Strengthsfinder - Five Themes Together

I've written about each of my Strengthsfinder themes as singular topics. Now I thought I would explore how the combined set of five themes (Intellection, Empathy, Input, Learner and Connectedness) represent my way of being.

So what? So I have some labels. What the heck do I do with them? The first thing that happened for me was a big sigh of relief that these things I had seen as weaknesses could be viewed as strengths. Then I worked at connecting (yay!) these strengths to my relative state of energy, especially for work. I realized that the tasks that took most of my time when I was the chief executive of my firm were probably not in my areas of strength more often than not. I spent some time examining what energized me and was able to directly link them to the strengths themes.

So what does the combination in play look like?

It comes down to an insatiable desire to learn and store information that I'm really interested in - primarily personality, identity, intelligence, creativity and behavioral psychology - so that I can come up with ideas that may help people in my life move toward self-actualization.

The Internet has been both a blessing and curse in my life. I mean, what good Intellection/Input/Learner/Connectedness person (and introvert to boot) wouldn't love, love, love spending hours upon hours surfing the web? The whole concept is set up for me. One bit of learning connects to another. I collect information like state quarters and churn my mind thinking about all the stuff I've collected and connected. Whee! The trick can be what to do with all that stuff (and knowing when to stop!). So when I'm sitting having coffee with someone or am in a staff meeting, I might hear a question or at least a hole in information and think, "oh, this thing I learned about and stored away in my mental files might just help this person."

In my work as a brand strategist in a marketing firm, it comes together like this: I establish rapport with clients and start collecting intelligence about them. I ask questions and listen to learn as much as possible. Then I go out and find supporting information by looking through databases, publications, books and so forth, as well as talking with their customers. I look for patterns in the information. All the while I'm connecting and reconnecting dots. A lot goes into the funnel and what comes out the other side are tightly focused observations and statements - brand essences, word pictures of their cultures and stories they can tell to support their brands.

Incidentally, I've learned from other sites that Empathy is a Relating theme and the other four – Intellection, Input, Learner and Connectedness – are Thinking themes. Relating themes are about working with people while Thinking themes are about working smarter. [Edit 9/14/09: Thanks to the author of the site I originally referenced, Tim McGinnis (see comment below), I now know that Gallup considers Empathy and Connectedness as Relating themes and Intellection, Input, and Learner as Strategic Thinking themes. Note the addition of the word Strategic to Thinking.]

I'm testing my theory out here with my (3 or 4) readers. What do you think? Does this make sense? If you've landed here because you have similar themes as mine, does what I'm saying ring a bell with you? Can you see connections I've missed? What else would someone with my strengths themes do with that energy?

More on Strengthsfinder:
Related posts
Connectedness - Strengthsfinder 2.0
Learner - Strengthsfinder 2.0
Input - Strengthsfinder 2.0
Empathy - Strengthsfinder 2.0
Intellection - Strengthsfinder 2.0