Professional and Interpersonal Strengths


By Magnet Member: Alex Vitanye

This month, Magnet members interested in finding and developing their strengths were treated to a wonderful interactive session focused on the Clifton Strength Finder tool.  The session was led by former Magnet member Melanie Schneider, M.S., GCDF, a Gallup-certified Strengths Finder coach.  Melanie’s expertise and facilitation skills guided members through the framework of the tool, definition of strengths and how to use our assessment results for personal growth.

Melanie kicked things off at the Dream Bank with an overview of the Strength Finder tool.  Developed from interviews with millions of individuals of varying career fields, the tool takes an individual’s responses to questions or scenarios and produces an assessment that groups one’s strengths into 34 “talent themes.”  We learned how long the odds were of finding someone else in the world with the exact same spectrum as ourselves and that while we tend to show dominate themes, we all score in some degree on each theme.

Melanie’s program then turned to helping us “claim, name, and aim” our strengths.  Once we defined, or “claimed,” our top five themes, we learned how those themes interact with one another to place each in a domain.  Domain types include Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building and Strategic Thinking.  Understanding our themes and domains are vital in helping us lead and be led, interacting with others in the workplace and at home and in how we approach business and life situations.  The “aim” portion of Melanie’s framework encouraged us to maximize our strengths, not look at lower-ranking themes as weaknesses, and share these assessments with those that we interact with daily.  Members then went on to share with the group how they see their themes demonstrating themselves in daily life, along with questions on how to better “aim.”

It was a valuable experience for those in attendance, so if you are curious on learning more, the Strengths Finder assessment and accompanying book are readily available online.  Melanie is also putting together a pilot program for strength development and is need of participants.  She can be reached through her site  The Professional Development Committee has more events and activities to aid your strengths-building efforts planned, visit the Magnet site for more info.