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 Strategic Strength
When others see complexity and chaos, you see patterns and opportunity. When roadblocks threaten to derail plans, you quickly identify alternate pathways to success. You play through different scenarios in your mind, visualizing repercussions through a long chain of events and picking the most effective path to reach your goal. Your life can be summed into three words: evaluate, determine, strike.
Action Items for the Strategic Strength
Choose the right job. You have little patience for inefficient or indecisive people. You need to be at the center of the decision-making process and struggle when your input is ignored. Avoid bureaucracy and organizations mired in red tape where you’re stuck executing tasks and maintaining an ineffectual status quo.
Pick the right partners. When you anticipate, an Arranger is ready for action. Together, you form a powerful, unstoppable partnership, identifying the best path forward and then putting a plan into action.
Strengthen your communication skills. Not everyone has your ability to foresee future outcomes. Consequently, coworkers may struggle to understand why you’re so committed to a particular decision or pathway, mistaking your strategic mindset for obstinance. The better you are at communication, the easier it will be to persuade others that your way is the right way for capitalizing on opportunities or sidestepping disaster.
Share your decision-making process. Let’s face it: few people can move as decisively, effectively and quickly as you can. Because of this, coworkers who require more time to reflect and ponder options may become frustrated by your fast action. Share your thought process with them. They’ll gain new insight into your strategic thinking and feel confident that when you make a decision quickly, it’s coming from a place of careful reasoning rather than impulsiveness.
How to Manage Someone with the Strategic Strength
When you need to make a decision but the team is stuck, Strategic is your ace-in-the-hole. Your Strategic employee brings order to information chaos, identifying the most effective pathway forward that avoids obstacles and brings you straight to your end objective. Strategic is not a skill that can be taught. It’s a distinct way of viewing the world– and your Strategic employee can be a tremendous asset for breaking decision-making gridlock. Just make sure Strategic has access to all the information they need to make a strong decision.
Involve Strategic in the planning process. Strategic loves being asked, “If we did this, what would happen?” and “We’re thinking about this option– have we missed anything down the line that will impact it?” Bring Strategic onboard anytime you’re struggling to anticipate the downstream impact of an action or want to avoid buyer’s remorse.
Help Strategic improve their communication skills. Obstinate, stubborn, headstrong: these are words employees may use to describe a Strategic coworker who can’t explain their decisions. It’s not enough for your Strategic employee to simply announce the way forward. They need to learn how to drive group consensus by succinctly explaining their reasoning and helping others feel ownership in the process.
Limit red tape and inefficiency. While it’s tempting to promote your Strategic employee due to their critical decision-making skills, be sure you won’t be setting them up for failure. Strategic can struggle in environments mired in bureaucracy. Keep them in a position to exploit opportunities and protect the company against unforeseen problems, rather than spending their days justifying plans to the C-suite.
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.