Strengthsfinder Guide

Strengthsfinder Guide

The Strengthsfinder assessment is the property of Gallup INC. and, spoiler alert, not actually called Strengthsfinder anymore.  “In 2015, Gallup changed the name from Clifton StrengthsFinder to the CliftonStrengths assessment” (Gallup).  It is true, however, that a lot of people still refer to the assessment as Strengthsfinder because this is how some originally took the test.

The reason “Clifton” is in name is because this assessment was originally initiated by Don Clifton, a key former leader at Gallup, and a man who started working on positive psychology all the way back in 1949 at the University of Nebraska.

Is this a personality test?

In short, yes.

The test tells you the true version of what you are good at.

It tells you how you naturally think, feel, and behave.

It gives insight to a meaningful life of engagement, productivity, and happiness, if you use your Strengths every day.

It’s powerful.

What should I expect?

The test works by asking you 177 questions in which you have the choose how you would react or describe yourself.  Essentially you answer A, B, or Neither.   If you are interested, the formal name for this is what’s called an ipsative scoring algorithm.

The biggest tip is to go with the flow.  Don’t try to “impress” anyone because there literally isn’t a “right” answer and rather than trying to decide how you might like to act, try to focus on what you actually would do or how you see yourself.

Allow yourself up to 45 minutes of uninterrupted time to do the test.  If you are quick you might do it in half the time, but don’t rush.

Full Formal Guide Here From Gallup

The Short History


Gallup Launches StrengthsFinder


The book Now, Discover Your Strengths paired the book with a coupon code to take the online version of the test.


The American Psychological Association acknowledged Don Clifton – shortly before his death – as the “Father of Strengths-Based Psychology”


Gallup Publishes StrengthsFinder 2.0


Gallup Launches the Certified Strength Coaches Program


Gallup changed the name from Clifton StrengthsFinder to the CliftonStrengths assessment.


CliftonStrengths has been taken by more than 22 MILLION persons worldwide!

Should I take the Top 5 or All 34 test?

If budget is a concern, then take the Top 5 Assessment because it is only $19.99 USD.  It will give you incredible insight and you can “unlock” your 34 Strengths without taking the test again for a small upgrade fee at a later date.

If you can afford the All 34 Assessment (49.99 USD) then I suggest you do this upfront.  The truth is that your dominant Strengths (i.e. how you natural see the world) probably reside somewhere within your Top 10.  A Certified Strengths Coach can guide you through this.

How to apply Strengthsfinder results

One you’ve taken the test you’ll then have access to a variety of reports within your user log on.  Make sure you read them, especially your Gallup Signature Theme Report ®!

It’s a good idea to physically print off your report and highlight the words that stand out.  Some might make you laugh or smile in recognition of your “very you” way of doing things.

After reading the report, making notes etc, then go the official Gallup YouTube channel.  There are videos that explain individual strengths and a great series called Gallup Theme Thursday (Playlist Here) which dives into the subtle nuances of each Strength, including comparisons with other Strengths.

List of CliftonStrengths

As I’ve alluded to, there are 34 CliftonStrengths and your test will give you insight into the sequence that you personally have.  Here is a list of all of them.  I won’t go into what they mean right now, it’s best to take the test first and use the resources to guide you through based on your personalised result.


Strengthsfinder activities for a team

Using CliftonStrengths in the workplace is a powerful way to access new levels of productivity and engagement within your business.  Gallup is a data-driven organisation and has measured the business case across 1.2 million employees.  They can prove, through case studies, that businesses are likely to reap significant benefits compared to the cost of implementing a Strengths program.

Certified Strengths Coaches will use techniques such as the Gallup Team Grid ® to visually map out the relationships between individual team-mates.  It is a fascinating exercise, through which participants gain appreciate for both the needs and contributions of each Strength.

Team Activities Guides are available for purchase form Gallup’s website, however there is immeasurable value in having a Certified Strengths Coach take you through these exercises.

Finding a Gallup Strengths Coach

CliftonStrengths coaching is a global movement and the good news is that there is likely a coach near to you.

My biggest tip is to find someone what you resonate with and if this means doing things via Facetime / Skype / Zoom / Phone etc then maybe that’s a better choice than settling for someone less optimal (in your eyes) that is local?

If you are interested in working with me, just get in touch via our Contact Page and I’d be happy to have a chat with you.

Best Regards,

Chris Hall