I’ve been a CliftonStrengths® trainer and coach for over three years now. While I agree that the professional benefits of the CliftonStrengths® process are invaluable, I’m equally struck by the profound personal effect it has on people.
The CliftonStrengths® assessment measures what are called the top five signature strengths of an individual. These strengths are what drive a person – all day, every day, in all circumstances.
The first time I presented a strengths workshop to a professional group, I noticed here and there in the group that people were becoming emotional – specifically, they were tearing up. At one point, a young woman raised her hand and bravely shared why she was crying. I had just explained the significance of one of her strengths – Connectedness. She said it immediately took her to a memory of when her mother was dying. Her mother had told this young woman that she would always be fine because she had a unique ability for seeing how all circumstances in life are connected, have meaning, and move us forward. This young woman confessed that up until that moment at the workshop, she hadn’t quite understood how profound her mother’s words actually were. So here she is, in a professional setting, having an aha moment about a personal experience.
The next time I presented CliftonStrengths® was at a medical clinic, and I noticed that one of the physicians was beginning to cry. After the workshop, this doctor approached me to say thank you and explained how my description of the strength Restorative provided a powerful insight into the vocation of a medical doctor – that there was a deeper significance to the choice of becoming a physician and the passion to restore someone to health. Again, another very personal revelation in a professional workshop.
I could go on and on with people’s life stories that have flowed out of them when they discover their strengths. My main point is that, in addition to providing an effective tool for raising the level of engagement and performance in the workplace, CliftonStrengths® has this multi-layered effect on one’s own self-understanding, which is truly remarkable, and truly a gift. It’s a privilege to be the facilitator of this process.
In her work, Dare to Lead, Brené Brown defines a leader as “anyone who takes the responsibility of finding potential in other people and processes and has the courage to develop that potential.” That kind of leadership development, of tapping into people’s potential, is at the heart of what Purple Ink does, and I love being a kind of messenger for that objective in helping individuals explore their strengths through the CliftonStrengths® process.