People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.

What makes you stand out?[1]
Chances are good that you feel rather good about life when people answer your questions and keep you well informed about topics that affect you personally or professionally. You prefer to be bombarded with facts, data, or explanations. Receiving only bits and pieces of information is likely to raise your level of anxiety, suspicion, or frustration. You are apt to become upset when individuals forget or refuse to tell you something you think you have a right or a need to know. Instinctively, you prefer having quiet time to mull over ideas as well as read and examine interesting topics. Periods of uninterrupted thinking give you great pleasure. You probably excuse yourself from noisy, active, or distracting situations to thoroughly process your ideas. Because of your strengths, you yearn to increase your knowledge by being kept in the information loop. This explains why you gravitate to people who converse about ideas at a deeper and more thoughtful level than most individuals are capable of doing. “Making small talk”—that is, engaging in idle conversation—probably seems like a waste of time to you.

Driven by your talents, you earnestly direct your attention toward the ideas, issues, situations, or possibilities that stir your curiosity. In fact, you devote more time than most people do to exploring topics, problems, prospects, opportunities, or techniques that pique—that is, arouse or excite—your interest. When something has to be completed, you are eager to acquire the necessary knowledge or skills to meet the challenge.

By nature, you are comfortable offering suggestions to people who regularly seek your counsel—that is, recommendations about a decision or course of action they are considering. These individuals usually feel deep affection for you. You are likely to spend time together socializing as well as working or studying.

How can a person with Learner turn this talent into strength?[2]

  1. Teach Others
    Learners will naturally absorb new knowledge and pick up new skills to satisfy their intrinsic desires. However, for one to intentionally grow this talent into maturity, one of the key ways is to impart their learnings to others.

    “While we teach, we learn,” said the Roman philosopher, Seneca. It is reported through research that students who tutor others work harder to understand the material and apply it more effectively. Teaching others brings learning to an entirely new level of competency. Many students who teach others score higher on tests than students who are learning only for their own sake. Scientists call this “the protégé effect.” Learners who teach others are more likely to grow effectively and engage this talent productively for work.

  2. Set Integrated Goals
    For Learners, the goal of learning should be tied to a wider objective. For example, students can be coached to tie their natural goal of learning to the goal of achieving proficient grades in school assignments. After a pies of schoolwork has been graded and returned, Learners can be encouraged to seek out clear feedback on what they have done well and which areas of learning can be improved. This way, instead of seeing grades as separate from the learning process, the grades received will become more meaningful and useful to Learners as a reflection of their progress toward learning goals. Learners will thus be better able to connect their desire to learn with the aim of improving their grades in school.

    In the workplace, the goal of learning for an individual can be tied together with the goal of performing well for the team or organization. For different job tasks, Learners should identify areas where they are motivated to gain further knowledge and skill sets in order to increase their performance. Training courses and mentorship opportunities can be undertaken for the Learners to meet their need for continuous learning and improvement. At the same time, individuals and bosses can agree upon areas of evaluation and feedback that will review work performance as well as learning goals in an integrated way. The synergy between the work objectives and the learning goals is more likely to generate outcomes that will benefit both the individual and the wider team.

  3. Seek Complementary Partnerships
    Partner those with Focus

    People with Focus instinctively evaluate whether a particular action will help a person move toward his goal. Partnering those with Focus allows the Learners to clarify their learning goals and better direct their planned actions. This ensures their learning is focused and that it will move them toward their goals compared to learning in a haphazard manner. This is especially important in environments where lots of learning opportunities exist. The hunger to learn and absorb new knowledge can actually work against them if there is no clarity of learning goals. Directed learning or focused learning will increase the Learner’s effectiveness.

    Partner those with Individualization
    People with Individualization focus on the differences between individuals. They instinctively observe each person’s style, each person’s motivation, how each thinks, and how each builds relationships. Partnering those with Individualization empowers the Learner to understand the different ways people learn effectively so that approaches can be customized. This partnership can be especially helpful for teachers with the Learner theme. For managers with the Learner theme, leveraging the knowledge and keen observations of those with Individualization will provide greater understanding of the learning needs of different staff.

    Partner those with Connectedness
    People with Connectedness can intuitively make sense of how things are interlinked and related for a purpose. Partnering with Connectedness helps Learners to explore taking the knowledge and skill sets that they have to serve a wider group or community. Often, with the help of those with Connectedness, Learners are able to see more connections between themselves and others, and appreciate how the different learnings they have picked up can be instrumental and powerful to impact society. Through networking with others, Learners can be encouraged to impact their knowledge and skill sets to those who are hungry to learn more.

Concluding thoughts
People with the Learner theme contribute powerfully to any organization because of their desire to gain new knowledge and perspectives and their ability to take on new challenges. You can count on Learners to be the stabilizing core of any dynamic team because of their natural ability to quickly learn the ropes and carry out the necessary tasks effectively.

[1] StrengthsFinder 2.0 online assessment result, PDF
[2] Ref.: Strengths School (http://www.strengthsschool.com/)