STRENGTHS SELF DEVELOPMENT - Beginner Lab

We encourage you to grasp a better understanding of your talents and strengths and learn to intentionally use them every day . . . at home, work, church, and in the community.

To help you begin exploring your newly discovered Signature Themes (Top Five) on your own, we suggest the following beginner lab practicums to help you gain a better awareness and understanding of your Top Five talent themes.

Lab Practicum 101: Articulate Your Talents

Print your Signature Themes Report, which is available to you when when you login to the Gallup (www.gallupstrengthscenter.com) website.  Your report includes your Top Five talent themes and a descriptive summary of each of your themes. Read each theme description summary and then underline or highlight words and phrases in each summary that specifically describe you. (Not all the words and phrases will describe you.) You will know that you’re underscoring the right things when you hear yourself say, “This is so me!”

Lab Practicum 102: Claim Your Talents

  • Post your Signature Themes (Top 5) where you and others will see them every day

  • Reflect on your Signature Themes (Top 5) results. Ask yourself:

    • Which of my Signature Themes do I really like?  Why?

    • Which of my Signature Themes does my family appreciate?  Or my co-workers (boss or employees)?  Why?

    • When have each of my Signature Themes helped me be successful in the past?  How?

    • How can I use each of these Signature Themes in my daily life?

    • How can I use each of these Signature Themes to help my parish or community?

Lab Practicum 103: Use Your Talents

When you start being intentional about your talents in each of your Signature Themes, you begin to flex the muscles of your Top 5 themes. 

  • Pick one of your Signature Themes (Top 5) and think about it for a day. Ask yourself:

    • How can I use this theme today?

    • Where can this theme make a positive difference in my life today?

    • How can I intentionally use this theme to support my _________________________ (i.e., spouse, child, co-worker, church, community, friend, etc.)

  • Look for your Action Planning Tool, which is available to you when when you login to the Gallup (www.gallupstrengthscenter.com) website.

    • The Action Planning Tool includes several action items listed for each of your Top Five talent themes.

    • Choose one or two action items to work on in the next few days. Then after a few days, consider choosing another action item to work on.

This is where you begin to hone your talents into strengths.  As you start to flex each of your Signature Themes, you will find ways to build on your areas of greatest potential.

Lab Practicum 104: Degrees of Talent

You have different types or “degrees” of talent: dominant, supporting, and lesser talents.

Dominant Talents: Your Top 5 talent themes include some of your dominant talents. These talents are very natural and very powerful.  No matter where you are or what you are doing, your dominant talents are obvious.  For example, if one of your Top 5 talent themes is Empathy, you can practically feel what the other person is feeling. The talent is so natural in you that you it’s almost impossible for you to turn it off.

Supporting Talents: These talents show up only when their support is needed, and because they aren’t as natural, they aren’t as powerful.  If one of your supporting themes is Empathy, you might be able to be empathetic when the situation calls for it, but it’s not going to happen every time.  And it’s not going to be as heartfelt as a person who has Empathy as a dominant theme.

Lesser Talents: These are the ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving that don’t come to us very naturally at all.  If Empathy is a lesser talent theme for you, you can try and be empathetic to a person or in a situation, but it’s not likely to be as genuine and you would rather not be in a situation where that is expected.

Dominant talents in action can be quite obvious. Statements like “How did he do that?,” or “She made that look so easy,” or “He’s a natural” permeate the conversation.  Each is performing at such a high level simply by building on how he or she most naturally thinks, feels, and behaves.  Why?  Because they are using their greatest talents.

  • Think about how you have used your Top 5 dominant talent themes in the past 10 days at your work, at home, at church, or within your community.

  • Describe a strength that you use every day - something that you do consistently at a nearly perfect level.  Describe how you use that strength.  Which of your dominant talent themes might hold a talent(s) which could be a foundation for this strength?  

"The parable of the talents makes us think about the relationship between how to use the gifts we have received from God and his return, when he will ask us what we made of them (Mt 25:14-20)... we are in the time of action --the time in which we should bring God's gifts to fruition, not for ourselves but for Him, for the Church, and for others.

(Pope Francis, April 24, 2013)

Next Steps…

After you have spent some time engaging in the above beginner labs, consider diving deeper into strengths-based talent development by engaging in the Intermediate Labs offered at this website.