Understanding Your Talents, Understanding yourself

Brene Brown noted that life is better when we assume that everyone is doing his or her best. Taking that idea a little further and applying it to the world of CliftonStrengths®, I would suggest that everyone is not just doing the best they can, they are also doing exactly what they are designed to do – which is to say they are living out of their top talent themes. The trick is that we are all a unique blend of “design and dysfunction.”

So, why are you behaving the way you behave? Why do you do the things you do? Simply put, you are doing what you are designed to do. If you don’t know and are curious about your design, the CliftonStrengths assessment may be the best resource for discovering what you were made to do. (I am not affiliated with Gallup®, nor do I receive any remuneration from them.)

That said, there is much more to your design than your top 5-10 talents. Those are the talents you are most likely to use most of the time. Your talents are always working together and influencing one another. So to really dig deep into your design, take some time to think about how your talents influence one another. That idea is the basis of CoreClarity® and the reason I refer to CoreClarity as CliftonStrengths on steroids. CoreClarity is the single best resource for understanding the interaction of talents. (I do not receive remuneration from or paid to endorse CoreClarity)

When I work with my clients I encourage them to combine their talents together. A simple way to do this is to use one talent as an adjective or adverb for the other. 

For example, one client has these top 5 talents: Empathy®, Strategic®, Connectedness®, Communication®, Belief®

What does Strategic Empathy look like? What about Empathetic Strategy? How does Empathy influence Belief, Connectedness, or Strategic? 

Also, Belief is an intensifying talent and can greatly influence the way you experience your other talents. I always encourage my clients with Belief in their top 5 talents to ask themselves how their beliefs, or rules, influence the other talents. In the case of the client above, I encouraged my client to explore beliefs, or even rules held about Strategic, Empathy, Communication, etc.

Interestingly, sometimes our top 5 talents conflict with each other or combine with each other and look like a different talent. In this case, the Connectedness and Belief talents may be in conflict and therefore be a source of internal strife or cognitive dissonance. Belief often shows up with rules about how things “should” be done. On the other hand, Connectedness has more of a “go with the flow” approach to life because there is no one right way to do something. 

In the case of talents combining, Strategic and Communication, which I suppose you could call strategic communication can look like the Command® talent. So, this client sort of has 6 talents in the top 5! 

As you can imagine, there is so much more to say about this topic. Not only do talents work together, the talent categories influence one another and create a whole new style profile.

So, be curious about how your talents are influencing one another. Turn them into adjectives and adverbs for one another. 

I’d love to get your thoughts on your experience with your talents. Of course, if this topic is interesting to you or you have more questions about your design and your talents, go ahead and sign up for a free 30-minute coaching call.

“CliftonStrengths” and the 34 CliftonStrengths theme names are registered trademarks of Gallup, Inc.

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