Seeing My Often-Misunderstood Talents as My Superpowers

cliftonstrengths discipline talent superpower(This article is written by Shayln, the Programme & Operations Manager at StrengthsTransform. Learn more about Shayln’s Top 5 Talent Themes: Discipline, Responsibility, Harmony, Connectedness, Consistency)

Discovering my CliftonStrengths is like doing an MRI of my brain. I’m able to see why I think, feel, and behave differently from others, and what makes me, me!

The “OCD” Girl

As a child, I take pride in being good at the “Spot the Difference” games. It’s somehow easy for me to see details in each picture. Just like a microscope, I easily zoom in into the minute and fine-detailed things.

I’ve also been an avid planner since young – Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, Backup Plan A, Backup Plan B, Backup Plan C. To me, planning is akin to walking through the exact steps in my head of what I’m going to do. The question I often ask myself when it comes to planning is simple – “What am I going to do next?”.

Because of that, my friends typically labelled me as “OCD”. Whenever we collaborate and make plans together, they often question why I’m so particular about certain things.

For example, when planning an overseas trip, I would always chart out in detail the route to an attraction we’re visiting. Even going as far as listing down the step-by-step directions such as the train station exit and street name to walk on.

My friends see this as sweating the small stuff as they would prefer to just rely on Google maps when they’re there. But to me, I’m able to see how planning for this small detail makes things more efficient since we do not need to spend unnecessary time trying to figure our way around.

It’s not “OCD”, It’s My Superpower!

Now with my CliftonStrengths profile, I can explain why – #Discipline is my number one talent, which enables me to plan in detail. I’m able to break down something big into smaller parts and organise it in a way that is most productive.

Working with schedules and timelines is what I love. I have all things planned out in my calendar, and that is what guides my time. I interact with it daily, and I value the predictability and order in the things I do, making me the most efficient I can be.

This is not being “OCD”, this is my superpower! This is naturally me!

My Superpower Winning Combination

(#Discipline + #Connectedness + #Consistency + #Responsibility)

The most insightful discovery is when I see how many of my top talents work together. When my talents operate in clusters, this is where I do what I do best.

While #Discipline zooms in and allows me to see the finer details, my #Connectedness allows me to zoom out. #Connectedness sees the big picture of things and how everything is interlinked, with each part affecting the next. Paired together, the ability to zoom in and out becomes so powerful because it’s insanely robust. There is so much clarity in the way I view the world!

My #Discipline would help me think of the best way of getting things done, repeatedly. Just like a routine, I would chart out the step-by-step instructions to this seamless process that works every time. Combining this with my #Consistency, I know that these processes will also help ensure fairness across all the organisations that I serve. For example, it is very important to me that each participant is equipped with similar resources, materials and logistics that they will need in a workshop, so that no participant gets shortchanged. 

Not only do I come up with evergreen processes for myself, I’m also able to do it for others. My #Responsibility talent helps me take psychological ownership over group tasks as I look out for those whom I work with.

When working on projects with my colleagues, I would oversee the whole project timeline and keep the team on track and accountable, as each member completes their part accordingly to plan. The meticulous planning and clear processes not only position the team for efficient execution, but they also act as the engines that drive my projects to success!

Learning about my talents really puts things into perspective for me. Now, I can articulate the way I think, feel and behave with confidence. Instead of feeling out of place with my “quirks”, I’ve grown to appreciate what I’m good at and leverage on it as my superpower!