Strengths Self Development


Find What’s Missing – and Fill It!

The direct path to strength starts when you discover your greatest talents.  If you have a shortage of knowledge, skill, or talent that doesn’t hurt your performance, it should not detract you from your efforts to build on how you most naturally think, feel, and behave.


But any lack of knowledge, skill, or talent that DOES adversely affect your performance may prevent you from performing with strength and should be managed.  How do we manage a lack of knowledge, skill, or talent?


  • If the void is knowledge, you can fill it through education.
  • If the void is skill, you can fill it through training.
  • But if the void is talent, here are some ways you can manage it:
    • Leverage a dominant or supporting talent. A person with lesser talent in Empathy, for example, may intentionally call on their more powerful Individualization or Analytical talents to better understand how another person might be affected by a situation.

    • Develop a support system. An instructor who has difficulty putting names with faces might create a seating chart that not only includes student’s names but their photos as well.

    • Find a complementary partner. A business owner high in the Activator theme (“When can we start?!”) but low in Strategic or Analytical themes should partner with such a person strong in those areas.  Why?  Because this person can help you see how high the cliff is before you fall off!

When you find what’s missing and fill it, you will be on your way to performing with strength! 

What we’re really saying is this: God made us to need each other!




Lab Practicum 201

Catholic Strengths Institute cross


  • To help you determine what’s missing, make a list of the tasks you perform every day.  After you’ve listed 10 tasks, circle the most important ones.  As you look at the tasks you circled, consider whether you are performing each at a consistently productive and near-perfect level of strength - or if there is something missing or getting in the way of your performance.  Look to identify a solution.

  • Consider one strength you have observed in someone else. What made this strength so impressive in that person?


Lab Practicum 202 
Catholic Strengths Institute cross


Identify one of your Top 5 talent themes that you would like to focus on in the coming days.  Once you have chosen that theme, decide how you will specifically apply it for greater effectiveness.  The best way to do this is to connect a theme to a specific task.  Make this an important commitment in your strengths journey. Write it down and place it where you will see it every day.


  • I will leverage my Learner talents by reading one magazine and attending a webinar about technology each month. I will share what I learn with the technology task force at work.

  • I will use my Harmony talents during the monthly Pastoral Council meetings to reduce conflict and friction while I seek to find common ground with the group.

  • This week I will use my Positivity talents at the school board meeting to provide enthusiasm and energy in the midst of a discouraging financial report.

  • Over the next month, I will use my Ideation talents to help my son’s Boy Scout troop find creative ways to raise funds for their summer camping trip.

  • I will leverage my Discipline talents to develop a financial plan for our family for the remainder of the year.

Remember: Start with Talent - Finish with Strength


You have unlocked your greatest talents –the ways in which you most naturally think, feel, and behave.  These are a source of tremendous power and potential on your personal development journey.  Now that you know a little more about them, we invite you to the next lab practicum.



 Lab Practicum 203

Catholic Strengths Institute cross


Celebrate them! 
No one talent theme is greater or less than another. It’s worth celebrating your uniqueness.


Remember them! 
Keep your Top 5 talent themes posted at your desk at work and at home.


Learn them!  
Use the resources here at the Institute and the Gallup links.  The more you know, the more you will be able to use and leverage your strengths.


Use them! 
Every day.  Everywhere.  The world needs your gifts.  God provided them and He wants you to use them to serve others; your family, your friends, your church,  your co-workers.


Refine them!  
The more you learn, use and develop your strengths, the stronger they become.


Build on them
Start to see the dynamics of how one strength works with another.


It just makes sense – it’s not a gimmick – it’s natural. 
If you start with talent, you finish with strength!