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An Introduction to the Learner® CliftonStrengths Theme

Looking to learn more about Learner? Whether you want to know more about how to use your Learner theme to succeed, or how to help someone harness theirs, you've come to the right place.

What Is the Definition of Learner?

Learner and the rest of the CliftonStrengths themes are comprised of natural talents that Gallup has identified through decades of research.

People exceptionally talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. The process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.

People complete the CliftonStrengths assessment to learn which of the 34 themes, like Learner, are strongest in them.

The following theme description highlights the thoughts, feelings and behaviors you are likely to experience if you have strong Learner:

You love to learn. The subject matter that interests you most will be determined by your other themes and experiences, but whatever the subject, you will always be drawn to the process of learning.

The process, more than the content or the result, is especially exciting for you. You are energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence. The thrill of the first few facts, the early efforts to recite or practice what you have learned, the growing confidence of a skill mastered -- this is the process that entices you.

Your excitement leads you to engage in adult learning experiences -- yoga or piano lessons or graduate classes. It enables you to thrive in dynamic work environments where you are asked to take on short project assignments and are expected to learn a lot about the new subject matter in a short period of time and then move on to the next one.

This Learner theme does not necessarily mean that you seek to become the subject-matter expert, or that you are striving for the respect that accompanies a professional or academic credential. The outcome of the learning is less significant than the "getting there."

Learner is a theme in the Strategic Thinking domain of CliftonStrengths.

People with dominant Strategic Thinking themes like Learner absorb and analyze information that informs better decisions.

Each of the 34 CliftonStrengths sort to one of four domains -- Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building and Strategic Thinking. These domains help you understand how to use individual CliftonStrengths to succeed when you join, create or lead a team.

Learn more about the CliftonStrengths domains

How to Better Understand Your Learner Theme

Making the most of your Learner talents starts with gaining valuable insights into what you naturally do best.

How people with strong Learner talents describe themselves:

  • "I am someone who enjoys the experience of learning."
  • "I need exposure to new information and experiences."
  • "I love to live on the frontier, the cutting edge."
  • "I hate knowing it all and know-it-alls."
  • "I bring a learning perspective."

How to Apply Your Learner to Succeed

The most successful people invest in their strongest talents. The only way to develop your Learner talents is to use them every day -- at work, at home and everywhere else.

The following are a few ideas for how to apply your Learner to achieve your goals:

Work With Learner: Develop ways to track the progress of your learning. If there are distinct levels or stages of learning within a discipline or skill, take a moment to celebrate your progression from one level to the next. If no such levels exist, create them for yourself (e.g., reading five books on the subject or making three presentations on the subject).

Lead With Learner: Be a catalyst for change. Others might be intimidated by new rules, new skills, or new circumstances. Your willingness to soak up this newness can calm their fears and spur them to action. Take this responsibility seriously.

Live With Learner: Time disappears and your attention intensifies when you are immersed in studying or learning. Allow yourself to "follow the trail" by scheduling learning sessions during periods of time that will not be interrupted by pressing engagements.

Check out our in-depth webcasts from Gallup experts for more ideas on ways to use Learner to maximize your potential.

Watch Gallup experts explain how you can use your Learner talents to perform at work and in life with excellence.

Managing Team Members With Strong Learner Talents

Discovering the collective talents of your team using the CliftonStrengths assessment is just the first step.

To successfully manage or lead others, you must individualize your approach. You must understand what makes each of your team members unique. And you must lead meaningful conversations about performance that focus on what each person naturally does best.

Gallup's research in the bestseller It's the Manager proves that this strengths-based approach to being a coach, not a boss, is essential to leading a high-performance team.

Read the following example of how you can help team members develop and apply strong Learner talents to succeed in their roles.

An Example of Managing Team Members With Learner:
  • Encourage them to become the resident expert in their field. Arrange for them to take the relevant classes, and recognize their learning with the appropriate certificates and plaques.

For more examples of how to use a strengths-based approach to guide your team to success, check out the CliftonStrengths Resource Guide for Managers.

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Use the CliftonStrengths Assessment to Discover More About Learner

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How Strong Are Your Learner Talents?

Purchase CliftonStrengths 34 to reveal your complete unique talent profile and learn just how strong your Learner talents are. You'll get personalized insights into your CliftonStrengths results and ideas for maximizing your potential.

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How to Work With Others With Strong Learner

Gallup offers resources and products you can use to help others succeed by developing their Learner theme and all their CliftonStrengths.