Communication®: Once Upon a Time…

Do you enjoy telling stories? Do you find yourself being able to come up with the “right word” when others are at a loss for words? Are you among the minority of people less afraid of public speaking than death? There is a good chance that you have the Communication talent theme in your top 5 CliftonStrengths®. Read on to learn more about this important talent…   


Full disclosure: Communication is one of my top 5 talents, I am a professor of communication, and not surprisingly I am fascinated by the topic of communication. It is a rich and diverse process. So essential is it to life that communication scholar Walter Fisher suggested that rather than being called homo sapiens, mankind is better defined as homo narrans (human storytellers). But this post is about the Communication talent theme, not communication. Moving on…

The Communication talent is an outward facing talent that is used to connect with other people. People with Communication in their top 5 often find that they can find just the right word in any occasion. They are able to create stories and metaphors that make diverse and complex ideas more readily understood. Keep in mind that communication takes many forms and is not limited to speaking. 

People with the Communication talent in their top 5 connect with other people by telling stories that touch their hearts and minds. The ability to find the right word for someone creates a strong and often empathetic bond. This is a way that relationships are built and enhanced.

It is important to remember that the word communication comes from the latin root word “communis,” which means to hold in common. It is also the source of words such as commune, common, communism, and communal. So, to hold things in common it is helpful to stop “communicating” and listen. Yes, people with a high ranking communication talent are prone to talking too much. Talents such as Woo®, Input®, Connectedness®, and Context® can intensify the Communication talent and make it all too easy to dominate a conversation or bloviate. Listening is as much a part of the communication process as speaking.

If you have Communication in your top 5, what are you doing to become a better listener? What opportunities are you taking to grow that talent, use it more, and turn it into a true strength? Take some time this week to gain knowledge or learn skills related to the communication process. 

If you have this talent in your top 5, please leave a comment about how you see this talent show up in your life.

CliftonStrengths” and the 34 CliftonStrengths theme names are registered trademarks of Gallup, Inc. The graphic elements copyright © CoreClarity, Inc.

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