The following may sound far fetched at first, but hear me out…résumés and trading cards are essentially one in the same. Think about it – they’re both pieces of paper (or card stock) filled with text detailing an individual and their past accomplishments and accolades. In the most basic sense, résumés and trading cards are nothing more than a brief summary comprised entirely of categorical information.This sort of information is great if you’re on the hunt for the best all-in-one duplex printer scanner. However, this sort of categorical data is utterly useless when it comes to understanding people, identifying their strengths and estimating their innate raw potential.
Andrew Roche’s Clifton Strengths Profile: Top 5 Themes
Achiever | Relator | Learner | Restorative | Deliberative
Your Achiever theme helps explain your drive. Achiever describes a constant need for achievement. You feel as if every day starts at zero. By the end of the day you must achieve something tangible in order to feel good about yourself. And by “every day” you mean every single day—workdays, weekends, vacations. No matter how much you may feel you deserve a day of rest, if the day passes without some form of achievement, no matter how small, you will feel dissatisfied. You have an internal fire burning inside you. It pushes you to do more, to achieve more. After each accomplishment is reached, the fire dwindles for a moment, but very soon it rekindles itself, forcing you toward the next accomplishment. Your relentless need for achievement might not be logical. It might not even be focused. But it will always be with you. As an Achiever you must learn to live with this whisper of discontent. It does have its benefits. It brings you the energy you need to work long hours without burning out. It is the jolt you can always count on to get you started on new tasks, new challenges. It is the power supply that causes you to set the pace and define the levels of productivity for your work group. It is the theme that keeps you moving.
Chances are good that you find the act of work naturally pleasurable. You routinely recharge yourself physically as well as mentally by toiling for hours on your tasks, projects, or assignments. By nature, you sometimes concentrate exceptional levels of your talent, energy, effort, and/or reasoning on certain tasks. Perhaps your good judgment allows you to establish long-term goals that are worthy of your attention. It’s very likely that you approach your work-related or academic assignments with a great deal of intensity. You are known for putting in long hours and working hard. Instinctively, you possess the physical and mental endurance to withstand hardships as well as stress.
Characteristically you work harder and longer than most people are capable of doing. Driven by your talents, you derive much pleasure from honoring and praising individuals, especially when their good results are the fruit of hard work. You regularly go out of your way to notice their accomplishments, knowledge, skills, or talents. Just having someone notice these contributions encourages many people to use their gifts much more often.
Relator describes your attitude toward your relationships. In simple terms, the Relator theme pulls you toward people you already know. You do not necessarily shy away from meeting new people—in fact, you may have other themes that cause you to enjoy the thrill of turning strangers into friends—but you do derive a great deal of pleasure and strength from being around your close friends. You are comfortable with intimacy. Once the initial connection has been made, you deliberately encourage a deepening of the relationship. You want to understand their feelings, their goals, their fears, and their dreams; and you want them to understand yours. You know that this kind of closeness implies a certain amount of risk—you might be taken advantage of—but you are willing to accept that risk. For you a relationship has value only if it is genuine. And the only way to know that is to entrust yourself to the other person. The more you share with each other, the more you risk together. The more you risk together, the more each of you proves your caring is genuine. These are your steps toward real friendship, and you take them willingly.
By nature, you sometimes feel comfortable being open and honest about who you are. Maybe you avoid people who are less than truthful. You may prefer to spend time with individuals who speak as candidly as you do about their strengths, shortcomings, hopes, failures, or successes. Instinctively, you sometimes are honest with yourself about yourself. You might be candid about your limitations when you are talking with certain individuals. Perhaps you are comfortable admitting you need to do some things better, more completely, or more perfectly. Driven by your talents, you fill your mind with new ideas by asking questions, reading, studying, observing, or listening. Normally, you accumulate facts, data, stories, examples, or background information from the people you meet. Determining what they want to accomplish in the coming weeks, months, or years generally satisfies your curiosity.
These insights also allow you to understand why individuals behave they way they do in different situations. It’s very likely that you may do some of your best work when you can bring your expertise to a particular enterprise — that is, undertaking. Perhaps you like activities that keep you busy from start to finish. Chances are good that you are comfortable offering suggestions to people who regularly seek your counsel — that is, recommendations about a decision or course of action they are considering. These individuals usually feel deep affection for you. You are likely to spend time together socializing as well as working or studying.
You love to learn. The subject matter that interests you most will be determined by your other themes and experiences, but whatever the subject, you will always be drawn to the process of learning. The process, more than the content or the result, is especially exciting for you. You are energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence. The thrill of the first few facts, the early efforts to recite or practice what you have learned, the growing confidence of a skill mastered—this is the process that entices you. Your excitement leads you to engage in adult learning experiences—yoga or piano lessons or graduate classes. It enables you to thrive in dynamic work environments where you are asked to take on short project assignments and are expected to learn a lot about the new subject matter in a short period of time and then move on to the next one. This Learner theme does not necessarily mean that you seek to become the subject matter expert, or that you are striving for the respect that accompanies a professional or academic credential. The outcome of the learning is less significant than the “getting there.”
