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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Season Kickoff -- What’s Best for the Child Is What’s Within the Child -- StrengthsExplorer

StrengthsExplorer is a new podcast dedicated to understanding and appreciating the 10 talent themes in the CliftonYouth StrengthsExplorer. We begin our journey with this kickoff episode, dedicated to knowing and positioning the tool itself. 

JerLene Mosley is a Gallup senior consultant who has spent most of her career with or on behalf of children.  In this interview, she guides us through a few key points regarding kids and talent. 





Important points regarding StrengthsExplorer:
  1. StrengthsExplorer is its own instrument, not a simplified version of CliftonStrengths.  This tool was designed to help children name and understand what they do well, what differentiates them from others.  The 10 talent themes are broad categories of talent, and as you’re using the tool you might find several that overlap with CliftonStrengths themes.  The goal is to help accept, affirm and develop children where they are, not to prescribe who they may or may not grow into once they determine their CliftonStrengths profiles. It may be helpful for adults to consider the connections they notice between the two instruments so they can see themselves reflected in the child, but trying to map the two tools together is not likely to offer much return on investment. 
  2. StrengthsExplorer offers opportunities to expand the focus on what is strong to a younger population. Gallup has worked closely with schools, community groups, and faith-based organizations, embedding StrengthsExplorer and CliftonStrengths into the ways they discuss individuals, set expectations, and honor relationships.  One key for implementing great programs is to drive understanding of the language we are using.  With ten talent themes, StrengthsExplorer is a new but manageable vocabulary for adults and children to learn and use.  Another way to support a successful initiative is to consider touchpoints where you can celebrate strengths out loud.  Consider a child’s top 3 talent themes showing up on their locker, in their student portfolio, or at the top of their parent-teacher conferences.
  3. Children are capable of more than adults often give them credit for. Don’t be afraid to use this tool.  A great practice when administering it is to not coerce your child into the “right” answer, but to make sure he or she feels comfortable and confident to follow their own instincts.  Once a child completes the assessment, they receive their top 3 themes, along with a parent and teacher action guide.  In much of what we have noticed, conversations about what kids are great at are even easier to have than they are with adults.  Open up this opportunity for a child you care about. You might be surprised by how quickly they comprehend not only their own talents but those of other children and adults.  

For more information on the tool itself, including a sample report, check out StrengthsExplorer.  



Register for the 2019 CliftonStrengths Summit

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