How do you use your talents? Can you list what they are? One of my coaching methods is the CliftonStrengths® tool (previously known as StrengthsFinder).  It’s an online assessment that takes around 30 mins to complete, asking 177 questions, or ‘paired statements’, that measure talents. Your natural patterns of thinking, feeling and behaviour.  

The Method

Based on the answers you give, a clever algorithm then calculates and produces a CliftonStrengths profile, which shows the order in which the 34 talent themes are most prevalent for you. There’s a lot of meta-studies and science behind CliftonStrengths, which explains why it’s so widely recognised across the globe as being such a useful tool to use to ignite potential and produce results. 

Being a bit of a data-nerd myself, I wanted to find a tool or approach to equip me in my coaching practice, one which is evidence-based in its methodology and approach.  The methodology is pretty robust for this one and I got certified as a Gallup Strengths Coach in 2018.

How unique are we and our talents?

The chances of two people having the same Top 5 themes in any order is statistically 1 in 278,256. Even more incredible, two people having the same Top 5 themes in the same order is 1 in 33 million (33,390,720). Richard Sterry (the founder of Cascade -Releasing Strengths) even has a match-making service to help you find your Strengths Twin!

  • Dominant Talent Themes (usually the top 10) are a bit like the ‘retina’ in your eyes – they describe the way you see, think, behave and act with the world around you.
  • Supporting Talent Themes (usually #11-29) are a bit like the ‘spectacles’ you wear – you can turn the temperature up on these talents when they’re needed.
  • Lesser Talent themes (aka weaknesses, usually #30-34) are usually the talents we struggle with most, or that don’t come naturally to us. Let’s call these the badly fitted ‘contact lenses’!

So What?

It’s all very well finding out what our talents are and getting that warm fuzzy feeling when we read our profile (“oh, this is soooo me!”), but what do you actually do about it?  

How do you apply these talents in your work and life?
Gallup’s evidence illustrates that those who ‘focus on using their strengths’ (i.e. those in the ‘dominant’ list at the top of your report) have incredible results. From increasing their work performance, productivity, engagement, wellbeing, quality of life, and heck – even profit and sales!



What does ‘focus’ look like?
Talents x Investment = Strength

  • Talent (a natural way of thinking, feeling, or behaving)  – this is what your CliftonStrengths report shows.
  • Investment (time and energy invested in practicing, developing, and building knowledge) 
  • Strength (the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance)

First, discover your talents.  Get to know them, learn to love them.  Share them with others.  Learn to appreciate other people’s talents as much as you appreciate your own.  Then work out ways in which you can invest in and amplify your own unique talents in the work you do and how you partner with others around you.

Over 25 million around the globe have done a CliftonStrengths assessment (including just short of 3% of NZ’s total population!).  Have you done your CliftonStrengths? 

Here’s to learning your Strengths!

I offer coaching packages for people wanting to discover their strengths and learn how to apply them in their life and work.  You can find out more about my professional coaching services here.  Contact me today to learn how you can maximise your natural talents.