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Comparing, Contrasting Relator With Other Talent Themes

Comparing, Contrasting Relator With Other Talent Themes

by Albert L. Winseman, D.Min.

If you have Relator as one of your Signature Themes of talent, it's very likely that you have an inner circle -- a small group of friends that you've likely had for a long time, maybe even since childhood. And that inner circle is hard to get into, and even harder to get kicked out of. Relator is selective, and tends to be slow and cautious in establishing relationships.

There is an authenticity about those strong in Relator talents that draws others to them, that makes others want to trust them. This is one of the paradoxical attributes of Relator: People tend to want to open up to those high in Relator -- far more so than those with high Relator want to open up with them until they get to know them. I call it the "trustability" factor of Relator -- Relators are trustworthy, don't betray confidences, and are genuine and authentic because they themselves value authenticity.

Those with Relator in their Top 5 enjoy working hard with people they know and trust, and given the choice between attending a party where they would get to meet a lot of new people or having dinner with a few close friends, Relator chooses the latter.

In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I explore the similarities and differences between Relator and Empathy, Individualization, and Developer. Like Relator, all three of these themes are primarily relationship building themes, so they each have much in common with Relator.

Relator and Empathy

Relator and Empathy are similar in that each brings a sensitivity to the feelings of others. However, with Empathy that sensitivity is broadly distributed while with Relator that sensitivity is narrowly focused. Those high in Empathy can sense and feel the emotions of others -- prior relationship or any relationship notwithstanding. But those high in Relator can sense and feel the emotions of those they know well -- their inner circle. I call this "Relator empathy." Empathy brings emotional intelligence to any situation; Relator brings social depth and transparency. Relator tends toward social depth, valuing intimacy and relational stability; Empathy tends toward emotional depth, valuing feeling and emotional expressiveness.

Relator and Individualization

Those with strong Relator talents enjoy close relationships, and those high in Individualization are intrigued by the uniqueness of each person. This can make the outcome of these two themes seem very similar; both Relator and Individualization want to know others. Individualization is more intuitive and one sided; "I know who you are." Relator has more of a seeking aspect, as well as qualities of mutuality; "I want to know you and be known by you." While those high in Relator tend to want to get to know more about the people closest to me, those high in Individualization tend to be intrigued by the uniqueness of those they are currently with. Individualization brings insight into people; Relator brings intimacy with people through interaction.

Relator and Developer

Both Relator and Developer have an investment component to them. Those strong in Relator talents invest in their relationships with those close to them, while those strong in Developer talents invest in the growth and potential of those around them. For Relator, the focus is on the potential in the relationship; for Developer the focus is on the potential in the person. Individuals high in Relator want to get to know others -- "I want to know you and be known by you." Individuals high in Developer want to help others realize their potential -- "I want to help you grow." There may or may not be mutuality in the relationship Developer cultivates; but for Relator mutuality is a must.

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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