Business Journal

Individualization

Clifton StrengthsFinder Theme

Your Individualization theme leads you to be intrigued by the unique qualities of each person. You are impatient with generalizations or "types" because you don't want to obscure what is special and distinct about each person. Instead, you focus on the differences between individuals. You instinctively observe each person's style, each person's motivation, how each thinks, and how each builds relationships. You hear the one-of-a-kind stories in each person's life. This theme explains why you pick your friends just the right birthday gift, why you know that one person prefers praise in public and another detests it, and why you tailor your teaching style to accommodate one person's need to be shown and another's desire to "figure it out as I go." Because you are such a keen observer of other people's strengths, you can draw out the best in each person. This Individualization theme also helps you build productive teams. While some search around for the perfect team "structure" or "process," you know instinctively that the secret to great teams is casting by individual strengths so that everyone can do a lot of what they do well.

Action Items for This Theme

Select a vocation in which your Individualization theme can be both appreciated and used, such as counseling, supervising, teaching, writing human interest articles or selling. Your ability to see people one by one is a special talent.
Become an expert in describing your own strengths and style. For example, answer questions such as these: What is the best praise you ever received? How often do you like to check in with your manager? What is your best method for building relationships? How do you learn best?
Ask these same questions of your colleagues and friends. Help them plan their future by starting with their strengths, then designing a future based on what they do best.
Make your colleagues and friends aware of each person's unique needs. Soon people will look to you to explain other people's motivations and actions.
Study successful people to discover the uniqueness that made them successful.
Consider that you might be able to write a novel.

Be ready to:

Help others understand that true diversity can be found in only the subtle differences between each individual, regardless of race, sex, or nationality.
Explain that it is appropriate, just, and effective to treat each person differently. Those without strong Individualization might not see the differences among individuals and might insist that Individualization is unequal and therefore unfair. You will need to describe your perspective in detail in order to be persuasive.
Gallup http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/685/Individualization.aspx Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A +1 202.715.3030