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What is Strengthscope®?

Strengthscope®   is the world’s most comprehensive and innovative cloud-based strengths profiling system that helps energize peak performance at work. It is backed by over 12 years of research and is used by many of the world’s leading organizations.

It is the first strengths assessment system to have achieved Registered Test Status with the UK’s British Psychological Society (BPS) and has also been verified as a valid and reliable measure of work-related strengths by City University, UK.

Strengthscope® helps you optimize your performance and energy at work by improving your understanding of:

  • Unique strengths and how to optimize these to achieve exceptional results
  • Risk areas to peak performance, together with powerful ways to reduce the impact of these
  • Positive ways of working that will improve confidence, motivation and success in any situation
  • How to strengthen relationships and work more effectively with people whose strengths are different from yours

 

The Strengthscope® system includes a series of modules, making it the world’s most extensive strengths profiling system. These include:

  • Strengthscope® – feedback report on 24 work-based strengths
  • Strengthscope360™ – as above but also includes feedback from up to 15 colleagues at work
  • StrengthscopeLeader™ – strengths, risks and effective leadership behaviours, together with ‘follower confidence index’, including feedback from up to 20 colleagues at work
  • StrengthscopeTeam™ – profiles the strengths, risks and performance-related behaviours of a team
  • StrengthscopeEngage™ – report assessing employee levels of engagement pre- and post a strengths initiative, so demonstrating return on investment.

Who designed Strengthscope®?

Strengthscope® was designed by a team from Strengthscope, including Dr Paul Brewerton, James Brook, both occupational psychologists, as well as a design team comprising range of experts in assessment, selection, management and leadership development and psychometrics.

How do you define ‘strengths’?

We define strengths as ‘underlying qualities that energize you and that you are great at (or have the potential to become great at)’. Strengths reflect our passions and values and enable us to perform at our peak, in both good times and during tough, challenging times.

What model is Strengthscope® based on?

In designing the central Strengthscope® model, the design team at Strengths Partnership drew on a wide range of research produced in the fields of personality, ability, positive psychology and strengths. We drilled down to identify the essence of strengths at work; finally selecting 24 strengths which we felt best captured performance-critical strengths in the workplace.

These strengths are broken down into four ‘clusters’ of strengths, as follows:

  • Emotional: these strengths relate to how you manage and express your emotions in relation to circumstances and people around you
  • Relational: these strengths relate to establishing and maintaining productive relations with others
  • Thinking: these strengths relate to the areas in which you prefer to apply your intellect, as well as how you go about gathering and using information to make decisions at work
  • Execution: these strengths relate to delivering results, in terms of content and delivery

What do the numbers mean on the graph?

The graph uses a standardized scale ranging from 0-10. This is technically known as a ‘sten’ (standard ten) scale and is commonly used in psychometric testing, as an easily understandable way of charting a respondent’s scores in different areas. These numbers in themselves have no meaning (e.g. reporting a 10 on the scale doesn’t mean you have scored 10 out of 10, or 100%). The scale is simply used to show your relative position compared to others in the working population. The most important thing to focus on is the position of your strengths relative to each other in your profile.

My scores all seem rather low/high – what is this telling me?

Responses to the questionnaire are compared with other people’s responses in order for a rating to be produced. In some cases, this leads to a profile having generally high scores or generally low scores. Either way, it is the pattern of scores that is most important, from highest to lowest, rather than the average scores in someone’s profile.

How unusual is my pattern of strengths – are there common combinations?

While some strengths are more closely associated with others, the overall chances of reporting a similar profile to other people is very small. In fact, the chances of reporting the same top 3 strengths in the same order is 1 in 12,000 and the chances of reporting the same Top 7 strengths in the same order is 1 in 1.7 billion. People often underestimate how unique their strengths profile is – your strengths profile can indicate where you are best able to make a unique contribution at work in areas which energize you.

What does a low rating on my strengths profile mean? Does it mean that this is something I am not good at?

No, Strengthscope® is not a measure of competence, but a measure of strength, i.e. those things that energize us and make us feel positive and confident. It could be that a lower score, or non-strength, indicates something that provides little to ‘energize’ us, or it could be that a non-strength is something that is actually weakening for us if we do too much of it. It is also possible (although less likely) that one or more of the “Significant Seven” strengths are not areas in which the person is particular competent or proficient, as they don’t have the skills, knowledge and/or experience to fully apply the strength. This is less likely because many people gain feelings of strength and energy from doing something well.

Does a high score against a particular strength mean I can perform well in this area?

Not necessarily, although a relatively high score on a strength is likely to indicate potential to perform well in this area. However, some people may never optimize their strengths, usually as a result of a lack of awareness about their strengths or because they don’t invest sufficient time and effort in maximizing it.

