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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.

  • Writer's pictureChad T. Ahern

How the 34 CliftonStrengths Themes Celebrate Thanksgiving

As we Americans gather tomorrow to celebrate Thanksgiving, we should all take a moment to give thanks for those in our lives. In particular, it's worth taking time to appreciate our differences and to realize that we all need each other; interestingly both are guiding principles within Strengths-based coaching & development.

To help you better appreciate those around you, here is a list of how you might see each of the 34 CliftonStrengths talent themes show up in tomorrow's festivities.

Achiever®...will ensure every dish is cooked and on the table by meal time. From roasting a turkey for several hours, to the dish that needs 45 secs. in the microwave. Dinner shall be served.

Activator®...will awake at 4am to start roasting the turkey, and begin make anything else they can think to have prepared for breakfast.

Adaptability®...will know how to modify recipes with the appropriate substitutes to ensure the dish is not lost.

Analytical®...will figure out how to set the table in such a way that everyone has access to each dish in a way that utilizes every square inch of space, on and off the dinner table.

Arranger®...knows which family member is best at cooking each dish and will assign preparation duties accordingly.

Belief®...will be the first to call the family to grace before dinner.

Command®...will take charge in the kitchen. When Grandma tells you "out", you leave. When she calls you to come help, don't think about refusing; it won't end well.

Communication®...will tell the grandest, most entertaining stories from the past year, or from Thanksgivings of old.

Competition®...will want you to love their pie better than anyone else's.

Connectedness®...will ensure that an extra turkey made its way to the local food shelf well before today. For it is in helping others that we help us all. We should all have the opportunity to gather around a table with a full meal.

Consistency®...knows how to rock the same dish perfectly, year-in and year-out.

Context®...can bring to life the story of how everyone came to this table; whether it be a collection of long-time friends & new acquaintances, or a family member who can share about how our family tree came to America.

Deliberative®...that quiet cousin, aunt, or uncle isn't avoiding the conversation, they are simply taking their time to identify the "golden nugget of truth" to share with those gathered.

Developer®...will be that relative patiently showing you how to make your favorite dish.

Discipline®...the rules of the table shall be followed; no debate.

Empathy®...upon greeting you at the door, will immediate know how you're doing and will be the first to offer a shoulder to lean on, or their biggest hug of joy.

Focus®...there is but one turkey and it shall have my full attention until it is cooked to perfection. After that, I shall only engage in one conversation at a time.

Futuristic®...will ponder how those gathered around the table this year will change in the years to come, and who will join us for future celebrations.

Harmony®...let's keep the focus on giving thanks, and not initiate conversations charged with emotion. Discussion of politics, religion, and money are non-starters.

Ideation®...will bring a dish based loosely based on a new recipe they found and then modified based on their own ideas.

Includer®...there is no kids table; everyone shall eat together and no one shall be left off the invite list.

Individualization®...each plate is personalized before serving; from what's on the plate to the relative proportion each food shows up on the plate.

Input®...will want to collect the recipe of each dish served, and will remember most, if not all, the stories shared.

Intellection®...forget the football game, this family member will be staring out a window with a cup of tea thinking about all the ideas and conversations shared around the table.

Learner®...before, during and after the meal, they will ask more questions of others than they will personally answer.

Maximizer®...the apple/pumpkin/raspberry pies shall be baked to perfection.

Positivity®...we encourage us all that we have more to be thankful for than we can possibly imagine.

Relator®...your Thanksgiving celebration may be smaller than most, but those you've gathered around your table mean more to you than anyone else.

Responsibility®...if they promised to bring three side dishes, you can be assured at least those three items will arrive for your meal.

Restorative™...will know how to rescue a turkey that didn't quite cook right; whether it be the perfect gravy, or a way to season the bird after the fact.

Self-Assurance®...are confident in their ability to cook each dish they plan to offer. Do not plan to challenge their approach or their meal plan.

Significance®...will light up on the inside seeing everyone enjoy and celebrate the meal they just cooked.

Strategic®...has considered every possible way to get everything cooked in time for the Thanksgiving meal, and thus has identified the best way to achieve the feat.

Woo®​...there is not a Thanksgiving table big enough to welcome everyone you want to bring to your celebration..

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours.

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