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Relator: Highlights From Your CliftonStrengths 34

Relator: Highlights From Your CliftonStrengths 34

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Theme Thursday Webcast Series
  • Season 5, Relator
  • The CliftonStrengths themes at the top of your profile are the most powerful and give you the greatest chance for success. Join us as we discuss Relator.

Join Jim Collison and Maika Leibbrandt as they talk about your Relator talent theme -- helping you unlock the power of truly understanding yourself through how you get things done, influence others, connect with people and think critically -- on this Theme Thursday Season 5 webcast.

Below is a full transcript of the conversation, including time stamps. Full audio and video are posted above.

Jim Collison 0:00

I am Jim Collison, and live from the Gallup Studios here in Omaha, Nebraska, this is Gallup's Theme Thursday, Season 5, recorded on October 17, 2019. Theme Thursday is a Gallup webcast series that dives deep into the CliftonStrengths themes, one theme at a time, and today's theme is Relator. If you're listening live, we'd love to have you join us in our chat room; link is right above the video and other. If you're -- if you have questions after the fact, you can send us those to us in an email: Maika Leibbrandt is our host today. She's a Workplace Consultant here at Gallup. Maika, always great to be with you on Thursdays and welcome to Theme Thursday.

Maika Leibbrandt 0:44

Thanks, Jim. I'm excited about this one. The CliftonStrengths, whichever they are, that make up the top of your profile are the most powerful. These are the themes that represent your unique makeup of potential. There is no "dream sequence" of what which themes need to be there in order for you to be successful. The secret to succeeding at home, at life, at work, in your community, in your family is in understanding whatever your makeup of talent really is, and then diving into it on purpose. Today, we're going to talk about a pretty common theme that shows up there for people. And that's the theme of Relator. So if you have a great deal of Relator talent, you're going to learn a lot about yourself. If you care about someone who has it, and chances are, just on a statistical level, you do care about someone who has Relator talent, this podcast is also for you.

Jim Collison 1:29

It's such a great theme. Let's talk a little bit about it. What does it mean to have Relator as my top talent theme?

Maika Leibbrandt 1:34

It's really beautiful, but I think it gets pretty easily glossed over because of the word. We see the word "Relator," and we think, "Oh, just means they relate." But it's really pretty specific. When you have high Relator, it means that you enjoy close relationships with others; that you find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal. It's about a depth of that personal connection, a sincerity in your relationships and something that you notice and value.

Jim Collison 1:59

That sounds beautiful. What might people with this dominant Relator theme notice? How might they notice this in their life?

Maika Leibbrandt 2:06

You might notice that you know and you hold a distinction between your relationships. Some people are in your inner circle, and there's a difference in how you act with those people. You feel deeply connected to the people that you're close to, like you know them and like they know you. You probably don't have much patience or value for what might seem like a superficial conversation. It also might take you time to warm up to people and to build those kinds of relationships. But during that time you are, you might notice that in some place in your brain, there is a radar that's constantly assessing connection with someone. You are interested on some level in getting to know people on that deeper space. You probably put more effort into that connection when you sense that it's going to be reciprocated. And that might be about the other person; it might also just be about your time constraints or your availability of resources or your ability to give more of yourself. You do work harder when you're around your friends; you have more energy. You might have some people that you just know you can really let your guard down with. It's different, though, when you're in a larger group. So you don't relate at the same level to everybody that you're connected to. Also, if you've got high Relator talent, you can probably recall your best friends -- who they are, who they were, from -- from a very young age. There's something very memorable to you about individuals, specific individuals.

Jim Collison 3:33

When we think about the All 34 report, which we've been spending a lot of time thinking about this year, it's got this new section called "Blind Spots." And they all have them. And so, Maika, let's talk a little bit about Relator and maybe some things that can hold it back from excellence.

