Who has access to the strengths assessment at Luther College?

  • Any student, staff, or faculty has access to the strengths assessment. Most students will end up getting a code in their H100 class, but anyone, including faculty and staff, are encouraged to email [email protected] to obtain a code.

How long does the assessment take?

  • It is recommended that you allow 30-40 minutes register your profile and complete the assessment. This time frame will you allow you enough time to finish the assessment in one sitting. If you get interrupted, use your login information to sign in as your access code will be used at that point.

How do neutral responses to the CliftonStrengths assessment affect my results?

  • Gallup does not count neutral responses in the scoring of your results. The purpose of the CliftonStrengths assessment is to help you begin to discover your most dominant talents by identifying the areas, or "themes," in which they lie. It does so by presenting you with a situation in which you are forced to select between two options that are different, but not necessarily opposite. Obviously, if you can't make a selection because you feel that neither choice applies to you, your neutral response will not count in the final scoring process. Less obviously, if you can't make a selection because you feel that both choices apply to you, your neutral response will still not count in the final scoring process. This is because sometimes the most revealing choices are between two positives. If both statements apply to you equally, then this pair of statements probably is not tapping into one of your most dominant themes. If you choose too many neutral responses, you will receive a message at the top of your report indicating so, or you may be asked to retake the assessment as we do not have enough information to produce reliable results.

Why is there a timer for each statement? What if I didn't have time to choose a response?

  • The 20-second time limit and your unfamiliarity with the statements ensure your assessment's accuracy by making it difficult to over-think your responses. The CliftonStrengths assessment works by challenging you to make choices between paired statements. Whenever your talents lead you to make a choice, we capture it. Gallup uses the combination of all the choices you made to calculate your top five themes. If the time limit prevented you from making a choice, it is very likely that neither statement affected you in a way that allowed you to make a top-of-mind choice. Whether each of the two statements described you equally well, or neither statement described you well, your difficulty in making a choice reveals that the statement pair probably did not tap into one of your most dominant themes of talent.
    Gallup offers the option to remove the 20-second time limit; however, that is typically reserved for individuals with reading disabilities.

After I've taken the assessment, where do I go to look up my results?

  • Your results should be ready for you right after you complete your assessment. Otherwise, you can log back onto StrengthsQuest and use your username and password to log back in. This will guide you to a homepage tailored to you and your strengths. We also recommend downloading the app “Clifton Strengths” to have access to your strengths right from your phone.

What are the Guiding Principles of CliftonStrengths?

  • The Guiding Principles of CliftonStrengths are as follows:
    • Themes are neutral
    • Themes are not labels
    • Lead with positive intent
    • Differences are an advantage
    • People need one another

I feel like there are more strengths that describe me than my top 5. What does Gallup say to that?

  • You may feel like this, because there are! Everyone has the capacity and ability to use all 34 strengths. What you are discovering with your strengths report is which talents fire at the top and makes you feel like you are in the zone. Luther College pays to unlock your Top 5,  but your top 8-12 strengths are what make up your dominant themes. Your Dominant Themes are packed with your greatest potential for excellence and are typically more stimulating to you and the basis of your decision-making. The next section (the middle third) of your results are referred to as your Supporting Themes. These are strengths that may show up from time to time, and you are likely comfortable leveraging in these times but would prefer not to all the time. The last set of strengths are your Lesser Themes (bottom third of your report). These themes wouldn’t be your go-to or natural instinct but you still use them when necessary. When you do you may feel drained, anxious, or less skilled. When we have to lean on these a lot, it can lead to burnout or lower productivity. It’s valuable to know what these are so you can find partnerships or other forms of support when they are needed. To determine where your Dominant, Supporting, and Lesser Themes might be, set up a Strengths Coaching appointment and we explore that. Or, pay to unlock all 34 and see what your responses show.

How do I unlock all 34 of my strengths?

  • You can unlock all 34 of your strengths on the StrengthsQuest website after you have logged in. There is a $40 charge to unlock them them but you do not need to retake the assessment. We recommended that you have known and invested in your Top 5 for at least 6 months to 1 year. If unlocked too soon, you’ll be tempted to look right to the bottom of your 34. Once unlocked, look at your next 2-3 strengths (#6,7,8) and take notice of how those show up. Read the recommended action items and see how you might already be leaning on them for your success.

Why focus on your strengths? Shouldn't I be trying to fix my weaknesses?

  • Imagine you were born right-handed and someone told you to practice your sport or eating with your left hand to build up your weakness. You might improve but it would feel uncomfortable, slow-going, and lead to mediocrity. By focusing on our most innate abilities we can take them from good to excellent. Knowing where the source of our true potential is helps us celebrate our uniqueness and lead courageously in our personalized way. Also remember that we are talking about talents/strengths not skills. Some confuse the two and feel CliftonStrengths is advocating for only doing what you are good at. On the contrary, please continue to expand your skills, especially ones you aren’t naturally good at. We’d recommend looking to your strengths to guide how best to approach this new challenge.

I feel like I'm a different person compared to when I first took the assessment. Is it recommended I retake it?

  • Gallup research confirms that your first completion of the assessment yields the purest, most valid and most revealing information. The assessment measures the presence of talents by presenting you with a pair of statements, then challenging you to make a top-of-mind choice between the two. Gallup scientists have been studying strengths for over forty years now, and they find that our strengths do not change significantly throughout our adult lives. Retaking the CliftonStrengths assessment under controlled conditions might reveal a few different themes in your top five report, but this would usually just reflect a minor rearrangement of your top eight or ten themes—not a major shift in your strengths.

Is the CliftonStrengths tool intended to be a selection or screen tool?

  • The CliftonStrengths Assessment is not a selection or screening tool. The CliftonStrengths assessment yields a report of one's dominant talent themes in a completely descriptive manner. It provides an intrapersonal measure that is not to be used for predictive purposes or for comparisons between individuals.  Therefore, you should not use the CliftonStrengths assessment as a selection tool for hiring. We do not make recommendations regarding themes that may be more indicative of success for specific roles; nor do we guide our research efforts in that direction. This article dives into the topic a bit more.