Deliberative® Theme (CliftonStrengths®, formerly StrengthsFinder®)

Deliberative® Theme CliftonStrengths® StrengthsFinder®
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Gallup CliftonStrengths® is an assessment of personality, rooted in the theory of positive psychology. Research indicates that people who know and use their strengths every day are more likely to experience positive emotions (energy, happiness, respect) and less likely to experience negative emotions (stress, worry, anger, sadness). The assessment identifies an individual’s top five “Signature Themes” from a list of 34 common talents. Individuals can then develop those talents into strengths, and apply those strengths in all areas of their life.

Overview of the Deliberative® Strength

If “Devil’s Advocate” were a video game, you’d play it on repeat. You’re not intentionally trying to be stubborn or difficult; you just like considering all the options and potential risks before making a decision. Some people might perceive you to be quiet or shy, but that’s simply a result of taking your time in building relationships, both in and out of the office. Ultimately, you know your thorough approach will lead you to the right choices.  

Action Items for the Deliberative® Strength

Choose the right job. An office environment that always feels rushed won’t set you up for success. The right company will understand that sometimes decisions take time and will appreciate your thoughtful approach to both short- and long-term strategies. Look for a role that values the big picture and allows you to consider the risks, rewards, and everything in between.

Pick the right partners. Sometimes, people may view you as hesitant or slow to respond. They may even forget you’re in the room. To combat this, partner with someone strong in the Activator® or Command® theme. As a duo, you’ll make plenty of well-thought-out, practical decisions.

Explain your thinking. Few things bring you down more than having to clean up after a hasty decision. When presenting to a manager or during a team meeting, treat the situation like an elementary school math test and show your work. You’re highlighting risks to try and minimize them, not to put others down. Help your team understand why you’re choosing a particular path.

Offer advice to others. Initially, you may be seen as slow to respond, even though you’re a valuable source for advice. Be an active audience and seek out those who appear to be struggling with a decision. They’ll appreciate bouncing ideas off you and your ability to help them consider things from a fresh perspective.

How to Manage Someone with the Deliberative® Strength

Quick decisions and Deliberative® go together like peanut butter and spaghetti: in other words, they don’t. You may find someone with a strong Deliberative® theme to be quiet, and other teammates may even perceive them as timid or unwilling to participate. Far from it, though; they’re simply taking everything in and making their own calculated conclusions. They have excellent ideas; they just need longer to present them. To keep your Deliberative® Employee engaged and leverage their talents, try the following:

Don’t rush them. “I need you to do this and I need it done by five minutes ago!” Ever uttered something similar? Don’t do it around Deliberative®. Nothing zaps their energy more quickly than having to zoom through a project without getting to think about it first. Give them the time they need and they’ll thrive.

Don’t overshare. Deliberative® people often have a small, close-knit group of friends. They’ve curated these relationships over a long period, observing people’s words and behavior. As a result, they’re likely to be more guarded with their personal life. Avoid divulging too many personal details so they don’t feel like they’re in an awkward position where they have to share.

Seek his counsel on complex issues. Particularly in areas with higher regulations and compliance needs (such as law, health care, or financial industries), your company needs to be buttoned up in its operations. Your Deliberative® employee is a valuable resource for identifying previously unforeseen pitfalls. Bounce ideas off of them and give them the opportunity to share their input, as well.

Gallup®, Clifton StrengthsFinder®, StrengthsFinder®, CliftonStrengths® and each of the 34 CliftonStrengths® theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc. For more information, or to take the CliftonStrengths® assessment, visit