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COM270 – In-class Assignment

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StrengthFinder Exercise (in preparation for your functional resume project later)

It might be easier to create and work with a Word document. You should save your work somewhere handy or email it to yourself.  For next Tues., you will just be submitting Part 4, the written exercise (double-spaced), online where indicated below by next week.

I used this exercise when I was an adjunct at Temple’s Fox Business School, so am sharing it with you. I think you’ll find that this one is quite different than anything else you’ve done like it, and the results can be very enlightening!! The most challenging task will be to choose and then narrow down your strengths, since there are a LOT of choices!!

COM270 – In-class Assignment

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Part 1: Summary descriptions of the 34 talents measured by the Clifton StrengthsFinder® assessment

Themes © 2000, 2006-2008 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.


This is not a test — there are no right or wrong answers.  Everyone has a different combination of strengths. Read all the descriptions first so that you will be aware of the range of strengths described here.


Go back through the themes.  Circle Y for “Yes” only when a theme strongly resonates with you, either because you know it about yourself or because others have described you in this way. Circle S for “Sometimes” when you show this strength, but you know it is not a signature part of you.  Circle N for “No” when you know that a theme doesn’t really describe you. Remember, no theme is “better” than another.  No one will see this sheet except you.


When you are done, review your choices.  Circle at least four and no more than six strengths that describe you the best. When you complete this step, go to Part 2 of the assignment.

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Y S N Achiever – You have a great deal of stamina and work hard. You take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
Y S N Activator – You make things happen by turning thoughts into action and are often impatient.







Adaptability – You prefer to “go with the flow.” You tend to be a “now” person who takes things as they come and discovers the future one day at a time.

Y S N Analytical – You search for reasons and causes. You have the ability to think about all the factors that might affect a situation.
Y S N Arranger – You can organize, but you also have a flexibility that complements this. You like to figure out how all pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity.
Y S N Belief – You have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for their life.
Y S N Command – You have presence. You can take control of a situation and make decisions.







Communication – You generally find it easy to put your thoughts into words. You are a good conversationalist and presenter.

Y S N Competition – You measure your progress against the performance of others. You strive to win first place and revel in contests.
Y S N Connectedness – You have faith in the links between all things. You believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.
Y S N Consistency – You are keenly aware of the need to treat people the same. You try to treat everyone in the world with consistency by setting up clear rules and adhering to them.
Y S N Context – You enjoy thinking about the past. You understand the present by researching its history.







Deliberative – You are best described by the serious care you take in making decisions or choices. You anticipate the obstacles.

Y S N Developer – You recognize and cultivate the potential in others. You spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from these improvements.


Y S N Discipline – You enjoy routine and structure. Your world is best described by the order you create.







Empathy – You can sense the feelings of other people by imagining yourself in others’ lives or others’ situations.

Y S N Focus – You can take a direction, follow through, and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. You prioritize, then act.
Y S N Futuristic – You are inspired by the future and what could be. You inspire others with your visions of the future.
Y S N Harmony – You look for consensus. You don’t enjoy conflict; you seek areas of agreement.







Ideation – You are fascinated by ideas. You are able to find connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena.

Y S N Includer – You are accepting of others. You show awareness of those who feel left out, and you make an effort to include them.
Y S N Individualization – You are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. You have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively.
Y S N Input – You have a craving to know more. Often you like to collect and archive all kinds of information or things.
Y S N Intellection – You are characterized by your intellectual activity. You are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.
Y S N Learner – You have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve.  In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites you.
Y S N Maximizer – You focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. You seek to transform something strong into something superb.
Y S N Positivity – You have an enthusiasm that is contagious. You are upbeat and can get others excited about what you are going to do.
Y S N Relator – You enjoy close relationships with others. You find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.
Y S N Responsibility – You take psychological ownership of what you say you will do. You are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.
Y S N Restorative – You are adept at dealing with problems. You are good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it.
Y S N Self-Assurance – You feel confident in your ability to manage your own life. You possess an inner compass that gives you confidence that your decisions are right.
Y S N Significance – You want to be very important in the eyes of others. You are independent and want to be recognized.
Y S N Strategic – You create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, you can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
Y S N Woo – You love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. You derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person.

Part 2: Four domains of individual strength

Domains © 2009 Gallup, Inc.  All rights reserved.


Check off your four to six selected strengths here.  Your strengths may be distributed across the columns or may be concentrated in one or two columns – again, there is no right or wrong answer.




Achievement-oriented, disciplined, focused –you make things happen; you get things done


o  Achiever

o  Arranger

o  Belief

o  Consistency

o  Deliberative

o  Discipline

o  Focus

o  Responsibility

o  Restorative

Strategic thinking


Analytical, idea-driven, knowledge-oriented, strategic –you focus on what could be


o  Analytical

o  Context

o  Futuristic

o  Ideation

o  Input

o  Intellection

o  Learner

o  Strategic



Competitive, confident — you take charge, speak up, and make sure you’re heard


o  Activator

o  Command

o  Communication

o  Competition

o  Maximizer

o  Self-Assurance

o  Significance

o  Woo



Amiable, inclusive, empathetic, perceptive, encouraging – you hold people together


o  Adaptability

o  Connectedness

o  Developer

o  Empathy

o  Harmony

o  Includer

o  Individualization

o  Positivity

o  Relator


Now consider the “mini-profile” you’ve just created. What you’ve identified is your natural set of talents — your recurring patterns of behavior that can be put to productive use.   Talents are generally stable, familiar, and obvious throughout a person’s life, whether they are put to best use or not.


You cannot ‘learn’ a talent, and you cannot teach a talent.  Acquired skills and knowledge will be crucial in any job, but more important will be the match between a person’s natural talents and the requirements of the position.


Part 3: Your internal analysis


Write some notes on a piece of paper (not on a computer screen!) about your profile.  Think about the “strengths domains.”  Are you predominantly in one or two domains, or in several? Did the groupings of strengths give you any additional insight about your set of strengths?


Think specifically about stories or examples from your life that “prove” your choices.  Think about times that you’ve been told you exemplify a certain trait; consider the different people who’ve told you this, and in what settings.  If it applies,

think about times you’ve been teased for a trait (for example, being a compulsive list-maker, or being able to talk to anyone you meet). Ponder how this trait can actually be a strength in a particular work setting.


Finally, refine all this analysis into three sentences that best describe you as a person. Don’t write, “I am an Activator who makes things happen….”  These sentences need to be in your own words; if you use a theme word such as “strategic”, it must not be capitalized if it is used in mid-sentence.


The two important parts of this exercise are for you to begin to think actively about how you can describe yourself, and for you organize your thoughts before you begin to write about them. Don’t skip this step.


Part 4: The writing assignment (submit this where indicated online—not the rest, though; keep them for your own use)


Using the three sentences you wrote as a guide, write an approximately 500-word description of your strengths (double-spaced is fine) and attach it online where indicated.


In your opening paragraph, briefly describe your experience with the exercise – specifically, whether it was easier or more difficult to identify and narrow down your three main strengths.


In the body of the assignment, describe yourself in a way that someone who doesn’t know you would gain a good understanding of your natural talents.  You can certainly use the three sentences you developed.  You must illustrate your paper with strong examples or stories from your life (work, school, or personal).


Conclude by describing what your talents tell you about your career — what insights did this assignment give you about what your career? What will you have to offer an employer?

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