You have already begun the journey of becoming more aware of your dominant talent themes and learning how to build on your talents to develop strengths. Now you can begin to engage in the intermediate labs (below) to help you dive deeper into strengths-based talent development.  Before engaging in these more advanced labs, let’s do quick review.

What exactly is 'strengths-based talent development'?  It is simply a process that leads to an individual’s ability to consistently perform a specific task at a nearly perfect level.

As you know, a strength is the result of adding skill and knowledge to our natural talents.  Skills are one’s basic abilities to perform the steps of specific tasks, such as the ability to operate a computer.  Since skills do not naturally exist within us, they must be acquired through training and practice.  Knowledge is defined as what you know.  It includes facts and understanding, gained through experience, that can be productively applied to specific tasks.  Like skills, knowledge does not naturally exist within us and therefore must be acquired.

Talents, on the other hand, are recurring patterns of thought, feeling or behavior that can be productively applied to specific tasks (i.e., inner drive to compete, sensitivity to needs of others, tendency to be outgoing at social gatherings, etc.).  Talents cannot be acquired, but they naturally exist within us.  And because our dominant talents represent the best of our natural selves, they are the crucial component of strengths and offer our best opportunity to perform at levels of excellence.  Identification of your dominant talent themes (which includes your Top 5) is critical to 'strengths-based talent development.'  Studies have shown that strengths-based talent development leads to greater awareness of self and of others - and increases self-confidence, direction, hope, and generosity. 

As you move into the more advanced labs, we trust that you will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of God's unique gifts in yourself and in others.  This deeper understanding helps us to fulfill God's greatest commandment:

'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,

and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength' and 

‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 

There is no other commandment greater than these. 
                                                                                                                                                                 Mark 12:30

Lab Practicum 201: Leveraging Talents

Identify one of your Top 5 talent themes that you would like to focus on in the coming days.  Once you have chosen that theme, decide how you will specifically apply it for greater effectiveness.  The best way to do this is to connect a theme to a specific task.  Make this an important commitment in your strengths journey. Write it down and place it where you will see it every day.


  • I will leverage my Learner® talents by reading one magazine and attending a webinar about technology each month. I will share what I learn with the technology task force at work.

  • I will use my Harmony® talents during the monthly Pastoral Council meetings to reduce conflict and friction while I seek to find common ground with the group.

  • This week I will use my Positivity® talents at the school board meeting to provide enthusiasm and energy in the midst of a discouraging financial report.

  • Over the next month, I will use my Ideation® talents to help my son’s Boy Scout troop find creative ways to raise funds for their summer camping trip.

  • I will leverage my Discipline® talents to develop a financial plan for our family for the remainder of the year.

Lab Practicum 202: Managing Lesser Talents

The direct path to strength starts when you discover your greatest talents.  If you have a shortage of knowledge, skill, or talent that doesn’t hurt your performance, it should not detract you from your efforts to build on how you most naturally think, feel, and behave.

But any lack of knowledge, skill, or talent that DOES adversely affect your performance may prevent you from performing with strength and should be managed.  How do we manage a lack of knowledge, skill, or talent?

  • If the void is knowledge, you can fill it through education.

  • If the void is skill, you can fill it through training.

  • But if the void is talent, here are some ways you can manage it:

    • Leverage a dominant or supporting talent. For example, let’s say a person has Individualization® and Analytical® talents in their Top 5; however, this person has lesser talents from the Empathy® theme. This person can call on their dominant Individualization® and Analytical® talents where it seems that Empathy® talents are required - to better understand how another person might be affected by a certain situation.

    • Develop a support system. An instructor who has difficulty putting names with faces might create a seating chart that not only includes students’ names but their photos as well.

    • Find a complementary partner. A business owner who has dominant talents from the Activator® theme (“When can we start?!”) but has lesser talents in the Strategic® and Analytical® themes could partner with a person who has has dominant Strategic® or Analytical® talents. Why?  Because this person can help the business owner see how high the cliff is before a person might fall off!

      God made each person unique and created us to need each other, collaborate, and work together!

When you find what’s missing and fill it, you will be on your way to performing with strength!  

