…and a few confessions.
I think of talents like superpowers. They are unique to you. Talents also are a natural part of who you are. You have superpowers to uncover, too. Let’s see what we both can learn from someone strong in the Communication talent.
No Rough Draft
“I’ve never written a rough draft,” she said.
All I could do was laugh. “Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously,” she responded without hesitation. As a coach, I celebrated her ability to apply her Communication Talent with excellence to her everyday work.
In the depths of my soul, I couldn’t help but laugh at my last blog post. Before I hit publish, I had no less than 23 revisions on the post…and the post was a measly 750 words.
This wasn’t my dissertation. Don’t ask me about how many versions of that I had!
Here’s the short definition of the Communication talent:
“People strong in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.”
As a Gallup Certified CliftonStrengths (StrengthsFinder) Coach, I can’t have favorite “talent” children. But, I can tell you why I fall in love with the Communication talent every time I coach someone with this talent in their top 5.
Ok, ok, I love coaching ALL 34 talents in CliftonStrengths. There’s your first confession.
Here are five reasons I love coaching people with the Communication talent and what leaders can learn from them.
Stick with me and I’ll help you celebrate your talents, too.
Reason 1: Words Flow Freely
At the heart of the Communication talent is the ability to put thoughts into words. As a result, words flow freely. They are often quick to respond to questions, to ask questions, and to explore ideas out loud.
The people I know who embrace the best of this talent practice their communication on a regular basis. Often from the platform and pulpit, their communication talent shines.
Confession – Studying Contrasts
My words are strategic. As a result, I can spend more time choosing the right word to move us forward rather than simply communicating. Also, I want the best word (thank you, Maximizer talent). As a result, the editing process is about identifying more concise ways to say things with more powerful words.
Confession on my confession: I’ve edited this post after hitting publish.
Reason 2: They are Often Great Listeners
People strong in Communication use this talent to connect with other people. I witness this connection through listening and reflection. They often take a team meeting that is wandering and bring it back into focus with their words.
While that may sound harsh, their words make it seamless. They listen to what is happening and then use their words to shape the moment. Doing so makes them great teammates.
I’ve never known a great leader who didn’t communicate well. Communication involves a lot of give and take. I offer words, you receive the words, I respond to your words. Without the give and take of being great listeners, a conversation can be painful or drawn out.
Reason 3: They Stay in the Moment
There’s a transparent element of this talent theme that I love. Perhaps it is the dance of a great conversation that comes to life. Or maybe this talent simply finds it easier to live in the moment.
Their ability to make connections with others through words provides an opportunity to stay in the moment.
Confession – Studying Contrasts
Strategic and Achiever always have me thinking about where we are going and how I am going to get something done. It’s probably the heart of my A.D.D. moments. I also see this in other talents like Connectedness and Belief.
With these talents, individuals seek to make associations. Someone strong in the Belief talent may tune out if your core values are not in line with their core values. It’s nothing personal. It’s simply their approach to the world.
However, someone with mature Connectedness will always be able to make a connection to another person, place or thing.
Reason 4: They are NOT Perfectionists
I have never known someone with Communication talent to think about whether or not they should speak up, say something, or present an idea that has come to mind. As an influencing talent, they use their words for good.
Communication talent can use written or verbal forms of communication to process their thoughts and ideas.
The raw form of Communication may be a blabbermouth. However, even in a raw form, they are not so attached to their words that they have to be perfect.
Confession – Studying Contrasts
I am a recovering perfectionist. Maximizer, at its core, is about taking something good and making it great.When my Maximizer talent was immature I was always seeing room for improvement. I have grown to recognize this aspect of Maximizer.
Now, I manage around it. That’s what we do with strengths-based development.
I make deadlines my friend. If by Monday morning I’m going to post a blog, I have a defined period of time to make it happen. Time blocks and commitments are my containers of perfection.
I haven’t given up that part of my DNA. I simply know when to apply it.
At the same time, I have great respect for words. Words have power and influence. The weight of that power reminds me that I need to deal with them with care. I practice letting go of words to allow them to create their own worlds, but it requires effort.
Reason 5: They Are Great Storytellers
With an economy of words, I love watching people with the Communication talent take people on a journey. They quickly become the guide pointing the way for an adventure you didn’t know you wanted to take.
Their stories have meaning and depth, transparency and openness. It’s a gift to be in their presence because I often leave thinking about something I didn’t know I wanted to explore.
To all my colleagues and clients who shepherd this talent with grace, I say thank you. Your ability to paint pictures with words is a gift to all of us. You bring energy to a room. Thank you for sharing your superpower with us.
I, for one, will gladly be your audience and sounding board anytime you need one.
What do you wonder about the Communication talent? Let me know in the comments below.
Want to celebrate your talents?
Not sure what they are? Download your one-page Superpower Guide and explore five clues to talent. Yeah, even if you know your top five CliftonStrengths (StrengthsFinder) talents, the guide can be helpful to you.