When you first get your CliftonStrengths® report, there’s a lot to take in, and it’s all great stuff. Diving into how each talent plays out for you takes time.
One of the first things most coaches will guide you to do is establish where your dominant talent range is. It’s up to each person to determine where that “line” goes.
Sometimes you have an attachment to a specific talent in the #10-16 range. Where do you draw the line?
#1 If I told you that you could no longer have that talent, what would your internal reaction be? Hint if you would fight me, it’s a dominant talent
#2 If you had to use said talent 24/7/365, how would you feel at the end of the day? If you’re drained, it’s a supporting talent
For most of you, your Top 10-12 are the strongest = holds the most potential for success for you.
Remember when you’re operating in your dominant talent zone, you’re energized, time flies, you’re in the zone, you create results that blow you away and continue upping your performance.
Some talents can occur similarly, but the approach is still different. The different domains illustrate the part you access.
Say you think you’re strategic and don’t have it in your top, what if what you or others interpret as strategic is coming from doing, feeling or energy and not the thinking head?
What is not a dominant talent? When you feel drained, overwhelmed, stressed out.
I used to claim my Top 14 as dominant, and then I had a period where I used #13 and 14 a lot and quickly realized that I was drained by the end of the day.
I now claim my Top 12, and tap into my supporting talents when needed.
The other day I was reminded of how my #13 of Input has a tendency to stress me out. To be specific, it’s the notes I make of various nuggets of information.
Once I’ve digitized the learnings I can move on knowing where I can find the info when needed. And other times, the trash is a better solution.
In this case, it’s not the learning overwhelm aspect, it’s the cleanup/completion aspect that I can’t let go of until it’s done, Achiever happens to be my #14.
I’m happy to say that this pile is now gone (see picture).
I’m way better and more energized when I can get things started (#5 Activator) yet have found myself in roles where I both start, maintain, and close, and that drains my energy.
Your unique combo
See the thing is that your unique combination of strengths in your top 10-12 often creates something that could look similar to a talent you may feel should be ranked higher up.
When you take the assessment there are often several questions where you think both options are totally you or not you at all, so you select neutral… neutrals don’t count… at all.
Bottom line is to go on your instincts and trust that choosing neutral is in itself a choice that creates a result that is correct for you.
And if all else fails, retake the assessment.
What to do when you’re drained
So back to the dominant talents and what to do when you find yourself operating more in the supporting or lesser talent range than your dominant zone:
Unless it’s a temporary, limited period type of a project that you have to do – delegate or partner up with someone that can help you that has a talent for it.
And if you can’t delegate this, ask yourself if this really is something that you need to do?
What you can add to your project to make it more [insert your word] and take frequent breaks where you focus on something that inspires you in between.
Suffering is optional after all!