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 Futuristic® Strength
Dream on, dreamer. You’re a big thinker, always imagining future possibilities. You consider yourself to be a creative visionary, and you’re on a mission to lead your company forward. You have little patience for coworkers or managers who are reluctant to embrace change and for workplace environments that are stuck in the past. At times, your passion for progress can alienate people, especially when you brush aside institutional learnings or rush forward without a well-conceived plan.
Action Items for the Futuristic® Strength
Choose the right job. You need space to dream big and bristle at micromanagement. Choose companies that are open to taking risks, whether that’s a fast-moving startup or an established firm looking to shake things up with a bold new direction. Watch out for companies where constant fire drills dictate the daily agenda: there’s limited room for your dreams in a reactionary environment.
Pick the right partner. Impractical dreamer or visionary leader? If you want others to consider you a leader, you’ll need help turning your ideas into reality. Partner with a coworker who has a strong Activator® theme. She’ll keep you from rushing forward without a plan and bring you back to reality when your head gets stuck in the clouds.
Keep track of your ideas. Inspiration can strike at any moment but that doesn’t mean your manager wants to hear about it. Use a journal or smartphone app to keep a running list of your ideas that you can reference again when the time is right.
Don’t overlook the details. Your coworkers are not mind readers: help them understand your vision by filling in the smaller details. If you’re going to convince the team to get on board with your ideas, you need to walk them through each piece of information. That’s how you make your visions truly come alive.
How to Manage Someone with the Futuristic® Strength
“What if…” That’s your Futurist® at it again, painting a bold picture of what’s possible and energizing the entire team with his vision. Of course, these big dreams can also be draining when you just need someone to execute a simple task on time, rather than imagining myriad alternatives. To keep your Futurist® engaged and effectively leverage their talents, try the following:
Help them be more effective. Give your Futurist® space to dream– and then help them build the skills they need to bring their visions to life. Encourage them to log their ideas in a journal and ask them to present one idea during your check-in meetings. The act of thinking through how the idea will come to life – along with an assessment of potential risks – will sharpen their critical thinking. Sharing ideas during a designated time will keep them from interrupting you during the workday and still show you care about their visions.
Help them push the team forward. When your team is stuck playing small, bring in your Futurist® to shake things up. Just be prepared for fallout: their big ideas could alienate coworkers who feel your Futurist® is disrespecting institutional precedent or is all talk and no action. Pair them with an Activator® to turn those big ideas into a plan.
Help them stay engaged. Your Futurist® loves to imagine what will be and thrives as part of a planning committee grappling with big changes. Their excitement over future possibilities can help other employees get on board with changes.
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 www.gallupstrengthscenter.com.