Maika Leibbrandt 3:46

Yeah, so we can succeed a whole lot better if we expand our perspective of ourself. And the purpose of these blind spots is not to say, Here's a scientific diagnosis or a guarantee -- this is what's going to hold you back. It's if you're prepared to truly improve your own talent, these are going to help you think about what are some things you maybe should consider of how you could hold yourself back if you're not aware of it. I've got 2 of them here for Relator. One is that you do reserve a special energy for your closest relationships. And it takes you a while to get to that level of sincerity with people. It could be overwhelming to have to get to that deep level with everyone. Because of this, you could choose, I mean, pretty pretty honestly, and from a good place, to, again, reserve that energy for your closest people. But that could mean to people who don't have Relator or don't know that you're doing that, you could look like you're closed off. So lead with curiosity. Don't feel like you have a pressure to invest that level in everyone you meet. Note that not every interaction has to equal an invitation to your inner circle. Acknowledge when mingling or having a conversation is in service to the team or in service to other people, rather than thinking about it as may be auditioning folks for Relator status. It also might mean have a few great questions that get people talking amongst themselves. If you're the person who shows up to a party and you really just want to be a magnet to the people you know really well, that's fine. Have a great way to help other people make those connections. You don't have to own the relationship. You don't have to invite someone out to dinner to demonstrate curiosity about them. The second blind spot here is that you don't implicitly trust other people, which could mean that you miss out on important partnerships. So practice collaborative expectation-setting; think about setting up opportunities where trust can thrive on purpose. So what is something perhaps that someone can always expect from you in a partnership? What do you expect in return? If there are deal breakers for you that will harm your ability to trust someone, make those deal breakers known.

Jim Collison 5:58

Maika, as we think about the relationship that Relator plays to a team, I think it's really, really important in the way it bonds a team together. Can you talk a little bit about the role it plays in a team?

Maika Leibbrandt 6:10

I like that idea of "bond." It's certainly true about about Relator. It falls into that Relationship Building domain. These are the themes that describe talent to connect with others to get work done. Relator, given exposure to other people, this theme can be the long-term relationship glue or that word "bond" that we used. Don't confuse Relator with the more outward, bubbly Relationship Building themes. It's not likely that you can stick a Relator in a group of strangers and expect them to affect the connections of the group. You can expect Relator to raise the expectation of sincerity, of honesty and of loyalty among a group. On a team, Relator will stand up for the people that they consider friends. They can be an advocate for their closest allies, really promote their partners, offering trust, offering forgiveness -- much like, in our, in our customer engagement work, one of the hallmarks of an engaged customer is they are more likely to forgive you as a business or as as a as a client. And the same can be true about Relator: they are quicker to forgive those people who they trust because it's not -- their relationship isn't based on interactions.

Maika Leibbrandt 7:20

Relator works extra hard when they're working alongside their close partners. So they can accelerate collaboration by honoring what partners do well by expecting positive shared experiences that elevate others. And that, I think, in turn, means that other people can rise to the high expectation that a Relator has of them. To compare other Relationship Building themes might be helpful when you're thinking about the makeup of a team, perhaps. There's a difference between all of these themes, but we're going to do this just to give you some contrast here. Between Relator and Individualization: Individualization says I notice and honor the differences of the people around me; Relator says, I bring people close to me, and I build upon our shared or created commonalities. Similar there is Harmony and Relator. So Harmony has great energy when working toward a shared goal; Relator has great energy when working alongside trusted partners. If you're listening live, you know that we just talked about Positivity. So we're going to contrast these two. Positivity is quick energy to a team, an infusion of drama and light, emotional charge or, or sprint sort of sort of pieces. Relator is slower to create that connection. It's an investment of depth and emotional stamina. Pretty cool when you get to work with somebody has both of them. #justuseyourthemes, Jim. In a partnership, Relator can really see you; can value and seek authenticity. Relator can realize the benefits of a deeper connection. Knowing somebody really well allows you to anticipate their strengths and their weaknesses and build that into purposeful collaboration. Relator doesn't just do the work but really works on the people and works on the connection. And that's also a great benefit when you think about it in partnership.

