The road to success is different for everyone, but Mason can help you identify and hone your own individual strengths so that you can lead a successful academic, professional, and social life. As part of Mason’s Well-Being University Initiative, the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being has forged a partnership with the Gallup Organization to provide the Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment free of charge to students, faculty, and staff.
Strengths Academy: Another Tool in the Toolbox
by Megan Sipos
The road to success is different for everyone, but Mason can help you identify and hone your own individual strengths so that you can lead a successful academic, professional, and social life. As part of Mason’s Well-Being University Initiative, the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being has forged a partnership with the Gallup Organization to provide the Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment free of charge to students, faculty, and staff. Created to help people identify their top strengths, the assessment and its related tools can help you maximize your personal and professional potential.
Taking the Assessment
The assessment takes about 35 minutes to complete. Each question contains two potential self-descriptors on opposite ends of a pole: For example, the questions might ask you to choose between descriptors like “I like to be heard” vs. “I like to listen,” or “I think about what I do” vs. “I think about what I must improve.” If you find that you can’t decide how to answer, whether it be that you agree with both descriptors or don’t agree with either one, you can always settle on “neutral.”
Upon completing the assessment, you will receive a StrengthsFinder Report indicating your top five strengths. There are 34 strengths in total, such as learner, achiever, or relator (see below for full list of strengths). Your report will describe each of your strengths at length, noting what you already tend to do well naturally, and giving advice on how to develop your particular talents.
Throughout life, your strengths can change—that’s normal. But identifying them, developing them, and building upon them can help you lead a life tailored to your own success.
Developing Your Strengths
Mason’s Career Services offers workshops about using strengths to network or find jobs. The Strengths Academy link offers a number of Gallup resources to help students, faculty, and staff explore their strengths: these resources include an article about the benefits of leading with a strengths-based approach, and a template to help with reflection around individual StrengthsFinder Reports. Students can reference their StrengthsFinder Reports when talking with academic advisors or professors.
Rashaan Mateen, the Student Strengths Ambassador to the Center for the Advancement of Well- Being, leads the Strengths Academy workshops, which incorporate info-sessions and student leadership training modules to help students, teams, and groups how to apply and use their strengths. “Applying and developing their strengths will impact all aspects of their lives,” Mateen says. “What we’re striving to do at Mason is to create a dynamic strengths culture on campus that will significantly increase engagement and enhance overall well-being for students. The center’s job is to figure out ways to make that happen.”
Chelsie Kuhn, Project Coordinator for the Center for the Advancement of Well- Being, believes that the Strengths Academy program gives people another tool to add to their proverbial toolbox. “Learning how to author your own life and finding out your own identity is important, especially for students, and that’s just what Strength Academy’s StrengthsFinder Assessment helps students do,” Kuhn says.
To learn more about Strengths Academy and take the assessment, please visit the Well-Being University website’s Strengths Academy webpage.