Should You Retake the CliftonStrengths Assessment?

As a strength coach, people often ask me about retaking the CliftonStrengths Assessment. Though it may seem like your strengths would change over time, the answer to retaking the assessment is – no need most of the time.

No matter why someone wants to retake the CliftonStrengths assessment, Gallup’s research shows that their first completion of the assessment gives the “purest and most revealing results.” Let’s take a few minutes and look at a couple of reasons why people think they should retake the assessment.

I was in a bad mood the day I took the assessment.

In the 1990s, Donald O. Clifton developed the CliftonStrengths to measure talent potential. The assessment measures natural recurring thoughts, feelings, and behavior called talent. Through much research, Gallup has discovered that your mood when you took the assessment will have little effect on the results you receive. This doesn’t mean that your mood will have no impact whatsoever on your responses to the statements. What it does mean is that this assessment based on positive psychology and neuroscience will expertly measure your recurring patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior. By doing so, the assessment sees through the mood you are in that time to reveal your most dominant themes of talent.

One thing to keep in mind about Strengths and mood is, knowing your strengths, you can use your strengths to help your mood. If you are in a bad mood over things going on in your life, focus on your strengths and use them to help you develop a strategy to move past the place you are. Strengths are not just an assessment you take and then put it on the shelf till someone asks you your top five. Strengths are a living, breathing part of your life, or they should be.

I don’t like the strengths the assessment gave me.

Identifying where you have the greatest potential for building strength is what your assessment is assessing. Knowing this information is a starting point for you to grow in the areas that you have the greatest potential for building strengths. Building and using your strengths will make you become the best version of you, not an imitation of someone who has the strengths you think you want.

Your strengths will help you understand the unique ways that you operate and maybe even discover things about you that you did’t see. One of the ladies I work with was surprised when Strategic came up in her top five. Of all the ways she thought of and described herself strategic was not one of them. When she talked to friends and family, their response was – of course, you are strategic. Their evaluation of her took her completely by surprise.

She preferred to think of herself in the Relationship Building Talents, where most of her top five reside. After seeing this and getting feedback, her new strengths-awareness opened up new growth. When she had her yearly evaluation, her manager commented that she didn’t know what happened over the previous year, but she saw more engagement with the rest of the team and more productivity in her role, along with taking on new assignments.

For over 40 years, Gallup scientists have been studying strengths. From all this research, they have found that our strengths do not change significantly over time. The way the assessment is designed intentionally force’s you to make a quick choice preventing you from overthinking the response. If you decide to retake the assessment, you could be familiar with the questions, and since you could be trying to manipulate the outcome, this could lead to less accurate responses and skew your responses.

These are just a couple of the reasons that people give for wanting to retake the assessment. What kind of reasons do you hear people want to retake the CliftonStrengths Assessment? How do you respond? Let’s discuss in the comments below. Want to become a strengths champion for others? Visit and please schedule your free Ask Brent Anything call, and Let’s Talk Strengths.

1 reply
  1. Kristen Sullivan
    Kristen Sullivan says:

    Hey Brent,

    So, I actually ended up taking the assessment twice prior to becoming a certified coach last year. My results for the two assessments were very very different. For example, in my 2nd results includer and harmony are in my bottom 30-34, but in the 1st assessment they’re in my top 10-15. It really feels like the results belong to two very different people. The assessments were only taken four years apart. As a newly certified coach I am also getting the question of “should I retake the assessment” quite a bit, but I’m not sure how to respond now that I see my two results are so drastically different. Thoughts?


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