The Sideline Blog

Just as sports players come to the sideline for rest and guidance, this blog is meant to provide you some insight and guidance as you explore your Strengths journey.

Gallup®, CliftonStrengths®, and the 34 theme names of CliftonStrengths® are 
trademarks of Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.

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  • Chad T. Ahern

Dogs and Human Diversity



I love dogs. Personally, I'm more of a medium-to-big dog type, but I respect that everyone has their own preferences.


Dogs happen to be one of the most (if not THE most) diverse single species on the plant. There are over 400 different "pure bred" breeds; each bred for a specific purpose or look. Each with different skills, knowledge, and abilities. You rarely see a Shih Tzu out running marathons with its owner, or a Mastiff successfully running down small game. When it comes to dogs, we take all of these differences in stride.


Yet we frequently underestimate the diversity of our human population; particularly when it comes to our work environments.


Diversity of Talents


Based on 50 years of research, Gallup Inc. has identified 34 distinct talent themes. Each of these themes encompassing hundreds of specific, innate, naturally occurring ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. All of us have all 34 themes in varying degrees, and none of them are more important than any other.


What's intriguing is that if we focus just on the top five themes for each individual, the likelihood that encounter another person (working or not) that has the same top 5 is 1 in 278,000. The chances that you encounter someone with the same top 5 is the SAME order is 1 in 33 MILLION. How is that for diversity?


So often work teams focus on thinking, or even making, everyone should be the same; like a team of Alaskan Malamutes. And yet, our world is not as straightforward as the Iditarod. We constantly need diverse approaches. We need people who can ferret out the next great idea like a Terrier. We need people who, like Boxers, can corral big dreams and personalities. We need people who, like Foxhounds, meticulously analyze the past for clues on our future.


So...do you see yourself visualizing Malamutes, or recognizing the specialness of each finalist at the final round of the Westminster Dog Show?


Photo by Hannah Lim on Unsplash

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