Gallup CliftonStrengths® is an assessment of personality, rooted in the theory of positive psychology. Research indicates that people who know and use their strengths every day are more likely to experience positive emotions (energy, happiness, respect) and less likely to experience negative emotions (stress, worry, anger, sadness). The assessment identifies an individual’s top five “Signature Themes” from a list of 34 common talents. Individuals can then develop those talents into strengths, and apply those strengths in all areas of their life.
Overview of the Learner Strength
Ceramics, coding, current events– no matter the topic, you love to learn about it. You don’t need to become the subject matter expert, acquire a wall of diplomas, or be formally recognized to validate your learning experience. These outcomes are secondary. The act of learning – and staying up-to-speed – is what matters to you. Your personal nightmare is being stuck in meetings with “know-it-alls” who insist on asserting their correctness and resist digging deeper into issues or ideas. While you don’t consider yourself to be one of these know-it-alls, your coworkers may feel differently, especially if you communicate the knowledge you learn in an authoritative or condescending tone.
Action Items for the Learner Strength
Choose the right job. Consider a dynamic professional field that will reward you for staying on the cutting edge of research, regulations or best practices. Consulting work can be especially satisfying since each client or project will require you to get up to speed quickly on new challenges.
Pick the right partners. Is your curiosity taking you off track? Bounce your ideas off coworkers who have a strong Discipline or Focus theme. They’ll help redirect your work when you start heading down interesting but irrelevant paths.
Lead the charge for change. Stuck maintaining a legacy system or outdated process? Put together the case for change and lead the charge as your team’s “early adopter” or “technology tester. ” Prepare short briefs on current trends to get the team up to speed on your learnings.
Harness your potential. Your inquisitive nature can take you in a million different directions. To improve your leadership potential, focus your learnings on topics that are relevant and meaningful to your team and organization.
How to Manage Someone with the Learner Strength
Your Learner is always on the pulse of industry news, and current events, and learning a new language, and their latest hobby. As their manager, it’s your mission to channel their passion for acquiring new knowledge into topics that will be accretive for your team, your company and your clients. Doing so will not only produce wins for you but also your employee, who will be seen as integral to the company’s success. To keep your Learner engaged and effectively leverage their talents, try the following:
Set your Learner up for success. Stick your Learner in a corner maintaining legacy systems and you’ll squander their potential. Instead, assign your Learner to projects for clients who are at the cutting-edge of their field. Your Learner will relish the opportunity to stay on top of industry developments, and may impress your client with how quickly they pick up and apply new knowledge to solve your client’s problems.
Keep them focused. When every topic is interesting, your Learner can easily head down an intriguing but irrelevant path. Designate your Learner as the team’s “subject matter expert” on a specific set of issues or industry trends. Call on your Learner when you need to quickly bring the team up to speed on one of these topics.
Invest in their professional development. Direct your employee’s passion for learning towards topics that are mutually beneficial for their career and your team’s needs. Help them obtain a new certification, enroll in continuing education classes, or achieve a career development milestone. Bonus points for helping them secure company-funding for these programs.
Gallup®, Clifton StrengthsFinder®, StrengthsFinder®, CliftonStrengths®and each of the 34 CliftonStrengths theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc. For more information, or to take the CliftonStrengths assessment, visit www.gallupstrengthscenter.com.