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Does My Culture Change My Strengths Assessment Results?

Does My Culture Change My Strengths Assessment Results?

Experts at Gallup state that with few exceptions (like Japan) they have found that Strengths frequencies are very consistent around the world. Gallup has pulled reports of the frequency of Clifton StrengthsFinder® theme results that occur in different countries and published new data in December 2018. In the USA, the top five most frequent strengths are Achiever, Responsibility, Learner, Relator, and Strategic – each with between three and four million occurrences.

However, it is important to note that these samples are not representative of a nation of people. Not everyone is drawn to a book and to take the assessment about self-improvement and how to treat people differently. Then consider countries where many people have taken StrengthsFinder assessments as part of a work team – the sample may be a little more random.

Culture and Strengths
If you are wondering if your culture or where you were raised is affecting your results then yes it likely is, merely because it affected who you are!

How you answer the StrengthsFinder assessment questions is based on how you are wired, aka your talent which is defined by Gallup as:

Talent: A recurring pattern of thought, feeling , behavior that can be productively applied.

Sometimes we talk about the culture of a country or a company as if it is a simple, uniform phenomenon when in reality within most countries and companies there is such a variety and diversity of cultural forms.
In addition, human beings are very complex creatures, and our desire to sometimes simplify that complexity means we can overgeneralize and lose the great value of diversity. For example – consider this data: Gallup tells us the chance of having the same top 5 talents as someone else in the world, in the same order, is whopping 1 in 33 million!!!

The reality is each of us is very unique when it comes to how we are wired – aka our talents. Our talents affect how we see and react to any situation plus inform us what we need to thrive. Our natural talents are pretty much formed by our early 20’s. We of course continue to learn new skill and knowledge as we grow older, but when it comes to talent – we are who we are, and we can’t just change that. The opportunity is in:

• Better understanding and appreciating our talent
• Knowing how to invest in it, and put it to work
• Giving it powerful language to offer it up to others

Values and Strengths
Our Churchill coaches often do an exercise with corporate teams (in our various Team Effectiveness workshops), where we help team members identify and put powerful language to his/her values. Then we look at our Strengths results through the lens of values and you usually (as you might expect) see alignment. Who instilled the values in you? Our external influences are incredibly powerful when we are young: Family, friends, school, community, social media and work organizations, all play some role in shaping us. Influence if everywhere. As parents of a Montessori school raised son, my husband and I learned the incredible influence of the environment (including our parenting blunders!) between the ages of zero and eighteen.

What if a country, company, and/or your parents talk about and praise people who are “well rounded,”– that can affect you and you might strive to comply. But humans are just too complex and we can’t all be talented in all ways. You can’t push all 34 of your StrengthsFinder talents into your top 5! Teams need to be diverse and well rounded, but individuals do not. Individuals and leaders need to “spike” and know how to bring the best of them to each situation for best performance.

Strengths Envy
If you expected a different result to what you got, then that is a different question. Please remember that one Strength is not better than another. You are unique, and your most significant opportunity is to maximize the best of you.

Sometimes we are too close to our natural talents to appreciate them. That is part of the value of a Strengths program; greater self-awareness and application of our authentic potential. Our Churchill team can certainly discuss this more to help you “claim and aim” your excellence during Strengths coaching or a team strengths workshop.

We hope that this article provides you value. If you need more assistance for you and your team please do not hesitate to contact us at 888-486-8884 or via email at solutions@ChurchillLeadershipGroup.com.

Regards, The Churchill Leadership Group Team