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The Belief Theme: How to Productively Aim Your CliftonStrengths Talent

The Belief Theme: How to Productively Aim Your CliftonStrengths Talent

by Albert L. Winseman, D.Min.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Belief definition: People exceptionally talented in the Belief theme have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for their lives.

  • "I can't understand why they are doing this -- it is just plain wrong!"

If you have Belief in your Top 5, you very likely feel this way when you experience a breach of ethics. People high in the Belief StrengthsFinder theme are seen as dependable because they are driven to act on their values and take a stand when a value is at stake. Their values give their lives meaning. Life is more than money, position or prestige: the most important aspect of life is staying true to one's values. It's about doing the right thing -- and always doing the right thing.

There is also a justice component to Belief: justice for self and justice for others that goes beyond fairness. The vision of a just society is often a profound motivator for those high in Belief.

Making a difference. Doing what is right and fair and just. Ensuring that your actions are in line with your values. Speaking up when something is just not right. That is Belief -- and it makes you a powerful proclaimer of the truth.

Belief: Helps and Hinders

When coaching those with Belief as a Signature Theme, helping them claim both the "helps and hinders" of Belief is critical to productive aiming. Some common helps and hinders of the Belief strength include:


  • You can be a conscience for your team and organization; you provide stability by clearly stating and demonstrating organizational values.
  • You are dependable -- others know where you stand and can count on your moral compass.
  • In times of change, you can provide team and organizational stability by communicating core values that should not and will not change.
  • Because your work matters to you, you can help others see the intrinsic value of their work and the valuable contributions they make to the team's and organization's mission.


  • Your Belief talents make you strong and confident, but if you do not honor the beliefs of those on your team you may find yourself working alone.
  • Because your work must matter, you may have a hard time understanding and relating to those for whom work is primarily a paycheck. Their income might be the vehicle by which they fulfill their meaning and purpose outside of the workplace.
  • Beware of snap judgments. If others' values don't align with yours, you can tend to be judgmental when evaluating their motivations.
  • For you, mission is primary, which is admirable but sometimes seen as impractical -- especially when it comes to budgetary constraints. Remember that organizations must be financially viable to fulfill their mission.

Belief: Self-Awareness, Self-Expression, Self-Regulation

In order to productively aim Belief -- or any -- talents at a particular goal, an individual must have: 1) self-awareness about the theme's power, edge and vulnerabilities; 2) an understanding of how the theme finds expression in day-to-day thinking, feeling and behaving; and 3) the ability to regulate their Belief to maximize the potential positive outcomes that can be achieved through intentionally applying a strengths-based approach. Gallup-Certified Strengths coaches can help clients with strong Belief talents by exploring the following:


  • The Power and Edge of Belief: Certainty is a hallmark characteristic Belief -- certainty of values, mission and purpose. This can be a compelling source of energy, not only for one's productivity and drive but also for the inspiration and motivation of others.
  • The Vulnerabilities of Belief: Because they are driven and motivated by values and mission, those high in Belief talents can sometimes be seen as inflexible or intolerant of differing points of view. Learning to listen to and value others' ideas, opinions and values can help mitigate this tendency.


Coaches can assist clients in realizing and claiming the expression of Belief by helping them explore past instances when this theme has been particularly useful. To facilitate this exploration, coaches can ask the following questions:

  • Tell me about a time when you accomplished something important. What made it important?
  • What accomplishments have you been most proud of in the last week?
  • What makes your job important? How do you know you are making a difference?
  • When looking for a partner for a project, what qualities do you value most?


Self-Regulation occurs when individuals know which of their talents to use in particular situations, or know which talents to combine to sharpen, accelerate or soften a specific talent. For example, those high in Belief may tend to see the world in very "black and white" terms, which can lead to inflexibility and discounting others' points of view. This can cause conflict and "taking sides" when a team is trying to solve a complicated issue, in turn slowing things down and disrupting communication. It is then that a coach can help the client find other talents that might yield better results. Coaches can also help clients explore different theme combinations to either accelerate or soften Belief, such as those listed below:

Belief: Five Powerful Questions for Productive Aiming

  • How do you know you are making a difference at work? At home? In other aspects of your life?
  • What is your life's ambition? What are the keys to fulfilling it?
  • What do you want your legacy to be? What are you doing to achieve it?
  • If time and money were no object, what is the difference you want to make in the world?
  • How can you help those most important to you fulfill their life's purpose?

Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:


Al Winseman's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Ideation, Futuristic, Maximizer, Strategic and Command.

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