Focus® Theme (CliftonStrengths®, formerly StrengthsFinder®)

Significance® 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 Focus® Strength

Some people love taking road trips with no particular destination in mind. Detours, frequent stops, and other distractions are all enjoyable parts of the process. Not you, though. As someone strong in the Focus® theme, you’ve got an end goal in sight and you’re on a mission to get there. This concentrated approach ensures you’ll help everyone stay on the right path; if your teammates start to stray, you’ll get them back on track. Obstacles in the way of your end goal annoy you, so you’ll do your best to avoid them.

Action Items for the Focus® Strength

Choose the right job. You’re most effective when you have time and energy to concentrate on one singular project. Careers that require a lot of starting and stopping or jumping between hundreds of tasks at once will quickly wear you down. Look for a job that allows you to work independently and a manager who will allow you to function without micromanaging.

Pick the right partners. Because you’re so focused on your goal, it can be easy to overlook the feelings of your colleagues or clients. Partner with someone strong in the Empathy® theme. With their ability to put themselves in others’ shoes, they can help make sure your work gets done without inadvertently alienating coworkers.

Take action in meetings. Few things bug you more than a meeting with no purpose or constant derailments. Sometimes those types of meetings will still happen, so it’s up to you to get the team focused. When a meeting ends, summarize the key points, the action items for each team member, and the deadlines for the team to achieve their goals.

Set goals in your personal life. Feel like you’re drowning in work? This could be adversely affecting your personal life, too. Keep a list of things that you can do outside of the office, like exercising, volunteering, or finishing that book. Doing so will help you reach a better balance between your work and personal worlds.

How to Manage Someone with the Focus® Strength

Have you ever called someone’s name multiple times and they didn’t respond? You even got right up next to them, your voice getting louder with each attempt, but still nothing? They just might be strong in the Focus® talent. Focus® has an innate ability to hone in on a project, minimizing distractions in order to get the work done. They especially thrive when there’s a clear goal on the horizon. Try these three tactics if you’re managing someone with a robust Focus® theme:

Give them room to breathe. Trust Focus® to get his work done well and on time. Constantly messaging him for updates – or even worse, “popping in” for a chat – will only interrupt and frustrate them. Give them autonomy and they’ll exceed expectations.

Call on them for goal-planning. Focus® is adept at setting and meeting their own deadlines. Empower them and they’ll boost up the entire team, too. If you’re struggling to set goals for a particular team member, ask for extra input. Focus® can help their colleague see what’s most important.

Limit the number of projects you give them. When Focus® has to multitask, their overall quality of work suffers. For optimal results, keep them working on one or two big projects with clear, actionable goals and set deadlines.

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