Jim Collison 9:08

Yeah, both both Woo -- for me, (No.) 3, I'm sorry, 2, and then Relator 9. "Deep and Wide," you know that song that you -- "Deep and Wide" -- that's how I tell people about my relationships, the ability to go have both a breadth and a depth of them. And I still choose -- there are very few who I kind of allow in the inner circle, so to speak. But I can do both. And that's the, the great thing about these strengths, these talents, these themes. They don't limit one for the other. You don't think a Woo and a Relator would be opposites, right? They can be complementary.

Maika Leibbrandt 9:42

And it's important to remember those principles of strengths that nobody is just one, right, that people are -- that's why we say avoid -- it's not a labeling exercise, because you're so much more than one theme. It's not an either, or; if it was, we'd have to have a whole lot more than 34 themes.

Jim Collison 9:57

Yeah, no, for sure. So clues and advice on communicating well with Relator? It didn't seem like it'd be a communication theme, but how can we do that?

Maika Leibbrandt 10:05

Honor their need for sincerity. Don't feel like you have to put on a front. Do allow them some time to warm up, but but do it from authenticity first. Share things that are important to you; what you value, what motivates you, what bothers you. These show that you're interested in building that bond. Ask what personal achievements they are proud of, and how you can help celebrate them. Relator isn't ever about just getting the job done. And if it is, chances are the Relator is still searching while they're doing that job for possible connection. Their "relationship meter" is kind of like that app that's always running on in the background, even if nobody realizes it.

Jim Collison 10:43

What can we do to inspire or motivate somebody with high Relator?

Maika Leibbrandt 10:48

Something that's probably pretty inspirational is the opportunity to work with close friends and/or choose the people that they're working with. The people and the environment and the relationships there matter. It doesn't mean that Relator doesn't want to meet strangers, but having some say in the makeup of the emotion, the makeup of the team that creates the emotional environment is is motivating and inspiring. Also, I would say, opportunities to really immerse yourself in a relationship. Think about work that requires long timelines with a partner or work that requires a shared challenge: travel, taking a class, teaching something together, the opportunity to serve someone who needs you, mentorship, one-on-one conversations -- all of these give that opportunity to say, this is going to be better when it's deeper.

Jim Collison 11:34

And what can people with Relator do to practice this talent theme every day?

Maika Leibbrandt 11:38

Strengthen your existing relationships. Consider who you're close to right now. How could you create one additional shared experience with that person? Just like key experiences grow individuals, shared experiences grow partnerships. Find ways to practice vulnerability; to see it as a practice. The better you get at removing walls, the more comfortable you're going to make other people feel. And try out something simple -- not necessarily something easy, but something simple like stating how you feel about something without it being right, wrong, good or bad. You might even start that just in a journal and then progress to being able to say it out loud. Celebrate important milestones of the people closest to you. It might just be that you're writing them a note; it might be that you're joining them somehow. Get to know the names of your closest friends' friends; this is going to deepen your connection and help you flex that empathetic relationship muscle.

Jim Collison 12:35

Speaking of practice, so we've been going through these exercises, these talent-mindfulness exercises this season. Maika, you have a great one ready for -- I'm super excited about this. So lead us through this exercise and, and talk a little bit about it before we get started.

Maika Leibbrandt 12:50

So at this point, you can think about it as like a different section. We've made it through understanding Relator and now we're going to move into talent-mindfulness, which is a regular practice to support your own journey of strengths. So this is for you, whether you lead with Relator or not. No matter the makeup of your talents, which domain is your default, you are healthier, safer, more creative and more effective when you believe that you have a lot of love in your life. It is one of the items that we that we ask about when we measure wellbeing. And what we know from studying wellbeing is that people with thriving social wellbeing have several close relationships that help them achieve, enjoy life and be healthy. Over the next 3 to 5 minutes, we're going to explore this for you.

