StrengthsFinder For Student Involvement
More than 600 higher education institutions currently use Gallup's StrengthsFinder for Students, used to identify skills that will help with a future career, explore careers that match the strengths identified in the assessment, and provide guidance on building strengths and talents.
Based on the premise there is more value focusing on what students do best rather than trying to fix weaknesses, the assessment provides each participant with a list of five personalized signature themes from a group of 34 categorized within four domains:
Relating: Communication, Empathy, Harmony, Inclusiveness, Individualization, Relater, Responsibility
Striving: Achiever, Activator, Adaptability, Belief, Discipline, Focus, Restorative, Self-assurance, Significance
Impacting: Command, Competition, Developer, Maximizer, Positivity, Woo
Thinking: Analytical, Arranger, Connectedness, Consistency, Context, Deliberative, Futuristic, Ideation, Input, Intellection, Learner, Strategic
Colleges and universities offer access to StrengthsFinder in a variety of ways, and it can be an invaluable tool for union professionals working to draw the best talents from their student workforce. Some institutions offer the assessment to all students, while others offer it though specific schools or departments. The idea is that once a student has identified their top five signature themes, they can then begin to modify behaviors that develop strengths while, in turn, overcoming weaknesses.
There are several other behavior or personality assessments on the market, but Gallup has been in the assessment business for more than 50 years and has developed other education-related assessment tools like the Gallup-Purdue Index that measures higher education outcomes.
Research has shown that the most favorable results for students taking StrengthsFinder occur when they receive specific instruction on how to utilize the key strengths identified by the assessment. Implementing an intentional effort to help students develop unique strengths may result in an increased desire to apply those strengths both within and outside the classroom.
Additionally, with a large body of research showing that a student’s first term on campus can play a significant role in creating the tone and trajectory for their remaining undergraduate experience, delaying use of the assessment may limit the possible successes.
It’s also important to remember that identifying strengths also supports teambuilding by tapping into unique individual strengths and how individuals on the team each use their strengths to contribute to the organization.