CliftonStrengths as a Filter
CliftonStrengths® is a powerful tool for a variety of reasons. Most view their Strengths as a way to increase performance and research has demonstrated that it can give advantage to people around the world. One way that is less often utilized is viewing Strengths as a way to filter through the world, as a lens for how we see and interact with our environment.
There is little available on CliftonStrengths as a filter. In order to offer my own perspective on this, I wanted to share how each of your Strengths can work as a lens for your world, how they can help you understand how others see the world differently. Below is your guide to seeing the world through your Strengths and appreciating the ways we all see the world a little differently.
We are all giving unique Strengths that impact how we interact with and think about our lives. Understanding our own filters and bias can help us improve our approach to almost every situation. Going further, it allows us to better understand those who we live and work with, to see and celebrate how they understand the world.
Your Strengths Filters
Let’s take a look at how each of these Strengths and the domains they fall under impact how people see the world. We organized these based on which domain they fall under, giving extra clarity to those who have looked into Strengths in the past.
CliftonStrengths domains are larger categories of organization for Strengths. They identify four key areas of leadership performance: Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building, and Strategic Thinking. Strengths to to function primarily in their domain but are able to "jump the fence" of their domain borders to accomplish activities in other domains.
We also defined the lens or filter for each CliftonStrength. Each of these filters is a generalization. How we use our Strengths, especially in relation to other Strengths, is what allows us to go deeper and experience more of our potential. Use these brief notes as a jumping off point to see through your Strengths filter and understand their impact on your life.
Executing Domain Strengths
Executing Domain Strengths
Those who are dominant in Executing Strengths see through a lens of action. They look for places they can get things done and are focused on places of application and action.
Achiever® – They tend to see the world as a to-do list. Each activity and even relationship may be organized into a list of things to cross off and complete. Their mindset tends to be centered on accomplishing the next task and may miss out on opportunities for greater depth and exploration.
Arranger® – They see the world as a thing to be organized. They see everything around them as pieces that can be put together in an efficient way and look to put them together.
Belief® – They see the world in black and white according to the values they hold. They may think the importance or value of a situation or activity is clear and visible when others may just see the thing to be done.
Consistency® – They look for balance in the world and want to see others treated the same. They see the world as a group of people who need equality and equity and both notice and look to act on places of inconsistency or inequity.
Deliberative® – They see the world and each decision as a collection of steps. They look to choose each step with care and may be slower to act in order to avoid missteps.
Discipline® – They have an internal commitment to getting things done. They structure their world around routine and want to see order in their world. They see their tasks as including deadlines, structure, and timelines.
Focus® – They have a unique ability to block out distractions and execute on priorities. They see the world in terms of prioritized tasks that filter out what would keep them from accomplishing their goals.
Responsibility® – They hold commitments seriously and are often considered trustworthy and reliable. They view the world as a collection of things that they have committed to other people, taking ownership of every task they have agreed to accomplish.
Restorative™ – They see the things of the world that require correction and fixing. They naturally see the problems of the world as well as ways to fix them, directing their attention toward issues that can be addressed.
Influencing Domain Strengths
Influencing Domain Strengths
Those strong in Influencing Strengths see the world and those around them as people to be moved or given voice to. They want to move a group from point A to point B by influencing their thoughts and actions.
Activator® – They want to get started and help others get moving. They are always looking out for new ideas, projects, or events to begin working on. They are committed to acting once something has been given the green light.
Command® – They have a presence about them and naturally take charge. They are comfortable with their own viewpoint and imposing it on others. They see the world as opportunities to get people onboard and are not afraid of confrontation as a part of the process.
Communication® – They have a way of seeing what messages need to be shared and are able to give them voice. They see the world as plain and ordinary unless they can give voice to each event, idea, or project.
Competition® – They view all of life as a competition. Everything can be turned into a situation they can win and they tend to see the world through a lens of comparison. They look for opportunities to perform better than those around them and achieve the highest results.
Maximizer® – They tend to see places of excellence, where things that are already good can be made great. They tend to look for the strengths of others in order to capitalize on the group’s efforts.
Self-Assurance® – They have a measure of self-confidence that allows them to take risks if it aligns with their inner trajectory. They see risks as opportunities they can accomplish and are sure of their level of ability when evaluating tasks.
