You may not need to retake CliftonStrengths Finder—unless you identify with any of these reasons.

Since 1999, more than 90% of Fortune 500 companies have used CliftonStrengths Finder to bring the power of strengths-based development to the workplace. To date, more than 25.8 million have completed the CliftonStrengths Assessment.  

Now, a lot has changed in the world since 1999—that was, after all, the year the Euro was established as the new common currency of the European Union, when Napster was released, and when Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France. And that’s just in the outside world. If you were one of those more than 25.8 million people who took the CliftonStrength assessment in the past 22 years, a lot has likely changed in your life as well. From the personal to professional, there are many significant life events and other milestones that can happen in more than two decades. So, you may be wondering, “Should I retake CliftonStrengths Finder?”

My answer may surprise you. Even though you may have experienced tremendous growth and change throughout your adult life, the fact is it’s unlikely you need to retake CliftonStrengths Finder.  

Although you might feel like you’ve changed a lot, it’s doubtful that your natural talents and abilities have. Let me explain… 

How the CliftonStrengths Finder Works 

Under the direction of Donald Clifton, an educational psychologist, The Gallup Organization developed the CliftonStrengths assessment, also known as the Clifton StrengthsFinder. 

It is important to note that the CliftonStrengths exam is not a personality test. It’s a performance-based technique for determining your natural abilities. While personality tests provide broad information, such as whether you’re introverted or extroverted, CliftonStrengths helps you identify the areas where you have the most opportunity to expand your innate strengths.

 class=StrengthsFinder is different from other assessments because it is psychometric. Psychometric assessments are scientific tools that measure cognitive formation and function. This is what gives CliftonStrengths Finder an extremely accurate identification of the talents an individual possesses and how they are wired. 

The CliftonStrengths Finder measures your natural patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. These are the innate, natural abilities that make you different. It’s likely they’ve always been evident in some way. Maybe as a child, you loved problem-solving activities and were really good at puzzles—perhaps a budding strategic thinking theme. Or perhaps instead of getting out and playing baseball, you remembered all the stats and collected baseball cards, demonstrating a strength for Input.

Your natural talents and abilities are part of your cognitive formation, making it very unlikely that you will have changed your natural inclinations despite the changes in your circumstances, environment, or career. In other words, a baseball card and stats collector isn’t likely to all of a sudden trade in their prized collection for a glove and bat ready to hit the field.

The fact that you don’t need to retake CliftonStrengths Finder should come as good news. It shows that it’s accurate and the results last!

Are there any reasons I should retake CliftonStrengths finder? 

That being said, there are some reasons the answer to the question, “I should retake CliftonStrengths finder?” is yes:

  • You lost your results
  • You took it in your non-native language.
  • You took it right before or after a traumatic life event
  • You took it when you were young or in school, and more than 10 years have passed since
  • You were distracted when you took the test
  • You were not authentic in your responses the first time that you completed the assessment.

How long are CliftonStrengths results valid?

cliftonstrengths 34 reportWhen taken appropriately, Gallup says that the assessment results last indefinitely after the age of 21. So while your results may not change over time, how you use your identified themes can and should change.

Your talents are unlikely to change considerably throughout your life because they are naturally durable. You can develop new strengths by altering your emphasis and obtaining new skills and information to leverage your greatest talents in new ways. 

However, this does not rule out the possibility of change during your life. At 20 years old, your values and priorities will be different than those at 60 years old. Also, as you get older, your self-awareness will grow, making you less protective about your weaker talents and more sophisticated about how and where to employ your greatest skills. 

Nonetheless, your natural feelings, thoughts, and behaviors will very definitely remain unchanged. As your life progresses, you become a more complete version of yourself. Along the way, you can play to your talents and learn new ways to use them.

For example, a nurse who leads with empathy can develop a new vocabulary to speak with more specificity to patients’ families who are very emotional. Or, a manager with a strong developer theme can learn innovative coaching techniques to assist their team members in improving their performance.

Final Answer: Should I Retake CliftonStrengths Finder?

If you identified with any of the reasons in the previous section about retaking the CliftonStrengths Finder, it might be a good idea to retake the test. However, if you are looking for new answers with a new test, you are unlikely to find them. Instead, your best option is to work with a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach who can help you leverage your inherent talents in new ways.