Activities and Exercises

For a list of activities and exercises relevant to how you interact with students please choose a resource category from the drop down menu below. Please note that some of the activities may provide instructions/faciltiation notes that refer to use in the classroom or some other specific setting (i.e. career). Many of these activities have been categorized more broadly because they can be easily adapted to fit other settings. Please also note that many of these activities will require you to authenticate using your x.500 while some are available to the general public.

Three specific resources are highlighted below that are especially helpful in 1:1 sessions with students.

If you have strengths activities that you have developed and you are willing to share, please email them, with facilitation notes included, to strengths@umn.edu.

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Please select a category to view the available resources

Relationships & Team Development

  • Apply Your Talents to Become a Better Listener
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    How do your talent themes enable to you be a better listener?

  • Barrier Labels
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    In this activity, students are asked to consider if they discount talents and the potential strengths of others.

  • Circle of Strengths
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    This activity aims to recognize evidence of and discuss the role of their themes of talent in their personal behavior.

  • Collaborative Environment Document
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  • Complementary Partners
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    This activity explores the purposes behind creating partnerships and aims to help one understand how their Top 5 Talent Themes complement other Talent Themes.

  • Degrees of Talent/ Owning My Strengths
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    This activity asks students to recognize the personal difficulties associated with affirming their own themes of talent.

  • Establishing a New Relationship
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    This activity allows students to see how their talent themes play a role in their relationships. This activity is a great tool for advisors or career counselors.

  • Four Domains of Leadership worksheet
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    This worksheet describes each of the Four Domains of Leadership and provides space to see where one's Top 5 Talent Themes fall according to the Domains.

  • Group Dynamics and Talent Themes
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    This activity aims to assist students in recognizing the roles of talent and strength in the behavior of others.

  • Group Dynamics and Talent Themes II
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    This is a follow up to Group Dynamics and Talent Themes. It asks the students to compare and contrast themes of talent, including those other than their own.

  • I Bring, I Need
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    This activity is great for groups as a way to get better acquainted with the talents of the team members. Every team member fills out this worksheet identifying in their own terms what each of their strengths helps them to bring to the team and also what they need from the team. Then team members share out one or more or a summary of what they feel overall they bring to the team and need the most from their team members to be successful.

  • Is There A Shadow Side to a Strengths-Based Perspective?
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    This activity asks students to consider the implications to the application of talents in a negative way.

  • Moving Beyond Barrier Labels
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    This activity is designed to help students think about how they can maximize the positive nature of talents by managing the barrier labels that people often place upon talents.

  • One Key Question
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    Describe the concept of person-environment fit/calling as it pertains to career planning and strengths. This activity is a great tool for advisors or career counselors.

  • Parents and Families Guide
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    This Guide can be used along with the 'Strengths: Parents and Families' video or on its own to gain tips for how family members can support their student in applying their Strengths to be successful.

  • Reawakening your Professional Passion by using Strengths in the Workplace: Reflection and Action Plan
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    This series of reflection questions allow you to reflect upon your current job and how you use your strengths currently and how you can find ways to use your strengths even more every day.

  • Recognizing the Talents of Others
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    This exercise assists students in building relationships with others and being mindful of their talents and strengths, and the talents and strengths of others.

  • Relationships and Teams Video
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    This Guide can be used along with the 'Relationships and Teams' video or on its own to learn how you can use your Strengths in your partnerships with others.

  • Strengths Tree
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    This activity  helps people understand the type of role they play on a team, as well as how their strengths and the strengths of others come out when working on a task. It offers a way to demonstrate and reflect upon the leadership domains.

  • StrengthsFinder Reflection
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    This activity helps students analyze the content presented in their Signature Theme Report. Talent, Theme, and Strength. This activity helps students understand and develop a common language in which they can discuss natural talents and the development and application of strength.

  • Talent, Theme, and Strength
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    This activity helps students understand and develop a common language in which they can discuss natural talents and the development and application of strength.

  • Team Talent Map Template Version 1
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    Map out your talent themes and the talent themes of those around you! A great conversation piece in work environments.

  • Team Talent Map Template Version 2
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    An easy-to-use Excel template for a Strengths Team Talent Map. The template automatically displays the frequency of each talent theme. Created by Organizational Effectiveness (OE) at the U of M. 

  • Team Talent Map Version 1
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    Map out your talent themes and the talent themes of those around you! A great conversation piece in work environments.

  • The Talent Connection
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    This activity is designed to help students gain a greater understanding of their individual talents.

  • Theme Dynamics - Themes Working Together
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    This activity helps students describe how their talent themes work together.

  • Values Clarification
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    This exercise provides a basis to have a discussion regarding how values inform all behavior, including our careers. Students will most certainly have different values and in differing order. This particular exercise asks students to evaluate values through the lens of their themes. However, students will also bring values to this discussion from their past experience, including culture and upbringing.

  • What I Bring
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    This exercise helps individuals understand their strengths in terms of what they bring to a team and what they need from their team to be successful.