Strengths Positioning: Communication®
Updated: May 17
Clarity of language and image brings focus and attention.
Leaders, and colleagues, need to position people on work project teams effectively and efficiently to ensure work gets done and people stay engaged. A lot of leaders often spend too much time trying to guess where to put people because they don't have a point of reference.
What follows is a "scouting report" for those with Communication® talents, as identified via the CliftonStrengths assessment.
If you are a leader or a colleague of someone with talents, consider how you can best position them in the context of your team and your projects. You can also use this as a discussion piece to find out how they see and use their Communication® talents.
Each person with Communication® talents operates differently. Make sure you're not missing out on their unique contribution.
Disclaimer: The following insights represent the author's opinions based on their understanding of the CliftonStrengths® themes. These are not statements created by or formally endorsed by Gallup®.
Position: Transitioner / Midfielder
Keeping the lines of communication open so that the team knows what's happening and can make shared decisions with the best information.
Ways in which this team member can make a direct and immediate impact. Use these insights to consider where you place them on the team or in an organization.
Story Creator: It's one thing to hear the team leader or the CEO layout the bullet points & stats of some new initiative. It's another to have it conveyed in a way that feels more like a story; one that evokes passion and excitement. Those with Communication talents can provide this critical bridge between info and energy. Just like a teammate might translate a coaches game plan into painting a verbal picture of how the winning goal at the World Cup will feel, the talented individuals help us understand what the story has been, and what it could be. Where can you use someone like this to convey your team's story?
Story Collector: These talented individuals can also be adept at understanding others' stories. They are adept at turning others' stories into useable knowledge your team can use to deepen customer relationships, improve your offerings, or better market & sell your products. How can you position such a individual to interact with your most important partners, teams you collaborate with, or your customers?
Story Teller: your organization likely has a deep history; a story worth telling. Provide these talented individuals with that knowledge, and they can bring the story of your team (or organization) to life at a whole new level for your customers and partners to feel in a tangible way. Let these talented individuals deepen your relationships with your closest partners.
Ways in which people with this theme might "overplay" their talents.
Oversharer: Einstein's quote about "keeping everything as simple as possible, but no simpler" is also appropriate when it comes to communicating ideas or plans. Yes, details and a good story can help enliven a team, but if you drown them in the details you'll never make a real progress. Help these talented individuals maintain a good balance of storytelling (with a plot that moves forward), and sharing just enough detail to provide an accurate picture. Just imagine a soccer player describing every pass his/her team will make, but failing to actually make the pass that moves the ball down-field; the opposing team will steal the ball in the time it takes to describe even the first pass.
The Rambler: "Practice makes perfect", and so it should be with the stories these individuals tell. Even with their keen sense of the written and spoken word, it can be easy for them to ramble on, excited by their power of language, and thus forget the actual message they want to share or portray. Help them practice the stories they will tell on behalf of the team or the organization.
Talent Combos / Position Modification
Woo: A Woo + Communication can manifest in two very different ways that each help the team:
"The Engaging Opponent": Ever see soccer players (or any sports figure) chatting up the other team before, or even during, a game? They seemingly chit-chat away, while the rest of us worry they are giving away our game plan. This is the power of those who possess this Woo + Communication talent duo. They can engage others quickly and potentially get others to divulge information that can help your team move forward.
"Game Plan Messenger": Coaches can't be on the field constantly to reinforce the game plan, remind players of their roles, or explain why they are coaching the way that they are. Instead, we can look to those talented with a Woo + Communication talent theme combo. These individuals can re-rally their teammates to the common cause & reinforce why the team is doing what it's doing; all in support of the "future story" they team wants to write for itself.
Deliberative: "The Thoughtful Speaker": This combo will likely demonstrate tendencies that reflect more of a "holding the line"/defensive contribution. These wonderful individuals are talented in their ability to share, but they will be cautious and judicious in what they share. They can be key to reminding the team of the most central and critical stories the team wishes to write for itself. Because of this, their words carry gravitas and should be heeded with respect.
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