Know Your Strengths



If you would like to discover more about your own strengths you can:

Take an online test
Read self help books
Discuss your strengths and goals with a coach or mentor.

If you decide to talk about your strengths with another person, it is important to make sure it is someone you trust and feel comfortable with.

Strengths Questionnaires

It is interesting and fun to learn more about your strengths from questionnaires. You need to decide yourself how useful and relevant the test is to you. Some appear more related to work strengths, and others more related to general character strengths,

The Clifton StrengthsFinder 2.0 is a book and online test sold together. You need to buy the book which gives you an access code to an online test. This well known assessment is based on the work of Donald Clifton, a psychologist who is considered the father of strengths psychology. Clifton teamed up with scientists at Gallup to create the Strengthsfinder assessment. The book is authored by Tom Rath (2007) and published by Gallup Press.


The VIA Inventory of Strengths Survey is offered by the VIAInstitute of Character. This is a non-profit organisation founded by Dr Neal Mayerson and Dr Martin Seligman for the purposes of social science research into character and virtues.  The survey is available in 17 languages and you receive a free Via Character Strengths Profile or you can pay for a more in depth report. There is 240 questions and it takes 30-40 mins to complete.  


Dr Seligman, founder of Positive Psychology, has a shorter Brief Strengths Test available on his website Authentic Happiness,. This is a short test of character strengths. There are many questionnaires available at this site.

The Centre for Applied Positive Psychology offer an online strengths assessment called Realise2.  The useful thing about this test is it measures the energy, performance and use that you associate with 60 different strengths and so highlights the difference between realised strengths, unrealised strengths, learned behaviours and weaknesses. The test takes about 20 minutes and you pay for either a standard or premium profile.

I suggest reading their privacy notices before you register to take these tests as they collect your responses and use them anonymously for research purposes.

Strengths Books and Websites

 Mike Pegg is a notable author in this area and has written some very practical books based on over 40 years of experience working on helping others develop their strengths and performance. Mike Pegg also offers tips and tools for enhancing your strengths at The Strengths Foundation website.
His books include:

The Strengths Way (2007)
Strengths Coaching in 90 Minutes, Mike Pegg and Sue Moore (2006)
The Positive Workbook (1995)
The Art of Encouragement (1995)


StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath.
As mentioned above, this book comes with an access code to the Clifton StrengthsFinder online assessment and website. Tom Rath is also author of How Full is Your Bucket and Strengths Based Leadership.

Average to A+ by Alex Linley (2008)
This is a practical and evidence based guide to realising your own strengths and spotting strengths in others. Alex Linley is founder of the Centre for Applied Positive Psychology (CAPP), which offers the Realise2 online assessment.













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