First Exercises

Published Categorized as CliftonStrengths, Coaching

So now the CliftonStrengths 34 report is in your hands. (If your reaction now is: OK, Boomer, then may I tell you that all this is of course also possible electronically. And no, I’m not a boomer, albeit only narrowly.)

But, what are you doing with it now? Of course, read it first.

Highlighting

Top 5

You can see that after a few introductory words, two pages of information on each of your first five talent topics are available. These five texts are based on the order of all your talent topics, so they are individually tailored to you as much as possible.

Nevertheless, Donald Clifton had to summarize talents in so-called themes. Otherwise, the level of detail would simply be too large and unmanagable.

Therefore, some sentences will feel closer to you than others. Take a marker and highlight what really suits you.

Top 6-10

The next 5 talent topics each include one page of text. They are no longer individualized, but have the general text as a description. Nevertheless, it also helps here to highlight the really apt sentences.

Dominant, supportive and “what, that’s also a strength?”

We will do the next exercise on pages 23 and 24 of the report.

The talent themes can be divided into three sections. The dominant themes are those that can be developed into strengths with comparatively little investment and a lot of joy. We have between 8 and 12 dominant themes somewhere, in exceptional cases even up to 15, but this is extremely rare. The dominant themes are at the top of the list.

Read the descriptions and start at the first strength. Read until you have this feeling on a theme: “I can do that if I have to, but it’s not as easy for me as all previous ones.”

Stop on this theme and draw a line just before it. For me, this line is between theme 10 and 11, as you can see from the picture.

This is where your supporting talent themes begin. Now it’s still a matter of finding out where they end.

An important finding is to know what you are not or can’t do. Some would call this weaknesses found, but weaknesses are weaknesses only if you needed these themes for your job or relationships and cannot compensate for the behavior with other strengths. So they are called lesser themes.

And that’s an important keyword: many say of their lowest talent themes (from 34 upwards) that they could do that. But they probably compensate for the behavior. How this happens is very individual and can be found out in a coaching.

For the moment, you can simply believe me that the lowest 5-10 talent themes are probably difficult for you to reach and result in an enormous amount of energy usage. If we often need these topics in everyday life, this can lead to burn-out.

But let’s continue with the exercise.

Read the descriptions from the bottom, starting with the 34th. Cheer on any topic you don’t have. At some point between 30 and 25, you will usually say to yourself: “Yes, I can do that even if it has to be.” You have found the lower limit of your supporting themes. Also put a line below this theme.

The goal is to be able to use one’s own dominant strengths as often as possible. If necessary, consult the supporting topics. For the other topics, you will find compensation strategies, complement yourself with a person who can do it easily, or make sure that the assignment does not take too long or happens too often.

Coaching

This is where coaching begins. We learn to discover how we used our own strengths in the past and everyday life. We learn compensation and cooperation by learning to love all themes. And we develop strategies to invest specifically in the strengths.

If you decide to coach with me, please take this version of the CliftonStrengths 34 report with you. The two limits are important in our cooperation, as are the painted sentences in the first strengths. I would be happy to show you more treasures that CliftonStrengths has discovered in you.

By Ralph Rickenbach

Accompanyist | Pastor in Exile | Iconoclast — I am a Gallup certified CliftonStrengths coach and a Spiral Dynamics practitioner.