even be focused. But it will always be with you. As an Achiever you must learn to live
with this whisper of discontent. It does have its benefits. It brings you the energy you need to work long hours
without burning out. It is the jolt you can always count on to get you started on new tasks, new challenges. It is
the power supply that causes you to set the pace and define the levels of productivity for your work group. It is
the theme that keeps you moving.
“When can we start?” This is a recurring question in your life. You are impatient for action. You may concede
that analysis has its uses or that debate and discussion can occasionally yield some valuable insights, but deep
down you know that only action is real. Only action can make things happen. Only action leads to performance. Once a decision is made, you cannot not act. Others may worry that “there are still some things we
don’t know,” but this doesn’t seem to slow you. If the decision has been made to go across town, you know that
the fastest way to get there is to go stoplight to stoplight. You are not going to sit around waiting until all the
lights have turned green. Besides, in your view, action and thinking are not opposites. In fact, guided by your
Activator theme, you believe that action is the best device for learning. You make a decision, you take action,
you look at the result, and you learn. This learning informs your next action and your next. How can you grow
if you have nothing to react to? Well, you believe you can’t. You must put yourself out there. You must take the
next step. It is the only way to keep your thinking fresh and informed. The bottom line is this: You know you
will be judged not by what you say, not by what you think, but by what you get done. This does not frighten
you. It pleases you.
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Clifton StrengthsFinder®, and the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.
Full Theme Descriptions
You live in the moment. You don’t see the future as a fixed destination. Instead, you see it as a place that you
create out of the choices that you make right now. And so you discover your future one choice at a time. This
doesn’t mean that you don’t have plans. You probably do. But this theme of Adaptability does enable you to
respond willingly to the demands of the moment even if they pull you away from your plans. Unlike some, you
don’t resent sudden requests or unforeseen detours. You expect them. They are inevitable. Indeed, on some
level you actually look forward to them. You are, at heart, a very flexible person who can stay productive when
the demands of work are pulling you in many different directions at once.
Your Analytical theme challenges other people: “Prove it. Show me why what you are claiming is true.” In the
face of this kind of questioning some will find that their brilliant theories wither and die. For you, this is precisely the point. You do not necessarily want to destroy other people’s ideas, but you do insist that their theories be sound. You see yourself as objective and dispassionate. You like data because they are value free. They
have no agenda. Armed with these data, you search for patterns and connections. You want to understand
how certain patterns affect one another. How do they combine? What is their outcome? Does this outcome fit
with the theory being offered or the situation being confronted? These are your questions. You peel the layers
back until, gradually, the root cause or causes are revealed. Others see you as logical and rigorous. Over time
they will come to you in order to expose someone’s “wishful thinking” or “clumsy thinking” to your refining
mind. It is hoped that your analysis is never delivered too harshly. Otherwise, others may avoid you when that
“wishful thinking” is their own.
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Clifton StrengthsFinder®, and the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.
Full Theme Descriptions
You are a conductor. When faced with a complex situation involving many factors, you enjoy managing all of
the variables, aligning and realigning them until you are sure you have arranged them in the most productive
configuration possible. In your mind there is nothing special about what you are doing. You are simply trying to figure out the best way to get things done. But others, lacking this theme, will be in awe of your ability.
“How can you keep so many things in your head at once?” they will ask. “How can you stay so flexible, so willing to shelve well-laid plans in favor of some brand-new configuration that has just occurred to you?” But you
cannot imagine behaving in any other way. You are a shining example of effective flexibility, whether you are
changing travel schedules at the last minute because a better fare has popped up or mulling over just the right
combination of people and resources to accomplish a new project. From the mundane to the complex, you are
always looking for the perfect configuration. Of course, you are at your best in dynamic situations. Confronted
with the unexpected, some complain that plans devised with such care cannot be changed, while others take
refuge in the existing rules or procedures. You don’t do either. Instead, you jump into the confusion, devising
new options, hunting for new paths of least resistance, and figuring out new partnerships — because, after all,
there might just be a better way.
If you possess a strong Belief theme, you have certain core values that are enduring. These values vary from
one person to another, but ordinarily your Belief theme causes you to be family-oriented, altruistic, even
spiritual, and to value responsibility and high ethics — both in yourself and others. These core values affect
your behavior in many ways. They give your life meaning and satisfaction; in your view, success is more than
money and prestige. They provide you with direction, guiding you through the temptations and distractions
of life toward a consistent set of priorities. This consistency is the foundation for all your relationships. Your
friends call you dependable. “I know where you stand,” they say. Your Belief makes you easy to trust. It also
demands that you find work that meshes with your values. Your work must be meaningful; it must matter to
you. And guided by your Belief theme it will matter only if it gives you a chance to live out your values.
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Clifton StrengthsFinder®, and the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.
Full Theme Descriptions
Command leads you to take charge. Unlike some people, you feel no discomfort with imposing your views
on others. On the contrary, once your opinion is formed, you need to share it with others. Once your goal is
set, you feel restless until you have aligned others with you. You are not frightened by confrontation; rather,
you know that confrontation is the first step toward resolution. Whereas others may avoid facing up to life’s
unpleasantness, you feel compelled to present the facts or the truth, no matter how unpleasant it may be. You
need things to be clear between people and challenge them to be clear-eyed and honest. You push them to take
risks. You may even intimidate them. And while some may resent this, labeling you opinionated, they often
willingly hand you the reins. People are drawn toward those who take a stance and ask them to move in a certain direction. Therefore, people will be drawn to you. You have presence. You have Command.
You like to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public, and to write. This is your Communication theme
at work. Ideas are a dry beginning. Events are static. You feel a need to bring them to life, to energize them,
to make them exciting and vivid. And so you turn events into stories and practice telling them. You take the
dry idea and enliven it with images and examples and metaphors. You believe that most people have a very
short attention span. They are bombarded by information, but very little of it survives. You want your information — whether an idea, an event, a product’s features and benefits, a discovery, or a lesson — to survive.
You want to divert their attention toward you and then capture it, lock it in. This is what drives your hunt for
the perfect phrase. This is what draws you toward dramatic words and powerful word combinations. This is
why people like to listen to you. Your word pictures pique their interest, sharpen their world, and inspire them
to act.
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Clifton StrengthsFinder®, and the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.
