Let me start off by saying, I am so excited to be writing this blog post for you guys. Personality tests are one of my favorite past times — enneagrams, Myers Briggs, Buzzfeed quizzes, etc! When Furman presented me with the opportunity to take what seemed like the ultimate personality test, I jumped at the opportunity.
How it works:
The Clifton Strengths Assessment is an hour-long assessment that requires you to read statements and choose which ones best describe you. You read about 150 or so statements and decide which ones best describe you. 150 may sound like an intimidating or tedious amount of questions to go through, but the way I saw it: the more questions I answered, the more in-depth and accurate the results would be!
The Results:In total, there are 34 strengths that are divided into four domains: Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building, and Strategic Thinking. Every individual has a unique combination of those strengths. Once you finish the assessment, you receive a report that outlines your top five.
Why do they matter?
Learning about your CliftonStrengths gives you a better insight as to who you are, what you do best, what some of your potential weaknesses may be, and what you may need from others around you. Being self-aware about your strengths allows you to take advantage of them. That means the next time you’re in an interview and they ask the dreaded question “What are some of your strengths and weaknesses?” there’s no more freaking out, because you know your strengths and weaknesses. You’ve read up on them and know how they work to make you a better leader.
The Furman Advantage promises students an individualized four-year pathway that is filled with enriching experiences and opportunities to learn beyond the classroom. Students may learn more about Strengths and take the assessment through mentoring programs or academic advising. There are several Gallup-Certified Strengths coaches at Furman who lead workshops and are even always happy to meet one-on-one to further discuss your strengths.
I had the opportunity to take the Clifton Strengths as part of Orientation Staff training. We all took the assessment on our own time and then met as a group to discuss what these strengths meant in terms of Orientation, how we could apply them, and how many different strengths we each brought to the team. As soon as I read my results, I was mind blown. It felt like they got a glimpse into my brain and put it all on paper. They explained things about me that I didn’t even know how to explain. It all made sense. I felt understood. I immediately wanted to know more about mine and talk about them with others. I’ve gotten the chance to take several Strengths workshop since I initially took the test. You think you know everything about your strengths and how they apply to you, but every workshop I have taken has opened my eyes to a new aspect of strengths and I learn more about myself every time. My best friend and roommate is someone I’ve gotten to talk to about my strengths very often. She’s also very passionate about her strengths and the program in general, so much so that she has become an ambassador for CliftonStrengths on campus. She is apart of a team of students who help facilitate workshops to different classes and organizations on campus.
Coincidentally, this upcoming week of November 8th-12th they are hosting a “Strengths Week” in which there are several fun activities, workshops, and freebies to grab! Here’s their line up for this week (and hopefully a glimpse into what you can expect in future years!):
- Monday: Strengths Trail Mix!
- 34 different ingredients to create a personalized snack that represents your top five strengths!
- Tuesday: Intro to Strengths Session!
- This gives students a chance to take the assessment for free and learn more about it and their results if they had not yet had the chance to take it!
- Wednesday: Strengths Celebration!
- Free Auntie Anne’s pretzels (yum!!!!) and strengths-themed polariod pictures (who doesn’t love a good photo op?!)
- Thursday: Strengths Stories!
- Current students as well as alumni will meet to share their experiences with CliftonStrengths. There will be coffee and cider, a mac and cheese bar (!!!), and warm dips!
CliftonStrengths is just one example of how Furman works to help you grow into a strong leader. Additionally, Strengths Week is also a small example of the fun shenanigans we have going on on campus! I hope this blog post has inspired you to want to take the CliftonStrengths assessment to learn more about what makes you unique and what you bring to a team!
Additionally, to learn more about Strengths at Furman, feel free to follow their Instagram account, @furmanstrengths.