Sun, 22 March 2020
If you want others to experience the best of your StrengthsFinder talent themes, you'll love our third core concept -- regulate by situation.
A Simple Concept?
Imagine you’re in front of a mixing board wherein you’re looking at your Top 5 or Top 10 from your CliftonStrengths reports. Each of your talent themes is assigned a fader so that each of them could have its own volume.
To regulate by situation is to adjust your talent theme’s “volume” based on the following:
It’s much like setting the quantities of your musical instrument or tool based on the song you wrote or the genre you're in.
From Simple To Complex
While that seems like a fairly simple concept, it gets a bit more interesting when we apply it to a team context.
Having to fiddle five to ten faders in order to manage your own talent themes can already be overwhelming. Imagine how much tougher that would be when aside from watching over your own set of five or ten, you will now have to consider that every person you interact with -- whether within or outside of the team -- could receive the varying quantities of your strengths in different ways! For example, in certain projects, they may call for a little bit more or a little bit less of that given strength.
If you think about working on this for the rest of your life, it can get really complicated!
The Experiment Mindset
The most effective way to not get overwhelmed with regulating your strengths is to think about it as just an ongoing experiment. In particular:
Apparently, she could not view Communication as her talent or strength. She had just gone through a series of performance reviews with her manager who elaborated to her what she described as bad feedback on her communication, including:
She resisted when we offered the notion that Communication could be her greatest asset. But coming into the event might as well be her opportunity to apply the core concepts of both troublemaker talents (core concept #2) and regulate by situation (core concept #3), as follows:
Core Concept #2 (Troublemaker Talents) - She needs to recognize that her love for words -- how she values them as important -- are strong points to her communication theme. The reason Communication was coming out as a troublemaker talent for her was that she was talking to think instead of thinking before talking.
Core Concept #3 (Regulate By Situation) - By turning her Communication volume high up all the time and not checking how it is being received by others, she’s clearly not regulating it. She has to start adjusting it accordingly.
In the end, it’s how she operates that can transform her troublemaker talent into a great asset.
When this results in a big wall of sound, not every person in the audience will receive it well. Loud is not for everyone.
The same thing happens at work if we think of our talent themes as a collection of variations, nuances, and colors and can be received differently by people. But many of us haven’t recognized those variations and the value of regulating that we turn our talents all the way up to all situations.
Tip: Get a feel of each situation to determine whether you should turn up your strength or pull back a little bit.
Let’s Regulate By Situation
Using the strengths volume dial in a team context, how can you regulate all your talent themes?
As you play with your own Top 5 or 10 knobs, you also face an almost infinite number of rattling and twisting as you try to find the right mix based on all of the people on your team. That’s how complex and layered it is. But that's why we have our third core concept to remind us that it's all just a matter of adjusting according to the situation!
If, for example, you lead through Individualization, you’re most likely interested in every person and what makes them unique. You’d like to learn everything you can about them so that you can customize your communication in a way that is palatable to them.
If you don’t mind to regulate in your first meeting and turn your talent theme volume right up to a 10, it might catch others off-guard and they might perceive your probing questions as intrusive.
Similarly, if you get into a company that’s focused on standard operating procedures in a highly regulated environment, trying to customize everything might not be well-received. It’s not going to fly. You will have to take that tendency down a notch.
Bottom line: Think of regulating by situation as a general concept. Then, start playing with it like experiments.
Your Team Challenge: Reflect On Your Dials
To make this core concept an even more conscious practice yet still a fun experiment to do for your team, encourage these guide questions:
Taking the time to "play it by ear" with your team will make all the difference and will bring out your unique harmony.
Ready For The Next Concept?
Up next: “E” for easy buttons. See you in the next episode!