Strengths Self Development


The Catholic Strengths Institute, we want to help every person grasp a better understanding and use of his or her strengths and learn to use them every day . . . at home, work, church, and in the community.

To help you begin exploring your newly acquired Signature Themes (Top Five) on your own, we suggest the following lab practicum to help you gain a better awareness and understanding of your Top Five Themes of Talent:

Lab Practicum 101

Articulate Your Talents

Consider each theme description that was provided in your Signature Themes Report.  Underline those words and phrases that specifically resonate with you. You will know that you’re underscoring the right things when you hear yourself say, “This is so me!”


Claim Your Talents

Post your Signature Themes where you will see them every day and for others to also see them, as well.  

Reflect on your Signature Themes (Top Five) results. Ask yourself:

  • Which of my Signature Themes do I really like?  Why?

  • Which of my Signature Themes does my family like?  Or my co-workers (boss or employees)?  Why?

  • When have each of my Signature Themes helped me be successful in the past?  How?

  • How can I use each of these Signature Themes in my daily life?

  • How can I use each of these Signature Themes to help my parish or community?


Use Your Talents

Pick one of your Signature Themes and think about it for a day. Ask yourself:

  • How can I use this theme today?

  • Where can this theme make a positive difference in my life today?

  • How can I intentionally use this theme to support my _________________________ (i.e., spouse, child, co-worker, church, community, friend, etc.)

When you start being intentional about your talents in each of your Signature Themes, you begin to flex the muscles of your top five themes. 

If you have access to your Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide (another one of your CliftonStrengths® Reports), consider choosing and implementing action items found in your report.  This is where you begin to hone your talents into strengths.  As you start to flex each of your Signature Themes, you will find ways to build on your areas of greatest potential.



You’re not only talented in areas; you’re also talented in degrees.


Dominant Talents: These talents are very natural and very powerful.  No matter where you are or what you are doing, your dominant talents are obvious.  If one of your top five talent themes is Empathy, you can practically feel what the other person is feeling.  The talent is so natural in you that you it’s almost impossible for you to turn it off.


Supporting Talents: These talents show up only when their support is needed, and because they aren’t as natural, they aren’t as powerful.  If one of your supporting themes is Empathy, you might be able to be empathetic when the situation calls for it, but it’s not going to happen every time.  And it’s not going to be as heartfelt as a person who has Empathy as a dominant theme.


Lesser Talents: These are the ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving that don’t come to us very naturally at all.  If Empathy is a lesser talent theme for you, you can try and be empathetic to a person or in a situation, but it’s not likely to be as genuine and you would rather not be in a situation where that is expected.


Dominant talents in action can be quite obvious. Statements like “How did he do that?,” or “She made that look so easy,” or “He’s a natural” permeate the conversation.  Each is performing at such a high level simply by building on how he or she most naturally thinks, feels, and behaves.  Why?  Because they are using their greatest talents.


    "The parable of the talents makes us think about the relationship between how to use the gifts we have received from God and his return, when he will ask us what we made of them (Mt 25:14-20)... we are in the time of action --the time in which we should bring God's gifts to fruition, not for ourselves but for Him, for the Church, and for others.

                                                                                                                            (Pope Francis, April 24 2013)



Lab Practicum 102
Catholic Strengths Institute cross

  • Think about how you have used your Signature Themes (your top five) in the past 10 days at your work, home, church, or within your community.

  • Describe a strength that you use every day - something you do consistently at a nearly perfect level.  Describe how you use that strength.  Which of your top five talent themes could be a foundation for this strength?