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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

Talents & Burnout: Individualization®

We recognize that communities throughout the United States are going through massive upheaval in trying to address longstanding, systemic racial inequality and injustice. Even as we join in the efforts to support such initiatives, we also believe continuing to share perspectives via this #talentswithoutburnout series can help people better understand one another as unique, talented individuals that should be celebrated and supported, regardless of their skin color or national origin.

"People exceptionally talented in the Individualization theme are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how different people ​can work together productively." - Gallup CliftonStrengths® Themes Quick Reference Guide -

Burnout Concerns

Those with Individualization talents are excellent at innately capable of discovering and understanding how those around them work and play. Their ability to understand others often comes from observing their colleagues & developing deep relationships. When organizational change happens, these talented individuals might be pushed into burnout in the following ways:

  • Significant organizational layoffs or furloughs often leave remaining staff taking on jobs, tasks, and duties, that don’t best relate to their talents. Many with Individualization® talents may find this incongruity frustrating to watch, manage, or work with.

  • With fewer in-person interactions (via layoffs or social distancing), those with Individualization® talents may find it harder to “observe” each person’s style and talents in action. This lack of observation time may frustrate those with Individualization® talents when it comes time to (re-)assemble a team for our new world of work. Similarly, they may also burn themselves out overexerting themselves trying to "catch up" for lost time.

  • They lack the time to carefully consider and best match team members to different or ideal role(s). With dramatic changes in our world of work demanding more of our time to address new day-to-day operations, some with Individualization® talents may feel begin to feel physically or emotional disconnected from the process of understanding their team members.

Addressing Burnout

Our new world of work is requiring a new mindset about individualizing how we engage with those around us. From understanding each team member’s home life to understanding how each employee can contribute to projects outside their original job title/role. As a leader and teammate, consider helping those with Individualization® talents by:

  • Tapping into their knowledge. You’ll show respect for everything these individuals have come to know and understand about their colleagues.

  • Inviting them to contribute to your organization rethinking of work and how it can better personalizes everything -- workflows & work hours, communication channels, benefits (where possible), and recognition programs. By offering an outlet for their knowledge and you’ll allow an avenue for them to contribute in personalizing work flows for the future.

  • Helping them find new ways to reconnect with their colleagues so they can further deepen their relationships with, and knowledge of, their peers. This might mean scheduling "social hours" via virtual meeting platforms.

As with coaching any individual, their combined set of talent themes will effect how their Individualization® talents show up, and how to best manage them. As a beginning, next time you check-in with them, ask,

How are you helping others make the best of ​what they are best at?

Gallup®, CliftonStrengths®, and the 34 theme names of CliftonStrengths® are trademarks of Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.

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