Is the sequence of the “Significant 7” relevant?

No, there is no significance to the sequence of the “Significant 7” in the report, which is presented in alphabetical order rather than in order of the associated numerical score. We would also caution against drawing general conclusions that a “Significant 7” strength with a score slightly higher on the scale than another is more important, as some of these differences are too small to draw meaningful conclusions from. It is far more important to treat each of the “Significant 7” strengths as areas of potential strength and to explore these in relation to your current and future goals and responsibilities.

Why are there 7 significant strengths?

Seven is a bit of a “magic number” in that it has been identified as the approximate number of items that people can typically retain in their short-term memory, which contributed to our decision to focus your attention on the 7 strengths that you have rated most strongly. This enables you to work on what is important to your success and what really energizes you, rather than trying to focus on too many areas or be good at everything. However, we encourage people to identify their top 3 strengths as priority areas for developing their strengths.

What differences are there between strengths and competencies?

Competencies are typically defined as characteristics and behaviours that predict successful organizational outcomes. Most organizations using competencies have focused their efforts on defining skills, knowledge and behaviours associated with success in a particular role, function or at a particular level in the organization (e.g. leadership). Unlike competencies, strengths are related to the person and not the role, function or level. They have a strong emotional element as well as leading to valued outcomes; the best signpost of a strength is when something energizes or strengthens you. Strengths are also part of your character – things that are core to you and are fairly consistently expressed across situations. Unlike surface characteristics such as skills and knowledge, they are relatively ‘hardwired’ in our teens and are difficult to develop and fundamentally change beyond this point.

Strengths Partnership see strengths and competencies as relating to each other as shown in the diagram below. We believe it is at the point where the overall goals of the organization and our individual skills, knowledge and abilities overlap with our strengths (the areas that energize us). It is within this overlapping zone that we are most likely to achieve peak performance and we call this our zone of peak performance:

How is Strengthscope® different from other strengths assessments?

Strengthscope(® differs in several important ways from other strengths assessments:

  1. Strengthscope® offers very good psychometric properties, guaranteeing accuracy of assessment
  2. If the multi-rater/360º option is chosen, the user receives multi-rater feedback from work colleagues and other key stakeholders on how their strengths are being perceived at work
  3. The model is intentionally more straightforward than those of other tools to make it more practical and useable

I have completed Strengthscope® more than 3 years ago, do I need to complete it again?

Strengthscope® profiles remain stable over time, so there is no specific requirement to re-complete. However, in cases where someone has experienced a lot of change and hasn’t completed Strengthscope® for 3+ years, we recommend re-doing it.

Additionally, if the person completed Strengthscope® before June 2010, we recommend that they re-complete it as the Strengthscope® module and report has been updated since that time.

Do I need accreditation training to use Strengthscope®?

Yes, accreditation training runs throughout each year and training takes one day. Experience has shown us that it is very important that prospective users of the instrument have the opportunity to watch demonstrations, use Strengthscope® in a live setting, and receive feedback on their approach. This is because the approach and emphasis in using Strengthscope® is different to more standard assessment tools.

The accreditation training includes:

  • The business case and benefits of transitioning to a strengths-focused approach to managing and developing people
  • The background to Strengthscope®, including psychometric properties of the profiler
  • How to apply the 5-A Strengths to Success Framework to take an individual/team from awareness to achievement
  • How to translate awareness and knowledge of your own and others’ strengths into success
  • How to provide constructive and appreciative feedback and coaching based on the Strengthscope® report
  • How to translate learning into practical, business-relevant outcomes

What is the process for using Strengthscope®?

Users are also able to administer the tool themselves once accredited, to allow complete control of all aspects of the tool. Strengthscope® can be purchased  through our Strengthscope® Shop.

Once you have purchased the Strengthscope®  tools you desire, they are automatically available on your account. Your account needs to be credited with these so that you can download reports. 

We monitor completion rates and remain on hand for any support required. You can decide whether feedback reports should be sent to you or direct to participants, along with a debrief preparation questionnaire and an FAQs document to answer any immediate queries they may have. You then arrange separately for participants’ feedback sessions.

I would like to use Strengthscope® in a team context – is there any way of bringing individual results together to create a team report?

Yes. Strengthscope® has a team report component (StrengthscopeTeam™) which provides teams, team leaders and facilitators with very rich information about the extent to which a team is currently able to play to its strengths and where there may be opportunities and threats to the team playing fully to its strengths. A sample report is available on request.

I have some more questions which are not answered in the document – how can I get in touch with you?

We would be delighted to hear from you and will do our best to answer any and all questions you may have. Strengths Partnership can be contacted as follows:

Email: info@strengthspartnership.com 
Tel: +44 (0)20 8944 0289

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