Learn How to Lead Using Your CliftonStrengths
It can be difficult to understand every nuance of the 34 CliftonStrengths themes. Looking at them through the lens of the four domains of leadership strength makes it easier.
Learn how this simple way of categorizing your CliftonStrengths can help you succeed when you join, create or lead a team.
What Are the Four Domains of CliftonStrengths?
They're the natural way to group CliftonStrengths based on how the themes help people work together to accomplish goals.
First introduced in the bestseller Strengths Based Leadership, the four domains of CliftonStrengths are:
At their core, teamwork and collaboration are all about partnerships.
You can use the domains of CliftonStrengths to better understand your partners -- What are they great at? What am I great at? Where do we both struggle? -- and know how to best work with them.
This knowledge helps set your partnerships up for success.
Learn more about each domain and how to use them to improve your partnerships and performance.
What Is the Executing Domain of CliftonStrengths?
These themes answer the question "How do you make things happen?" They may help you turn ideas into reality.
When teams need to implement a solution, they look to people with Executing themes who will work tirelessly to accomplish the goal.
People exceptionally talented in the Achiever theme work hard and possess a great deal of stamina. They take immense satisfaction in being busy and productive.
People exceptionally talented in the Arranger theme can organize, but they also have a flexibility that complements this ability. They like to determine how all of the pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity.
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.
People exceptionally talented in the Consistency theme are keenly aware of the need to treat people the same. They crave stable routines and clear rules and procedures that everyone can follow.
People exceptionally talented in the Deliberative theme are best described by the serious care they take in making decisions or choices. They anticipate obstacles.
People exceptionally talented in the Discipline theme enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create.
People exceptionally talented in the Focus theme can take a direction, follow through and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act.
People exceptionally talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.
People exceptionally talented in the Restorative theme are adept at dealing with problems. They are good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it.
What Is the Influencing Domain of CliftonStrengths?
These themes answer the question "How do you influence others?" They may help you take charge, speak up and make sure others are heard.
When teams need to sell their ideas inside and outside the organization, they turn to people with Influencing themes to convince others.
People exceptionally talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They want to do things now, rather than simply talk about them.
People exceptionally talented in the Command theme have presence. They can take control of a situation and make decisions.
People exceptionally talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.
People exceptionally talented in the Competition theme measure their progress against the performance of others. They strive to win first place and revel in contests.
People exceptionally talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.
People exceptionally talented in the Self-Assurance theme feel confident in their ability to take risks and manage their own lives. They have an inner compass that gives them certainty in their decisions.
People exceptionally talented in the Significance theme want to make a big impact. They are independent and prioritize projects based on how much influence they will have on their organization or people around them.
People exceptionally talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with someone.
What Is the Relationship Building Domain of CliftonStrengths?
These themes answer the question "How do you build and nurture strong relationships?" They may help you hold a team together.
When teams need to be greater than the sum of their parts, they turn to people with Relationship Building themes to strengthen their bonds.
People exceptionally talented in the Adaptability theme prefer to go with the flow. They tend to be "now" people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.
People exceptionally talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links among all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has meaning.
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 exceptionally talented in the Empathy theme can sense other people's feelings by imagining themselves in others' lives or situations.
People exceptionally talented in the Harmony theme look for consensus. They don't enjoy conflict; rather, they seek areas of agreement.
People exceptionally talented in the Includer theme accept others. They show awareness of those who feel left out and make an effort to include them.
People exceptionally talented in the Individualization theme are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how different people can work together productively.
People exceptionally talented in the Positivity theme have contagious enthusiasm. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.
People exceptionally talented in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.
What Is the Strategic Thinking Domain of CliftonStrengths?
These themes answer the question "How do you absorb, think about and analyze information and situations?" They may help you make better decisions and create better outcomes.
When teams need to focus on what could be, they turn to people with Strategic Thinking themes to stretch the team's thinking for the future.
People exceptionally talented in the Analytical theme search for reasons and causes. They have the ability to think about all of the factors that might affect a situation.
People exceptionally talented in the Context theme enjoy thinking about the past. They understand the present by researching its history.
People exceptionally talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They energize others with their visions of the future.
People exceptionally talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
People exceptionally talented in the Input theme have a need to collect and archive. They may accumulate information, ideas, artifacts or even relationships.
People exceptionally talented in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.
People exceptionally talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. The process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.
People exceptionally talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
How to Understand the Four Domains of CliftonStrengths
The CliftonStrengths domains represent a sort of default mode that individuals, partnerships and full teams naturally lean on to meet their goals and achieve success.
The CliftonStrengths domains are a shortcut for learning how to make the most out of the 34 CliftonStrengths themes.
It can be difficult to fully understand 34 different themes. The four domains can help simplify the process.
The CliftonStrengths domains essentially answer the question, "How do I make sense of the world on a greater scale than just my individual CliftonStrengths themes?"
People tend to think about what they don't do well, or what weaknesses they need to work on. The domains can help people understand where they're most powerful, and how to use that power to make their greatest contribution.
For example, someone strong in the Executing domain knows they can be counted on to get things done. They can use that knowledge to better understand how to collaborate with others and how to be a complementary partner to people who aren't strong in the Executing domain.
The four domains summarize what every leader and team need to accomplish.
All leaders and teams need to be able to get things done. They need to be able to think strategically. They need to be able to build relationships. And they need to be able to influence others.
Whether leaders and teams can accomplish these using their own CliftonStrengths or must rely on partners and their CliftonStrengths, the domains help them understand and meet the demands of their roles and responsibilities.
There is no perfect balance of the four domains required for success.
Oftentimes when people review their CliftonStrengths 34 results, they look immediately for weaknesses or things to fix. Sometimes this includes reviewing their CliftonStrengths domains results and identifying a lack of balance across the four.
The goal is not to be more balanced across the four domains as an individual. The goal is to use the domains to enhance your ability to use CliftonStrengths to make sense of the world around you.
The CliftonStrengths domains are helpful when working with teams and in partnerships.
Sometimes, you need a team that's more balanced across the four domains. The domains can cause invaluable conversations among teams about who is strong in particular domains and how they can apply that to help the team succeed.
And at their core, teams are made up of partnerships. The domains help people better understand those they rely on and how to be a better partner to those that rely on them.
Understanding and improving these individual partnerships using the CliftonStrengths domains sets the foundation for building a better team experience, one that's strengths-based.
Understanding the four domains helps create effective collaboration.
One of the elements of great collaboration is complementary CliftonStrengths. Each person in a partnership must know what it is they're naturally great at, what they struggle with, and how their partner or partners can help them using what they are naturally great at.
That's a great baseline for making strengths-based partnerships even stronger. Make sure both can answer: "What am I great at? What is my partner great at? What do we both struggle with?" Once that's communicated, it becomes invaluable for the ongoing partnership's efforts to achieve success.
Create Stronger Partnerships and Greater Team Success Using the CliftonStrengths Domains
Understand Where Your Team Is Strongest
Purchase the CliftonStrengths 34 assessment for your team to learn how strong each of the domains is for each person.
Translate That Strength Into Greater Performance
Shop the tools and materials proven to help you and your team use the domains to accomplish your goals.