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Are Your Strengths Creating Problems or Misunderstood?

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

Whilst we love our strengths, they can be the source of conflict if they get too loud or misunderstood. Here are some examples of how each strength can show up or be perceived and cause havoc. If you and others understand how they can manifest themselves, it can help manage relationships better. All 34 in order.


Achiever - Work seems more important than people. They are the bosses who ask you, “Ok, but who is going to cover the shift?” when you call in sick.


Activator - Hasty, impatient for careful people, which could show up as a lack of teamwork. They can take action on a whim and can be very unpredictable.


Adaptability - Directionless; priorities are not set. They can come across as a "Yes man" because they tend to go with the flow of others.


Analytical - Can be dismissive of the emotions of others because data is "more important".


Arranger - Difficult to follow because of the frequent changes. Can be impatient with late adopters.


Belief - Set in ways, a very black-and-white approach that can come across as not collaborative.


Command – Bossy and insensitive. Enjoys conflict, is direct & decisive and is not afraid to take charge and ignore hierarchy.


Communication - Talks a lot and can be impatient with those who need time to think like strategic thinkers.


Competition – A sore loser & a bragging winner.


Connectedness - Out of touch with reality. Flaky and happy not to have an explanation for what’s happened. Often brush it off with an “Everything happens for a reason” that can cause conflict with those who like to get to the bottom of things.


Consistency - Rules trump relationships & results. Inside the box! Serves group interest and fails to see the individuals within the group. Loves repetition and the "That's how we've always done it here" kinda person if not balanced out with other Strengths.


Context - Their go-to place for solutions is the past. If past information is not available, they struggle to make a decision. They also struggle to understand when something is presented to them without providing context and the reason why.


Deliberative – Hesitant and can come across as negative because of their ability to anticipate what can go wrong.


Developer – Can invest a lot of resources in low performers and push people who are not ready yet. Would hire inexperienced people because they love developing them.


Discipline – May be resistant to change.


Empathy – Takes on other people's emotions, and negativity can exhaust them. May find it difficult to make a rational judgment as the heart will “always” wins.


Focus – Obsessive and single-minded. Eye on the target missing out on the journey.


Futuristic – Absentminded and impractical can be hard to be around Executing and some of the Strategic Thinking themes.


Harmony – Avoids conflict, peace over principles, and results that can trigger Achiever, Competition, and Belief.


Ideation – Impractical, outside-the-box thinker. Sees things that nobody can therefore, sometimes, their ideas are not taken seriously & dismissed.


Individualisation – Prioritises individuals’ needs against group needs. Definitely a non-conventional and a rule breaker who caters for every individual.


Includer – Indiscriminate. Their high level of tolerance for diversity may come in the way of selecting by criteria or disregarding what is needed. Bends the rules very quickly if it means another person can be included. They struggle to make decisions alone, or if not, everyone is included.


Input – A real hoarder of information and stuff. They are the ones who will not delete a file from 1989 because “what if it is needed one day.”:-)


Intellection – Isolated and aloof. Will not tolerate thoughtless approach hence may class with Activator, Positivity, and Woo. They must do deep thinking before making a decision.


Learner – Gets bored easily if learning plateaus. They may engage in irrelevant learning activities and tasks because their curiosity leads them. This tendency to go where curiosity takes them could lead to career indecisiveness or to a beautiful non-linear career development, depending on how the person feels.


Maximizer – A never satisfied perfectionist. Good enough is not good and will push for perfection, which can cause delays, disagreements, and frustration from all sides.


Positivity – Can come across as naïve and not serious about the task at hand because of their light-hearted nature. They joke even when the situation wouldn’t normally call for it, but that is how they cope, so don’t take it like they don’t care. They do.


Relator – Cliquish. Close friendships and alliances are important that may exclude others. They may prioritise hiring a less competent close friend or an ally over a highly competent person who is not in the circle of friendship. The risk of nepotism is real.


Responsibility – Easily gets annoyed by those who don’t take things seriously or take responsibility. They take responsibility for things that are not theirs and can drag others into making that happen. I do that :-) They can clash with Positivity and Harmony.


Restorative – Perceived as negative because of their association with problems. They love them! They are problem or weakness-focused, which can clash with Positivity, Futuristic, Activator, and Achiever.


Self-Assurance – Can come across as arrogant, overconfident, and a know-it-all. Their self-sufficient nature may be perceived as not a team player or not needing help, often leaving them feeling like they are on their own. Offer them help, they need it, and we need them. Can clash with superiors along the hierarchy with Command and Significance. I know a person who has all three in his top 10 :-)


Significance – Attention-seekers who want to be admired. Their motivation comes from the perception of others. This can be detrimental if the person is seen negatively, as it can negatively impact self-esteem, which can lead to unpredictable behaviour and low performance.


Strategic - Always trying something different can disengage others who need a slower pace. They are normally way ahead of everyone and easily disengage from the team. They don’t have the need to explain changes and the reason for them as, in their head, it makes perfect sense.


Woo – Phony and superficial. Their need to win others over can be very ingenuine. They are a charm and likely to be socially loud. They get business deals, promotions, or opportunities using this strength which might feel unfair to others. They are the definition of “To be heard, you need to be loud”. However, don’t forget that confidence is silent, and insecurity is loud. So just check what is behind the façade before they charm themselves into your circle of friends or business.







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