This little tin of cookie cutters belonged to my namesake, great-grandmother Kathryn. A few of her kitchen gadgets have been passed down to me, and now find a home in my kitchen pantry. One cookie cutter is missing in this set, but originally each differently shaped piece was designed to fit together perfectly within this tin.
Each person is like a cookie cutter in this tin, uniquely shaped with different talents and potential strengths. No one person can be all the shapes. None of us can be completely “well-rounded” or good at everything. But together, our shapes and strengths can fit together so we can be well-rounded!
The Gallup CliftonStrengths 34 assessment is an excellent tool for discovering our “shape.” It’s great to start with finding out our Top 5 Strengths Themes. But discovering our CliftonStrengths 34 allows us to discover even more fully who we are!
It’s very helpful to know all of the themes we use regularly, which may include the first 10 to 15 themes. Our themes #6, #7, and #8 may strongly impact how we use our Top 5. Understanding these gives a much more complete picture of how you use your themes.
As we go down the list of 34, the themes describe us less and less. The themes at the bottom are typically non-talents. These themes simply don’t describe us.
Like the cookie cutters in the tin, each shape brings something different and fills in the circle until it is well-rounded. We can use our different themes together to be more effective and to balance out each other’s weaknesses.
How can we become more “well-rounded” together?
- Embrace our top Strengths Themes, and focus on growing them! This is where you’ll have the greatest success.
- Let go of our non-talents, or themes that don’t describe us. We don’t need to try to be someone we’re not.
- Appreciate and understand people who are talented in our non-talent themes. It is easy to misunderstand each other and struggle with our differences.
- Be curious and learn about how other people use their themes. Don’t assume that people with the same Top 5 themes will be the same as you.
- Partner with each other! Keep your eyes open for people with themes you don’t have so you can complement one another.
The Power of 2, published by Gallup, is full of ideas on how to live out great partnerships. It’s about the synergy that happens when two people with different themes work together. With synergy, 1+1=more than 2! We can experience this as we partner in any relationship, not only at work but in our homes and communities as well.
Gallup has designed tools especially to help people in teams experience being “well-rounded” together. A Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach can assist with this. Coaching for strengths can help individuals in a team get what they need, grow teamwork and relationships, and help the team achieve their goals.
We want to use our strengths confidently and creatively, while appreciating others who have the strengths we don’t. When this happens, we become like the body of Christ: each different part of the body uses its giftedness and abilities for the purpose of working together and living out love.
“He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” ~Ephesians 4:16
Do you want to discover your CliftonStrengths 34? If so, let’s talk! Write me a note and we’ll find a time to connect.
When have you partnered well with someone with different talents and shaping? What made this work well? Or not?
Do you know a team that could benefit from this? If so, I’m interested in hearing what your needs are. As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach I’m trained to work with leaders and teams to help them improve their working relationships.