BuffStrong: Strengths-based growth

You may think conquering your weaknesses is the key to success, but there is another side to the coin. Donald O. Clifton, the founder of the CliftonStrengths assessment, believed in the value of looking at what is right about people instead of focusing on what is wrong.

If you are a student at West Texas A&M University, you likely know your “top five” strengths according to the CliftonStrengths assessment. Most students take this assessment before starting their first semester here. WT uses its partnership with Gallup, Inc. to help students, faculty and staff identify their natural talents and find ways to utilize them as strengths academically, professionally and interpersonally.

Knowing your strengths is the first step in the process of utilizing them. However, the greatest benefits come from taking steps to learn about what these strengths actually mean. After you take the Strengths assessment, Gallup provides you with insight into your top five strengths, as well as a breakdown of what domains your strengths fall under.

There are four CliftonStrengths domains: Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building and Strategic Thinking. Executing strengths help you “make things happen,” Influencing strengths help you “take charge, speak up and make sure others are heard,” Relationship Building strengths help you “build strong relationships that hold a team together” and Strategic Thinking strengths help you “absorb and analyze information that informs better decisions.”

While Gallup has an array of resources to help you discover and utilize your strengths, WT also has many free resources and services relating to CliftonStrengths that you should take advantage of.

Individual and Team Coaching

There are currently 14 WT staff members who are Gallup-certified CliftonStrengths Coaches. These individuals have received extensive training on how to coach both individuals and teams using CliftonStrengths. Any of these coaches are available to WT students, faculty and staff for Strengths-related consultations, coaching and workshop facilitation. You can contact any of these individuals for more information about coaching and workshops.

The WT Office of Career and Professional Development has an option for students to schedule coaching sessions through the appointment feature on Handshake. Students can make an appointment for a general CliftonStrengths Exploration session or Career-Focused CliftonStrengths Coaching.

Peer Coaching

There are also 14 Strengths Peer Coaches at WT. These students, although not Gallup-certified, are able to provide assistance with peer coaching and are knowledgeable about CliftonStrengths.

To find out how you can become a Strengths Peer Coach, contact the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership at 806-651-2313 or stop by their office in the Jack B. Kelley Student Center, Room 103.

Strengths Theme Thursdays

The Office of the Vice President for Student Enrollment, Engagement and Success (SEES) hosts a weekly Strengths Theme Thursday to highlight each of the 34 CliftonStrengths Talent Themes. Theme Thursdays are an opportunity to dive deeper into the different CliftonStrengths themes and discuss how they present in everyday life. This year’s focus is on using your strengths as a leader.

Theme Thursdays take place from 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. in the Jack B. Kelley Student Center, Senate Chamber (JBK 16) or participants can join virtually via Zoom. WT students receive a weekly email with the Zoom registration link and more information about the highlighted Strength.