Maika Leibbrandt 13:35

So let's just start by making it obvious to you that you're doing a practice; you're doing something different from the rest of your day for the next 3 minutes. So do a good shrug. Just bring your shoulders up to your ears and then shake them out; let them fall. Drop your shoulders, drop anything that might be weighing heavy on you. Shake out your wrists and release any expectations. Exhale, empty your lungs of anything that's on your mind from the rest of the day. Take a deep breath in through your nose, inhaling with focus. Exhale through your lips, setting your intention on yourself and your talent. Now we're going to just reflect a little bit, now that you're in this space. Who is someone in your life who makes you healthier? Maybe it's someone whose effect on you is your physical health, your mental safety, your community experience, your confidence. Think of someone who encourages you in a way that improves your health. Now if you're lucky, you've got a whole bunch of people in your mind right now and you can't choose. But for now, just focus on one. Select the person whose face is easiest to see in your mind right now. ... Hear them say hello to you. ...

Maika Leibbrandt 15:23

Now that you're focused on that one special supporter, let's get curious about them. What's something you admire about this person? ... What's something this person consistently does well? ... What's something this person does that makes you feel important? ... Now take all those ideas and we're going to summarize them by answering a statement that has 2 fill-in-the-blanks. When I'm with _______ -- think of the person's name -- I do this more often: _______. I'm going to read that to you again: When I'm with this person, I do this more often.

Maika Leibbrandt 16:40

Oftentimes in a relationship, we do things for other people that we wouldn't do for ourselves or by ourselves. What happens when you're with this person that you'd like to take back to your own life when you're not with them? ... How could you do more of that on your own? What's the easiest way to infuse more of that -- today? We are collaborative creatures; we are made for connection. We're learning from each other every day. The healthier decisions that you make affect the people around you. There might be people who are doing this exercise thinking about you that you don't even notice. So it's going to benefit you and the 6 or 7 people closest to you, for you to really think about this: how your talent shows up and how it affects your health. That's your talent-mindfulness for today.

Jim Collison 17:42

I told you it was gonna be great. It's -- I think this is -- I just think about the folks in the chat room who, who come consistently and have become friends in ... think about this, you know, this is all digital online; they never get to see each other. But the powerful aspects of those relationships as they coexist together, whether it's it's like you and I, we rarely see each other physically, right? We're but but our we've, we've used Relator -- I've used some of it to deepen the relationship there to work together. And so I think it's just such a powerful -- I said it earlier, but it's a bond for teams, for people, for for for groups, and I think it just is one of those success factors we can't live without. So find those Relators in your teams around those that you manage or are managed by, and in let them be the bond.

Jim Collison 18:38

Well, I want to remind everyone take full advantages of all the resources we have available at the Gallup S ... oh, almost said that, Gallup Access -- yikes, read your script, Jim! Use your theme! There we go. Just Gallup Access at Send us your questions or comments -- I thought maybe I could actually do this without the script, but -- you can send us an email: Don't forget you can catch the recorded audio and video of this program as well as all the past ones. They're available on our YouTube channel, just head out to YouTube and search CliftonStrengths, easy way to find that. You can also, in any podcast player, if you want to listen to it in the car, on a train, in a plane, those kinds of things, just search Gallup Webcasts. If you're interested in becoming a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, you can see a list of all of our courses that lead to that, plus some -- just some great learning that's available for you out there, just head out to our courses site, go to And of course, you can -- if you want to join us for future live webcasts, those are all listed on our eventbrite page: (B-R-I-T-E). By the way, these are all listed in our show notes as well, for the post that you're doing. So you can head out to the new site that we have. And if you find this post, you can get that available as well. Search works really well there, by the way, too. You can join us in our Facebook group: If you're listening live, stay around for a little bit of a post-show. If you're listening to the recorded version, go out and deepen your Relator talent and and be -- or listen to that mindful exercise again. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

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