Many years of research conducted by The Gallup Organization suggest that the most effective people are those who understand their strengths and behaviors. These people are best able to develop strategies to meet and exceed the demands of their daily lives, their careers, and their families. A review of the knowledge and skills you have acquired can provide a basic sense of your abilities, but an awareness and understanding of your natural talents will provide true insight into the core reasons behind your consistent successes. Your Signature Themes report presents your five most dominant themes of talent, in the rank order revealed by your responses to StrengthsFinder. Of the 34 themes measured, these are your “top five.” Your Signature Themes are very important in maximizing the talents that lead to your successes. By focusing on your Signature Themes, separately and in combination, you can identify your talents, build them into strengths, and enjoy personal and career success through consistent, near-perfect performance.
You are careful. You are vigilant. You are a private person. You know that the world is an unpredictable place. Everything may seem in order, but beneath the surface you sense the many risks. Rather than denying these risks, you draw each one out into the open. Then each risk can be identified, assessed, and ultimately reduced. Thus, you are a fairly serious person who approaches life with a certain reserve. For example, you like to plan ahead so as to anticipate what might go wrong. You select your friends cautiously and keep your own counsel when the conversation turns to personal matters. You are careful not to give too much praise and recognition, lest it be misconstrued. If some people don’t like you because you are not as effusive as others, then so be it. For you, life is not a popularity contest. Life is something of a minefield. Others can run through it recklessly if they so choose, but you take a different approach. You identify the dangers, weigh their relative impact, and then place your feet deliberately. You walk with care.
Driven by your talents, you are highly selective about how much you reveal to anyone about your history, future intentions, or current affairs. Consistently you refrain from intruding on people’s privacy. Why? You realize this puts you in the position of being asked and expected to answer very personal questions. Typically you let others begin conversations. This is not your forte — that is, strong point. Perhaps you are content just to listen and observe. You probably prefer to keep your thoughts to yourself. By nature, you generally present yourself to others as a no-nonsense person. People soon figure out you prefer to work or study by yourself. Because of your strengths, you are intentional and purposeful about what you do. “Rash” and “impulsive” are not adjectives most people would use to describe you. Typically you think through things thoroughly before speaking or acting. By nature, you tend to be businesslike in your approach to personal and professional issues. Chances are good that you are willing to sacrifice affection and relationships to be true to yourself. In your opinion, life is not a popularity contest. It’s very likely that you often are described as earnest and businesslike. Many individuals appreciate your methodical and unhurried way of processing facts or numerical data.
You love to learn. The subject matter that interests you most will be determined by your other themes and experiences, but whatever the subject, you will always be drawn to the process of learning. The process, more than the content or the result, is especially exciting for you. You are energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence. The thrill of the first few facts, the early efforts to recite or practice what you have learned, the growing confidence of a skill mastered—this is the process that entices you. Your excitement leads you to engage in adult learning experiences—yoga or piano lessons or graduate classes. It enables you to thrive in dynamic work environments where you are asked to take on short project assignments and are expected to learn a lot about the new subject matter in a short period of time and then move on to the next one. This Learner theme does not necessarily mean that you seek to become the subject matter expert, or that you are striving for the respect that accompanies a professional or academic credential. The outcome of the learning is less significant than the “getting there.”
Instinctively, you thirst for new ideas and knowledge. Often you lose yourself in a book. You pore over the ideas contained on its pages for long stretches of time. Why? You want to absorb as much information as you can. It’s very likely that you pay close attention to what is going on around you. You listen. You quiz people. You read. You probably take notes on key points. As you accumulate lots of information, you disregard what is unrelated, and pay heed to what is really important. The more you reflect on what you know, the more problems begin to reveal themselves, and eventually solutions start taking shape in your mind. Finally, given the situation, you select the best plan from your list of options. Driven by your talents, you might prefer to enroll in a difficult class rather than register for the easiest one. Perhaps comparing how well you are doing in relation to others has meaning only when you earn the best grades in the hardest courses. To some extent, you crave recognition for your knowledge and winning spirit. By nature, you often spend considerable time examining the details underpinning an idea. Rather than rush through your research, you typically stick with it until you are convinced everything makes sense. Chances are good that you are comfortable offering suggestions to people who regularly seek your counsel — that is, recommendations about a decision or course of action they are considering. These individuals usually feel deep affection for you. You are likely to spend time together socializing as well as working or studying.
You like to think. You like mental activity. You like exercising the “muscles” of your brain, stretching them in multiple directions. This need for mental activity may be focused; for example, you may be trying to solve a problem or develop an idea or understand another person’s feelings. The exact focus will depend on your other strengths. On the other hand, this mental activity may very well lack focus. The theme of Intellection does not dictate what you are thinking about; it simply describes that you like to think. You are the kind of person who enjoys your time alone because it is your time for musing and reflection. You are introspective. In a sense you are your own best companion, as you pose yourself questions and try out answers on yourself to see how they sound. This introspection may lead you to a slight sense of discontent as you compare what you are actually doing with all the thoughts and ideas that your mind conceives. Or this introspection may tend toward more pragmatic matters such as the events of the day or a conversation that you plan to have later. Wherever it leads you, this mental hum is one of the constants of your life.
