Gallup Strengths Finder

What if you could find a Community where you were appreciated for what you are good at and not criticized for what you don’t do well or cannot do?

Gallup- Boy Thinking

What If?

What if you could find a Community where you were appreciated for what you are good at and not criticized for what you don’t do well or cannot do? What if you could find a Community where you felt you could express a new, different idea or perspective from others and your point of view was seriously listened to and explored because you were honored for your experience and respected by the group? What if you were part of a Community where the members looked for what was good and right about each other instead of what was wrong with them?

Does such a Community seem idyllic or a fantasy which would be impossible to achieve?

What is a Community?

A Community is a group of individuals who associate and interact together either by choice or for other reasons. It can be large such as a city, or smaller like a neighborhood, a company, an ethnic or religious group. A school is also a Community, a classroom is a Community and a family is also a Community; any grouping where each member can influence and be influenced by others can be a Community.

Can a Community like the one Above be Created?

In a word: Yes.Gallup- little girl reading book

The rules of any Community are usually randomly determined by the most common denominator i.e. the reason they associate with each other. Rarely are the rules of interaction consciously created and maintained because a Culture is difficult to create and maintain.

The secret of a great Community is the understanding and desire of the group to live by a clear and beneficial set of attitudes and vocabulary. The members’ desire and effectiveness grows as the Cultural practices bring positive outcomes for the group.

Banyan creates a Community Culture i.e. a vocabulary and traditions, by starting with the members taking StrengthsFinder, an online assessment by Gallup Organization.

Decades of Gallup research has proven that when individuals have the opportunity to discover their natural Talents and intentionally develop them into Strengths, the effect on individual and organizational performance is transformed for the good.

How does Gallup’s StrengthsFinder Help to Develop the Community?

Gallup has identified 34 Talents that reflect all human characteristics or traits. These traits are allequally valuable in that there are no “good” or “bad” ones. An individual can see what his or her top Talents are by taking a 30-40 minute online assessment called StrengthsFinder from the Gallup organization and receiving the results immediately.

StrengthsFinder is not a personality test, nor an emotional or attitude measurement. It is not a test at all because there are no “right” answers. The Talents which are revealed are the “naturally occurring patterns of thought, feeling or behavior that can be productively applied”.

How Does Knowing our Talents Help Us?

Our greatest hope for success is by building on our Talents and Strengths rather than fixing our weaknesses. When we can understand our Talents we can consciously find activities where we can do what we do best every day. One of the great paradoxes is that we take our Talents and Strengths for granted and we are fascinated by our and others’ weaknesses.

Each of our top Talents helps us understand why we have thought, felt and acted in certain ways in the past. They will also help us predict how we will respond to circumstances in the future and why we become frustrated.

What is the Difference Between a Talent and Strength?

Gallup- teacher with studentTalent – naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling or behavior that can be productively applied.

Strength – the ability to provide Consistent, Near-perfect Performance in a given activity. A Strength is developed by adding Knowledge and Skill to a Talent (S = T + (K+S)).

By learning what our most powerful Talents are we can begin to develop them into Strengths. This will enable us to focus on the tasks and activities which will enable us to be most successful. It will also give us understanding of what we can contribute to best help a team or a Community to be successful.

How do Strengths-based Principles Help Build a Community Culture?

The founder of the Strengths-based principles, Don Clifton, set the tone for working with others when he asked this pivotal question: “What would happen if we looked for what is good in people instead of what is wrong with them?” This perspective sets the tone for our dealing with others in a Community.

The Principles we try to keep in mind as Community members:

  • Each person has unique Talents
  • There can be no growth without Relationships
  • Engagement is fostered in a Culture where people can say what they think and how they feel and know they will not be judged
  • Look for what’s Good and Right in others
  • Genuinely acknowledge others for good motives and actions particularly when they are using their Strengths
  • The best source of innovation in any organization is through its engaged and appreciated associates
  • Live the Platinum Rule: Treat others the way they want to be treated because of their unique Talents

Community Culture SummaryGallup- Top Talents Quote and pic

As part of a Community, what if each member: a.) Knew their Talents and Strengths b.) Knew the Talents and Strengths of other members and honored and respected the differences.

Wouldn’t that help each member to look for what is good in each other?

Wouldn’t it help each member to utilize the Talents and Strengths of others to meet the needs of a project or to interact in a team relationship?

Wouldn’t these Strength-based principles help build a foundation upon which a Community Culture like the one at the top?

Final Thought

What if one of the Communities you were most interested in was your child’s classroom. What if, as a parent, you knew your Talents and Strengths, you knew the Talents and Strengths of the teacher (and she knew yours) and all of you were focusing on your child to understand and develop his or her Talents and Strengths as they matured? (Gallup has an assessment for 10-15 year olds which identifies 3 of 10 possible Talents for that age group.)

By focusing on what the child is good at and striving to have successful experiences around his or her Talents wouldn’t their engagement rise? They would understand how to be successful and feel the joy and confidence that comes with setting and accomplishing goals. As teachers created that atmosphere at school and parents reinforced the effort in the home the child’s Hope and Well Being measures would go up.

What a Community that would be!