Trembling with glee, my LearnerⓇ husband showed this image to me. He was excited on multiple counts because:

some men just want to watch the world learn

  • He recognized the LearnerⓇ strength in action! It is human nature to be drawn to people that are like us, but this often occurs subconsciously. To consciously behold someone exercise a talent that you share can be exhilarating. Especially for a LearnerⓇ, witnessing someone else maximize their LearnerⓇ is a golden…well… learning opportunity.
  • He learned new ways to connect to his role models. When paired with other relationship building talents, learners can be extra motivated to learn about people they care about.
  • He shared this golden learning opportunity with me. Learners love the process of learning so much that many of them are great teachers because they want to share their joy with others.


One important note to make here is that more joy was attained from the development and sharing of knowledge than the actual securing of knowledge. For instance, have you ever watched a cooking show when you had no intent of completing the recipe? It’s the same thing! The process of learning the recipe can be more exciting than executing the recipe. Consequently, LeanerⓇ is in the Strategic ThinkingⓇ domain that specializes in planning and fostering ideas. It is not in the ExecutingⓇ domain that focuses on completing tasks.


That’s not to say that Learners can not accomplish great feats. In fact, each man in this image has done just that. LearnerⓇ, as a strength, can motivate people to engage themselves and others in the process of learning. Reading some of these role model’s most famous quotes illustrates the power of this learning value to motivate and change lives.


“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”- Carl Sagan


Learners are inspired by “the new” and “the unknown.” Some of the 34 CliftonStrengthsⓇ themes are averse to change or risk, but learners look forward to deciphering challenges. Whether it is by developing a new skill on the job or exploring space, learners enjoy seeking out new opportunities to learn.


“There is no greater education than one that is self-driven.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson


This is so true for learners. Clifton StrengthsFinder novices may jump to the assumption that learners are always at the top of the class, but that is not necessarily the case. It depends on what talents are paired with Learner. On one hand, I’ve worked with many LearnerⓇ + AchieverⓇ (Learn more about AchieverⓇ in our Michelle Obama post linked here.) pairs that were valedictorians, which is a very common pairing.

On the other hand, I have met many Leaners that dropped out of school. Why? They value education so much that they would rather dedicate time learning about the things they care about on their own than to play the “game of school” with mandates, deadlines, and expectations. For a LearnerⓇ that loves unencumbered, limitless learning processes, assigned readings and structured examinations can be a major turn-off and can actually discourage a LearnerⓇ. In fact, the structure of the American public education system is just like this, and can unintentionally coerce Leaners into the basement.

Learners are inspired to pursue leaning on their own, with or without structure, with or without grades, and with or without outcomes. Thus, it is critical to create flexible, open space for self-driven education for anyone with this talent. In fact, that is what the LearnerⓇ balcony looks like. From internships to co-curricular service-learning, learners work best when they are encouraged to be in the moment and experiment with new ideas. In the famous words of another LearnerⓇ, Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus series, learners work best when they can “take chances, make mistakes, get messy.”


“Talent is a pursued interest. Anything that you’re willing to practice, you can do.” ― Bob Ross


“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning.” – Mr. Rogers


Hands-on education works best for learners. From painting happy clouds to roleplaying with puppets, the continuous act of putting lessons into action is the most complete way of engaging the learning process, especially  when compared to lectures or reading. Because, again, it is not about the lesson; it is about the process of understanding the lesson.


“The more you find out about the world, the more opportunities there are to laugh at it.” – Bill Nye


Learners can easily pull different ideas into conversation in their own minds. Many learners can use this trait to discern whether information is truthful or not in a way that benefits them in every aspect of their lives. When this trait is highly practiced, like with Bill Nye, it can inspire you to share these cerebral conversations with others and find humor in them. Afterall, many of his televised science lessons are still remembered by fans because of their ability to make people laugh.


If you are a LearnerⓇ, do you share any of these traits with these great role models? If so, please share!


Clifton StrengthsFinder® is a registered trademark of Gallup, Inc. The non-Gallup information you are receiving has not been approved and is not sanctioned or endorsed by Gallup® in any way. Opinions, views, and interpretations of Clifton StrengthsFinder® are solely the beliefs of Stronger Not Harder.