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Improve Your Strengths And Manage Your Weaknesses: Using The Strengthsfinder Profile In Team Development

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Assessment in EM Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.666.1 - 8.666.6



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Paper Authors

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Neal Jackson

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Susan Magun-Jackson

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3242

Improve Your Strengths and Manage Your Weaknesses: Using the StrengthsFinder Profile in Team Development

Neal F. Jackson, Ph.D., Susan Magun-Jackson, Ph.D. Christian Brothers University/The University of Memphis Memphis, Tennessee


Focusing primarily on an individual’s strengths rather than weaknesses as a means to improve performance is new to the management and psychology literature. The Gallup Organization has taken the lead in this area through significant research that has produced concepts of strengths – based management and the StrengthsFinder Profile. This article presents a review of the “strengths” literature, an analysis of the class results using the StrengthsFinder Profile, and conclusions.


The introductory course MEM 601 in the Master of Engineering Management Program at Christian Brothers University utilizes group activities to facilitate learning and to develop team- related skills. In addition to homework and in-class assignment, students are grouped in teams to work on semester-long projects. Projects give these teams an opportunity to utilize leadership and management concepts, project management skills, and other principles and information presented throughout the semester.

The class of fall 2002 also read the book, Now, Discover Your Strengths1 by Buckingham and Clifton, past chairman of The Gallup Organization and the current chair of the Gallup International Research and Education Center. The students then completed the StrengthsFinder Profile, an Internet based program developed by Gallup International Research and Education Center that is the product of a 25 year, multimillion dollar effort to identify the most prevalent human strengths. Upon completion of the program a report was generated that defined the five primary or “signature” strengths of each participant. The ultimate objective of this assessment was to provide information to increase the rate and extent to which the team members learned to know and understand each other and, thereby, have a positive impact on team performance and results.

“Strengths” Literature

Since the 1940’s psychology has been a science about healing or repairing damage to human functioning. As a result, this focus has neglected analyses of the fulfilled or happy person. The objective of positive psychology, therefore, is to change the focus from repairing problems to building positive qualities. Positive psychology addresses three types or levels of positive

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Jackson, N., & Magun-Jackson, S. (2003, June), Improve Your Strengths And Manage Your Weaknesses: Using The Strengthsfinder Profile In Team Development Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11538

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