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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

Strengths Positioning: Relator®

birds eye view of soccer fields as an analogy for the blueprints of soccer; just as those with Context love to understand the blueprints of a business.
Keeping the team together.

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 Relator® 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 Relator® talents.

Each person with Relator® 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

Develops deep trust and tight-knit teams so their teams can quick distribute or assign project responsibilities and ensure nothing gets by them.


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.

  • Intimate & Trusting. Team members with Relator® talents are keen to spend time with those they know and those they trust. As such, they are likely to spend their time and energy getting to know everyone at a deep level; and sharing a lot about themselves. With this openness they build very trusting teams around them. If you lead one of these individuals consider whether & how they might help your team develop a new level of trust, so projects can be handled more effectively and efficiently.

  • Social Glue. Even the hardiest of teams will be challenged from time-to-time. When that happens it's critical that the team stays together and focused. Those with Relator® talents can be key in keeping their team(s) together and energized. They often bring a genuine care to those they've developed deep connection with; this care can prevent burnout or diminished wellbeing.


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

  • No outsiders. In rare cases those with Relator® talents may not find the addition of a new team member particularly appealing. Yes, it's a new person to get to know; it's also a new person to get to know, and they may not be interested in extending the effort beyond their current circle of personal and professional connections. If you lead such an individual, consider reminding them that everyone on their current team was "new" at some point and that getting to know all of them has served them well.

  • Pushing vulnerabilities. It's often said that being vulnerable enhances levels of trust as we can see people for who they really are. Those with Relator® talents may be comfortable sharing, and they may also (with good intentions) be deeply interested in others. However, when others are ready to share, this desire by Relator-talented individuals can quickly damage relationships because people aren't ready to be that open. If you lead someone like this, coach them on where respectable "lines" are within the team, and help them manage how they build their relationships with others.

Talent Combos / Position Modification

  • Responsibility®: "The Caretaker" - Those with Responsibility® talents are keen to keep their promises and deliver what they promise to their team members. Those with Relator talents are keen to develop deep, long-lasting relationships. Those individuals with Relator® + Responsibility® talents will likely have a propensity to build deep, trusting relationships with committed & fulfilled action. They will literally care for those closest to them by delivering on promises. If you lead someone like this, help them understand what each person needs, by when, and what that will mean to the other person over the long-run.

  • Woo®: "The Outreach Captain" - A soccer captain knows his teammates and stands up for them because he cares about them. A soccer captain is also (often) the team member who's responsible for building rapport with the referees and opposing teams. Those with Woo® talents love to build their social networks; while those with Relator® talents often focus on the networks (and friends) they already have. Those with this unique blend of Relator® + Woo® talents will likely want to care for their immediate team first, and build strong external relationships, second. If you lead such an individual, be sure to talk to them about how they want to care for their current team before they go out to build & care for new relationships.

Game Film

Check out these videos from Gallup to learn more.

Photo by J Taubitz on Unsplash

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