Full Theme Descriptions
Competition is rooted in comparison. When you look at the world, you are instinctively aware of other people’s performance. Their performance is the ultimate yardstick. No matter how hard you tried, no matter how
worthy your intentions, if you reached your goal but did not outperform your peers, the achievement feels hollow. Like all competitors, you need other people. You need to compare. If you can compare, you can compete,
and if you can compete, you can win. And when you win, there is no feeling quite like it. You like measurement
because it facilitates comparisons. You like other competitors because they invigorate you. You like contests
because they must produce a winner. You particularly like contests where you know you have the inside track
to be the winner. Although you are gracious to your fellow competitors and even stoic in defeat, you don’t
compete for the fun of competing. You compete to win. Over time you will come to avoid contests where winning seems unlikely.
Things happen for a reason. You are sure of it. You are sure of it because in your soul you know that we are all
connected. Yes, we are individuals, responsible for our own judgments and in possession of our own free will,
but nonetheless we are part of something larger. Some may call it the collective unconscious. Others may label
it spirit or life force. But whatever your word of choice, you gain confidence from knowing that we are not
isolated from one another or from the earth and the life on it. This feeling of Connectedness implies certain responsibilities. If we are all part of a larger picture, then we must not harm others because we will be harming
ourselves. We must not exploit because we will be exploiting ourselves. Your awareness of these responsibilities creates your value system. You are considerate, caring, and accepting. Certain of the unity of humankind,
you are a bridge builder for people of different cultures. Sensitive to the invisible hand, you can give others
comfort that there is a purpose beyond our humdrum lives. The exact articles of your faith will depend on your
upbringing and your culture, but your faith is strong. It sustains you and your close friends in the face of life’s
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Clifton StrengthsFinder®, and the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.
Full Theme Descriptions
Balance is important to you. You are keenly aware of the need to treat people the same, no matter what their
station in life, so you do not want to see the scales tipped too far in any one person’s favor. In your view this
leads to selfishness and individualism. It leads to a world where some people gain an unfair advantage because
of their connections or their background or their greasing of the wheels. This is truly offensive to you. You
see yourself as a guardian against it. In direct contrast to this world of special favors, you believe that people
function best in a consistent environment where the rules are clear and are applied to everyone equally. This
is an environment where people know what is expected. It is predictable and evenhanded. It is fair. Here each
person has an even chance to show his or her worth.
You look back. You look back because that is where the answers lie. You look back to understand the present.
From your vantage point the present is unstable, a confusing clamor of competing voices. It is only by casting your mind back to an earlier time, a time when the plans were being drawn up, that the present regains
its stability. The earlier time was a simpler time. It was a time of blueprints. As you look back, you begin to
see these blueprints emerge. You realize what the initial intentions were. These blueprints or intentions have
since become so embellished that they are almost unrecognizable, but now this Context theme reveals them
again. This understanding brings you confidence. No longer disoriented, you make better decisions because
you sense the underlying structure. You become a better partner because you understand how your colleagues
came to be who they are. And counterintuitively you become wiser about the future because you saw its
seeds being sown in the past. Faced with new people and new situations, it will take you a little time to orient
yourself, but you must give yourself this time. You must discipline yourself to ask the questions and allow the
blueprints to emerge because no matter what the situation, if you haven’t seen the blueprints, you will have
less confidence in your decisions.
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Clifton StrengthsFinder®, and the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.
Full Theme Descriptions
You are careful. You are vigilant. You are a private person. You know that the world is an unpredictable place.
Everything may seem in order, but beneath the surface you sense the many risks. Rather than denying these
risks, you draw each one out into the open. Then each risk can be identified, assessed, and ultimately reduced.
Thus, you are a fairly serious person who approaches life with a certain reserve. For example, you like to plan
ahead so as to anticipate what might go wrong. You select your friends cautiously and keep your own counsel
when the conversation turns to personal matters. You are careful not to give too much praise and recognition,
lest it be misconstrued. If some people don’t like you because you are not as effusive as others, then so be it.
For you, life is not a popularity contest. Life is something of a minefield. Others can run through it recklessly
if they so choose, but you take a different approach. You identify the dangers, weigh their relative impact, and
then place your feet deliberately. You walk with care.
You see the potential in others. Very often, in fact, potential is all you see. In your view no individual is fully
formed. On the contrary, each individual is a work in progress, alive with possibilities. And you are drawn toward people for this very reason. When you interact with others, your goal is to help them experience success.
You look for ways to challenge them. You devise interesting experiences that can stretch them and help them
grow. And all the while you are on the lookout for the signs of growth — a new behavior learned or modified,
a slight improvement in a skill, a glimpse of excellence or of “flow” where previously there were only halting
steps. For you these small increments — invisible to some — are clear signs of potential being realized. These
signs of growth in others are your fuel. They bring you strength and satisfaction. Over time many will seek you
out for help and encouragement because on some level they know that your helpfulness is both genuine and
fulfilling to you.
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Clifton StrengthsFinder®, and the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.
Full Theme Descriptions
Your world needs to be predictable. It needs to be ordered and planned. So you instinctively impose structure
on your world. You set up routines. You focus on timelines and deadlines. You break long-term projects into
a series of specific short-term plans, and you work through each plan diligently. You are not necessarily neat
and clean, but you do need precision. Faced with the inherent messiness of life, you want to feel in control.
The routines, the timelines, the structure, all of these help create this feeling of control. Lacking this theme of
Discipline, others may sometimes resent your need for order, but there need not be conflict. You must understand that not everyone feels your urge for predictability; they have other ways of getting things done. Likewise, you can help them understand and even appreciate your need for structure. Your dislike of surprises,
your impatience with errors, your routines, and your detail orientation don’t need to be misinterpreted as controlling behaviors that box people in. Rather, these behaviors can be understood as your instinctive method
for maintaining your progress and your productivity in the face of life’s many distractions.
You can sense the emotions of those around you. You can feel what they are feeling as though their feelings
are your own. Intuitively, you are able to see the world through their eyes and share their perspective. You do
not necessarily agree with each person’s perspective. You do not necessarily feel pity for each person’s predicament — this would be sympathy, not Empathy. You do not necessarily condone the choices each person
makes, but you do understand. This instinctive ability to understand is powerful. You hear the unvoiced questions. You anticipate the need. Where others grapple for words, you seem to find the right words and the right
tone. You help people find the right phrases to express their feelings — to themselves as well as to others. You
help them give voice to their emotional life. For all these reasons other people are drawn to you.
