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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 
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  • Writer's pictureChad T. Ahern

Strengths Positioning: Includer®

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

team huddle soccer goal celebration; when you go together you can all succeed.
To go fast go alone; to go far, go together. - African proverb.

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 Includer® talents, as identified via the CliftonStrengths assessment.

If you are a leader or a colleague of someone with these 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 Includer® talents.

Each person with Includer® 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®.

Scouting Report

Ensures that everyone contributes to the team success


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.

  • Connnector. Individuals with Individualization talents are keen to ensure everyone remains a contributing member of the team. On the soccer field, this might look like having everyone touch the ball before shooting on goal. In the working world, individuals with Includer talents might strive to ensure every one's voice is heard as a project moves toward completion. With their drive to ensure people's voices are heard, they may also possess a great ability to draw out others' thoughts and ideas.

  • Recruiter. Those with Individualization talents can also serve your team by finding new members. They likely keep their eyes open across your organization to find others who can make great contributors or contributions. If you lead someone with these talents, consider positioning them in roles where they have a chance to "cross pollinate" with other teams or business functions.


Ways in which people with this theme might "overplay" their talents.

  • Too many plays. Those with Includer talents may be great at getting everyone involved and contributing. They may also have a tendency to get too many people involved. On the soccer field, this would look like passing one more time in front of the goal instead of just taking the shot. In business, this might mean they go looking for one more sign-off before finishing out the project.

  • Too many players. In soccer, you're allowed 11 people per team. In the business world, each team or project will have an ideal number of contributors. Those with Includer talents may want to bring more players "on to the field" than is allow or ideal. These talented individuals may also feel compelled to bring someone into the fold just as the project is about to be brought to a successful conclusion; in doing so the project has to be recycled to bring the new person up-to-speed. If you lead someone like this, help them understand when it is and isn't ideal to bring new voices into a project.

Talent Combos / Position Modification

  • Positivity®: "The Optimistic Assister" - Those with Positivity talents bring an infectious sense of optimism to any situation. Those with Includer + Positivity combo talents are energized when they can imbue their entire team with a sense of optimism. Their contribution to the team is that they help "keep the faith" even as every obstacle is hurled at the team; particularly when the goal is so close.

  • Command®: "The Attacking Horde" - Those with Command talents relish take charge, and using their powers of persuasion for good. These rare individuals with this unique combination of Includer + Command talents are rarely (if ever) found alone driving projects forward. Their drive to achieve goals is only matched by their need to include everyone they can in the process. On the soccer field, this might show up in a forward/striker summoning or beckoning their defensive backs to join the attack on goal. If you lead someone like this in business, help them know which causes are most critical because they will help you bring plenty of people together to ensure your success.

Game Film

Check out these videos from Gallup to learn more

Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash.

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