Like a diver after pearls, I search for strengths, watching for the telltale signs of a strength. A glimpse of untutored excellence, rapid learning, a skill mastered without recourse to steps—all these are clues that a strength may be in play. And having found a strength, I feel compelled to nurture it, refine it, and stretch it toward excellence. I polish the pearl until it shines. This natural
sorting of strengths means that others see me as discriminating. I choose to spend time with people who appreciate my particular strengths. Likewise, I am attracted to others who seem to have found and cultivated their own strengths. I tend to avoid those who want to fix me and make me well rounded. I don’t want to spend your life bemoaning what I lack. Rather, I capitalize on the gifts with which I am blessed. It’s more fun, productive, and, counterintuitively, more demanding.
Once the initial connection has been made, I deliberately encourage a deepening of the
relationship. I want to understand their feelings, their goals, their fears, and their dreams. I know that this kind of closeness implies a certain amount of risk as I may be taken advantage of—but I am willing to accept that risk.
For me, a relationship has value only if it is genuine. And the only way to know that is to entrust myself to the other person. The more we share with each other, the more we risk together.
The more we risk together, the more each of us proves our caring is genuine. These are my steps toward real friendship, and I take them willingly.
I can sense the emotions of those around me. I can feel what they are feeling as though their feelings are my own. Intuitively, I am able to see the world through their eyes and share their perspective. I do not necessarily agree with each person’s perspective. I do not necessarily feel pity for each person’s predicament—this would be sympathy, not Empathy. I do not necessarily condone the choices each person makes, but I do understand. This instinctive ability to understand is powerful.
I hear the unvoiced questions. I anticipate the need. Where others grapple for words, I am able to find the right words and the right tone. I help people find the right phrases to express their feelings—to themselves as well as to others. I help them give voice to their emotional life. For all these reasons people are drawn to me.
Things happen for a reason. I am sure of it. I am sure of it because in your soul I know that we are all connected. Yes, we are individuals, responsible for our own judgments and in possession of our own free will, but nonetheless we are part of something larger. Some may call it the collective unconscious. Others may label it spirit or life force. But whatever your word of choice, I gain confidence from knowing that we are not isolated from one another or from the earth and the life on it. This feeling of Connectedness implies certain responsibilities. If we are all part of a larger picture, then we must not harm others because we will be harming ourselves. We must not exploit because we will be exploiting ourselves.
My awareness of these responsibilities creates my value system. I am considerate, caring, and accepting. Certain of the unity of humankind, I am a bridge builder for people of different cultures. Sensitive to the invisible hand, I can give others comfort that there is a purpose beyond our humdrum lives. The exact articles of myfaith will depend on your upbringing and my culture, but my faith is strong. It sustains my and my close friends in the face of life’s mysteries.
The Strategic theme enables me to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large. This perspective allows me to see patterns where others simply see complexity. Mindful of these patterns, I play out alternative scenarios, always asking, “What if this happened? Okay, well what if this happened?”
This recurring question helps me see around the next corner. There I can evaluate accurately the potential obstacles.
Guided by where I see each path leading, you start to make selections.
I discard the paths that lead nowhere. I discard the paths that lead straight into resistance. I discard the paths that lead into a fog of confusion. I cull and make selections until I arrive at the chosen path—my strategy.
Armed with my strategy, I move forward. This is my Strategic theme at work: “What if?” Select. Take Action.
The Clifton Strengths List.
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The Numbers Don’t Lie
Because of my unique strengths, I am able to help even the most challenging situations. You may think there is no way to solve what you’re dealing with… but my strengths give me the unique perspective to find multiple paths to a solution for you… without sacrificing yourself. Most of my clients retain me after working with me on their relationship as their personal life coach and trusted advisor, some have been with me for over two decades. That speaks for itself.