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Leading with Relationship Building Talent Themes

Gallup’s Clifton Strengths Assessment has 34 talent themes or categorizations which are further categorized into four domains: Influencing, Executing, Relationship Building and Strategic Thinking domains. The Influencing domain is made up of talent themes that have a general need to impact or reach people and get a response or a reaction. The Executing domain is made up of talent themes that have a general need to get things done and generate results. The Relationship Building domain is made up of talent themes that have a general need to connect with people’s human side. The Strategic Thinking domain is made up of talents with a general need for reasoning and reflection. However, when people invest in and play to their strengths, there is a possibility of being excellent in qualities that tend to be characteristic of domains that are not dominant in their talent profiles. For Instance, we may tend to think that the ‘louder’ more outward strengths are more leadership oriented e.g. many of the talent themes in the Influencing domain but no talent themes have a monopoly on leadership. One could make a very good leader by playing to their Relationship Building talent themes. Here is how:

People with Adaptability dominant in their talent profile tend to have a natural responsiveness to the most urgent needs of people around them. They are quick to give their full attention and time to people around them. They are energized by the flexibility associated with going with the flow. This can be leveraged beautifully in a leadership role to empower and support team members.

People with Connectedness dominant in their talent profile have a holistic worldview which is “a profound respect for the diversity of life, of cultures, of species, and a profound understanding of their subtle but vital interconnections.” This brings about the natural ability to be natural bridge builders between events, people and groups from different walks of life. A leader playing to this strength, would be a great asset in bringing some unique level of meaning to work rhythms in addition to ensuring teamwork, team collaboration, team synergies and societal involvement.

People with Developer dominant in their talent profile easily spot potential and persistently encourage and support slow, steady but sure growth in others. This makes a leader who is also a good mentor empowering those he/she leads to have a patient growth mindset. This could leave a lasting positive impact in their lives and in those they have influence over.

People with Empathy dominant in their talent profile have incredibly high emotional awareness and intelligence and easily give emotional support. They feel people’s emotions deeply and contribute a unique level of emotional sensitivity that is vital when dealing with human beings. Such a caring leader is easily trusted, creating a safe space or a healthy working environment built on a foundation of trust.

People with Harmony dominant in their talent profiles are the peacekeepers and the peacemakers. Their ideal situation is a win-win situation for all; where everyone’s perspective is heard and considered. A leader like this, could really add value in uniting the team towards a common and united goal. Individualistic mindsets could sometimes lead to unhealthy competition in a team and instability. Secondly, such a leader makes a good mediator. Unhealthy conflict is a major cause of dysfunction in any team therefore conflict resolution skills are a necessity for a team to flourish.

People with Includer dominant in their talent profile believe that everyone is welcome at the table. They tend to create open and welcoming spaces for all and ensure no one is left out. This talent theme, like Harmony in a leader, ensures true unity in a team. It ensures that everyone’s perspective is heard, considered and valued. This makes each team member feel part of what the organization stands for and is working towards which tends to lead to increased motivation and engagement.

People with Individualization dominant in their talent profile tend to be passionate about uniqueness, diversity and individuality. Their definition of fairness is not treating everyone equally but according to their unique practical needs. A leader playing to this strength would have the unique ability to make every team member feel special while practically supporting them despite their differences. This requires knowing people at a deep and intimate level which builds trust, an asset to any organization.

People with Positivity dominant in their talent profile tend to lift the energy, hope and optimism in a room. Their worldview cheers people up and inspires them to believe in everything working out for the best. This is very much needed in a world where people tend to focus more on the bad than on the good. A leader playing to this strength is able to keep the team going in a rapidly changing world of economic, political, social and environmental turmoil.

People with Relator dominant on their talent profile value small trusted circles of deep, authentic and meaningful friendships. A leader who plays to this strength at the workplace, would have a deep connection with key stakeholders ensuring an internal (team mates) and external (suppliers, clients, investors etc.) environment of trust is created.


Gloria is highly relational and has a growing passion for improving mental and emotional welfare at the workplace. She is a certified strengths coach and a Masters student in Organizational Psychology; her dissertation is on Positive Psychology.

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