- Gallup Theme Thursday Webcast Series
- Season 4, Significance
- Gain insight into the CliftonStrengths talent theme of Significance: how to invest in it, if it's one of your dominant talents, and how to develop it in others.
In this Theme Thursday Season 4 webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Significance.
People especially talented in the Significance theme are drawn to doing work that gets noticed by others. They seek to have an impact on people, and this leads them away from the mundane toward the exceptional. Significance can be understood as desire, yearning, a hunger to have meaningful impact on other people. It's a primal need to do something that leaves a mark, something that makes a difference.
If this is one of your dominant talent themes, let's consider you at your very best. You aim your efforts toward where you can make the greatest lasting impression on others. You'll help your team respond to client feedback, adjusting course not on what you may have hypothesized would be helpful, but what truly has meaning to your customers. You can raise the expectation of others from "complete" to "concrete," not content by simply moving forward, you want to progress in a way others see, are effected by, and remember positively.
To exercise this natural talent, seek a good amount of independence on how you carry out your responsibilities. This may be something you need to request, and perhaps something you need to earn through demonstrating your effectiveness. You can speed up the trust you'll need to gain in order to have independence by talking about your shared definition of success, or sharing your vision for what "better" could be. Spend time with the most important customers or stakeholders. Push back gently on the why before you tackle the how of a project or assignment. Make sure you're on board to the importance of what you're doing. Ask, "Whom does this serve?" or "When we accomplish this, what happens?"
An environment that best supports your talent might be one where you have some say on what success looks like. You'll likely be able to see two things at once: where we currently are, and where we can be more effective or influential. Help elevate what the expectations are, of yourself as well as of your team.
Worry less about being independently or inwardly driven. The notion that you shouldn't care what people think might be popular with others, but likely doesn't sit well with you. You don't have to be driven only by your own inner desire. You can be-and will be-more successful when you find ways to stay connected to what makes a difference in others. You will do meaningful work because of your external radar for what means something.
Working with someone talented in Significance, you might expect her network will matter to her. She will be drawn to spending time with credible, productive, or otherwise influential people. She will know and notice recognition. It matters to her that recognition is done in a meaningful way, and also that it's done early and often. Her comfort with recognition stems from an awareness that she is always seen, a sort of accepted responsibility for the spotlight. It likely also leads to a comfort with feedback. From relevant customers, leaders and stakeholders, she'll likely crave knowing the effect her work is having.
Recognize and celebrate someone with Significance by discussing the impact her work has on others. Consider even counting how many customers, colleagues or students she has influenced. When you're recognizing her, affirm her execution on her desire. Talk about her life-cycle on a project: How was she attracted to the activity? How did she persevere when things were difficult? What did accomplishing it do it for her and for others? Don't assume she will always need public recognition. Also know there's an important element of external awareness within her. Always consider how you might expand the celebration beyond that person. This could be by including her family, presenting something on stage, or even a well-done social media shout-out. When it comes to recognition, getting it right for the individual is always more important than surprising them, so don't be afraid to ask her what the best recognition could be.
As a leader or manager of someone with high Significance, trust that person's intuition as the best way to find what she values. Align her to be the answer. Think about saying, "you're the one to do this," or "you were made to answer this call." How can you help her name her values and mission, and spend time progressing toward the kind of difference she specifically wants to make within her organization or community.
Affirm your Significance partner and promote her for what she does well. Every time you help her see the impact she's having, you add some more glue to your partnership. Significance can be understood as "The Space Between." People especially talented in this theme see their most important self, and what currently is. There's always a distance to cross. Ask about what goals she most needs to accomplish, and how you can serve a support role.
If Significance is one of your Dominant Themes, invest in it this week through the following challenge items:
- Identify a local person whose influence you admire. Reach out to know them better.
- Define your values from an onlooker's perspective. What would you want someone to notice you standing for?
- Take a risk you've been shying away from but know is important in relationship to your dreams and goals.
If Significance is not one of your Dominant Themes, invest in it this week through the following challenge items:
- Name a theme that provides you energy and motivation.
- Identify a champion partner. Who speaks up for others and could be a great promoter of your visions?