Personal | 6 Minutes Read
Things happen for a reason.
These five words capture the essence of the Connectedness talent theme.
People with Connectedness in their top 5 StrengthsFinder results believe that they are part of something larger. Many go beyond their immediate communities to participate in a larger cause. These causes can include being part of a school community that reaches out to other schools and organizations, volunteering in NGOs, being involved in projects that contribute towards society, or simply being part of a committee that is involved in a company-wide initiative. From my personal experience facilitating StrengthsFinder workshops and coaching in Singapore, I have also discovered that, interestingly, a large number of people strong in Connectedness have strong religious beliefs. People with Connectedness seem to have an inclination towards things divine. These beliefs do not necessarily need to be substantiated by data. Many with Connectedness believe in the idea of "divine appointment" or "fate."
In my own conversations with those who have Connectedness, one of their key struggles is understanding how this theme can be powerfully applied and harnessed for success. Connectedness as a theme can sometimes be viewed as an abstract theme, but it is a talent theme that is so filled with potential that can be powerfully applied.
One of the key aspects that many people with Connectedness have is the ability to “connect the dots.” They draw links between the past, present, and the future. They consolidate ideas well in brainstorming sessions. They see connections and patterns when they study. They draw links as they gather input by people. They have a unique ability to summarize and consolidate seemingly disparate data into macro ideas. In short, they are great at looking at the big picture. This ability to connect the dots is a unique talent that can be powerfully harnessed.
"Cause and effect" is also an idea that many with Connectedness identify with. They believe that harming others will ultimately result in harming themselves. The result is that many with Connectedness are often described by friends as considerate, caring, accepting and kind. Many with Connectedness seek to bring hope to others – they believe strongly in the idea of doing good. They embrace diverse languages, ethnic groups, cultures. Many become the bridge for those who could be potentially marginalized.
How can a person with Connectedness turn this talent into a Strength? Here are a few suggestions.
1. BE INTENTIONAL
When you experience a "what a coincidence!" moment, be quick to ask, "Is there something I can / should do?" Often, being intentional means taking a deliberate baby step to act, because this step could potentially turn into something bigger.
For example, you may have just found out that your good friend "A" works in a company that another friend "B" has applied for. Connect the two of them. Even if the job application does not work out, new opportunities can still surface. Use your Connectedness talent productively to make a difference.
2. BE PART OF SOMETHING LARGER
It is one thing to believe in something larger and another to actually be part of it. Join a greater cause. Volunteer in areas where you can contribute beyond your regular work. If you are in a religious group, make it a point to be actively involved in a cause that is important to you. This can include joining a "feed the hungry" program, organizing a singing, dancing, or art class for the less fortunate, or perhaps serving the handicapped. There are many programs through which you can make a difference.
You might be one who enjoys networking, connecting and linking people up with one another. For instance, if you are a mother, you might enjoy sharing parenting knowledge and resources with others, or connecting new mums to existing communities. If you are a church-goer, being active to connect with new people might be a way to actively play out your strengths. If you are working in a big MNC, you might enjoy connecting people across departments for information gathering, sharing of expert knowledge or simply just for relationship building. In other words, you are a bridge.
3. SEEK COMPLEMENTARY PARTNERSHIPS
Partner people strong in Individualization
Those strong in Individualization are able to see the unique contribution of each individual. Partnering those with Individualization allows the one with Connectedness to not only see the whole forest but also see the value of each tree. This partnership allows for meaningful dialogues on how to engage unique individuals towards a larger objective.
Partner people strong in Woo
Those strong in Woo are energized in engaging new people and forming new relationships. Partnering with Woo allow the person with Connectedness to leverage on the many relationships built by the Woo personality. These relationships can be powerfully leveraged when the person with Connectedness share ways to connect this pool of human resources for greater opportunities to share of ideas. For example, a mother strong in Connectedness may come up with an idea to create a resource to share ideas on how to engage young children during weekends. Partnering another mother with Woo allows for a wide network of mothers to get their hands on this resource. This partnership creates a deep impact.
Partner people strong in Adaptability
People strong in Adaptability react very well to unpredictable situations. They are also very spontaneous and thrive in dynamic situations. Partnering people with Adaptability builds great partnerships for facilitating dialogues and discussions. The person with Connectedness has the talent to connect the different points shared towards the objective of the discussion, round them up, and summarize the key points shared in the session. The person with Adaptability has the talent to facilitate discussions and react to questions and points raised during these dialogues. Such a pairing makes a great partnership in these situations.
Concluding thoughts: Many with Connectedness can sometimes feel that such a talent can seem very "iffy" in certain contexts. However, I believe that the Connectedness theme is very powerful and can be used creatively in areas of strategic thinking, execution, relationship building, and influencing. It will be helpful if those with Connectedness involve themselves with such causes.