Published: Feb. 22, 2019

A girl and her family gather around a laptop.While we can often be focused on our areas for improvement, sometimes it can be beneficial to concentrate more on our natural strengths and what sets us apart from others. This is where CliftonStrengths comes in. This assessment tool helps students identify their natural talents and apply them to their everyday routines, all while preparing them for the future. Learn more about CliftonStrengths and tips for talking with your student about their strengths.

What is CliftonStrengths?

CliftonStrengths, researched and developed through Gallup, is an online assessment that helps people discover what they naturally do best. It also encourages further development of strengths into marketable talents.

At CU Boulder, every student has the opportunity to complete the assessment for free through Career Services. As a strengths-based campus, we explore these strengths in a variety of settings including residence halls, classrooms and student organizations. By learning more about their own strengths and those of their peers, all students can learn to leverage them to meet personal, professional and community goals.

Ask about their strengths

Upon completing the online assessment, students receive a signature themes report that highlights their top-five strengths. If your student has taken the assessment, ask them to share their results. Have them tell you which strength is their favorite and how they use their strengths in classes, relationships and campus activities. It can be fascinating to see how these strengths show up for your student, and to think of past examples of how they have appeared as well.

Focus on what they do well, naturally

Discussions about strengths can sometimes feel weird as our culture tends to focus on areas for improvement or weaknesses instead of areas already poised for success. Honing strengths can help students be mindful and intentional with their actions, conversations and how they impact those around them. Talk through ways your student can call upon their strengths in various situations, relationships, projects or jobs.

“When I told my family about my top five strengths, they were able to understand my personality and future goals in a way that I had never been able to communicate,” said Abbie, a sophomore CMCI student. “They resonated with the positive psychology of my strengths and how it’s empowered me to understand myself and grow in self-awareness.”

Incorporate strengths into your family

Introducing and incorporating strengths into your family interactions can further the understanding and awareness of behaviors for the betterment of everyone. Because strengths focus on our natural talents, it becomes a great way to show your student that you care about them and value their strengths.

If you would like to take CliftonStrengths or have other members of your family take it, you can purchase codes for your entire family!