Working on yourself allows you to climb to the heights of your abilities and opens the door to a whole new world. Knowledge of one’s strengths can help in personal development. How to discover them? This is made possible by the popular CliftonStrengths survey, also known as the Gallup test. Keep reading if you want to learn more about this method.
A tool for personal development
The Gallup test allows you to find and determine the talents of an individual or an entire group. It tells the story of others’ choices based on the way they look at the world. It perfectly builds self-esteem and shows that each of us has talent. The tool is used for greater self-understanding. It directly increases the profitability of members of the entire team. It is especially appreciated by people who do not realize what talents they are hiding!
The most important concepts according to Gallup
Talent – a natural pattern of action that can be used productively. First reaction to a given situation.
Strengths – a predisposition to achieve positive results by performing certain tasks in a near-perfect manner.
The issues are elements of Gallup math, which is very simple:
Talent x investment = strength
Investment in this case is nothing more than raising awareness of one’s potential.
Different people – different approaches to personal development
Donald O. Clifton focused on the strengths of the individual, rather than on correcting what they were doing wrong. The creator of this concept is very much focused on leveling weaknesses. The Gallup test, on the other hand, puts the focus on strengths and manages the weak ones in the process. His approach is about awareness and acceptance of one’s weaknesses. Gallup argues against the theory that ”you can do anything.” He says it’s not about toiling all the time and only having your moment of glory at the end. It is definitely better to have smaller achievements every day. This principle works in both professional and private life.
Different sides of life in the study
The test focuses on identifying individual skills (talents). They are divided into four basic categories:
- Execution (prudence, discipline, responsibility)
- Influence (activator, competition, self-confidence)
- Relationship building (flexibility, interdependence, empathy)
- Strategic thinking (analyst, visionary, strategist)
The key to getting the most benefit in the test taken and the talents caught is to discuss it properly. Very often, the people surveyed are not able to find out much about themselves by analyzing on their own the test taken. Gallup distinguished 34 talents, which classify the abilities of the person surveyed.
Gallup test – what the survey looks like
The Gallup test consists of 177 questions. The answers are supposed to be in line with how the respondent feels. The responses are all about marking what you resonate with the most. The survey is prepared in such a way that even skipping a few questions will allow the program to work out the result. The same principle applies to the selection of several neutral answers.
The program analyzes each answer to a question and prepares a comprehensive report based on it. At the top of the list are the talents that have the most potential and come to the fore. The last five points are aspects that are not the respondent’s strengths. However, this does not mean that they cannot be worked on! Sometimes it happens that the skills at the bottom of the list are not needed (you can get by without them). The report in its full version is very comprehensive. It contains 25 pages and presents a practical description of each talent. The report in its abbreviated version focuses only on the top five talents.
Three stages of working with talents
After the test is over, the respondent knows his predispositions and strengths. However, this alone is not enough. Discussing the test results with a Gallup tester will help implement new behaviors to nurture the talents identified.
The stages of talent work are as follows:
- Name it – name it . Find out what’s behind the names of the talents and learn to tell about them in your own words.
- Claim it – appreciate it . Discuss your talents, recognize how they work. Appreciate their value and discover situations from your life where you use them.
- Aim it – take advantage. Consciously use your talents to achieve your goals. Implement them in your life.
Take teamwork to an even higher level
Gallup talents can also be worked with in a team. This is an excellent tool for building group effectiveness.
Gallup argues that ”We will never achieve the results by improving our weaknesses that we can achieve by investing in developing our talents.”
An excellent example of why it is better to focus on developing strengths is provided by two groups of people who were subjected to an interesting study. One consisted of people who read slowly (90 words per minute), while the other read quickly (300 words per minute). The results of the analysis were compelling: those in the first group increased their efficiency by 66% scoring 150 words per minute. The second group made far greater progress reading as many as 2,900 words per minute.
Gallup test: what do you gain from knowing your talents?
People like to be appreciated. Knowing what our predispositions are allows us to embrace a certain career path, to climb the ranks. But also not only! Knowing our capabilities, we can enjoy life and live with more confidence. This maximizes the chance of achieving your goals. That’s what it’s all about – to motivate others to take action! Gallup measured that people who focus on using their strengths are 3x more satisfied with the quality of their lives and are 6x more engaged in their responsibilities. People who work in the area of their strengths treat customers better, achieve more and enjoy going to work, and teams that use talent work have better profitability and results!