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Points forts ? Découvrez-les avec le test cliftonstrengths

Points forts ? Découvrez-les avec le test cliftonstrengths Posted on 21 août 2022Leave a comment

Découvrez vos points forts avec le test cliftonstrengths en vidéo

Si vous êtes à la recherche de vos points forts et avec l’objectif de créer votre entreprise. Ce livre est idéal pour vous. Il s’adresse également aux salariés en quête de pistes pour s’améliorer professionnellement. Ce livre vous aidera à mieux connaître vos points forts pour mieux travailler avec les autres.

Discover Your CliftonStrenghts (English)

De Tom Rath

Summary by Bob Andros – All rights reserved


  • We spend too much time focusing on our weaknesses and trying to make them stronger, rather than recognizing our strengths and trying to capitalize on them.
  • Companies make 2 incorrect assumptions:
  1. That a person can become competent at anything if they are trained properly; thus they spend a lot of time training their workforce.
  2. That the greatest areas of “opportunity” or growth are in an employee’s area of greatest weakness. Thus the individual development plan for an employee will often focus on these areas of weakness or work to minimize them.
  • Instead, these assumptions should be made:
  1. Each person’s talents are enduring and unique (i.e. they were born with them and will always have them)
  2. Each person’s greatest room for growth is in their area of greatest strength
  • Using data collected over the last 30 years (over 2 million completed surveys), the authors created 34 “themes of human talent”, or strengths (See Appendix A).


This book seeks to help readers identify their “unique” strengths and then use those strengths to improve yourself and those you manage.


  • Definition of Strength: Consistent near perfect performance in an activity
  • For something to be a strength, you must be able to do it consistently and predictably
  • People excel by maximizing strengths, not by fixing their weaknesses.
  1. One exception is that “fatal” weaknesses must be addressed. Can also learn to manage around your weaknesses. An example would be a manager hiring someone who has great attention to detail, since they know that is something they lack that is needed for the team they manage. Strength = Talent + Knowledge + Skills
  2. Talent – naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling or behavior that can be productively applied
    Usually talents come so easily to us that we don’t recognize them as talents. We assume everyone can do the same things.
  3. Knowledge – facts and lessons learned
    Factual knowledge – knowing product features or protocols, etc.
    • Experiential knowledge – learned through experience
  4. Skills – the steps of an activity
    Skills bring structure to experiential knowledge.
    • Skills will help you perform but not necessarily excel. For example, you may learn some of the basic steps of public speaking and even become a better public speaker than you were before. But without the natural talent, you will never be great at it.
    • A person cannot have a strength without having the requisite talent. You may develop the knowledge and skills to get by, but without the talent you won’t be able to achieve consistent, near perfect performance.
    1. The key to building a strength is to first identify your dominant talents, then refine them with knowledge and skills.
    2. Example: If you sign up for classes on leadership or empathy or assertiveness or public speaking, you will not see dramatic improvement unless you have the natural talent for one of these. This is diverting your energy toward damage control (fixing weaknesses) and not toward real development.
  • Every day there are hundreds of small decisions to make. We are unable to intellectualize every little decision, so we react instinctively. This means our brain takes the quickest path to making the decision, which results in using your natural talents to make these smaller decisions. These smaller decisions ultimately add up to a person’s performance for the day, then the week, then the year.
  • Even skills training classes that are followed up with ongoing support after the training, will not be fruitful without a person having the natural talent.
  • Talents not only come naturally to us, but are also accompanied by an “it feels good” quality. So it not only feels natural to use them, it also feels good to use them, thus constantly pushing us towards using our talents again and again.
  • How do I discover my talents?
  • Monitor your spontaneous, top-of-mind reactions to the situations you encounter.
  • Also monitor these 3 things:
  • Yearnings – activities you are drawn to naturally, particularly at a young age. You may not heed the desire to cultivate them because you are busy doing other things, but they will keep “calling out” to you.
    1. Rapid Learning – An ability to rapidly learn a new skill will give us clues to a talent’s presence.
    2. Satisfactions – Since it “feels good” to use a talent, if doing something makes you feel really good or satisfied, it may be a natural talent. This shouldn’t be confused with the idea that “if it feels good, do it”. Obviously this applies to productive behaviors only, as the definition of talent implies.
  • The best way to pinpoint talents is to monitor your behavior and feelings over an extended period of time. Or, you can take a StrengthsFinder test (Online test. Code comes with purchase of book) that helps identify these natural talents. The StrengthsFinder test identifies 34 different areas of talent and tells you your top 5 areas (See Appendix A for the complete list of the 34 areas of talent).

