CliftonStrengths by Gallup Review by Brighten Project

CliftonStrengths | Profile Review

profile tool review Jan 03, 2022

CliftonStrengths by Gallup

Provided by Gallup



Based on over 50 years of research into talents and strengths, Gallup has built the CliftonStrengths - an online assessment that measures individual’s talents to help you identify areas where you have the greatest potential to build your talent into a strength.

You can take the Top 5 Strengths assessment, or the full 34 to see how you stack up against each of the 34 strength themes.



The language is important to understand right off the bat:

THEME: A Strength Theme - things like “Achiever” and “Relator” and “Strategic”. Each Theme has an associated description - e.g. Achiever: People exceptionally talented in the Achiever theme work hard and possess a great deal of stamina. They take immense satisfaction in being busy and productive.

DOMAIN: The Clifton StrengthsFinder is comprised of 34 themes that are grouped into four domains. Each domain is a group of Strength Themes that have similar purpose or impact.

TALENT: A talent is something that comes naturally to you, a behaviour that is so easy it’s like breathing. A Strength Theme describes how your natural talents play together to manifest as a particular Strength, and your Top 5 Strength Themes are the areas that you are naturally talented it - with a little work you can turn them into your strengths.

STRENGTH: is the result of you investing time into your talents, growing them and refining them into an effective and powerful tool.


“Talent x Investment = Strength”



  • 4 page Signature Theme report.

  • 7 page Insight Guide report. I did find this confusing, because this report reads like an expanded version of the Signature Theme report so I’m not sure that you need both.

  • Access to GallupOnline:

    • An eLearning module on each of Top 5 strengths, each module takes about 5 minutes.

    • A large assortment of additional resources on a range of HR-related topics like Coaching conversations, Wellbeing and Onboarding.

    • A one-pager overview of each of your top 5 strengths.


The Four Domains and the Strength Themes within each:



One of the learnings is that the most high performing people are rarely ‘all rounders’, so it may not be a huge surprise if your Top 5 Strengths are all from one or two Domains. I had 1 from the “Executing” domain, and 4 from the “Strategic” domain.

The clarity that comes from the descriptions of your strengths is really meaningful, the Insight Guide helps you understand what makes you stand out, and explains your approach, emotions and behaviours that build into the strength.

I completed this assessment 12 months ago with my own team, and we looked at how all our strengths built up together as well as what makes each of us unique. As a leader, this is a great tool to help you gain insight into your team dynamics and also create a positive language set when coaching. I recently re-took the assessment, and was fascinated to see a small change in my Top 5, one Strength Theme had changed to “Input” which really reflects a significant (and intentional) shift in my behaviours over the last year to increase my research habits and insight collection and sharing processes.



This profile is a helpful tool to understand yourself better and learn language to describe your abilities, and is very cost-effective at only $33 AUD per person.

  • When you want to understand your strengths and how they manifest themselves in your life. This is really helpful if you’re looking for a new job or if you’re in a situation where you need to be ‘pitching’ yourself to others.

  • Complete your strengths assessments as a team, and have each person present theirs to the rest of the team to ensure they fully understand them. You can also follow this up with a group discussion about how best to utilise everyone’s strengths - especially looking at how you are all spread (or clustered) across the four domains.

  • Reframing the coaching of your own team into something with positive language (Strengths-based coaching). I would recommend purchasing the Resource Guide to help you as it has recommendations for how to manage people with each of the specific strengths. The old adage “What you water, grows” applies nicely here, and if you are focusing on your own and others Strengths, they grow and become even more powerful. It can be a nice change from focusing only on “development opportunities” or “gaps”.



“What you water, grows”

The Gallup Access portal provides great support for each of your themes alongside a range of other development tools.

The Gallup Access portal provides great support for each of your themes alongside a range of other development tools.

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