Driven by your talents, you now and then yearn to acquire additional knowledge or skills. Perhaps you use these to do certain things better, more perfectly, or more completely than you have in the past. By nature, you sometimes investigate topics or explore issues to become more knowledgeable. Through ongoing practice, you may acquire additional skills or perfect specific techniques. Maybe few things please you as much as having mastered a subject that interests you. Instinctively, you possess the physical and mental endurance needed to spend hours studying, reading, or researching. The more you know, the more questions you have to ask. Your diligence reflects your need to work harder and longer than most people can. You set lofty goals for yourself and relentlessly pursue them. Once you have reached your objective, you direct much of your energy toward a second goal. You are self- motivated. You prefer to push yourself rather than relax. Chances are good that you occasionally sign up for rigorous courses of study rather than enroll in easy classes. This might satisfy your need to master things that do not come naturally. Perhaps you trust you can handle unpleasant or difficult assignments. Maybe the struggle to expand your knowledge, broaden your skills, conquer your limitations, or fix problems motivates you to welcome academic challenges. Because of your strengths, you occasionally figure out what factors caused someone to behave in a certain way. Once in a while, you present evidence that explains why a particular event occurred. Perhaps some people rely on you to help them find reasonable explanations.
You love to solve problems. Whereas some are dismayed when they encounter yet another breakdown, you can be energized by it. You enjoy the challenge of analyzing the symptoms, identifying what is wrong, and finding the solution. You may prefer practical problems or conceptual ones or personal ones. You may seek out specific kinds of problems that you have met many times before and that you are confident you can fix. Or you may feel the greatest push when faced with complex and unfamiliar problems. Your exact preferences are determined by your other themes and experiences. But what is certain is that you enjoy bringing things back to life. It is a wonderful feeling to identify the undermining factor(s), eradicate them, and restore something to its true glory. Intuitively, you know that without your intervention, this thing—this machine, this technique, this person, this company—might have ceased to function. You fixed it, resuscitated it, rekindled its vitality. Phrasing it the way you might, you saved it.
Chances are good that you sometimes outmaneuver people. Perhaps you reflect on what you need do more completely or perfectly in the future. Instinctively, you now and then take pride in being a good trainer or instructor. With certain individuals, you are determined to discover better ways to educate them. Perhaps you concentrate their attention on specific areas of knowledge or particular skills. By nature, you sometimes implement self-improvement plans. Perhaps you take action when you detect a shortcoming that prevents you from reaching a personal or professional goal. Because of your strengths, you might engage in self-improvement activities once you have identified things you need to know more about or do better. Perhaps you hope to minimize some of your shortcomings. It’s very likely that you occasionally lighten the loads of others by shouldering part of their burdens. Maybe you are more apt to assist to individuals who speak candidly to you about your shortcomings because you feel their comments are helpful rather than harmful.
You are careful. You are vigilant. You are a private person. You know that the world is an unpredictable place. Everything may seem in order, but beneath the surface you sense the many risks. Rather than denying these risks, you draw each one out into the open. Then each risk can be identified, assessed, and ultimately reduced. Thus, you are a fairly serious person who approaches life with a certain reserve. For example, you like to plan ahead so as to anticipate what might go wrong. You select your friends cautiously and keep your own counsel when the conversation turns to personal matters. You are careful not to give too much praise and recognition, lest it be misconstrued. If some people don’t like you because you are not as effusive as others, then so be it. For you, life is not a popularity contest. Life is something of a minefield. Others can run through it recklessly if they so choose, but you take a different approach. You identify the dangers, weigh their relative impact, and then place your feet deliberately. You walk with care.
Instinctively, you might present yourself as a no-nonsense person to certain people. Sometimes this perception is amplified when you acquire additional knowledge or skills in your area of specialization. Perhaps this proficiency enhances your ability to perform your job, progress in your studies, pursue your hobbies, or plan your travel. It’s very likely that you offer verbal feedback and positive reinforcement that is equal in measure to people’s accomplishments. Even though you praise sparingly, your words echo in the minds and hearts of recipients. When you compliment individuals, they have no doubt they are truly worthy of recognition. Chances are good that you sometimes take time to reflect on what people say, reaching conclusions only after thoughtfully weighing the information, rather than reacting to the moment. Your practicality might have a sobering effect on certain types of discussions. Now and then, you intensify your own or other people’s capacity to consider “the bigger picture.” By nature, you may prefer to have a small circle of close friends with whom you feel safe sharing just about anything. Driven by your talents, you recognize someone’s accomplishments, strengths, or progress only when you believe the person truly deserves recognition. You are more likely to applaud those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Simply meeting expectations is not enough to deserve a compliment, in your estimation.