  • Make a list of the tasks you perform every day.  After you’ve listed 10 tasks, circle the most important ones.  As you look at the tasks you circled, consider whether you are performing each at a consistently productive and near-perfect level of strength - or if there is something missing or getting in the way of your performance.  Look to identify a solution.

  • Consider one strength that you have observed in someone else. What made this strength so impressive in that person? How could you form a complementary partnership with this person?


Lab Practicum 203: Start with Talent - Finish with Strength Refresher

You have unlocked your greatest talents – the ways in which you most naturally think, feel, and behave.  These are a source of tremendous power and potential on your personal development journey. 

Celebrate them! 
No one talent theme is greater or less than another. It’s worth celebrating your uniqueness.

Remember them! 
Keep your Top 5 talent themes posted at your desk at work and at home.

Learn them!  
Continue to use the CSEC resources, labs, and the Gallup links here at this website. The more you know, the more you will be able to use and leverage your strengths.

Use them! 
Every day. Everywhere. The world needs your gifts. God provided them, and God wants you to use them to serve others; your family, your friends, your church, your co-workers.

Refine them!  
The more you learn, use and develop your strengths, the stronger they become.

Build on them
Start to see the dynamics of how one strength works with another.

If you start with talent, you will finish with strength! 

Lab Practicum 204: Theme Insights

As you further invest in developing talents into strengths, consider using Gallup’s Theme Insight Cards to enhance your understanding, awareness, and appreciation of your talents; the ways you naturally think, feel and behave. Although primarily used for strengths coaching individuals, we believe that these cards are an invaluable self-help tool for examining the subtle similarities and differences of your CliftonStrengths® Themes. While not a substitution for the more detailed theme definitions that come with your Top 5 (your Signature Themes Report), these cards are a convenient tool that tells you something about:

  • Who a person is  [I am (being)]

  • What a person will naturally do  [I will (doing)]

  • What a person might contribute  [I bring (contribution)]

  • What a person might need  [I need (requirement)]

  • What a person is likely to value  [I love/I hate (value)]

To order your Theme Insight Cards, please click here for a direct link to the 'shop Gallup' site.

When you receive your Theme Insight Cards, refer to the cards of your Top 5 Signature Themes - or your Top 10 if you purchased all 34.

  • Read the statements on each card and write down the statements you feel best describe this talent in you.

  • Place this list where you will see it on a regular basis, such as your phone, desk, edge of computer screen, etc.  Referring to this list will help you be more cognizant of how you use your talents.

Using these cards will help you see the multiple dimensions of each theme and become more cognizant of how you use your talents and develop them into strengths.

Labs 205, 206, 207: CliftonStrengths® Talent Theme Videos

One of the great ways to gain insights into each of your dominant talent themes is by visiting Gallup’s Strengths Center YouTube page and viewing the webcast series videos about each of the CliftonStrengths® Talent Themes. They have a number of terrific webcasts! We recommend you start with the following Lab Practicums and work your way up. Each video lab practicum below has a direct link to the videos.

Lab Practicum 205: CliftonStrengths® Theme Quicks

These YouTube videos are approximately 1 minute in length and provide a basic overview of each talent theme.

Lab Practicum 206: Theme Thursday Shorts

These YouTube videos provide a more in-depth look at your talent themes to give you a better glimpse of what makes you . . .  YOU!  Most of these webcasts are between 7 to 10 minutes long.

Lab Practicum 207: Theme Thursday Originals

Visit these original “Theme Thursday” webcasts to gain a much deeper understanding of all 34 talent themes. These pre-recorded sessions will take you to the depths of each CliftonStrengths® talent theme to give you valuable insights.  Most of these videos are 45 minutes to 1 hour in length.


Gallup, CliftonStrengths® and the 34 theme names of Clifton Strengths® are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.  All rights reserved.  To discover your dominant CliftonStrengths®, please visit

This website’s content has not been approved and is not sanctioned or endorsed by Gallup in any way. Opinions, views and interpretations of CliftonStrengths® philosophy at this website are solely the beliefs of the Catholic Strengths and Engagement Community (CSEC).