Significance® – They look for what will have the best influence on others. They can see what work will have the most impact and are look for ways to highlight their own role and participation.
Woo® – They love meeting new people and look for ways of connecting to more individuals and groups. They are drawn to gatherings and look for ways to get others to like them. They are unafraid of strangers or new situations and look for ways of finding new connection.
Relationship Building Strengths
Those with dominant Relationship Building Strengths see the world in terms of connection and relationship. They tend to focus on the people, rather than the process of action and look to build their connections with others.
Adaptability® – They like to live in the moment and don’t like to feel too regulated or constricted. They see changes in direction as a natural process and are not thrown off or worried about them.
Connectedness® – They see connections everywhere, hidden lines of commonality that unite the entire world. They will notice what can bring people together and where they may be similar.
Developer® – They see the small changes that people make for the better and are also on the look out for places where individuals can grow. They tend to have an eye for places of growth and improvement.
Empathy® – They see the world through emotions and have a hypersensitivity to the feelings of others. They feel the emotional connections in the room and will notice the imperceptible changes in people.
Harmony® – They look for places of agreement and consensus, where they can reduce friction in the world. They look for and can solve places of conflict and seek to reduce confrontation toward common ground.
Includer® – They see the outsiders and want to bring them into the group. They are more likely to notice those who feel left out or excluded and look for ways to bring them into the fold.
Individualization® – They see all of the specific pieces that make up a person. They tend to look at what is specific, rather than the bigger picture.
Positivity® – They see the upside in situations and are usually more optimistic than others. They see silver linings where others only see darkness and are able to share their energy with others.
Relator® – They see the world in tiers of relationship, holding close relationships at the center and moving out to those they barely know. They will see where a person fits into their life and will look for ways to improve relationships with significant others in their life.
Strategic Thinking Strengths
Those dominant in Strategic Thinking see the world through their mental process, through what goes on in their minds. They tend to think through situations and relationships and find ways to utilize information.
Analytical® – They see the world as a combination of individual pieces that they want to explore and understand. They look for each piece of information and want to think through and dissect each situation.
Context® – They see the world in relation to the past, always comparing current events and decisions with what has taken place before. They tend to see the past as a vital part of their present situation.
Futuristic® – They see the world in relation to the future, making decisions in the present based on what could be in the future. They are always looking to the future to make their decisions and view this filter as how they should weigh their options.
Ideation® – They see the world as something to be explored and want more ideas for every situation. They think creatively and look for ways to add new concepts or ideas to their current environment.
Input® – They think about the world as a thing to be collected, whether that is ideas, relationships, information, or objects. They look to collect their items from whatever goes on around them in order to use in the future, cataloging it in their minds.
Intellection® – They see the world as something to be processed and always have an internal monologue going in their minds. This internal process is always at work, analyzing and considering what is happening around them.
Learner® – They look at the world as a place to understand and learn. They are constantly curious and are willing to look for new information anywhere it comes up.
Strategic® – They see the world as a collection of possibilities. They have gut instincts about what happens next and look to create contingency plans for every possibility. They tend to be able to see around corners, even if they can’t articulate it well.
What do I do with my Strengths filters?
First off, if you have never taken the CliftonStrengths assessment, now is a great time to better understand your unique combination of Strengths. If you have taken it, use these Strengths lenses as ways to understand your world and the people around you.
There is incredible value in understanding not only your own lens, but the lenses of those around you. When you begin to see how we all think, feel, and behave in different ways, seeing the world through a different filter, we can begin to appreciate and celebrate the ways we can add to our world together.
Begin applying your Strengths filters to your daily tasks, noting where you see things in ways that reflect your unique perspective. What vantage point does this Strength offer me? How is that unique and powerful? What is this vantage point possibly blind to and how can I see through it?
The best way to use this is to work with a coach, either independently or as a team. They can hep draw out the lenses and filters that impact your world, improving the clarity with which you can use your unique blend of Strengths. Send me an email today about possible applications and to dive deeper into how your Strengths filters combine to create your own unique vantage point!
Note: The content in this post is not sponsored by CliftonStrengths® or the GALLUP® organization. While based on the CliftonStrengths assessment, the comments of this post are of my own design based on personal use and experience as a professional coach. This is not intended to reflect the views or opinions of CliftonStrengths or the Gallup organization.