Highlight on Communication – Strengths 101
What does it mean to have Communication as a strength?
How do you interact with the world? Maybe you process events and actions visually, viscerally, or maybe you process them verbally. If you resonate with the latter, you might have Communication as a top theme. According to Gallup, “People exceptionally talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.”
You may have been told that you have an exceptional ability to express ideas and concepts. People with the CliftonStrengths Communication theme have a natural way with words and utilize their verbal skills to connect with and influence others. They have a strong desire to be understood and satisfy this need through their skill with language.
They also have a gifted ability to understand others, recognize non-verbal cues, and read in-between the lines to “hear” what’s not being said. They have a talent for asking thought-provoking questions. This skill helps them learn more about the motivations and beliefs of the person on the other end of the conversation. A Communicator’s motivation is not to put words in the mouths of others but rather to seek clarity based on what is being said.
Communication Mindset and Antics
Churchill Team Member, Alyssa Camia, shared what Communication means to her:
“Communication is very important in all aspects of life, personally and professionally. Being verbally clear and raising our voices in a positive way helps to convey our messages to the other person. Having the Communication Strength in my Top 3 has helped me put my thoughts into words. I can better express the things that are running through my mind making them easier for others to understand.
People that have the “Communication” Strength tend to be more talkative and love sharing information about activities that capture their interest.
There is a saying, “It Takes Two to Tango”. In order to be understood from a Communication perspective, you must provide detailed information with clarity in order to avoid confusion and too much back-and-forth. You must be vocal enough to ask for what you need or don’t understand. And, you must be brave enough to explain your side when necessary. Doing so will save both time and effort.
Communication should be honest in order to develop trust – a trust that every team needs to be successful.”
The Communication theme lives in the influencing domain because it seeks to have an impact on the messages that others are sending and receiving. Communication wants to not only make sure that the correct message is received, but it also wants to ensure that others are heard.
A speaker with Communication has a natural ability to identify in the moment whether or not what is being said is being registered with the audience. Based on this ability to read the room, Communicators can audit their performance to change routes when necessary in an effort to maintain an engaged audience. People with Communication engage their listeners through storytelling and giving tangible examples in order to bring their messages to life in a relatable way.
While Communication is good at recognizing and adapting to audience reactions, their flexibility in the way they communicate may sometimes come off as sporadic and lacking direction. The same idea applies to Communicators’ written communication habits when they tend to overshare. Remember that “eloquent blabbing is still blabbing”. Emails should be concise and intentional. When asking questions or conversing with another person who does not have the Communication theme, they should be mindful that others might take longer to process questions in order to give a thoughtful response.
People with Communication thrive when their talent is implemented in a way that enables them to understand what resonates with others.
The CliftonStrengths Communication can amplify other themes when partnered carefully. Specifically, Communication can be paired with Deliberative or Responsibility to soften and craft messages in a more intentional way. Communication can sometimes overreact, overemphasize, or draw too much excitement during times it’s not needed. This can include not knowing when to stop. Communication can also better personalize messages by partnering with Individualization to tailor what is being said to the specific person that is being addressed.
Communication may feel hindered when they do not have an outlet to verbally express their ideas, thoughts, and beliefs. Be sure they are on a team or in a group where time is allotted for verbal communication. Present them with opportunities, when applicable, to positively direct their communicative energies.
Someone with Communication can find the right messaging to magnify the voices of those who struggle to be heard. If this sounds like you and you have a Communicator on your team, don’t be afraid to call on them to serve as your voice. If you manage someone with Communication, ask them to be a spokesperson and help spread the word about a new initiative you have planned. In any role, invite someone with Communication to enliven a seemingly dry topic or event. They will find creative ways to make any topic interesting by crafting a memorable message to share with listeners.
If you have Communication, you can learn even more about how to hone in on the Communication Strength.
Churchill is certified and highly experienced at delivering strengths accelerated learning journeys, with four Signature Solutions: Manager Effectiveness, Team Performance, Executive Coaching, and Leadership as Great Coach. Learn more about our Strengths-Based Organization program here.
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