The CliftonStrengths Assessment was created by Gallup as a tool for college students to use for their development as leaders and emerging professionals. Students can take the assessment in order to discover their top 5 strengths (in terms of “us[ing] their talents to work with information, make things happen, influence others and build relationships”). There are a total of 34 strengths, and each of them can be categorized into 4 overarching themes: strategic thinking, influencing, executing, and relationship building. I took the CliftonStrengths assessment during my sophomore year at Agnes Scott College. Read on to learn more about my specific strengths and their real-life application in my studies and work experience.  


"People exceptionally talented in the Deliberative theme are best described by the serious care they take in making decisions or choices. They anticipate obstacles." ~ CliftonStrengths Assessment

During the culmination of my Creative Writing Seminar, I was asked to reflect on why I decided to pursue this major, and in deciding on my majors, I made pros and cons lists. I have folders in my Dropbox and journals full of pros and cons lists and diagrams of paths and outcomes of certain situations and decisions. From deciding a research topic to choosing my major to trying to figure out how to ask my parents for something, I like to really brainstorm what my options are and what each decision will mean in terms of impact. 


"People exceptionally talented in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions." ~ CliftonStrengths

Since my sophomore year, I have had the honor and privilege of working at Agnes Scott’s Center for Writing and Speaking (CWS). An integral part of tutoring at the CWS is constant self-reflection and evaluation, and through conversations (Tutor-Talk, also known as T-Talk), we are always talking about ways to improve ourselves as individual tutors and as a center. We also just have great conversations about our own research, projects, and discoveries within our staff room. This continuous dialogue, throughout my time working at the center, has not only stimulated me (intellectually like I love) but also has allowed me to grow as a bluestocking.  


"People exceptionally talented in the Focus theme can take direction follow through and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act." ~ CliftonStrengths

I have always been able to focus on projects and/or assignments once I start them. Recently, I discovered the Chrome Extension, Taskade, and I am in heaven as this really allows me to prioritize and organize my tasks. Before Taskade, I used printed or written task lists to plan out projects, assignments, and work. 


"People exceptionally talented in the Competition theme measure their progress against the performance of others. They strive to win first place and revel in contests." ~ CliftonStrengths

Who doesn’t want to be the best?

As a strength, being competitive pushes me to always strive to be better than my peers or my coworkers at something. For instance, at the CWS, public shaming emails are sent to the staff to showcase which tutors have completed all of their client reports and which have not; the email includes how many reports you have left undone. Knowing the email is coming out, I aim to always be at 0 incomplete reports. While this is more low stakes, at times, this competitive spirit can be a weakness. Check out my craft essay to hear about how this competitiveness can manifest itself as a weakness. 


"People exceptionally talented in the Analytical theme search for reasons and causes. They have the ability to think about all of the factors that might affect a situation." ~CliftonStrengths

This strength compliments and ties into my first one, Deliberative. As I look at the obstacles (because of my Deliberative nature), I am using my analytical strength to think about the different barriers themselves and the ways that they can manifest. On its own, I have used this strength throughout my time at Agnes during my research projects and mostly during my reading. (I do a lot of reading as an English Creative Writing major and as a bluestocking who is currently growing her personal library).