Chad T. Ahern
Strengths Positioning: Individualization®
Updated: Sep 22, 2021
Seeing & engaging each team member's unique contribution.
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 Individualization® 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 Individualization® talents.
Each person with Individualization® 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: Finisher / Forward
Finds and gives voice to the unique qualities of others so unique solutions can be achieved.
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.
Personalized delivery. In soccer, every scorer likes to be set up differently. Some love the flashy crossing pass for the header (see Abby Wambach); others like a simple ground pass for a no-nonsense, low & away shot (see Marcus Greenwood). In business, these talented individuals instinctively recognize the uniqueness of their fellow team members, and know how to best set them up to achieve success. If you're a leader looking to best position these individuals consider placing them in roles where they are tasked to facilitate collaborations and/or foster others' successes.
Highlighter. Those with Individualization talents are keen to recognize the special talents of others. This can make them great people to look to if you want finally "give voice" to the unique talents within your team. (Too many teams never take the opportunity to define out loud the "specialness" of each team member.). This ability can make them great contributors if you're looking to level-up your recognition program.
Ways in which people with this theme might "overplay" their talents.
Rule bender or breaker. Those with Individualization talents may want to bend or break the rules because they feel that each person needs to be treated as "one-of-a-kind." In most instances this might be fine, but there may also be times when rules need to be applied more broadly. If you're a leader, help these talented individuals clearly understand the spectrum of which rules or procedures are truly open to flexing and which ones must be applied universally for the benefit of all (e.g. employment law).
Searching for Mr./Ms./Mrs. Right. Many people with Individualization talent are keen to identify the right person for the right job. Taken to the extreme, however, some people with Individualization talent may delay too long waiting to find the "perfect team member" for a specific role or task. This over-application of their talents may prevent them or their team from moving forward. As a leader, be sure to help them identify people that are well-enough suited to make meaningful contributions.
Talent Combos / Position Modification
Relator®: "The Transition Customizer" - Those with Realtor talents tend to focus on those closest to them. Within the context of the Strengths Positioning framework, they are keen to keep tight connections with each of their fellow players. Those with Individualization talents are keenly aware of the unique differences and abilities of each team member. Those that possess this Individualization + Relator talent combo are likely keen to really focus on getting to know those they work with most closely; and then figure out how to best facilitate connections, collaboration, and understanding in and amongst their tight-knit team members. Consider positioning these talented people on work teams that need to reestablish internal connections.
Consistency®: "Constant Personalizer" - In the game of soccer, people with a Individualization + Consistency talent combo would likely learn exactly how each other player wants to play or receive the ball...and then deliver it to them the same way. Every. Single. Time. The same goes for in business. Those possessing this talent theme combo are likely very good at identifying and discussing how others behave and achieve their goals; and then help them the exact same way every time.
Check out these videos from Gallup to learn more
Cover photo by Jutta Kamp on Unsplash.