Strengths for Teaching

CliftonStrengths for Students is an effective tool to assist you in your development as a teacher as well as facilitate the creation of a Strengths-based classroom.

How can you incorporate your talents into your role as a teacher?

The following are reflection questions to assist you in thinking about your talents in regards to your own teaching:StrengthsGraphic14

  • How do you use your talents in a teaching role?
  • What’s the most energizing part of your job?
  • What’s the least energizing aspect of your job?
  • What are some additional ways to implement your talents in regards to teaching?
  • How are you currently using a Strengths-based approach in your classroom?
  • Are there ways of incorporating a Strengths-based approach further in the classroom?

How can I use CliftonStrengths for Students with my class?

CliftonStrengths and a Strengths-based approach can also be utilized in classes, whether those are seminar courses or introductory courses for students new to a major or university. To facilitate CliftonStrengths for Students, first learn about the different talent themes and ideas for application.

Resources from the MU Career Center

  • Quick Reference Card describes each of the 34 talent themes in a printable PDF to broaden your understanding of other talent themes beyond your own.

CliftonStrengths for Students is most beneficial to students when they have multiple interactions with the material. For example, you can request for your students to take CliftonStrengths for Students at the Career Center and then have a presentation for your class or have an assignment related to their results such as a reflection paper. Incorporating Strengths into the curriculum can also be effective so students talk about it throughout the semester.

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Activities to Facilitate Student Interaction

  • Strengths Beachball Questions can be an interactive activity for your group and a way to further analyze how their talents fit into their lives. The student holding the beachball answers one of these questions and then tosses the ball to a classmate to encourage a fun discussion.
  • Scavenger Hunt is a good introductory activity for groups to facilitate understanding of the different talents and how others use their talents.

Activities to Facilitate Group Work

CliftonStrengths for Students can also be used to partner students up for group work, either grouping students with complementary talents or encouraging them to learn about other students’ talents. By having your students understand how others use their talents, it can create a more positive and productive environment for group work. In addition, if any concerns or issues arise, students can use their talents to address those problems or learn more about another students talents to understand how that person functions.

  • Domains of Strengths Based Leadership is a chart that shows how all the talent themes fit into the four different domains, which are categories of talent themes defined by how people use their talents.
  • The Great Wall of Talent is an activity to help a group understand the talents of others and to see the similarities and differences in talents and Domains of Leadership.
  • Strengths Based Conflict Management helps guide student discussion about how to anticipate potential conflict and address those conflicts using their talents.
  • StrengthsQuest Top Five Grid is an easy way for individuals to keep track of the talent themes of their group members.

You can also encourage your students by example, such as talking about your talents in the classroom or you can list your talent themes in your office. These are great ways to prompt students to think about CliftonStrengths.

Additional Resources

Gallup has produced articles, activities, and in-depth information about CliftonStrengths talent themes. There are also technical reports, which detail the research behind the assessment and results. For more information about CliftonStrengths for Students and how to utilize it, visit the CliftonStrengths for Educators Resources page. Examples include resources and activities such as these:

  • Strengths_Development_Framework provides activities and information about how to facilitate CliftonStrengths for Students with groups.
  • Strengths Implementation Guide discusses uses for CliftonStrengths for Students in several different areas of higher education from the classroom to residence halls to foster student growth.
  • 60-in-60! Creating Moments That Matter has 60 ideas of how to incorporate a Strengths-based approach with students throughout a course.
  • CliftonStrengths Technical Report provides information on the empirical research behind CliftonStrengths for Students.