A young woman in a button-up shirt works on a laptop. Behind her, out of focus, is a book-lined set of shelves, and there are papers and pens on the desk beside her.
Unlike personality tests, the CliftonStrengths assessment goes beyond general definitions of your personal traits and digs into how specific strengths can be cultivated. — Getty Images/damircudic

The CliftonStrengths assessment is a tool developed by The Gallup Organization. It helps individuals discover their top five strengths and can help organizations improve company culture and performance.

[Read more: 6 Companies With a Killer Company Culture]

What is the CliftonStrengths assessment?

The CliftonStrengths assessment, formerly known as the Clifton StrengthsFinder, was created by educational psychologist Donald Clifton. He wanted to identify the strengths that made top performers stand out.

In the 1990s, under Clifton’s leadership, The Gallup Organization created the CliftonStrengths assessment. The goal of the assessment is to help individuals identify and build on their greatest strengths.

Is CliftonStrengths a personality test?

Odds are, you’ve heard of personality tests, like the Myers-Briggs test or the Enneagram. However, the CliftonStrengths assessment is not a personality test. It’s a performance-based tool to help you understand your innate skills.

Personality tests like Myers-Briggs can be useful in helping you gain awareness, but many people have a hard time applying the information they receive. Most personality tests offer generalized feedback, like whether you’re introverted or extroverted.

The CliftonStrengths assessment provides detailed information about each characteristic. This helps you uncover the areas where you have the greatest potential for building on your strengths.

[Read more: 8 Personality Tests to Help You Hire the Best Candidate]

Who is the assessment for?

Here are four groups that the CliftonStrengths assessment can help:

  • Individuals: Individuals can use the assessment to identify their top talents and understand more about what makes them unique.
  • Students: The assessment is also available for middle school, high school and college students who want to discover what they do best.
  • Teams and managers: The assessment can help teams work together more effectively and improve employee engagement. And it can help managers clarify their roles and understand how to lead their team better.
  • Organizations: Over 90% of Fortune 500 companies have used the CliftonStrengths assessment to improve their workplace.

This is the real purpose of the CliftonStrengths assessment — going beyond just learning about your strengths and taking action to develop your full potential.

How does it work?

The CliftonStrengths assessment takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. You’ll see 177 statements and choose how accurately each statement describes you. You’re given 20 seconds to respond to each statement before the test automatically moves you on.

From there, the test will categorize your results into 34 different CliftonStrengths themes. These themes fall under the domains of strategic thinking, relationship building, influencing and executing.

After you finish the assessment, you’ll receive an in-depth report highlighting your top five strengths. The report explains why these strengths are unique, how they can help you succeed and how to maximize your potential.

This is the real purpose of the CliftonStrengths assessment — going beyond just learning about your strengths and taking action to develop your full potential. If you’re interested in getting started, you can buy the individual assessment for $49.99.

[Read more: Are There Skills Gaps On Your Team? How to Identify and Address Them]

Benefits of the CliftonStrengths assessment

Here are some of the benefits you could see by completing and implementing the CliftonStrength assessment:

  • Focus on your strengths: Many people believe that in order to improve, they need to work on their weaknesses. The CliftonStrengths assessment takes the opposite approach — it teaches you to focus on and build your strengths. It gives you the self-awareness to know what you’re good at and how to leverage your strengths.
  • Improve your career: According to a Gartner study, 46% of people are dissatisfied with their current jobs. When individuals understand what they’re good at, they can focus on finding work that fully utilizes their skill sets. That can help them make meaningful changes in their career trajectory.
  • Work better with others: The CliftonStrengths assessment can be incredibly beneficial to teams as well. According to Gallup, employees that receive strengths-based development are up to 23% more engaged at work. The assessment can help build stronger team dynamics and better collaboration among team members.

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