Personal | 6 Minutes Read
“Each of us is a unique strand in the intricate web of life and here to make a contribution.” ― Deepak Chopra
People with Individualization in their top 5 Gallup StrengthsFinder results celebrate the uniqueness of each person. They are intrigued by and drawn to the one-of-a-kind characteristics of each individual, whether these are interests, quirks, habits, relationship-building styles, talents, or tendencies.
Because of their natural wiring, those with Individualization are often keen observers of other people’s strengths, seeking to bring out the best in each person. In short, those with the Individualization strength are gifted at spotting the individual in a sea of people.
Those with the Individualization talent theme also often have a natural aptitude for building productive teams. While those with the Arranger StrengthsFinder theme would start with a job that needs to be done and find the right person for it, those with the Individualization theme would start with a person and find the right job for him. Like casting directors, people with the Individualization StrengthsFinder theme are talented in using their understanding of individuals to position them to do what they do best. When forming teams, it is as though they’re putting jigsaw puzzle pieces together to form the whole: they can instinctively see how a team might be able to work well together based on their complementary strengths and skillsets.
Those with Individualization also tend to customize their approaches to others. They tend to shy away from a one-size-fits-all mentality, instead preferring to personalize so that it would match the person’s unique style. This explains why they understand that one person prefers one-on-one lunch meetings while another prefers large group gatherings, why they know that one person enjoys praise in public and another detests it, and why they tailor their teaching styles to accommodate one person’s need to be shown and another person’s need to “figure it out as I go.”
One of our Youth Development Gallup Certified Strengths Coaches, Madelia Thia, has Individualization in her Top 5 Strengths. Because of her Individualization talent theme, she is keenly attuned to the little quirks and personality traits that make each person special. It is as though a spotlight comes on whenever she identifies something that sets an individual apart, highlighting the characteristic and bringing her attention to it. Because of her Individualization strength, she is able to buy just the right gift for each of her friends.
How can a person with Individualization turn this talent into a Strength? Here are a few suggestions.
1. BECOME AN EXPERT IN DESCRIBING YOUR OWN STYLE
Growth always begins with ourselves. The more those with the Individualization StrengthsFinder theme can articulate and celebrate their own individuality, the more they communicate the underlying message that everyone is unique and the differences are to be delighted in, not feared. For example, answer questions such as these: What’s the best piece of affirmation you’ve ever received? How often do you like to check in with your manager? What’s your best method for building relationships? How do you learn best? By doing so, you help cultivate an environment in which you honor the differences of each person you encounter.
2. HELP YOUR FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES FIND THEIR UNIQUE STYLES
Because those with the Individualization StrengthsFinder theme are intuitively attuned to the unique characteristics of each person, they would do well to help others become aware of their own unique needs and talents. For example, they could ask their colleagues and friends the same questions mentioned above, then help them plan their future by starting with their strengths and designing a future based on what they do best. Plus, when working in a team or interacting with friends, those with the Individualization talent theme could help their colleagues and friends become aware of each person’s unique motivations and needs.
3. SEEK COMPLEMENTARY PARTNERSHIPS
Partner those with Consistency
People with Consistency are keenly aware of the need to treat people the same, no matter what their station is in life, so as to ensure equality. They are gifted in making judgments that are fair to everyone involved, and can therefore develop policies and procedures that help maintain the integrity of the organization in moving forward. People with Individualization, on the other hand, tend to customize their approaches as they believe that everyone has different needs and preferences. Such a partnership would empower those with Individualization to create a system that is personalized for the people it supports, while at the same time ensuring fairness for all.
Partner those with Includer
People with Includer are naturally accepting of individuals from a diverse range of nationalities, religions, and cultures. Their desire is to include as many different voices as possible, as they firmly believe in the value that each and every voice brings to the table. In contrast, people with Individualization instinctively notice and appreciate the unique strengths of each person, and can see how different members of the team would complement each other. They are also talented in understanding how different people might or might not be able to work together well. This partnership would thus encourage those with Individualization to build partnerships, teams, and groups that could work together effectively.
Partner those with Harmony
People with Harmony are talented in helping groups avoid areas of contention and find common ground. They believe that conflict and friction are unproductive, and are gifted in enhancing collaboration within groups. People with Individualization, on the other hand, tend to put together teams consisting of members of contrasting but complementary talents. Because of their differences, this sometimes leads to conflicts within teams. Through such a partnership, those with the Individualization talent theme are empowered to create greater synergy within interdependent teams uniquely suited to complete their missions.
Concluding thoughts: Truly, those with the Individualization StrengthsFinder theme are extraordinary individuals, able to pick out what sets each person, team, or even industry apart from others. While sometimes misunderstood and mislabeled as “over-customizers,” particularly if this talent theme is in its infancy stage, those with Individualization should be treasured for their ability to identify and celebrate the diversity found in humankind.