Strengths @ WMU
What is CliftonStrengths for Students?
“What will happen if we think about what is right with people rather than fixating on what is wrong with them?” –Donald Clifton
Strengths is a tool to help individuals discover their top areas of talent, so that they may develop and apply them. People who focus on their Strengths are more likely to have higher levels of engagement, productivity, and well-being.
Developed by Gallup, the CliftonStrengths assessment consists of 34 Strengths. Gallup defines a Strength as the ability to provide consistent, near-perfect performance in any given activity. Taking the assessment allows individuals to identify, understand, and apply their most natural Strengths.
Why does WMU value Strengths?
Strengths discovery and development supports WMU’s three foundational pillars:
- Learn to overcome challenges and develop grit, thereby increasing persistence
- Develop a growth mindset by focusing on strengths instead of weaknesses
- Promotes greater self-awareness
- Discovery of innate talents and exploring passions
- Promotes understanding others, increasing empathy and acceptance
- Connects people through using a common language
Strengths is a tool to help individuals reach their full potential through self-awareness, talent development, and passion exploration.
- Self-awareness: understanding WHO you are
- Talent development: understanding HOW you set and reach goals
- Passion exploration: discovering WHAT your passions are and WHY you are passionate about those things
What students are saying about Strengths:
“I enjoyed doing this activity because for me at least, it is very easy to point out all my flaws, and very difficult for me to point out my strengths. This activity helped me recognize these strengths and understand how they apply to me, and how I can use them to my advantage to be a stronger and more put together person…Doing this activity helped boost not only my confidence about myself, but others as well because it gave me something that I can use to my benefit and that I can be proud of.” –First-Year seminar student
“Integrating Strengths into my Communications course allowed us to tie course material concepts to the students' knowledge of themselves which made what they were learning that much more real and concrete. “ –WMU instructor
“Overall, I am so glad that I was able to participate in this opportunity. It helped me learn more about myself and be able to see what qualities I thrive in and makes me, me. Without StrengthsQuest, I would have never known that some of my hidden qualities, like restorative and connectedness, have so much impact on my life.” –First-Year seminar student
"Knowing Strengths enabled me to see what I do well in a leadership role and what I can improve on." –Third year student in Communicating Leadership course
“I often struggled to get along with my parents during my senior year of high school. Ever since I have been at Western, going home and visiting my parents has been a great time. I believe that discovering my strengths have given me tools that I wasn’t always aware of.” –First-Year seminar student
"My Strengths taught me how to prepare and do better and job interviews." –Third year student in Communicating Leadership course
“I think that taking the test was one of the more helpful tasks in our FYE class because I really learned a lot about myself. I think that after learning my strengths I began to realize them more in my daily life. I am now more aware and more willing to learn how to develop not only my personality of strengths but also develop myself.” –First-Year seminar student