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Activate Human Capital Group Blog


Using StrengthsFinder with Students

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As educators at all levels consider the possibilities for impactful educational experiences, benefits of integrating Strengths become obvious. The desire to help employees thrive transfers readily to educators desiring the best for their students. Strengths-based development for students creates an awareness they can apply to study skills, career selection/exploration, and personal relationships. 

Integrating the Strengths-Based approach delivers wholistic results. Gallup studies show that, with StrengthsFinder in place, students are 6x more likely to be engaged and 3x more likely to thrive on campus and beyond. 

However, StrengthsFinder has a practical application in the classroom as well. Group projects, often the bane of students and teachers alike, can be intentionally designed to balance out talent sets – or not depending on the goal of the instructor and the purpose of the exercise. Then students can divvy up the workload according to talent alignment.  

Having StrengthsFinder as a regular part of classroom discussions deepens connections and improves communication. Students themselves are better able to understand how they are perceived and how to process the labels placed on them. Teachers and faculty can use the knowledge they have of their students to tailor their teaching style while encouraging and challenging students in their work. 

Preparing this Generation

Educators face immense pressure in preparing their students for future challenges.  In K-12, common challenges include absenteeism and tardiness, bullying, and defining career paths that fit student aptitudes. Designing curriculum, interactions, and engagement with ongoing Strengths-based integration points can address each of these areas of concern. One school in Virginia gave the StrengthsFinder assessment to half of their 1,600+ high school students. The results were discussed in classes with students and teachers. After a single semester, the group of students who had been tested had fewer absences, were tardy less, and achieved higher scores than the control group. A simple test and conversation had provided sufficient engagement for improvement on campus. 

Using Strengths makes sense in regards to motivation and goals. Once students are aware of their Strengths and their unique set of talents, they feel empowered to build those Strengths and to make decisions that are right for them. In a way, it frees them from the expectations of others and allows a focus on following a path that feels right. Along the way, career and academic counselors can help students think critically about their Strengths and how to present themselves for success in the classroom and the workforce. 

Helping students identify the roles they would be best suited for is guided by student yearnings as well as talents – what students are naturally drawn to can be useful clues in helping them define a path for the future. Instead of floundering in the workplace, students will leave the education system knowing exactly which types of jobs to seek and will immediately find a higher level of engagement and satisfaction. One educator at Kansas State University, where StrengthsFinder is used extensively, says his students resoundingly believe that “Strengths matter. Strengths gave [them] the power and the efficacy to see [themselves] exercise leadership in powerful ways.”

A cumulative effect is possible when students become aware, at a young age, of their Strengths and work to build those, instead of compensating for what they lack. If your campus is prepared to walk alongside Activate and begin the investment of making students their very best, contact Activate Human Capital Group or email us today.