Activity Set: Strengths Assessments
Strengths Assessments: Quick Overview (Read further below for more detailed information and links to explore for each assessment)
Part 1: VIA Character Strengths
- Register to take the FREE VIA Character Strengths Assessment: https://www.viacharacter.org/www/
- Lifework Activity: List your top FIVE VIA Character Strengths
Part 2: Gallup’s CliftonStrengths (Engagement Strengths)
- There’s no FREE online version to identify your CliftonStrengths; follow the steps below to complete this activity for FREE!)
- Use these two links to identify your Top FIVE CliftonStrengths (full instructions to complete this activity below):
- CliftonStrengths Quick Reference (short version, downloads as pdf): https://www.gallup.com/file/workplace/245090/CliftonStrengthsQuickReferenceCard.pdf
- CliftonStrengths Full Theme Descriptions (long version, downloads as pdf): https://www.wiboscoc.org/uploads/3/7/2/4/37244219/strengthsfinder_full_description.pdf
- Lifework Activity: List your top FIVE Top FIVE CliftonStrengths
Part 3: Principles You (This assessment is LONG; will most likely take between 15 and 30 minutes).
- Register for the FREE Principles You Assessment: https://principlesyou.com/
- Lifework Activity: Once complete, list the following:
- List your top THREE Archetypes.
- List those specific characteristics under the three categories – (1) How You Prefer To Think, (2) How You Engage With Others, and (3) How You Apply Yourself) – that are listed as either “Very High” or “High.” (Feel free to include “Moderate” if you desire).
All of the results from these activities will be part of your Character Resume.
Need Example of results? Click on Bill’s Character Resume to see his Strengths Assessment results: character resume-bill johnson example, 6-15-22.
Introduction to Strengths
What are strengths? A strength is an ability to consistently produce a positive outcome through near-perfect performance in a specific task or given activity. Strengths are important to understand how you interact with the world on a daily basis. Also be aware that strengths can be both positive (service, love) and negative (cheat, liar). We will focus our assessments on the positive.
Strengths focus on the things you do right, not on the things that you do wrong. Research has found that people and organizations grow more when they focus on what they do best rather than trying to fix their weaknesses. Identifying your strengths will also provide you an additional tool to seek opportunities that allow you to use your strengths on a regular basis.
Knowing and focusing on your strengths:
Can assist in the process of identifying and living your purpose and fulfilling you mission.
Are usually attached to excellence – the more you use your strengths, the better you become in using your strengths.
Can be used to help you decide your classes, your major, your extracurricular activities, even your internship and job possibilities.
Will provide you direction as to how you should use your time and where you should put your energy.
Will build your confidence and self-esteem; you will feel better about yourself when you have greater success in the strengths you use well.
Will have you more likely engaged in your job/education and more likely to having an excellent quality of life!
Would give you the best opportunity to be great!
Provides you motivation.
Gives you energy.
Creates positive emotions.
Increases personal and work satisfaction.
Increases levels of productivity and performance.
Increases levels of engagement.
Be more satisfied with college experience.
Be more satisfied with advising experience.
Have greater satisfaction in courses.
Feel better about help from faculty/staff with life plans.
Have higher cumulative GPA’s.
Be more likely to stay in school.
- VIA Character Strengths
- Clifton StrengthsFinder
- Principles You
Character strengths focuses on your ethics, morals, behaviors, and values; answers the question, “What is best about who you are?”
To understand the importance of character strengths, watch the following video:
- The Science of Character – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3nT2KDAGOc
Lucky for us, the VIA Institute on Character has provided a FREE!!! Assessment that will provide you a ranking of your 24 Character Strengths, from most important to least important. Here’s why knowing your character strengths are important (from their web site): “When you discover your greatest strengths, you learn to use them to handle stress and life challenges, become happier, and develop relationships with those who matter most to you.” Is there a better time than now to know your character strengths?
Set aside 10-15 minutes to take the FREE online assessment, which you will find here:
- Character Strengths Assessment (VIA Character Strengths) – https://www.viacharacter.org/www/
You’ll be asked to register your name and email address; once you complete this basic information, you’ll be able to start the assessment.
Once you complete the assessment, you will be given a list of your 24 Character Strengths, from the most prominent to least prominent strengths. For this activity, let focus most on your top five Character Strengths.
List of 24 Character Strengths: Appreciation Of Beauty & Excellence, Bravery, Creativity, Curiosity, Fairness, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Honesty, Hope, Humility, Humor, Judgment, Kindness, Leadership, Love, Love Of Learning, Perseverance, Perspective, Prudence, Self-Regulation, Social Intelligence, Spirituality, Teamwork, Zest
To get a more detailed description of your top five character strengths, as well as all 24 Character Strengths, check out these two links:
- The 24 Character Strengths – https://www.viacharacter.org/character-strengths
- Strengths in Character: Virtues in Action – https://www.weber.edu/WSUImages/leadership/docs/sq/azusa/general/via-character-strengths-descriptions.pdf
Once you know your five character strengths, read the full-length descriptions. Write down each of your VIA character strengths and a short phrase or sentence that describes each of the five Character Strengths that best fits you.
Part 2: Engagement Strengths (Gallup CliftonStrengths)
Engagement strengths (such as Gallup’s CliftonStrengths) consists of your skills, knowledge, and talents; answers the question, “What’s best about how you work?”
