People with Individualization in their top 5 Gallup StrengthsFinder results have a unique ability to recognize how special and unique a person is. They instinctively see the differences between people and how one is wired differently. People with Individualization instinctively observe each person’s style and notice the little intricacies about different ones. They like to find out each person’s motivation and what is important to them. People with Individualization also enjoy discovering and understanding others' strengths. In short, those with the Individualization theme are gifted at spotting the individual in a sea of people.
Because of their wiring, those with the Individualization talent theme have a natural aptitude for talent sourcing. 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 people with Individualization are tasked to form 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. In fact, many with Individualization have affirmed the use of the Strengthsfinder tool for working teams. Using Strengthsfinder, people with Individualization can draw out the best of each other. Many leaders who have the Individualization themes employ the Strengthsfinder tool to discover the strengths of each team member to tailor an engagement approach specifically.
People with Individualization enjoys customization. They enjoy personalizing rather than having an one-size-fits-all kind of approach. Some are very gifted and have an ability to pick for their friends just the right birthday gifts. The genius of Individualization talents is in the ability to notice and appreciate the unique characteristics of each person, and to customize an approach accordingly. It is often not hard to spot those with Individualization. In their natural state in appreciating the idea of uniqueness, they also desire to be unique. This desire often cause those with Individualization theme to stand out among a group. In the infancy stage and often among the younger people, this behaviour of wanting to be different, can sometimes cause tension among a team.
In Strengths School™ Singapore, the Individualization theme is a common one found among the staff. As a team, we enjoy customizing our workshops for different companies and teams. In fact, we customize a very special Strengths tag for each workshop participant. Recently, we came out with the StrengthsFinder Mug (Singapore version) as a Corporate package for our different clients.
One of the Singapore Gallup Certified Strengths Coaches I worked closely with, Mandy Lin, has Individualization as her Top Strength. With her Individualization, 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. Whenever we partner together to run a StrengthsFinder workshop in Singapore or overseas, Mandy uses her Individualization theme to engage different participants. She will adjust her engagement method to suit different individuals. She also observes keenly and can often give me timely feedback on how I can adjust my facilitation style to be more effective in the workshop. Our recent partnership, running a StrengthsFinder Leadership Workshop for a leadership team from a big Multi-National Company in Shanghai, China was a great success. My Strategic theme paired powerfully with her Individualization theme.
How can a person with Individualization turn this talent into a Strength? Here are a few suggestions.
1. KNOW 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 OTHERS 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 believes that fairness means that everyone should be treated in an equal manner. This mindset empowers them to treat people of different race, stature, culture with the same respect and honor. They enjoy the idea of having a one-size-fits-all approach and believe that no one should be discriminated. People with Individualization on the other hand believe that fairness means that everyone should be treated differently according to their personality, gender, culture, stature etc. Such a partnership ensures a good balance view of fairness
Partner those with Includer
People with Includer like to make sure that there are no one left out and they enjoy being in big group gatherings where everyone is present and no one is left out. They tend to have a group mindset. People with Individualization like to focus on individuals as they seek to bring a personalized approach to engage different individuals. They tend to have a individual mindset. Such a partnership can bring a good balance between group and individuals.
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.
Written by Victor Seet
Activator • Communication • Strategic • Self-Assurance • Command
As a Gallup Certified Singapore Strengthsfinder coach, Victor is passionate about strengths engagement and now runs his own training company, Strengths School™ (strengthsschool.com), based in Singapore. He has been actively giving Strengthsfinder leadership and team building workshops to businesses and schools in Singapore as well as Hong Kong, China (Shanghai and Nanjing) and India (Bangalore).