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Clifton StrengthsFinder®, and the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.
Full Theme Descriptions
“Where am I headed?” you ask yourself. You ask this question every day. Guided by this theme of Focus, you
need a clear destination. Lacking one, your life and your work can quickly become frustrating. And so each
year, each month, and even each week you set goals. These goals then serve as your compass, helping you determine priorities and make the necessary corrections to get back on course. Your Focus is powerful because
it forces you to filter; you instinctively evaluate whether or not a particular action will help you move toward
your goal. Those that don’t are ignored. In the end, then, your Focus forces you to be efficient. Naturally, the
flip side of this is that it causes you to become impatient with delays, obstacles, and even tangents, no matter how intriguing they appear to be. This makes you an extremely valuable team member. When others start
to wander down other avenues, you bring them back to the main road. Your Focus reminds everyone that if
something is not helping you move toward your destination, then it is not important. And if it is not important, then it is not worth your time. You keep everyone on point.
“Wouldn’t it be great if . . .” You are the kind of person who loves to peer over the horizon. The future fascinates you. As if it were projected on the wall, you see in detail what the future might hold, and this detailed
picture keeps pulling you forward, into tomorrow. While the exact content of the picture will depend on your
other strengths and interests — a better product, a better team, a better life, or a better world — it will always
be inspirational to you. You are a dreamer who sees visions of what could be and who cherishes those visions.
When the present proves too frustrating and the people around you too pragmatic, you conjure up your visions of the future and they energize you. They can energize others, too. In fact, very often people look to you
to describe your visions of the future. They want a picture that can raise their sights and thereby their spirits.
You can paint it for them. Practice. Choose your words carefully. Make the picture as vivid as possible. People
will want to latch on to the hope you bring.
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Clifton StrengthsFinder®, and the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.
Full Theme Descriptions
You look for areas of agreement. In your view there is little to be gained from conflict and friction, so you seek
to hold them to a minimum. When you know that the people around you hold differing views, you try to find
the common ground. You try to steer them away from confrontation and toward harmony. In fact, harmony is
one of your guiding values. You can’t quite believe how much time is wasted by people trying to impose their
views on others. Wouldn’t we all be more productive if we kept our opinions in check and instead looked for
consensus and support? You believe we would, and you live by that belief. When others are sounding off about
their goals, their claims, and their fervently held opinions, you hold your peace. When others strike out in a
direction, you will willingly, in the service of harmony, modify your own objectives to merge with theirs (as
long as their basic values do not clash with yours). When others start to argue about their pet theory or concept, you steer clear of the debate, preferring to talk about practical, down-to-earth matters on which you can
all agree. In your view we are all in the same boat, and we need this boat to get where we are going. It is a good
boat. There is no need to rock it just to show that you can.
You are fascinated by ideas. What is an idea? An idea is a concept, the best explanation of the most events.
You are delighted when you discover beneath the complex surface an elegantly simple concept to explain why
things are the way they are. An idea is a connection. Yours is the kind of mind that is always looking for connections, and so you are intrigued when seemingly disparate phenomena can be linked by an obscure connection. An idea is a new perspective on familiar challenges. You revel in taking the world we all know and
turning it around so we can view it from a strange but strangely enlightening angle. You love all these ideas
because they are profound, because they are novel, because they are clarifying, because they are contrary,
because they are bizarre. For all these reasons you derive a jolt of energy whenever a new idea occurs to you.
Others may label you creative or original or conceptual or even smart. Perhaps you are all of these. Who can
be sure? What you are sure of is that ideas are thrilling. And on most days this is enough.
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Full Theme Descriptions
“Stretch the circle wider.” This is the philosophy around which you orient your life. You want to include people
and make them feel part of the group. In direct contrast to those who are drawn only to exclusive groups, you
actively avoid those groups that exclude others. You want to expand the group so that as many people as possible can benefit from its support. You hate the sight of someone on the outside looking in. You want to draw
them in so that they can feel the warmth of the group. You are an instinctively accepting person. Regardless
of race or sex or nationality or personality or faith, you cast few judgments. Judgments can hurt a person’s
feelings. Why do that if you don’t have to? Your accepting nature does not necessarily rest on a belief that each
of us is different and that one should respect these differences. Rather, it rests on your conviction that fundamentally we are all the same. We are all equally important. Thus, no one should be ignored. Each of us should
be included. It is the least we all deserve.
Your Individualization theme leads you to be intrigued by the unique qualities of each person. You are impatient with generalizations or “types” because you don’t want to obscure what is special and distinct about each
person. Instead, you focus on the differences between individuals. You instinctively observe each person’s
style, each person’s motivation, how each thinks, and how each builds relationships. You hear the one-of-akind stories in each person’s life. This theme explains why you pick your friends just the right birthday gift,
why you know that one person prefers praise in public and another detests it, and why you tailor your teaching style to accommodate one person’s need to be shown and another’s desire to “figure it out as I go.” Because
you are such a keen observer of other people’s strengths, you can draw out the best in each person. This Individualization theme also helps you build productive teams. While some search around for the perfect team
“structure” or “process,” you know instinctively that the secret to great teams is casting by individual strengths
so that everyone can do a lot of what they do well.
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Full Theme Descriptions
You are inquisitive. You collect things. You might collect information — words, facts, books, and quotations —
or you might collect tangible objects such as butterflies, baseball cards, porcelain dolls, or sepia photographs.
Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many
things interesting. The world is exciting precisely because of its infinite variety and complexity. If you read a
great deal, it is not necessarily to refine your theories but, rather, to add more information to your archives.
If you like to travel, it is because each new location offers novel artifacts and facts. These can be acquired and
then stored away. Why are they worth storing? At the time of storing it is often hard to say exactly when or
why you might need them, but who knows when they might become useful? With all those possible uses in
mind, you really don’t feel comfortable throwing anything away. So you keep acquiring and compiling and filing stuff away. It’s interesting. It keeps your mind fresh. And perhaps one day some of it will prove valuable.