To learn more about Engagement Strengths and CliftonStrengths, check out these brief videos:
- Your Greatest Talents – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1deZW32G1ik
- Discover Your Strengths: Unlock Your Potential with Gallup’s CliftonStrengths – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsCaTapfhhk
There is no FREE option to identify your Engagement Strengths. However, it’s our goal to at least expose you to CliftonStrengths resources in case you are interested in purchasing their full assessments.
First, you’ll visit the site with the 1-2 sentence descriptions for each of the 34 Engagement Strengths. Click on the link below to view the list:
- CliftonStrengths Quick Reference (it’s a PDF file) – https://www.gallup.com/file/workplace/245090/CliftonStrengthsQuickReferenceCard.pdf
List of 34 Engagement Strengths: Achiever, Activator, Adaptability, Analytical, Arranger, Belief, Command, Communication, Competition, Connectedness, Consistency, Context, Deliberative, Developer, Discipline, Empathy, Focus, Futuristic, Harmony, Ideation, Includer, Individualization, Input, Intellection, Learner, Maximizer, Positivity, Relator, Responsibility, Restorative, Self-Assurance, Significance, Strategic, Woo
As you review the list, choose between 5 and 10 Engagement Strengths that you believe describes you best and write them down. Once you’ve narrowed your list to 5-10, click on the next link to view a more detailed description of the Strengths:
- Full Theme Descriptions (it’s a pdf file) – https://www.wiboscoc.org/uploads/3/7/2/4/37244219/strengthsfinder_full_description.pdf
After reading the full descriptions, you will need to narrow down your list to the top FIVE (5) Engagement Strengths that describe you best (no need to rank order them). Write down your Top Five, then visit this site:
- The 34 Ways to Describe What You Naturally Do Best – https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths/en/253715/34-cliftonstrengths-themes.aspx
For a more detailed explanation of each Engagement Strength. Scroll down to see a list of each of the 34 Themes; click on the first Strength on your list, watch the short video, and read some important facts about that particular Strength. Write down a few keys words/sentences that are used to describe that strength, since this site will provide more specific details on what it’s like to have that particular strength. You will then do the same thing for your other four strengths.
And if these weren’t enough resources for you to check out, here’s another one that may help provide additional content regarding your specific engagement strengths:
- Quick Reference Guide (another pdf file) – https://www.med.umn.edu/sites/med.umn.edu/files/strengths_quick_reference_guide_w_pro_con_.pdf
As you review the descriptions, feel free to make changes to your Top Five list, since you may realize that one may be more like you than one on your current list. The goal of this lesson is to provide you with a starting point of identifying how you can use your engagement strengths in a variety of ways.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list to 5-10 CliftonStrengths, read the full-length descriptions. After reading the full-length descriptions, write down your TOP FIVE CliftonStrengths and, if you desire, a short phrase or sentence that describes each of your five CliftonStrengths.
Part 3: Principles You (Warning: This is a LONG ONE – 15-30 minutes- to complete!)
This is a relatively new Assessment that provides even more insight about yourself and what you bring to the table. It’s one that will be extremely useful as you explore future employment and/or entrepreneurial endeavors. I strongly believe that this particular assessment provides a great supplement to why your strengths are your strengths. The Principles You Assessment was created by two of the great business thinkers in the world – Ray Dalio and Adam Grant. I’m going to warn you – it’s LONG! I’ve had people share that it’s taken them 30 minutes to complete this assessment. But I believe the value it provides is worth more than the time you need to complete it.
- Clink on this link to take the FREE Principles You Assessment: https://principlesyou.com/ then click on the button, “Take the Free Assessment”
When you take the Assessment, you’ll be given the option to stop after about 20 minutes; my suggestion would be to keep going so you can get the best results. Once complete, you’ll receive and IN-DEPTH report that provides the following:
- Your top Three Archetypes (and the two least like you): Best Match, Good Match, and Moderate Match
- How You Prefer To Think (Your Cognitive Orientation), listed as Very High, High, Moderate, Low, and Very Low
- How You Engage With Others (Your Interpersonal Orientation), listed as Very High, High, Moderate, Low, and Very Low
- How You Apply Yourself (Your Motivational Orientation), listed as Very High, High, Moderate, Low, and Very Low
You’ll also be provided with brief descriptions on how you respond in different work and life situations, such as:
- When interacting with others…
- As a leader…
- When planning…
- When solving problems…
- When setting goals…
- On a team…
- Under stress…
- When learning
Again, it’s a pretty comprehensive assessment that can be extremely valuable in work and in life.
Have fun as you explore your Strengths!
P.S. If you’d like to share your results and/or share your thoughts about these assessments, please feel free to share your comments in the “Comments” box below.
With strengths, think about how people describe you: in conversations, how they work with you (how you need to get information from them), how your teachers or parents/guardians described you when you were younger, or how your friends and family describe you now. For example, if you ask for facts and data, chances are a stronger talent theme of yours is analytical. If you need the why behind things, chances are you have context either in your top 10 or a supporting role. If you love the latest book out there (looking at you, Dream Dean), chances are you have learner in your top 10. If you have a million tabs or windows open, chances are you have input in your top 10. And if you loathe (not just hate) being micromanaged, chances are you have achiever in your top 10.