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Spotting a "Discoverer": A Child Who's a Joyful Investigator

Spotting a "Discoverer": A Child Who's a Joyful Investigator

Webcast Details

  • Gallup StrengthsExplorer Webcast Series
  • Season 1, Episode 7
  • Kids especially talented in the Discoverer theme are thinkers and learners; they love information. Find out how you can affirm and challenge them.

Kids especially talented in the StrengthsExplorer theme of Discoverer are thinkers and learners. They're excited about exploring ideas and making connections. They love questions like "Why?" and "How?"

Discoverers will naturally, joyfully see beyond what's in front of them. They may be wondering how something came to be, or even what something could turn into. Excited to understand new ideas, they'll likely ask lots of questions.

These kids enjoy being experts, and can easily spend a lot of time in one subject. The adult equivalent might be those moments when you find yourself in a YouTube spiral, exploring all there is to know about one specific idea or interest.

You can spot the Discoverer theme in action by looking for kids who are drawn to information. They might study without being assigned a task or end goal. They ask lots of questions, with purpose and attention; they don't just ask questions to be present or social. You might also notice this theme when a child shares something they've learned without being prompted, wanting to connect with you through the excitement they've uncovered.

Adults will likely notice a good dose of Strategic Thinking talent in this theme. But remember, the StrengthsExplorer theme of Discoverer does not closely replicate any one CliftonStrengths theme. You might notice the curiosity of Learner, the resourcefulness of Includer, the connection-building ability of Ideation, and even some of the attentive energy of executing themes like Focus or Belief. To best see yourself reflected in this theme, consider what really makes your brain fire. Consider your hot-button topic -- something you know a lot about and enjoy discussing. When did you learn most about it? How do you feed that interest? Who helps you dive into it and how?

Here are a few words we can use to describe the Discoverers in our lives:

  • explorer
  • curious
  • interested
  • studious
  • inquisitive
  • passionate
  • excited
  • alert

While it may be tempting to assume this, it is not our job as humans to provide what all other humans need. It is our opportunity as adults, however, to help kids align themselves with what they're seeking. For Discoverer, you'll exhaust yourself if you answer every question a kid has. Don't be the professor; be the research adviser. Help them ask better questions. Help them learn how to investigate.

Here are a few questions to have at the ready for Discoverers:

  • What's the coolest thing you discovered today?
  • What problem are you working on solving?
  • When did you notice something new?
  • What are you wondering about?
  • What should we uncover this weekend?
  • Who is your favorite person to answer your questions? What do they know a lot about?
  • If you could design your own class to teach, what would it be about? How would you teach what you know?

Affirm a Discoverer by getting to know their "spark moment." When is your kid the most interested in something? For many, this might be at the start of discovery, when the idea is the newest. Don't dismiss their desire to explore new things as a failure to follow through on something. You're mixing expectations … it's okay for interests to be short-lived.

Ask more about something they're "sparked" or excited about. Make sure you're asking about things outside the classroom. They see adventure everywhere.


Grow: What can you do this week to help invest in your DISCOVERER child?

  1. Create a Laboratory
  • Dedicate a space where your child can explore and play and tinker, and doesn't have to finish or put away what they're working on.

    • If space is just too limited, this could be a notebook, computer or big box.

  • Include access to resources your kid can easily and safely use without asking permission. Maybe it's a drawer, a cupboard, or just an understanding of what things in the house can and cannot be taken apart or mixed together.

  1. Discover Together
  • Dive into something your kid is interested in that you know very little about. Together, do something to explore.

    • visit a museum
    • facetime an expert
    • execute an experiment
    • listen to a podcast
    • attend an event
  • Do something this week. If you need to book tickets to an event, do so, but also find something that you and your kid can complete within the next 7 days.

Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:

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