You like to think. You like mental activity. You like exercising the “muscles” of your brain, stretching them
in multiple directions. This need for mental activity may be focused; for example, you may be trying to solve
a problem or develop an idea or understand another person’s feelings. The exact focus will depend on your
other strengths. On the other hand, this mental activity may very well lack focus. The theme of Intellection
does not dictate what you are thinking about; it simply describes that you like to think. You are the kind of
person who enjoys your time alone because it is your time for musing and reflection. You are introspective. In
a sense you are your own best companion, as you pose yourself questions and try out answers on yourself to
see how they sound. This introspection may lead you to a slight sense of discontent as you compare what you
are actually doing with all the thoughts and ideas that your mind conceives. Or this introspection may tend
toward more pragmatic matters such as the events of the day or a conversation that you plan to have later.
Wherever it leads you, this mental hum is one of the constants of your life.
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Full Theme Descriptions
You love to learn. The subject matter that interests you most will be determined by your other themes and
experiences, but whatever the subject, you will always be drawn to the process of learning. The process, more
than the content or the result, is especially exciting for you. You are energized by the steady and deliberate
journey from ignorance to competence. The thrill of the first few facts, the early efforts to recite or practice
what you have learned, the growing confidence of a skill mastered — this is the process that entices you. Your
excitement leads you to engage in adult learning experiences — yoga or piano lessons or graduate classes. It
enables you to thrive in dynamic work environments where you are asked to take on short project assignments
and are expected to learn a lot about the new subject matter in a short period of time and then move on to the
next one. This Learner theme does not necessarily mean that you seek to become the subject matter expert, or
that you are striving for the respect that accompanies a professional or academic credential. The outcome of
the learning is less significant than the “getting there.”
Excellence, not average, is your measure. Taking something from below average to slightly above average
takes a great deal of effort and in your opinion is not very rewarding. Transforming something strong into
something superb takes just as much effort but is much more thrilling. Strengths, whether yours or someone
else’s, fascinate you. Like a diver after pearls, you search them out, watching for the telltale signs of a strength.
A glimpse of untutored excellence, rapid learning, a skill mastered without recourse to steps — all these are
clues that a strength may be in play. And having found a strength, you feel compelled to nurture it, refine it,
and stretch it toward excellence. You polish the pearl until it shines. This natural sorting of strengths means
that others see you as discriminating. You choose to spend time with people who appreciate your particular
strengths. Likewise, you are attracted to others who seem to have found and cultivated their own strengths.
You tend to avoid those who want to fix you and make you well rounded. You don’t want to spend your life
bemoaning what you lack. Rather, you want to capitalize on the gifts with which you are blessed. It’s more fun.
It’s more productive. And, counterintuitively, it is more demanding.
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Full Theme Descriptions
You are generous with praise, quick to smile, and always on the lookout for the positive in the situation. Some
call you lighthearted. Others just wish that their glass were as full as yours seems to be. But either way, people
want to be around you. Their world looks better around you because your enthusiasm is contagious. Lacking
your energy and optimism, some find their world drab with repetition or, worse, heavy with pressure. You
seem to find a way to lighten their spirit. You inject drama into every project. You celebrate every achievement. You find ways to make everything more exciting and more vital. Some cynics may reject your energy,
but you are rarely dragged down. Your Positivity won’t allow it. Somehow you can’t quite escape your conviction that it is good to be alive, that work can be fun, and that no matter what the setbacks, one must never lose
one’s sense of humor.
Relator describes your attitude toward your relationships. In simple terms, the Relator theme pulls you toward people you already know. You do not necessarily shy away from meeting new people — in fact, you may
have other themes that cause you to enjoy the thrill of turning strangers into friends — but you do derive a
great deal of pleasure and strength from being around your close friends. You are comfortable with intimacy.
Once the initial connection has been made, you deliberately encourage a deepening of the relationship. You
want to understand their feelings, their goals, their fears, and their dreams; and you want them to understand
yours. You know that this kind of closeness implies a certain amount of risk — you might be taken advantage
of — but you are willing to accept that risk. For you a relationship has value only if it is genuine. And the only
way to know that is to entrust yourself to the other person. The more you share with each other, the more you
risk together. The more you risk together, the more each of you proves your caring is genuine. These are your
steps toward real friendship, and you take them willingly.
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Full Theme Descriptions
Your Responsibility theme forces you to take psychological ownership for anything you commit to, and whether large or small, you feel emotionally bound to follow it through to completion. Your good name depends on
it. If for some reason you cannot deliver, you automatically start to look for ways to make it up to the other
person. Apologies are not enough. Excuses and rationalizations are totally unacceptable. You will not quite
be able to live with yourself until you have made restitution. This conscientiousness, this near obsession for
doing things right, and your impeccable ethics, combine to create your reputation: utterly dependable. When
assigning new responsibilities, people will look to you first because they know it will get done. When people
come to you for help — and they soon will — you must be selective. Your willingness to volunteer may sometimes lead you to take on more than you should.
You love to solve problems. Whereas some are dismayed when they encounter yet another breakdown, you
can be energized by it. You enjoy the challenge of analyzing the symptoms, identifying what is wrong, and
finding the solution. You may prefer practical problems or conceptual ones or personal ones. You may seek
out specific kinds of problems that you have met many times before and that you are confident you can fix. Or
you may feel the greatest push when faced with complex and unfamiliar problems. Your exact preferences are
determined by your other themes and experiences. But what is certain is that you enjoy bringing things back
to life. It is a wonderful feeling to identify the undermining factor(s), eradicate them, and restore something to
its true glory. Intuitively, you know that without your intervention, this thing — this machine, this technique,
this person, this company — might have ceased to function. You fixed it, resuscitated it, rekindled its vitality.
Phrasing it the way you might, you saved it.
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Full Theme Descriptions
Self-Assurance is similar to self-confidence. In the deepest part of you, you have faith in your strengths. You
know that you are able — able to take risks, able to meet new challenges, able to stake claims, and, most important, able to deliver. But Self-Assurance is more than just self-confidence. Blessed with the theme of SelfAssurance, you have confidence not only in your abilities but in your judgment. When you look at the world,
you know that your perspective is unique and distinct. And because no one sees exactly what you see, you
know that no one can make your decisions for you. No one can tell you what to think. They can guide. They
can suggest. But you alone have the authority to form conclusions, make decisions, and act. This authority,
this final accountability for the living of your life, does not intimidate you. On the contrary, it feels natural to
you. No matter what the situation, you seem to know what the right decision is. This theme lends you an aura
of certainty. Unlike many, you are not easily swayed by someone else’s arguments, no matter how persuasive
they may be. This Self-Assurance may be quiet or loud, depending on your other themes, but it is solid. It is
strong. Like the keel of a ship, it withstands many different pressures and keeps you on your course.
