Ah… the excitement and hope starting off a new year. Something about the freshness, newness, the clean slate, the opportunity to do something different. All these feelings are common motivators that people with the Activator talent feel every time they start something new. The anticipation of launching, exploring, innovating something unique and useful thrusts these people into action.
Activators may have a short attention span for long meetings. When they get the feel and flavor of a direction or goal they want to spin talk into action and ideas into intentionality. No failure to launch here. They will innovate, initiate, and ignite the next big thing that resonates with them with fearless enthusiasm.
Though great out of the blocks, some activators are known to have an aversion to finishing all the things they start. Once things get routine or mundane they are off to start something new and more engaging. They can overwhelm Achiever and Responsibility with their plethora of...
The December holidays just may be the most wonderful time of the year for people with the Positivity talent. They have a mission to bring joy to the world by making more than holidays happy. If you have a coworker or neighbor who is rocking blinking holiday jewelry or a Santa hat, or has decorated their truck with reindeer antlers and a red nose or their cubicle with colorful lights and garland, you may know someone with Positivity.
People with the Positivity talent unselfishly share their genuine joy of the season with others. They brilliantly create and build a dynamic environment of contagious enthusiasm. From sing-alongs to ugly sweater contests, they celebrate people and successes, encouraging higher engagement and productivity.
Their optimistic attitude is on year-round. I once worked with a poster child for Positivity whom I will refer to as Stacy. Her upbeat attitude was attractive and infectious. When she walked into a room the mood lightened and energy scaled upward. This...
Certain pairs of talents naturally conflict with one another. These “Talent Colliders” can create quite a tension when they show up in two different people. Let’s focus on a pair of talents that can collide with one another during the holidays: Harmony and Competition.
Those with Harmony look for ways to advance positive and cooperative interpersonal relationships. Compromise and consensus are tools Harmony employs to create environments of social acceptance and emotional alignment. They typically don’t enjoy conflict and if they do engage in it they will usually be the peacekeeper. One family member with Harmony loves to play games at holiday gatherings but that enjoyment is often ruined for her by a brother-in-law with Competition who loves to “smack talk” during any type of game.
Competition is in it to win it. It drives others to experience the exuberance of the win or to avoid the agony of defeat. They constantly measure...
During my childhood, my grandmother kept a rock tumbler in the basement. It was a noisy device that transformed rough stones to smooth gem-like treasures by tumbling loudly in the machine’s barrel day and night for weeks on end. If you’ve never heard one, imagine what it sounds like when there’s loose change in the dryer.
People who have the Intellection talent often say that they have constant voices in their head. Internal dialogue is never ending, and they typically need time alone to just think. The thoughts that tumble in their brains like rocks in a rock tumbler for days and weeks on end often lead to amazing gems of superior decision making and profound clarity. Tim, a fellow CoreClarity trainer is sometimes amazed at the jewels that come from his Intellection talent, when given time to process those thoughts and not pushed for a quick decision. “I’ve gone back and read some of the things I’ve written down, and I’m sometimes in...
Studies from the 1960’s first suggested the theory of Left Brain versus Right Brain functions. People whose thinking is more logical, mathematical and/or linear were said to be dominated by the left side of the brain. More emotional, artistic and/or holistic thinkers were said to be right-brained. Though recent advances in neuroscience suggest that the hemispheres of our brains do not operate as independently as first theorized, the references will provide a working context as we look at three talents that have more of a right brain feel in how they show up: Ideation, Futuristic, and Connectedness.
It is not uncommon for people with these three talents to show some form of artistic expression and creativity through music, painting, writing and/or quirky expressions of humor. These Reflect talents naturally think outside the box for new forms of expression and innovations.
Those with the Ideation talent constantly gush creative perspectives. The challenge is they can...
In CoreClarity, we talk about the fault lines in our thinking. Like a fault line in the earth, it can lead to disruption and instability in our relationships with others -- especially when we are unaware of their presence. Today we will look at the top fault line through the lens of a talent theme that can be susceptible to those shifts and “tremors.”
The first fault line is one everyone should know well: We think everyone thinks the same way we do. As we get older, we realize that what we refer to as common sense is not so common. Perhaps you have modified that idea to everyone should think the same way I do.
I was walking a young woman named Beth through her Top 5. One of them was Consistency. “Beth, when it comes to administrative protocols, have you ever noticed how some people think there should be exceptions to the rules?”
She immediately got fired up and raved, “Oh my gosh! Yes! It is so unbelievable how many people think they are the...
“It ain’t easy being green!” This quote from Kermit the frog also resonates with many people who have talents in the Reflect or Green quadrant in the CoreClarity key. Over one third of the 34 talents reside here -- talents that do so much intellectual pondering, processing, and problem solving.
Three Reflect talents frequently tapped for problem solving are Strategic, Arranger, and Analytical. In order to better understand the dynamics and the differences between these three talents, imagine all three trying to solve a challenging maze.
Strategics start with the end in mind and then work their way back to find the best path for success. They would want to get 1000 feet above the maze so they could see where the exit is located. They would then find the shortest route from there all the way back to the start. Any routes that were longer or led to dead ends would be dismissed as they have identified an express lane to success.
The Arranger wants to...
“If I do that, I will lose my job!”
“Brian, I’ve talked this through with Jeff and he’s in full support.”
Brian’s boss, Jeff, had been concerned about Brian’s personal health from overcommitting and constantly taking on more than his share of the workload. Jeff and I came up with a plan – Brian could not say yes to any new requests or obligations for a week.
“I have people counting on me every day. Saying no to them will slow things down a lot around here. Plus, I will be letting them down!” Brian protested.
“Then work into saying no. If someone comes to you with a request you are not already committed to, just tell them you can’t help them at this moment but to come back at the end of the week.”
“I guess if Jeff is good with this I will try. But it’s not going to be easy.”
People with Responsibility are great at getting things done. Not unlike Achievers, people with...
The two questions I am most frequently asked about the CliftonStrengths are usually asked at the same time:
One: Do your talents change over time?
Two: If I took the assessment again would I get the same results?
I first took the assessment in 2004 and then took it again in 2009. Three talents “changed” in the second result. In particular, Relator had replaced my Command talent & my core drill went from being a Force of Nature to a LifeLine. In 2009, I was in more of a support role. Though I was good at it, I was often frustrated that I was not doing more to influence and lead others.
Later that year, I went through the CoreClarity facilitator training. My trainer, Candace Fitzpatrick, confirmed that Command was definitely in my Top 5. As we discussed it further, the dissonance in my current role and my talent usage made total sense. My current role had been playing to a couple of talents in my next tier while ignoring others in my Top 5.
This is a personal example...
Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird? It’s a plane? It’s Superman! Just like an unidentified flying object, some talents can look like one another. Keith specializes in fixing team conflict, Jenifer teaches English as a second language, while Justin runs a clinic to help athletes excel to higher standards of performance. They all help people to improve but use very different approaches and motivations. Take Restorative, Developer, and Maximizer. These three talents can look similar from a distance but have very distinct differences up close and over time.
People with Restorative, an Energize talent, are motivated by fixing what is broken. A Restorative with several connect talents often focuses their efforts on fixing people. Whether dealing with people problems on an interpersonal plane or righting wrongs of social injustice, they may push for relational repair or renewal that moves institutions from broken to functional. They move people from a scale of negativity to...