• Karen Stabile

Are you sure you've gone deep enough with your CliftonStrengths report?


As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, I willingly admit, I wonder if Don Clifton knew how his idea of "focusing on what is right about people," would significantly impact the world to the profound sense that it has. Maybe he knew and maybe he didn't. What I believe he did realize and knew beyond a shadow of doubt was that every individual is unique and endowed with unending talent. Call it potential, polishing the pearl, or cultivating internal motivation that surely leads to clearer direction, he knew the need for giving our innateness more than a slight glance. If we want to do life right using all we have been given, we need to go beneath the surface. It affords more hope. Hope that life can shift and become infinitely valuable focusing on uncovering more of who we really are. Now there's something I believe he knew for sure!

As a coach over the last eight and a half years, six of those years have included being a student of talents and strengths. Apply what I learn first to my life and then to help clients, family, friends, and colleagues. One thing I know for sure is my CliftonStrengths report never runs dry and never leaves me lonely or abandoned with unanswered questions. It is also true with the clients I partner with and serve through the coaching relationship.

What bewilders me and leaves me speechless is when I hear individuals say, "yes, I did the assessment, it was nice. It was for work, but I don't see a purpose in looking at it for all of life." My jaw drops and I immediately go silent. Maybe it's a bit of a grieving moment. Maybe it's a bit of sorrow for the individual as I realize they haven't gone deep enough or scratched the surface of how the instrument can really be used to create personal awareness that changes a life forever. A life full of value and purpose. A life where there is a natural spring to each step, motivating, inspiring, and perpetuating significant motion effectively.

It's one thing to read your report and place it on the shelf somewhere. It's an entirely other choice to read through your report at least once a week with a specific focus or desired outcome you need answers for. What is it you need to accomplish or make happen? Do you need to rapidly make a connection and trust with the person sitting across the table from you who is seeking what you have to offer? Read your report searching for answers as to how you can make this happen. You will meet this outcome in a unique way. No two people will reach an outcome the same way. That's alright! Don't expect someone else to come up with the same process or procedure as you have. After all it's the specific outcome we are clearly after or in need of.

The CliftonStrengths assessment helps individuals understand how they best do things. How they uniquely think, feel, and behave. When we understand how we do things, we understand more of who we are. When we understand more of who we are, we touch what we really want our life to look like. We narrow our focus of what we intentionally put our hands to do on a daily basis. Narrowing life makes us sharper individuals who experience greater fulfillment, satisfaction, and the necessary gusto to do it all again tomorrow, only better.

I've used the assessment for several years with individuals and we never run out of content to discuss when we focus on talent development. Can you see why I've been a bit unsettled and even sad for those individuals who haven't been able to go deep enough with the rich content from their report?

If you find yourself curious about the CliftonStrenghts assessment or maybe you are wondering if you should dig your report out and dust it off, let me know. I'd love to have a conversation around your unique results and how you can use this information to take life to the next level. A level including opportunities and possibilities perhaps you didn't realize your could make happen.


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