You want to be very significant in the eyes of other people. In the truest sense of the word you want to be
recognized. You want to be heard. You want to stand out. You want to be known. In particular, you want to be
known and appreciated for the unique strengths you bring. You feel a need to be admired as credible, professional, and successful. Likewise, you want to associate with others who are credible, professional, and successful. And if they aren’t, you will push them to achieve until they are. Or you will move on. An independent
spirit, you want your work to be a way of life rather than a job, and in that work you want to be given free rein,
the leeway to do things your way. Your yearnings feel intense to you, and you honor those yearnings. And so
your life is filled with goals, achievements, or qualifications that you crave. Whatever your focus — and each
person is distinct — your Significance theme will keep pulling you upward, away from the mediocre toward
the exceptional. It is the theme that keeps you reaching.
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Full Theme Descriptions
The Strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is not a skill that can be
taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large. This perspective allows you
to see patterns where others simply see complexity. Mindful of these patterns, you play out alternative scenarios, always asking, “What if this happened? Okay, well what if this happened?” This recurring question helps
you see around the next corner. There you can evaluate accurately the potential obstacles. Guided by where
you see each path leading, you start to make selections. You discard the paths that lead nowhere. You discard
the paths that lead straight into resistance. You discard the paths that lead into a fog of confusion. You cull
and make selections until you arrive at the chosen path — your strategy. Armed with your strategy, you strike
forward. This is your Strategic theme at work: “What if?” Select. Strike.
Woo stands for winning others over. You enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like
you. Strangers are rarely intimidating to you. On the contrary, strangers can be energizing. You are drawn to
them. You want to learn their names, ask them questions, and find some area of common interest so that you
can strike up a conversation and build rapport. Some people shy away from starting up conversations because
they worry about running out of things to say. You don’t. Not only are you rarely at a loss for words; you actually enjoy initiating with strangers because you derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection. Once that connection is made, you are quite happy to wrap it up and move on. There are new people
to meet, new rooms to work, new crowds to mingle in. In your world there are no strangers, only friends you
haven’t met yet — lots of them.
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Talent Themes - Barrier Labels and Affirmations
‘Barrier Label’ is a term used when a talent is mistakenly devalued and dismissed as a weakness.
Instead of saying this . . .
Barrier Label
Say this!
Talent Enabler
Talent Themes - Barrier Labels and Affirmations
‘Barrier Label’ is a term used when a talent is mistakenly devalued and dismissed as a weakness.
Instead of saying this . . .
Barrier Label
Say this!
Talent Enabler
Talent Themes - Barrier Labels and Affirmations
‘Barrier Label’ is a term used when a talent is mistakenly devalued and dismissed as a weakness.
Instead of saying this . . .
Barrier Label
Say this!
Talent Enabler
Talent Themes - Barrier Labels and Affirmations
‘Barrier Label’ is a term used when a talent is mistakenly devalued and dismissed as a weakness.
Instead of saying this . . .
Barrier Label
Say this!
Talent Enabler
The Genius and Beauty
Found Within
The Clifton StrengthsFinder Themes of Talent
Edward “Chip” Anderson, Ph.D.
Professor, Doctoral Studies in Educational Leadership
Azusa Pacific University
From my experience, each of the themes of talent identified by the Clifton
StrengthsFinder Inventory has a stroke of genius within it. The genius of our talents
reflects what those talents enable and empower us to do to potential levels of excellence.
The concept of genius refers to an extraordinary ability to do certain things, and as such
there is great beauty in seeing what is done by the genius within individuals.
Accordingly, what follows is the genius I see in each of the themes of talent identified by
the Clifton StrengthsFinder Inventory.
The genius of your Achiever talent begins with your tremendous motivation, drive
and determination. You are in constant motion to reach your goals. The second aspect of
your genius is found in the types of goals you set. You have daily goals in the form of
lists of things to do. Then you have future goals tied to your daily goals. Finally you
have ultimate goals. Your ultimate goals are always tied to excellence. So the genius of
your Achiever talent is the tremendous amount of motivation and drive you have to reach
your goals and to move your goals toward being excellent in terms of performance,
productivity effectiveness and efficiency. No wonder this talent is called Achiever.
The genius of your Activator talent begins with the concept of action. You want
action and you can make things happen. Most of all, the genius of your activator talent
gives you the ability to see how to make things happen. Whereas others have ideas that
only swim around in their minds, you can quickly see how to turn ideas into actions,
programs, and services. This points to the greatest aspect of the genius of your Activator
talent. You are creative and very innovative. Finally, you have a tremendous amount of
motivation, energy and personal power when it comes to taking an idea and then putting
it into action. You are particularly motivated to be innovative in turning your ideas into
action, programs, and services. You are a dynamo in turning ideas into actions that
generate revolutionary changes.
The genius of your Adaptability talent begins with where you “live” in terms of your
mind. You live in the present - - - even the present moment. Whereas others live their
lives in their “rear-view mirror”, always looking to the past and being tied to the past, you
are a right here – right now person. The genius of this perspective means that you can
Edward C. Anderson
change and change quickly. Rather than being rigid, you are flexible; and rather than
being tied to some pre-set plan, you can quickly change to meet immediate demands and
circumstances that require attention. But the real genius of your adaptability is seen in
circumstances that make others scramble and cower into some safety zone for security.
Your genius talent of Adaptability comes to light in chaos. In fact, you not only deal
with chaos, you get energized, come alive and get a thrill out of chaos as you “ride the
wave” and quickly make the changes that chaos requires. This then points to another
genius aspect of your Adaptability talent. You can learn and change so quickly.
The genius of your Analytical talent begins with the way your mind works as it
automatically formulates penetrating questions. Your questions have a common theme in
that they are always “truth seeking”. Your genius analytical questions seem to drill down
with question after question until the truth is uncovered. Questions of “How you know . .
.?”, “Why?”, “What evidence do you have . . .?” and “Can you prove it . . .?” are
constantly in your mind. But these questions only lead to the deeper aspects of your
genius Analytical talent the ultimate genius of the Analytical talent involves the quality
of your decisions, problem solving and planning capabilities. Armed with the
information generated through your penetrating questions, you get to the rock-bottom
issues that form a basis for the highest quality of real decision making, problem solving,
and strategic planning. Moreover, your questions give you the facts and information
needed for excellence in decision making and planning.
