Restorative™: Problem? No problem!

Does the thought of fixing something give you a shot of energy? Are you actually drawn to problems, breakdowns, and difficulties? If so, there is a good chance that the Restorative talent theme is in your top 5 CliftonStrengths®. Depending on your other talent themes and background, you may like to fix data errors, mechanical and other manufactured things, or even people! The Restorative talent brings energy and joy to those who have it, and people with Restorative are incredibly helpful to the rest of us. Just ask my mechanic!


I bet it is safe to say that while most people see problems as things to be avoided and unpleasant, you see a problem as an opportunity. You even love problems. “Problems” give you a jolt of energy and cause you to spring into action. You analyze, study, tinker, and snoop around in search of both cause and solution.

When I first started coaching, I often asked people with Restorative whether or not they enjoyed going to garage sales and finding things to repair and repurpose. I soon learned that was too narrow a view of Restorative. Depending on your other talents, values, and experiences you may enjoy restoring broken “things,” broken relationships and people, faulty information, or any combination of those things. That variety and diversity make this talent really powerful and multi-faceted as you seek to reclaim the glory that was lost.

Here are some words that may describe someone with strong Restorative:

  • Patient
  • Unflappable
  • Diagnoser
  • Fixer
  • Rehabilitator
  • Troubleshooter

You may want to avoid situations where the main purpose is to enhance what is currently working, since “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”! I would add, that if it ain’t broken, don’t break it just so you can have something to fix. It is also possible that brainstorming sessions and other more visionary activities may be frustrating for you. Not only because you are typically more interested in solving problems in the here and now, but also because you may be able to see the potential problems in ideas. That can really kill a brainstorming session and be frustrating to the dreamers so be careful in those situations to be in control of your restorative and what until the team gets to a more evaluative place. 

Look for roles and opportunities where you can focus on addressing present problems. Study different problem-solving models, find DIY resources and find ways to learn troubleshooting skills in areas that interest you. Surround yourself with other people with top-ranked Restorative talent and learn from one another.

Here’s my nomination for the Restorative theme song: “I Can Help” by Billy Swan

If you have the Restorative talent in your top-5 CliftonStrengths talent themes. Go ahead and leave a comment about what that talent looks like in you? What breakdowns catch your attention? How are you growing your talent?

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

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