Instinctively, you derive immense pleasure from work that requires intense, thorough, and careful consideration of the facts. You weigh the consequences of what you do, fail to do, and say. Your precision becomes apparent when you concentrate on small, factual details. You are also known for adhering to prescribed policies, procedures, standards, or specifications. Driven by your talents, you usually are quiet during conversations, taking in everything that is said. You are particularly attentive when intelligent people toss about their ideas, theories, or concepts. Often you acquire more information and gain more insights than the speakers do. When you choose to expound on a topic that interests you or pose pertinent questions, many individuals listen carefully to every word you utter. Because of your strengths, you gravitate to discussions where the participants are committed to searching for truth and reason. By nature, you naturally latch onto opportunities to acquire knowledge. You carefully and methodically think through ideas you have garnered from reading, classes, seminars, or conversations. You probably have little patience with individuals whose emotions cloud their judgment. You are likely to distance yourself from people who refuse to expand their minds. Chances are good that you acquire knowledge more easily when you can talk with others about ideas, concepts, or theories. Thoughts come alive for you when questions are posed and answers are proposed. You have a delightful time thinking out loud and listening to intelligent people express themselves. You naturally document or store in your mind bits and pieces of discussions. You want to refer back to these insights or facts whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Your Analytical theme challenges other people: “Prove it. Show me why what you are claiming is true.” In the face of this kind of questioning some will find that their brilliant theories wither and die. For you, this is precisely the point. You do not necessarily want to destroy other people’s ideas, but you do insist that their theories be sound. You see yourself as objective and dispassionate. You like data because they are value free. They have no agenda. Armed with these data, you search for patterns and connections. You want to understand how certain patterns affect one another. How do they combine? What is their outcome? Does this outcome fit with the theory being offered or the situation being confronted? These are your questions. You peel the layers back until, gradually, the root cause or causes are revealed. Others see you as logical and rigorous. Over time they will come to you in order to expose someone’s “wishful thinking” or “clumsy thinking” to your refining mind. It is hoped that your analysis is never delivered too harshly. Otherwise, others may avoid you when that “wishful thinking” is their own.
Chances are good that you notice that your ability to use common sense and reason gives you an edge — that is, an advantage — over many people. You are driven from within — that is, you motivate yourself — to accomplish more and do better work than you ever have. This is your path to success. By nature, you really and truly hear what people have to say. Your natural inclination to evaluate information from a variety of sources and angles explains your attentiveness. Frequently you find subtle insights in what someone tells you — insights of which even that person is unaware. You enjoy bringing these discoveries to that person’s attention. Because of your strengths, you rely on reason to reduce things to their simplest parts. You closely examine each element to discover how it does or does not benefit the overall situation. Driven by your talents, you routinely study the factors coming together to create a situation. You definitely appreciate individuals who invite you to share your findings. It is not your style to boldly talk about your research. However, someone you trust can encourage you to speak. Instinctively, you enjoy devoting your mental energy to thought-provoking activities. Usually these tasks force you to rely on reason and rational thinking.
You are inquisitive. You collect things. You might collect information—words, facts, books, and quotations—or you might collect tangible objects such as butterflies, baseball cards, porcelain dolls, or sepia photographs. Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting. The world is exciting precisely because of its infinite variety and complexity. If you read a great deal, it is not necessarily to refine your theories but, rather, to add more information to your archives. If you like to travel, it is because each new location offers novel artifacts and facts. These can be acquired and then stored away. Why are they worth storing? At the time of storing it is often hard to say exactly when or why you might need them, but who knows when they might become useful? With all those possible uses in mind, you really don’t feel comfortable throwing anything away. So you keep acquiring and compiling and filing stuff away. It’s interesting. It keeps your mind fresh. And perhaps one day some of it will prove valuable.
Chances are good that you intentionally collect theoretical or intricate words and terms along with their definitions. Your vocabulary often comforts specialists who struggle to explain their ideas to laypeople. You probably serve as a translator between the experts and those who rely on them for specialized information, support, or services. Simply put: You can converse with professionals, understanding exactly what they are saying — and you can be completely understood in return. It’s very likely that you yearn to know a lot. It makes little sense to you to skim through a book and read only the highlights. You delve more deeply into intriguing subjects than most people do. You love to gather all kinds of information. This explains why you take time to grasp ideas that appear in print. By nature, you intentionally include uncommon, highly technical, or sophisticated words in your vocabulary. You realize that language is a form of knowledge that gives you an upper hand — that is, controlling power — in conversations, debates, or discussions. It quickly establishes you as an authority figure in listeners’ minds. First, you capture their attention. Then you take charge of events, projects, meetings, or problem solving. Because of your strengths, you long to know more so you remain on the cutting edge of your field or areas of interest. Your inventive mind usually generates more possibilities than you can handle or fund. Nonetheless, you are committed to acquiring knowledge and/or skills. You study everything involved in a situation and conceive entirely new ways of seeing or doing things. What you already know prompts you to ask questions and delve even deeper into a subject or problem. Instinctively, you tend to express your doubts about various ideas, theories, or concepts. Using your brainpower, you put aside your emotions while calmly absorbing as much information as you can. Even though you may have never experienced a particular situation, event, opportunity, or dilemma, you exhibit the mental capacity to project yourself into it. Lively conversations with intelligent individuals stimulate your thinking about abstract or complex topics.