The genius of your Arranger talent begins with what you can see and perceive.
You can see patterns and perceive how things go together or could go together. Whereas
most people only see things as isolated items, you see groupings and connections. The
genius of your arranger perception comes to light in that you can take many different
items, bits of information, factors, people, and/or events and then see patterns among and
between them. This enables and empowers you to arrange items, facts and information,
people, and the many things that must come together for successful events and activities.
You are a genius at coordinating people and events because of your Arranger talent.
Accordingly you can “multi-task” like few others. You can deal with chaotic situations
by seeing how to combine and coordinate as you will see connections and linkages. But
the ultimate genius of your Arranger talent is seen in what you do after you have
completed a project. You go back and arrange and rearrange in your mind what you did.
This results in increased effectiveness and efficiency each time you use your arranger
The genius of your Belief talent starts with the fact that you have some very
deeply-held beliefs about what is true, what is unchanging, and what can be, and always
will be, dependable. These beliefs go very deep. They provide personal power to stand
Edward C. Anderson
strong no matter what. This is central to your character. But the genius of your Belief
strength is what results from those beliefs. From your beliefs, you generate meaning,
purpose and direction for your life and all you do. This meaning, purpose and direction
translate into a tremendous amount of power, drive and motivation within you. So long
as you revolve your life around your deepest values and beliefs, you will experience
motivation, drive, and determination to make monumental impacts in the lives of
individuals as well as groups and organizations.
The genius of your Command talent begins with the fact that you can and will
impact others, and you will do so with great power. Your genius strength of Command
gives you great courage to boldly enter into a crisis and dangerous situations. It is as if
you have even more clarity of thought about what needs to be done when there is an
emergency. You have the courage to step in and take charge when people are threatened
and when there are threatening circumstance. In emergencies, you have clarity, a
willingness to voice your ideas and people appreciate your willingness to step up and
confront dangers. In these situations you will impact all around you. Similarly, you are
willing to see the way through conflicts and misunderstandings by bringing to light what
is often hidden. While some get nervous because you can be so powerful, everyone is
grateful when your strength of command addresses emergencies, crises, conflicts, and
The genius of your Communication talent is found in the profound fact that you
can find words for your thoughts and your feelings. Whereas many people have lots of
good ideas, they often stumble in finding the words that capture and convey their good
thoughts. Even more people suffer from not being able to find the words that best
describe and transmit their feelings. Yet, you can do this with ease. But the genius of
your Communication talent doesn’t end with your ability to find words for your thoughts
and feelings. You can find words for the thoughts and feelings of others. This means
that in interactions, you can help other people express their thoughts and feelings as is
seen in the way that you can often complete people’s sentences or find the word that they
cannot find in expressing their feelings. As a result of these aspects of the genius of your
Communication talent, you can form deep, meaningful and bonded relationships and help
others do the same.
The genius of your Competition talent begins with the tremendous energy, drive
and determination within you. You want to succeed. You demand success for yourself
and you measure that success in terms of where you stand in comparison to others. For
you, second place is sometimes seen as another word for “loser”. But the drive to win,
succeed and achieve isn’t focused on you alone. This can be a basis for leadership and
impacting the lives of others. First, your “win attitude” is a model for others. Second,
Edward C. Anderson
your competition is often turned into being a source of inspiration for others. And
finally, you can use your competition talent to stimulate others to strive for higher levels
of performance and productivity. You are someone who grabs the attention of others and
they begin to believe that they too can achieve.
The genius of your Connectedness talent provides you with a very unique way of
seeing events, people, and the world. To you there are no accidents. Your way of seeing
events is to recognize that everything that happens is caused by something or someone.
Likewise, what is happening right now will have a “ripple” effect into the future.
Similarly, you see people in terms of the accumulative events and interaction that formed
them and moved them to this moment. Accordingly, this moment and the attitudes that
people take to their circumstances will form their future. Extending this way of seeing to
the world in general, you see the past, present and future as connected and you see that
there is a “master plan” or “Master’s plan” at work at all times. Your genius talent of
Connectedness provides a way of “making sense of the nonsense” around us and
generating meaning and purpose for yourself. When you share what you can see with the
genius of your Connectedness talent, you help others gain hope as you help them see the
past and “connect the dots” of their past in a more meaningful way. In like manner, you
help people see possibilities for the future by making choices now that build a positive
Your genius strength of Consistency involves both the way you think and process
information and the way you see what is fair and equitable. Whereas others often take a
long time to determine what is fair and equitable, to you it is obvious. You can quickly
determine what should be done so that problems are solved in ways that treat everyone in
a just and equal manner. This process of determining what is equitable often involves
processing a great deal of information. But the genius of your Consistency talent sorts
through information and comes to equitable decisions so quickly that you may not see
anything special about what you do because you do it with such ease. In your
relationships, you strive to treat everyone equally and consistently. This helps you win
the confidence of others. You are a great, fair and just thinker because of your
Consistency talent.
The genius of your Context talent is found in the way you think about the past and
use that form of thinking to learn, plan and solve problems. The present is important to
you, but in your mind, the present is best understood by seeking to understand what has
led up to the present. Thus, your mind often goes backwards and looks for what has
caused what we are experiencing today. This look to the past gives great wisdom for
understanding the present and forms a basis for making informed decisions and plans in
the present and for the future. The genius of your Context way of thinking provides you
Edward C. Anderson
with a basis for making high quality decisions and plans and for problem-solving. In
addition, as you apply the genius of your Context way of thinking when you learn, you
will learn with great understanding which results in high achievement.
The genius of your Deliberative talent is found in the quality of your decisions,
choices, values, and the directions you decide to pursue. Your deliberative genius
involves thinking and the fact that you will take multiple things into consideration every
time you make a decision or a plan. The genius of your Deliberative talent allows you to
look at an issue from multiple sides. You will “play the devil’s advocate” as you think
through alternatives, values, and propositions, and you will look at multiple sides as you
are learning. You will slow down the process whenever you are learning, planning or
deciding. But this does not mean you are “slow minded”. Quite the opposite. This is part
of your genius and results in very high quality decisions and a depth of understanding.
The genius of your Developer talent begins with what you can see in other people.