Obstacles to Building One’s Strengths

  • Fear of weakness – Inherent in our upbringing. If a child comes home with 5 A’s and 1 F, what grade gets the most attention? While it may be necessary to manage around our weaknesses if they interfere with our strengths, focusing only on weaknesses will only help us prevent failure. It will not help us reach excellence. Excellence is reached only by understanding and cultivating strengths.
  • Fear of failure – some failures are easy to handle (when it’s not something we are good at), but when we fail while doing something that plays to our strengths, that can be difficult to handle. The process of “act, learn, refine, act, learn, refine…” is the essence of strong living.
  • Delusion, or not realizing you are failing, is one danger. Denial, or finding reasons why your failures have nothing to do with you, is another danger. Delusion and denial together are a lethal combination.
  • Fear of one’s true self – You are so used to having and using your strengths that they seem very common to you and you don’t feel like you have anything that makes you unique. You may assume that “everyone does things this way”. Or you may suspect that your accomplishments are a result of circumstance or luck, and not your strengths. This is not the case. Your instinctive reactions are unique and set you apart.

Why am I different from other people with similar themes?

  • There are 33 million combinations of the top 5 themes, so it is unlikely you will meet anyone with the same themes in the same order.
  • Each of your top 5 themes is so interwoven with the others that it is modified by association.
  • Try not to examine themes in isolation, but examine how each one modifies the others, and what the combination effect is.

How do I manage around my weaknesses?

  • Weakness – anything that gets in the way of excellent performance
  • The absence of any of these themes is not a weakness if you do not need that theme to be successful in work or life. It becomes a weakness only when you find yourself in a role that requires you to play to one of your non-talents.
  • First, identify if the weakness is a skills weakness, a knowledge weakness or a talent weakness. If it’s hard to figure this out, go acquire the skills and knowledge you need in a certain area, and if your performance is still subpar, then you probably lack the talent.
  • Five other strategies for dealing with weakness:
  1. Get a little better at it – for basic things (communicating, listening, organization), you need some level of ability or they will undermine your real strengths.
  2. Design a support system – it might involve getting a Palm Pilot if you are disorganized, or organizing short meetings if you have a short attention span.
  3. Use one of your strengths to overwhelm your weakness
  4. Find a partner – Find someone with complementary themes of talent. For example, an entrepreneur with no knack for numbers might team up with a skilled accountant to fill that weakness. Requires a person to be able to admit a weakness in themselves.
  5. Just stop doing it – Last resort strategy, but effective if needed. If you stop doing something you’re not good at it’s possible nobody will notice or care. It’s possible you earn more respect. And it’s possible you’ll feel better about yourself. For example, one manager who lacked the talent of empathy finally told her employees that she lacked this talent and was failing at trying to fake it. So she told her employees this and asked that they just tell her how they feel if they wanted her to know. Her employees felt like she became more “authentic”, even if flawed, and more trustworthy.
  • Themes have little to say about what field you should be in, and only offer some directional guidance on what role you should play within your chosen field.
  • To excel as a manager and to be able to turn your employee’s talents into productive strengths, you will need to use Individualization. This means you may set slightly different expectations for each person and your moves as a manager will need to be tailored to each individual employee.
  • Basically you will need to recognize, and then learn to capitalize on, each person’s unique strengths. This will keep your employees productive, energized, and satisfied.

