Help Students Use Their Strengths

As the parent or guardian of a U of M Twin Cities student, there are many ways you can encourage and support your student as he or she develops and applies their Strengths. One of the best ways to start is simply having a conversation with your student about his or her Top 5 Talent Themes. Simple questions such as, "What do your talent themes mean to you" or "How have your previous successes demonstrated your themes at work" can be great conversation starters. Once you know your son's or daugther's talent themes, it can also be helpful for you to share examples of how you have seen the talents demonstrated in his/her life. Perhaps you want to take the StrengthsFinder assessment as well. For information about taking the assessment, click here.

Below is some additional information and resources that can help you as you talk with your student about her or his Strengths development. 

StrengthsQuest Website:

Encourage your student to visit the StrengthsQuest website where they can find action items that are aimed at each of their talent themes.There are two different ways to access the action items.

Option A
To access general action items for each of the 34 talent themes follow the instructions below:

  1. Log into your StrengthsQuest account

  2. Click on the “My StrengthsQuest” tab in the upper left hand corner of the page

  3. Click on the “Apply” tab

Option B
To access action items that are specific to each of your top five themes follow the instructions below:

  1. Log into your StrengthsQuest account

  2. Click on the “My StrengthsQuest” tab in the upper left hand corner of the page (you should be brought to a page that allows you to choose different reports you can view and download. Each of the reports provides information about your top five talent themes.

  3. Click on the “download” button under the “Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide”.    This will allow you to download a report that provides action items that are specific to each of your top five talent themes. The action items listed in this report are different than the action items listed under the “Apply” tab described above.

Strengths Conversation Starters - This handout gives suggested questions and conversation starters for parents and family members.  Download Resource File

Parents and Families Workbook - This WorkBook can be used along with the 'Strengths: Parents and Families' video or on its own to learn more about Strengths at the U and ways in which you can support your student.

Strengths Stories - Encourage students to check out stories of how students, staff, faculty, and alumni use their Strengths to be successful.

Engagement Tools:

In addition to succeeding academically, encourage your student to think about how he/she wants to explore his/her interests, identify his/her passions and develop his/her talents into strengths through on and off campus activities. The resources below can help your student find opportunities in areas including campus leadership, student employment, research, volunteering, learning abroad & away, student groups, and internships.

Engage! is a Google-based search tool that allows you to search for opportunities to get engaged both on and off-campus. Opportunities in Engage! are typically on-going and not time or date sensitive. Make sure to check out our blog and Facebook page. They are continuously updated with new opportunities.

Engage - Do what matters.