A Philosophy of Strengths

Strengths are habits, attitudes, talents, abilities, ways of seeing the world and ways of interacting with people, things, and ideas that enable someone to do something particularly well.  By capitalizing on one's strengths, motivation is increased, success is more likely, and obstacles are more easily overcome.  Strengths-based campuses are ones which:

  • Identify all students' strengths.
  • Teach students ways of capitalizing on their strengths.
  • Help faculty teach to their strengths.
  • Train faculty to do strengths-based advising.
  • Help staff recognize and leverage their own strengths in their work with students and co-workers.

From The Gallup Organization

Psychologists at The Gallup Organization have been investigating the nature of human strengths for over 30 years.  During that time, Gallup interviewed over two million people--the best teachers, doctors, lawyers, managers, salespeople, leaders, software programmers, and other professionals--to discover what made them successful.  From all these interviews, 34 recurring patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior emerged.  These patterns, or "themes" as Gallup calls them, are the raw materials for building a strong and productive life.  A person does not need to possess all of these themes; to live a strong life, one simply has to identify which of the 34 are their most powerful--their Signature Themes--and then cultivate them with learning, practice, and focus.  StrengthsFinder measures a person on these 34 themes and immediately reveals their five most powerful themes.

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, (FIPSE), US Department of Education.  However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal building.





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