You can see talents, strengths, and potential in others that they often cannot see in
themselves. But this is just the beginning. You can also see what people can do to
develop their talents, strengths and potential. It is as if you see “stepping stones” for
moving people from where they are to higher levels of development. But it doesn’t stop
there. You become energized and determined to stimulate people to move, grow and
develop to higher and higher levels of personal effectiveness. Next, you are particularly
perceptive in noticing even the smallest amount of progress people make as they grow
and develop. This leads to your mirroring back to people their progress. Accordingly,
you are a great source of encouragement and a stimulator of personal progress as you can
see ahead of time what people can become and as you note their progress. The great
thing about all of this is how alive you become as you stimulate others with your
Developer talent.
The genius of your Discipline talent involves your level of personal productivity
and the accuracy with which you produce things. Your level of productivity and your
level of accuracy stem from the way you can structure tasks and your environment. This
ability to structure is key to you being productive and to your accuracy. You can take
complex tasks with multiple stages and identify the steps needed to complete the tasks.
Next, you structure the environment and organize the actions needed to complete the
tasks. Finally, you begin organizing, re-organizing and structuring each action step that
must be complete in order to produce things accurately. Finally, the genius of your
discipline talent identifies the fastest and mot efficient methods while maintaining the
highest quality.
Edward C. Anderson
The genius of your empathy talent involves your ability to form high quality,
deep, personal understanding and relationships with others. You have an unusual and
beautiful ability to feel into what it feels like to be another person You can often feel
what someone else feels without them saying a word. As a result, you can form very
close, intimate relationships with people. The genius of Empathy has profound effects on
others because they feel so deeply understood. Many people feel like they come healthier
and more at peace being in your presence because your understanding of people goes
beyond the words they can find to express themselves. While it may be hard on you to
hear the pain of others, they will feel deeply indebted to you because you can understand
them at such profound levels. The genius of empathy makes you a great lover of other
people and they are fortunate to have you as a friend.
The genius of your Focus talent begins with what you can do with your mind.
You can focus your attention to an unusual level of concentration. That concentration
enables you to amass facts and information, read with clarity of understanding, and solve
problems with great precision. You can concentrate to the extent that people may come
into a room you are in, and you may not hear or see them. While others pride themselves
with their ability to multi-task, you know that for you, you are most productive when you
concentrate on one thing at a time. Your focusing talent results in prolonged
concentration to address and solve complex problems and planning processes. You learn
in great depth, and because of your focusing, when you learn, plan and solve problems,
your recall is remarkable.
The genius of your Futuristic talent begins with your incredible ability to see the
future. Your ability to envision the future provides an unusual and creative way of
planning and problem solving. When confronted by a problem, you will envision where
you are heading and then structure your problem solving so that each solution provides a
stepping stone into the future. Likewise, all planning is done in light of the visions you
have about the future. Of course your futuristic talent genius gives you a powerful basis
for leadership. As Robert Greenleaf noted long ago, the great leader has a ready answer
to the profound question: “What are you trying to do?” You know what you are trying to
do because your futuristic talent gives you clear pictures of the future you want to build.
Never forget that your visions of the future will excite the imagination of others and they
will be inspired because of what your genius of Futuristic can help them see. Make your
visions known to everyone because they give others hope and optimism.
Edward C. Anderson
The genius of your Harmony talent stems from what you can see and how you
respond to what you see. First, you can see where people can come together when they
are in conflict. Often those in conflict are absolutely blind to how to resolve their
conflicts because their differences seem so insurmountable. But you can often see where
people in conflict could come together and resolve their differences. The second aspect
of the genius of your Harmony talent is found in the way you work with people who are
in conflict. Usually, one on one and one at a time, you will meet with those in conflict
and help each person to clarify their own position and come to see the point of view of
the person with whom they are in conflict. In so doing, you help conflicting people move
to reconciliations. The genius of your Harmony talent is greatly needed in families, small
groups, and large organization. It is as if you are the “glue” that hold relationships
together. Unfortunately you sometimes do not receive the credit you deserve, as much of
you best work is done behind the scenes. But know that even if no one knows but you,
you make a significant and a very positive difference in all of the groups and
relationships that you are in.
The genius of your Ideation talent begins with your love of ideas and the way you
so quickly learn new ideas, concepts and principles. But you are not passive. It is as if
you take ideas and then begin spinning them around in your mind. With each new idea
you learn, you tend to think about it over and over - - - spinning it around with the many
other ideas you already have. The result of this thinking, turning, and spinning around of
new ideas with what you already know does two things. First, you generate new
connections and insights about ideas and their implications. Second, the spinning of your
ideas often results in new ideas. Therefore, the genius of the Ideation talent is the
creativity of generating new ideas and insights as a result of contemplating and reviewing
the ideas you have learned.
The genius of your Includer talent involves your ability to see outsiders and those
who have been marginalized. You can see people who are physically on the outside, but
most remarkably, you can discern who feels left out even though they may be physically
in the middle of a group. But your genius talent of Includer does not stop with just seeing
those who are physically outside and emotionally marginalized. You take action to bring
people into the group. In fact this talent seems to give you an enormous amount of
courage to reach out and actively bring the outsider in. The beauty of your Includer
talent is that you can build relationships with literally anyone. But your specialty in
relationship building is with the “invisible people” and people who others ignore. You
instinctively know what to say and how to include those who others ignore and leave out.
Edward C. Anderson
The genius of your Individualization talent is that you see each and every person
and a one of a kind, distinct individual. But more than that, you see the particular factors,
qualities, characteristics, thoughts, and perception that make each person distinct. You
see each person as a mosaic of highly individual factors each of which contribute to a
person’s distinctiveness. This includes both personal qualities and past events that have
formed the person. You are curious about their individual characteristics and you find
yourself thinking and asking questions about what makes each person so distinct. This
results in people feeling special and prized by your attention. But all of this simply lays a
foundation for the genius of your Individualization. Your genius is that armed with all of
this thinking and question-asking, you attempt to interact with each person based on their
individual qualities. This leads to meaningful and very helpful relationships.
The genius of your Input talent is based on your curiosity. It is as if your curiosity
knows no limits. You want to know about everything. Question after question propels
you to learn more and more. You want facts, information, concepts, and principles. You
become excited by your own questions and even more excited when you find answers to
your questions. Sometimes you turn your curiosity to people and want to learn as much
as possible about them, but for the most part you are driven to learn in general and in
specialized areas of knowledge. As you learn, you try to keep your acquired facts
organized, but this is a challenge since you continue to collect more and more
information, and there is simply much to learn. Finally, the genius of your Input talent
wants to share what you have learned. You can be a great communicator of what you
have learned, and you get really excited about telling others about the latest thing you
have learned.
