WATCH: Is Clifton Strengths Right for Your Company?

Plus: Book your Clifton Strengths assessment package and get another one for a friend or family member for FREE

Ideas on improving business performance. Real stats and results. And a special offer for you and a friend or family member. Discover the value, history and research behind Clifton Strengths and see if it’s a fit for your company. Plus: All about the online assessment, discovering your top 5 strengths and the complete list of 34 Clifton Strengths.


We’ve created a super-special Clifton Strengths offer for May 2020 that gets you the assessment + coaching for yourself and a friend or family member for FREE! Phone us: 071 918 3217 or email Tammy: More info at the bottom of this post. 


This is the recording of one of our online webinars on Clifton Strengths (formerly StrengthsFinder) for companies from Thursday 7 May 2020. And, if you don’t know LifeXchange Solutions yet, we started 15 years ago rehabilitating gangsters on the Cape Flats by trying to figure out how the mind works. And we’ve made some remarkable discoveries using the disciplines of neuroscience, psychology and sociology to apply to change-mindsets in business. See our neuromanagement and advanced change-management business solutions.

If you are considering or curious about the strengths approach, or if you’re looking for an exciting new way to engage employees and manage performance, here’s what you need to know about Clifton Strengths:


One key thing to understand when you’re trying to create lasting change or improve someone’s performance is that there are essentially two ways to go about it:


One way is to look at the person in comparison to others who are performing, or some kind of ideal level of performance, and then identify what the person is lacking. And then focus on “correcting” the bits that are missing, to help them perform like the others or your ideal. The deficit-based approach looks at what’s missing, and you’ll recognise that most traditional systems and measures – like the standard performance review – works in this way.


The second ay to look at it is to identify the core competencies and abilities already within the person, and then focus on developing those. You could even go as far as to adapt the expectations and “redeploy” the person to use those abilities, and then measure them according to their performance there. Kind of like when you stop measuring a fish according to its ability to climb trees and just let it swim instead.

The strengths-based approach feels new – it’s actually not, it has a long history – but there’s a significant amount of evidence to suggest that it can be more effective, or at least deliver better outcomes when the traditional methods have failed or slowed down.


Himself a former national field hockey player, Marc Lammers coached the Dutch national women’s hockey team from 2000 to 2008, leading the team to 15 international medal finishes, including silver at the 2004 Olympics in Greece and gold at the 2008 Olympics in China. This team won every European Nations Cup and placed top three in every World Cup and Champions Trophy event for the better part of a decade.

Yet, he didn’t have quite the same kind of record when he coached the Spanish women’s side two years before he went to the Dutch. Why? The difference was that he embraced the Clifton Strengths approach with the Dutch team.


Clifton Strengths (formerly StrengthsFinder) is named after Don Clifton, a prominent American psychologist who after WW2 pioneered a change in focus in psychology from trying to fix “what’s wrong with people” in treatments to a focus of developing what the person is doing right. I.e. their strengths.

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In a period that spans almost 50 years of intensive research, with over 7 million surveys and countless papers and studies, Don Clifton developed a framework for measuring people’s strengths. Clifton’s own company merged with Gallup who we today associate with the Strengths moniker, and by the 1990s they brought out the first assessment (StrengthsFinder), where people could find out what their own strengths were. Today, it’s known as Clifton Strengths, and there’s a massive body of research behind it.


Apart from Don Clifton’s own work on the basis of the approach, rolling it out in the marketplace over the past few decades has given us some awesome insights into just how effective the approach is. Some key findings amongst companies who successfully rolled out a strengths-based process are:

  • 7–25% growth in employee engagement
  • 8–18% increased performance
  • 20–73% lower attrition rate


Something of note is that the assessment itself stands head and shoulders above the rest. It’s unique from Myers-Briggs and its contemporaries in the sheer level of detail it can go into. If you take Myers-Briggs as an example: You have 16 archetypes, meaning that if you have 100 people together, a few of them are going to fall into the same type – but are they really that similar?

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The Clifton Strengths assessment, on the other hand, is way more personal – with 34 different strengths themes in a seemingly endless array of combinations. The odds of two people getting exactly the same strengths indicators are 1 in 33 million. So, if you roll it out in your company today, you’re likely to get an unprecedented in-depth new understanding of your people.


So, where do you apply it? Well, if you have a look at our previous post on creating a high-performance company culture or how to understand company culture, you’ll see we highlighted four quadrants of internal and external factors to your business that lead to success, including your people’s internal beliefs, their individual performance, the company-wide culture and your company’s overall performance.

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Strengths help you impact multiple of those quadrants. Especially in helping you better understand your people’s behaviour – knowing their strengths gives you insight into why they do what they do – and also helps you impact the overall culture by role-modelling the kind of behaviour that you do want in people – which ties in with our discussions around mentoring vs coaching.

Further to that, you can also use the insights to redesign teams, roles and governance, and even use it hire smarter – based on what types of skills are needed where.

We’d love to show you how:


We at LifeXchange Solutions facilitate strengths assessment and strengths coaching in South Africa and the world. And we can help individuals as well as roll-out for entire companies. What we do differently that’s super important is we go beyond the initial assessment and “naming” and “claiming” strengths processes (which is sadly where most current strengths offerings stop theirs) and focus on getting the much more sustainable and effective final “aim “ step right – which is where you use strengths to completely redefine and redo your internal systems and processes around your people.

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Find out more about our unique brand of strengths-based development.


During May 2020, you can test out strengths for yourself and give it a gift to someone you know! If you book your strengths package with us – includes the Clifton Strengths assessment plus 4 coaching sessions to help you harness your strengths – you get a free assessment + debriefing session for someone else – gift it to a friend, colleague, your partner or even your child.

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Make use of this offer by emailing and book your package before 31 May 2020 to qualify.


If you’ve never really looked into it before, Clifton Strengths is a system created by the company Gallup that takes decades’ worth of research into people’s skills and talents and puts it into a format you can easily understand. You can do a Clifton Strengths assessment with your team and help each per discover their top strengths. (It’s widely known as one of the most trustworthy assessments of its kind in the world.)

Knowing the strengths make-up of your teams helps you develop better and faster systems that are more engaging for staff. Find out more in our post: What are strengths.

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When you and your team discover your Clifton Strengths, you use the Gallup assessment to see which are your top 5 strengths from the Clifton Strengths list. It’s a collection of 34 strengths, divided into four overarching domains. And you can check out the full list of strengths here.

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See the difference in your performance management with strengths and our next-level strengths-based development and advanced organisational development.

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