One of the initial things that piqued my interest in Gallup’s strengths assessment was how helpful it could be for growing relationships. Their resources emphasize how strengths play out in relationships as well as how we grow our strengths in the context of relationships. Because of this I sought certification as a Gallup strengths coach.
In this post, I’m sharing three points from my workshops on how the CliftonStrengths results and resources can help us grow our relationships:
1. Our relationships grow as we understand each other. The CliftonStrengths assessment results give us a rich description of our strengths themes to start us on this journey! When we understand each other it grows a sense of closeness, makes us more patient with the other person’s shortcomings, and allows us to have curiosity and grace for our similarities and differences.
We begin with understanding ourselves, including our personality, strengths, and tendencies. Then, we get to know the other person’s personality, strengths, and tendencies. When we know both of these, we can seek to understand how we come across to the other person – which includes choosing our words, nonverbal communication, and actions so that we can grow the relationship.
For example, consider these two people: a person with the Learner theme is open to learning and experiencing new things, while another person with Consistency feels comfortable and confident with tried and true ways of doing things. How are they different from each other, and how would growing understanding help them interact positively?
2. Our relationships grow with partnering. When we partner, two people work together using their strengths themes to reach a common goal. The combination of their strengths makes them more powerful together than either one would be on their own.
An insightful book about this published by Gallup is Power of 2 by Rodd Wagner and Gale Muller. The concepts in this book work well not only for work relationships, but for marriages and church relationships as well!
For example, the strengths of Ideation and Activator make a powerful partnership combination. The person with Ideation naturally comes up with new ideas all the time, and the person with Activator naturally starts new projects. How might they have a good partnership?
3. Our relationships grow as we work through conflict in healthy ways. This is a really hard one in community! And this is where I see CliftonStrengths being incredibly helpful. Because, when we can’t handle conflict, relationships simply end instead of growing.
Three things are the source of much conflict: weaknesses, blind spots, and differences. When we can grow awareness and put words to these three things, we can begin the process of responding to conflict in healthy ways. Gallup’s CliftonStrengths resources provide helpful, personalized tools for discovering your potential weaknesses and blind spots. This is especially true if you obtain your CliftonStrengths 34 report and work with a strengths coach.
When you begin with good understanding about yourself and the other person, you are prepared to move forward with conflict resolution, which may include: self examination, discernment about whether to simply forgive or seek further conversation, using healthy communication skills, and then working together with the goal of support, growth, accountability, and problem solving.
As an example of how CliftonStrengths can be helpful for resolving conflict, imagine the tension that could develop between two people with the themes of Discipline and Adaptability. The Discipline theme thrives on calm environments and planning, while Adaptability is okay with – and may thrive on – having a lot going on and lack of plans. What might cause conflict between them?
Which of the above three areas are most interesting, or most needed in your life right now? Simply understanding each other better, partnering, or working through conflict?
If I can help you access the right resources or answer questions you have about CliftonStrengths, please reach out!
Kathryn Featherstone is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach and a board-certified Christian Life Coach. Write her a note if this post resonates with you, or you would like to learn more about being coached.