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Comparing, Contrasting Intellection With Other Talent Themes

Comparing, Contrasting Intellection With Other Talent Themes

by Albert L. Winseman, D.Min.
Comparing, Contrasting Intellection With Other Talent Themes

Several years ago while I was watching Late Night With David Letterman, Dave turned to his band leader Paul Shaffer and said, with self-deprecating humor, "You know, Paul, there's no 'off' position on the genius switch." I always laugh when I remember that image, but it's the phrase that I think best fits Intellection.

Always thinking, always pondering, always the internal hum of the turbines of the mind. Satchel Paige is said to have mused, "Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits." Intellection cannot relate to that quote, because there is no time that is not thinking time.

For those high in Intellection, thinking is synonymous with doing. Individuals who have Intellection in their Top 5 are introspective and need time for musing and reflection. "Let me think about it and get back to you" are words those high in Intellection utter on a regular basis. Descartes famous phrase "I think, therefore I am" succinctly sums up the point of view of Intellection.

In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I explore the differences and similarities between Intellection- a thinking theme -- and Learner, Input, and Analytical -- three other thinking themes.

Intellection and Learner

Intellection and Learner are both themes that share an innate inquisitive nature. Intellection, however, is characterized by deep inquiry into a subject, while Learner tends to be characterized by broad curiosity, perhaps about a variety of subjects. As mentioned in a previous post, in our theoretical academic community Intellection tends to be the philosopher, while Learner tends to be the student or professor. Those with strong Intellection talents need time for reflection and meditation; those with strong Learner talents need exposure to new information and experiences. Intellection tends to be introspective, going deep within to ponder. Learner tends to be more outward focused, looking outside of oneself to find, experience, and acquire new information.

Intellection and Input

As is the case with Learner, Input shares with Intellection an innate inquisitiveness -- both themes ask a lot of questions. For Intellection, the questions are often unspoken and internal: "Why is that? I wonder why? What is going on here? What if I looked at it this way?" For Input, the questions are usually asked of another person, and are typically of the "can you tell me more?" variety. Those with Intellection in their Top 5 tend to take an inquiring approach to growth and learning, while those with Input in their Top 5 tend to take and acquiring approach to growth and learning. Individuals high in Input contribute tangible tools and relevant resources that help a team accomplish its goals; individuals high in Intellection contribute depth of wisdom and clarity that can help a group understand its purpose and goals.

Intellection and Analytical

If Intellection is the philosopher, Analytical is the scientist. Again, both are questioning themes. Intellection asks deep and profound questions about the essence of an idea; Analytical ask probing questions about the soundness of a theory -- "prove it to me" guides the inquiry of Analytical. Both Intellection and Analytical need time to think, to ponder, to examine. Those with Analytical in their Top 5 tend to think about data, facts, and discovering patterns; those with Intellection in their Top 5 tend to think about concepts and theories -- because the theoretical is the precursor to the practical. Analytical boils things down to their essence; Intellection drills deep and plumbs the depths.

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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