Being A Lifetime Learner Through Strengths


Strengths Stories In Action – StrengthsFinder Talent Theme: Learner

Some might say Wikipedia was my first love. The amount of information so readily available gave me butterflies in my stomach, excited at the thought that after one page I could know just enough about sea otters to write a one page essay.  I was about 8 years old. My next door neighbor, Sadie and I spent a lot of time on Wikipedia and Microsoft Word. I remember writing and printing over 50 essays one day. I didn’t really understand plagiarism, but I totally understood Clip Art and how to change the color of the font to hot pink. Sadie and I copied and pasted 50 articles about animals and places into Word. Then we added some fancy colors and clip art and called it our own.

LearnerBeing a Learner is never about the end goal, it’s not always about becoming an expert in every subject or even just one. Learning is the driving energy in how I interact with the world. Learning is how I experience living.


Why You Need To Invest In Your StrengthsFinder Talent of Learner

If you lead with the CliftonStrengths talent theme of Learner, you’re probably drawn to learn new things. You likely find learning fascinating and energizing. For me, it looks like a diverse resume, for example, filled with a variety of things that energize me by their temporary or long term applications. Learner shows up as ambition,  a hunger to always improve, to challenge myself.

Throughout middle school and high school I strengthened my Learner talent through my choice of classes and after school extracurriculars.

I spent most days after school at a dance studio. I love dance. One of the reasons I love it so much is that there is never a moment when you stop striving for improvement. Your technique can always be strengthened. You can always add more turns, jump higher, or become a new character. You are always learning. My dance teacher used to say “if you’re not sweating/hurting/burning you’re doing it wrong.” While my teacher might seem harsh, to me it was always a challenge to learn more, to be better, which is at the heart of who I am.

I didn’t always love school. I was never as concerned as much with my grades in one subject as I was at feeling I had a comprehensive knowledge of everything I wanted. In high school, when we got to take early college classes, I took as many as I could, spending my summers learning about archaeology and anthropology. I especially loved the challenge of having only a few short weeks for each class. I never had a hard time in school because I understood how I learn, what I needed, and how to get it.

Learning is a life long process, just like strengthening our raw talents and growing them into true strengths. The beauty of working to strengthen Learner is that that process of knowing more about ourselves is energizing.


The Superpower of Your StrengthsFinder Talent of Learner
People who are naturally Leaners love to learn in many areas. It’s an ongoing process to turn this talent into a strength you can use with ease. Strengthening Learner can be a diverse challenge, full of new experiences and opportunities that will excite the Learner in you and challenge you.

Becoming aware of how I learn made me able to become a tutor. The challenge and reward that came with figuring out how another person learns best. Helping them learn fueled my Learner. Being a tutor helped me realize that I do not want to be a teacher, but that I love helping people, or the feeling I get when I’ve helped someone realize something about themselves. That feeling of reward is something I can follow into many different areas.

What I have found is that when my strengths are flourishing and growing, I am doing and trying things that bring me joy. Our strengths are who we are at our best. Although we may not always be consciously choosing to grow or strengthen our talents, they are part of who we are and they find their way into our daily lives.

I will always have many interests: writing, dancing, speaking, connecting with and talking to people, and the list goes on. My strengths always find a way to shine through.


Applying Your Strengths To Your Career
If Learner is dominant for you, consider the value if you consciously use it more often. I’m going to challenge myself to learn something new every week. What will you do? Here are three ideas for ways you can invest in your Learner talent.

  1. Challenge yourself to diversify your resume by taking a short class or certification for a skill like coding, or  a new language. Something short is perfect for the challenge and benefit!
  2. If you find yourself needlessly acquiring knowledge or info, brainstorm some ideas on how to utilize it. You can benefit any group or team with the ability to learn quickly and acquire skills.
  3. Feed your Learner talent by volunteering to learn new software or a new skill that your team would benefit from.