skip to main content

An Introduction to the Developer® CliftonStrengths Theme

Looking to learn more about Developer? Whether you want to know more about how to use your Developer theme to succeed, or how to help someone harness theirs, you've come to the right place.

You'll find definitions and descriptions made popular in the international bestseller StrengthsFinder 2.0, plus ideas for how to better understand and use this CliftonStrengths theme.

What Is the Definition of Developer?

Developer and the rest of the CliftonStrengths themes are comprised of natural talents that Gallup has identified through decades of research.

People exceptionally talented in the Developer theme recognize and cultivate the potential in others. They spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from evidence of progress.

People complete the CliftonStrengths assessment to learn which of the 34 themes, like Developer, are strongest in them.

The following theme description highlights the thoughts, feelings and behaviors you are likely to experience if you have strong Developer:

You see the potential in others. Very often, in fact, potential is all you see. In your view, no individual is fully formed. On the contrary, each individual is a work in progress, alive with possibilities. And you are drawn toward people for this very reason.

When you interact with others, your goal is to help them experience success. You look for ways to challenge them. You devise interesting experiences that can stretch them and help them grow. And all the while you are on the lookout for the signs of growth -- a new behavior learned or modified, a slight improvement in a skill, a glimpse of excellence or of "flow" where previously there were only halting steps.

For you these small increments -- invisible to some -- are clear signs of potential being realized. These signs of growth in others are your fuel. They bring you strength and satisfaction. Over time many will seek you out for help and encouragement because, on some level, they know that your helpfulness is both genuine and fulfilling to you.

Developer is a theme in the Relationship Building domain of CliftonStrengths.

People with dominant Relationship Building themes like Developer build strong relationships that hold a team together and make it greater than the sum of its parts.

Each of the 34 CliftonStrengths sort to one of four domains -- Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building and Strategic Thinking. These domains help you understand how to use individual CliftonStrengths to succeed when you join, create or lead a team.

Learn more about the CliftonStrengths domains

How to Better Understand Your Developer Theme

Making the most of your Developer talents starts with gaining valuable insights into what you naturally do best.

How people with strong Developer talents describe themselves:

  • "I am patient with the inexperienced and unseasoned."
  • "I need someone to invest in."
  • "I love to see potential and progress in people."
  • "I hate wasted or unrealized potential."
  • "I bring a commitment (time and energy) to the growth of others."

How to Apply Your Developer to Succeed

The most successful people invest in their strongest talents. The only way to develop your Developer talents is to use them every day -- at work, at home and everywhere else.

The following are a few ideas for how to apply your Developer to achieve your goals:

Work With Developer: Carefully avoid supporting someone who is consistently struggling in his or her role. In such instances, the most developmental action you can take is to encourage him or her to find a different role -- a role that fits. Don't over-invest in losing causes. Your natural inclination to see the best in people and situations can create a blind spot that will keep you from moving on to more opportune situations.

Lead With Developer: Make a list of the people you have helped learn and grow. Look at the list often, and remind yourself of the effect you have had on the world. Make a list of the people you would like to help develop. Write what you would consider to be each person's strengths. Schedule time to meet with each of them regularly -- even if for only 15 minutes -- and make a point of discussing their goals and their strengths.

Live With Developer: Your Developer talents might lead you to become so invested in the growth of others that you ignore your own development. Remember that you cannot give what you do not have. If you want to have a bigger impact on the wellbeing and growth of others, you need to keep growing yourself. Find a mentor or coach who can invest in you.

Check out our in-depth videos from Gallup experts for more ways to use Developer to make the most of your potential.


If You're a Manager With Developer

Your Developer talent makes you stronger. Lead with your strengths so both you and your team can succeed. A strengths-based approach to management will lead to:

  • better conversations
  • stronger partnerships
  • higher team engagement
  • greater collaboration

For manager-specific insights and strategies, check out your CliftonStrengths for Managers report and explore your top 10 themes and how you can use them to reach your goals.

Managing Team Members With Strong Developer Talents

Discovering the collective talents of your team using the CliftonStrengths assessment is just the first step.

To successfully manage or lead others, you must individualize your approach. You must understand what makes each of your team members unique. And you must lead meaningful conversations about performance that focus on what each person naturally does best.

An Example of Managing Team Members With Developer

Encourage these employees to notice when colleagues improve their performance. Coach them to provide specific recognition and praise for achievement. Their detailed observations will celebrate and enhance their colleagues' growth.

Use the CliftonStrengths Assessment to Discover More About Developer

How Strong Are Your Developer Talents?

Purchase CliftonStrengths 34 to reveal your complete unique talent profile and learn just how strong your Developer talents are. You'll get personalized insights into your CliftonStrengths results and ideas for maximizing your potential.

How to Work With Others With Strong Developer Talents

Gallup offers resources and products you can use to help others succeed by developing their Developer theme and all their CliftonStrengths.