Appendix A:

34 “Themes”

  1. Achiever – driven; constant need for achievement;
  2. Activator – Impatient for action; “When can we start?”; Must act as soon as decisions are made.
  3. Adaptability – Live in the moment; expect and respond well to new demands; flexible
  4. Analytical – “Prove it”; Insist on sound ideas; objective; Like data and patterns;
  5. Arranger – Like to be a “conductor”; enjoy managing variables and realigning them to find the perfect configuration; can change mind at last minute if new idea comes up
  6. Belief – Enduring core values; Often family-oriented, spiritual, value high ethics; Success more important than money and prestige
  7. Command – Take charge; easy to impose views on others; Fine with confrontation; Like things to be clear and up-front; May be labeled as intimidating or opinionated
  8. Communication – Like to explain, describe, host, speak in public and write; Take dry ideas and give them life; use examples, stories, metaphors; People like to listen to you
  9. Competition – Always comparing your performance to others; Like to win; May avoid contests where winning is unlikely
  10. Connectedness – Believe things happen for a reason; Believe everything is connected in some larger sense; Considerate, caring and sensitive; Faith in something greater
  11. Context – look at past to understand present; Like to understand backgrounds on people and ideas
  12. Deliberative – Careful; vigilant; private; Identify risks and mitigate them; Not effusive with praise
  13. Developer – See potential in others; Like to see people develop and grow;
  14. Discipline – Want things to be predictable, ordered, planned; You impose structure in your life by setting up routines and working on timelines; Detail oriented;
  15. Empathy – Sense emotions of others; feel what they feel; anticipate others needs; Good at expressing feelings
  16. Fairness – Balance is important; treat people the same, regardless of their situation; Don’t believe others should have an advantage because of their connections or background
  17. Focus – Need a clear destination; goal driven; stay on task; impatient with delays or tangents;
  18. Futuristic – “Wouldn’t it be great if…?”; Dreamer; Energized by what the future may hold; People may look to you for hope
  19. Harmony – Look for areas of agreement; dislike conflict and friction; Peacememaker; Believe productivity is enhanced by looking for common ground rather than forcing views on others
  20. Ideation – Fascinated by ideas; like finding connections between seemingly disparate phenomena
  21. Inclusiveness – Like to include people and make them feel a part of the group; Not prejudiced; No one should be ignored
  22. Individualization – Don’t like generalizations about people since everyone is different; Recognize people’s unique qualities and strengths; Good at building teams
  23. Input – Inquisitive; like to collect things; Find many things interesting;
  24. Intellection – Like to think; like mental exercise; Introspective; may spend time alone thinking of questions and coming up with possible answers
  25. Learner – Love to learn as well as the process of learning; Energized by journey from ignorance to competence; Might take classes such as yoga or piano;
  26. Maximizer – Like to take something good and make it great. Don’t like taking something bad and making it good; fascinated by strengths – your own and others; Focus on strengths
  27. Positivity – Generous with praise, quick to smile; always looking for the positive; Might be viewed as lighthearted; Full of energy and optimism
  28. Relator – Like to spend time with people you know; Selective with relationships since you would rather deepen your existing relationships than create superficial new ones
  29. Responsibility – Feel emotionally bound to complete commitments, or will try to make it up to someone if you don’t complete it; Excuses and rationalizations are unacceptable; Looked at as completely dependable;
  30. Restorative – Love to solve problems; Enjoy the challenge of analyzing symptoms, identifying what is wrong, and finding a solution
  31. Self-Assurance – You have faith in your strengths; Confidence in your abilities and judgment; Always seem to know the right decisions; not easily swayed by other’s opinions
  32. Significance – Want to be viewed as significant in the eyes of others; like recognition; Want to be heard and stand out; Independent; Like to do things your way;
  33. Strategic – Able to sort through clutter to find best route; See patterns; Ask “What if”; able to foresee potential obstacles in advance and select the right path;
  34. Woo – Stands for “Winning Others Over”; Enjoy challenge of meeting people and getting them to like you; Drawn to strangers; Make connections, then move on to meet new people

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