Chad T. Ahern
Talents & Burnout: Strategic®
We recognize that communities throughout the United States (and the world) are working hard 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 who should be celebrated and supported, regardless of their skin color or national origin.
"People exceptionally talented in the Strategic theme create alternate ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues." - Gallup CliftonStrengths® Themes Quick Reference Guide -
"People exceptionally talented in the Strategic theme create alternate ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues." - Gallup CliftonStrengths® Themes Quick Reference Guide could be pushing your Strategic-talented colleagues toward burnout by:
Making snap decisions with just a few options on the table. Those with Strategic talents like exploring the long game and keeping as many relevant options on the table until it is clear that certain options aren't viable. By cutting off or minimizing the number of potential solutions at the outset, those with Strategic talents could start to feel like their wide-ranging thinking is not needed. They may also continue to exert energy into exploring options that the rest of the team has already abandoned; leading to further energy drain on a road to burnout.
Minimizing opportunities for them to build energy. If decisions are being made quickly, those with Strategic may be trying to find energy in thinking through options that will never see the light of day. Without considering their options you may be depriving them of energy-building mental activity.
Change most often requires all of us to think through a variety of options. For some this can be overwhelming. For those on your team with Strategic talents, options means energy. They thrive on "what if" questions, and running out possibilities to their logical conclusions. To get the best out of these people, and keep them from burning out:
Encourage them to look beyond the here-and-now. Consider putting them in planning roles for the future of the team or organization. They will thrive looking at the bigger picture.
Give them time. Depending on how large the change initiative, or the number of variables to consider, those with Strategic talents may need time to return their best assessment and course of action. Rushing them may force them to not consider viable options and this may end up frustrating them. If time is a factor, be upfront about it so they can consider that as one of their variables.
Invite them to share a visual “logic tree” so others can see when and where decisions will need to be made...and the likely outcomes. The exercise will energize them, provide a useful outlet, and help others understand their thinking.
In relation to our current pandemic, some of the factors that might end up on their logic tree as they think about your organization's future are: vaccine vs. no-vaccine; recurrence or resurgence of the virus; social distancing stays in place or lock-downs return; financial resource levels
As with coaching any individual, their combined set of talent themes will effect how their Strategic® talents show up, and how to best manage them. As a beginning, next time you check-in with them, try asking,
What factors are influencing you the most as you make decisions on your project(s) right now?
Photo by A. Yobi Blumberg on Unsplash
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