I traveled up to Sacramento yesterday to attend the April CCC-APT meeting. Erin Passons presented "Discover Your Strengths: Combining StrengthsFinder and Psychological Type". I've been a fan of the Gallup StrengthsFinder since discovering it over a decade ago. Until now, however, it simply hadn't occurred to me to consider how StrengthsFinder Talent (Theme) combinations might intersect with Type – a failure of imagination on my part, obviously!
When I first took the StrengthsFinder, in 2006, my reaction to my "signature themes" report was "OK, that looks like me". Yesterday, revisiting my report again, I could see that these themes also look "INTJ".
Some notes from the presentation, for Type practitioners interested in possibly adding StrengthsFinder to their toolkit:
- A Talent, in StrengthsFinder terms, is "a naturally occurring pattern of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be used productively".
- As is the case with Type, people don't change much over time. Your Talents are innate.
- Like Type, StrengthsFinder is a tool for self-development. It is not a tool meant to be used in making hiring or promotion decisions, nor is it a predictor of success in a given role.
- StrengthsFinder can be useful for helping people who may be having trouble determining their best-fit Type.
- The StrengthsFinder assessment is only available online. It includes 177 questions with a 20 second time limit for each. Users can't "mull over" a question or go back. A user can answer "neutral" (or not answer) a maximum of 90 questions before the program is unable to produce a result.
- Results from the StrengthsFinder include a person's top 5 or "signature themes", out of a set of 34 possible themes.
- As with Type (i.e. whole type >> a combination of function/attitudes), the combination of themes in the top 5 is important.
- It may be possible to "guess" someone's Type through conversation; it's more difficult to guess StrengthsFinder themes from the outside.
- The MBTI "emphasizes similarities" between people of the same Type or Temperament. The StrengthsFinder "emphasizes uniqueness".
- Type theory says that stress puts us "in the grip" of the inferior functions. StrengthsFinder (similarly) says that stress emphasizes the "less productive" aspects of your Themes.
- A focus on strengths, rather than on "weaknesses", can lead to increased engagement and improved performance for employees.
- Gallup has found that the chances of being engaged at work if leadership does not focus on strengths are 9%. This rises to 73% if leadership does focus on strengths!
- Employees who can focus on strengths are 6 times as likely to report success in their role and 3 times as likely to say they have a high quality of life.
- Much of Gallup's work is with employees in the workplace, but they do have two educational divisions, one for Higher Ed and one for primary education.
- There is a version of the StrengthsFinder for children (approx ages 10 - 14), called StrengthsExplorer.
Although Erin never mentioned Temperament specifically, I saw a lot of correlation between Themes and Temperament during the presentation. I was also interested to see the (obvious to me) correlation between the four StrengthsFinder Leadership Themes and the Berens' Interaction Styles!
|StrengthsFinder Theme||Interaction Style|
|Influencing||Get Things Going|
|Relationship building||Behind the Scenes|
|Strategic Thinking||Chart the Course|
In summary, I think StrengthsFinder would be an excellent addition to any Type practitioner's toolbox!
Many Thanks to Erin for coming up from San Diego to present (and a huge thank you to my friend Julie for the ride from N. Concord BART to Sacramento!)
- My two-part blog review of the book, Discover Your Strengths, and the associated StrengthsFinder tool (2006).
- The Clifton StrengthsFinder® and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, a report from Gallup Consulting (PDF format).
- Using the Myers-Briggs ® Instrument with the Gallup StrengthsFinder 2.0 Instrument from CPP.
- StrengthsFinder Leadership Themes and Berens Interaction styles (descriptions).