The genius of your Intellection talents stems from the quality of your thinking.
You think about ideas, concepts, and principles in great depth. It is as if you hold
discussions in your mind about ideas, concepts, observations and new learnings. This
results in deep learning, deep understanding, and deep appreciation for the best
knowledge. Out of this deep processing, you often come to new insights and
understandings. But the greatest aspect of the genius of your intellection is the wisdom
that you gain from your in-depth thinking and internal discussions. You can think by
yourself for hours, but never doubt what results: wisdom, clarity and a firm foundation
for action planning and decision making.
The genius of your Learner talent begins with the fact that you love to learn in
many areas. It doesn’t matter to you what you are learning, just so that you keep on
learning something each and every day. But the genius of your learning doesn’t stop
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there. You have thought a lot about the learning process. You know how you learn and
you know what best contributes to you learning effectively and efficiently. This selfunderstanding provides a basis for understanding and helping other learn. With little
effort, you can analyze the learning habits of others and think through how they can learn
most effectively. Based on this understanding of the learning process in yourself and
others, you can establish ingenious programs and services to help others become better
learners, high achievers, and be better prepared for the future.
The genius of your Maximizer talent starts with what you can see in people. You
can see the strengths and talents, the potentials and the capabilities, and you can see the
emerging abilities within people even before they can see them. But this is only the
beginning of the genius of your Maximizer talent. You can literally see what people
could be like if they were to fully develop and maximize the talents, potential and
emerging abilities within them. This results in you having an incredible impact in the
lives of others. As you hold up pictures and mirrors of what you see in others, you help
them form new concepts of themselves that build hope and motivation to achieve and be
what they have the capacity to be. Moreover, you are a great “coach” in moving people
to their greatest potential and in moving people into roles where their potential can be
lived out.
The genius of your Positivity talent is found in the impact that you can and will
have in the lives of other people. You see the best in people. You want to bring out the
best in people. You organize environments so that people can become what they are best
capable of being. But you do not “sit on the sidelines” and simply hope that these good
things will just happen. You get into the middle of things and stimulate people to strive
for the best they can be. As a result, people became more productive, effective, and grow
because of you. Your genius is found in the impact that you have on groups and
individuals. Simply stated everyone gets better if you are nearby and interacting with
them. As a result, you are a most valuable part of any organization and you have the
talent to be a great leader, a great manager, and a great supervisor.
The genius of your Relator talent is found in the fact that you can form
relationships with virtually anyone. While you prefer relationships that are real and
genuine, you have the capacity to form relationships with almost anyone. You can form
relationships with people older, younger, or the same age as yourself. You can form
relationships with people who have more, less, or the same status as yourself. You can
also form relationships at different levels of closeness or intimacy. For example, you
have at least four levels of relationships. At the fourth level, you have lots of
acquaintances. On the third level are a group of relationships that are closer. On the
second level, you have a group of friends. But you also have an even closer group of
Edward C. Anderson
people, people in your “tight group”. While there are usually six or less in your tight
group and many or few in the other three groups, the genius of your Relator strength is
your ability to form relationships on these multiple levels of intimacy.
The genius of your Responsibility theme is found in the depth and the quality of
relationships you are able to form with people. Because you are a person of your word,
people trust you. It is this trust that bonds you to others and bonds others to you. Your
ability to build trusting relationships is foundational to any influence relationship.
Therefore you tend to have a highly persuasive and influential impact on people. This
talent can be used in leadership as people will only willingly follow those they trust, and
trust is what you have the genius to generate in others. The final aspect of the genius of
your Responsibility theme involves the level of commitment you can generate in others.
This stems from the fact that you make such deep commitments to others and from the
fact that you make such deep commitments to their full development and personal
The genius of your Restorative talent is found in the way you can think and fix
things. This is key to all problem solving. But your ability to fix goes beyond patching
things together. The way you restore things involves bringing them back to life.
Accordingly, you can have a restorative effect on relationships and in fact, entire
organizations. The genius of your Restorative strength is that you are so good at figuring
out what is not working, resolving that, and then guiding people to a way of being healthy
and highly functional.
The genius of your self assurance talent begins with your confidence. You have a
quality that is often called resilience. This means that you can “bounce back”.
Accordingly, you have an attitude that no matter what happens to you; you will in fact
“bounce back” and quite probably reach higher heights even If you momentarily fail.
The genius here is that you not only have confidence, but an inner compass for deciding
what you need to do and how you need to do it.
The genius of your Significance talent begins and ends with the difference you are
determined to make. You cannot stand the thought of living and dying and there being
no difference. You are bound and determined to make a difference and you want that
difference to be significant. There is great energy, power, determination, and motivation
within you to make a significant and lasting difference in the world. While others may
consider you egotistical this is not your motive. You want to make a significant
difference because there is a lot wrong in the world and you are trying to make the world
Edward C. Anderson
better. At the same time, you want to be recognized for the difference you make. But the
difference you make is the driving force.
The genius of your Strategic talent involves the way you think and generate
alternatives. When faced with a problem or a dilemma you can quickly generate multiple
alternatives to circumvent obstacles that prevent your progress. Sometimes you think in a
backwards manner by first visualizing the outcome you want to produce and then
generating multiple alternative paths to get to that objective. But your genius of Strategic
doesn’t simply begin and end with generating alternatives. The real genius of this
strength is found in the way that you can quickly sort through the various alternative
paths and determine the one that will work best and most efficiently.
The genius of your WOO talent involves the impact you can have on other people
and the ease with which you can win them over. You have an incredible ability to meet
new people and almost magically know what to say in order to draw others out. Other
people love the attention you give them and the way that you can affirm a person so
quickly. Of course you love the process and the challenge of meeting new people. And
people love it when you connect with them. The genius of this talent is that you can not
only quickly connect with people but you can be a catalyst in helping people connect
with one another. Make no mistake about it, when you enter a crowd the crowd will be
different because you were there. In fact, you have the capacity to transform a crowd of
disconnected people into a group and this is no small accomplishment.
Edward C. Anderson