This article seeks to bring clarity to resolve internal conflict when a person has talent themes that highly contrast with one another.
Though low chance of happening, but there are people who have more than 1 pair of unlikely-paired contrasting talent themes in CliftonStrengths. This article’s case study is on Adaptability, Context & Focus talent themes.
‘Adaptability & Focus’ and “Context & Focus’ both have less than 1% chance of appearing together in one’s Top 5.
Adaptability talent theme
The genius of your Adaptability talent begins with where you “live” in terms of your mind. You live in the present – – – even the present moment. Whereas others live their lives in their “rear-view mirror”, always looking to the past and being tied to the past, you are a right here – right now person. The genius of this perspective means that you can change and change quickly. Rather than being rigid, you are flexible; and rather than being tied to some pre-set plan, you can quickly change to meet immediate demands and circumstances that require attention. But the real genius of your adaptability is seen in circumstances that make others scramble and cower into some safety zone for security. Your genius talent of Adaptability comes to light in chaos. In fact, you not only deal with chaos, you get energized, come alive and get a thrill out of chaos as you “ride the wave” and quickly make the changes that chaos requires. This then points to another genius aspect of your Adaptability talent. You can learn and change so quickly.
Context talent theme
The genius of your Context talent is found in the way you think about the past and use that form of thinking to learn, plan and solve problems. The present is important to you, but in your mind, the present is best understood by seeking to understand what has led up to the present. Thus, your mind often goes backwards and looks for what has caused what we are experiencing today. This look to the past gives great wisdom for understanding the present and forms a basis for making informed decisions and plans in the present and for the future. The genius of your Context way of thinking provides you with a basis for making high quality decisions and plans and for problem-solving. In addition, as you apply the genius of your Context way of thinking when you learn, you will learn with great understanding which results in high achievement.
Focus talent theme
The genius of your Focus talent begins with what you can do with your mind. You can focus your attention to an unusual level of concentration. That concentration enables you to amass facts and information, read with clarity of understanding, and solve problems with great precision. You can concentrate to the extent that people may come into a room you are in, and you may not hear or see them. While others pride themselves with their ability to multi-task, you know that for you, you are most productive when you concentrate on one thing at a time. Your focusing talent results in prolonged concentration to address and solve complex problems and planning processes. You learn in great depth, and because of your focusing, when you learn, plan and solve problems, your recall is remarkable.
What if you have Adaptability, Context & Focus talent themes in your Top 5 themes?
“ADAPTABILITY + FOCUS”
You concentrate on the here and now. If there is a change in your environment, you can respond quickly and effectively.
The uniqueness of Adaptability theme is that rather than being rigid, you are flexible; and rather than being tied to some pre-set plan, you can quickly change to meet immediate demands and circumstances that require attention. This seems to be in direct contrast with Focus theme. You will experience internal conflict and confusion when you stereotype yourself to be either ‘rigid’ or ‘flexible’. Once you master your wide range between ‘fixed’ and ‘flexible’, you can then make intentional choice to get the right blend of Adaptability & Focus in a specific season for a specific task with a person(s).
“CONTEXT + FOCUS”
By taking time to consider prior events and experiences, you get better at prioritizing activities and concentrating on outcomes.
The uniqueness of Context theme is that you look into as many clues from the past to see the pattern on why things are happening presently in order to move to the future. Focus theme operates differently in that the main goal that needs to be achieved must not be ‘contaminated’ by other factors (eg. things that happened in the past) so that the prolong concentration to make things happen from now till the end is all that matter. Once you master your wide range between ‘multiple causes from the past’ and ‘singular concentration towards the future goal’, you can then make intentional choice to get the right blend of Context & Focus in a specific season for a specific task with a person(s).