March 9, 2011

My top five strengths: #5, Relator

About two years ago, I did this thing called Strengths Finder 2.0 at Day Job.  In 2011 I will blog about my top strengths and perhaps about my least strengthful parts of me.

Strength #5:  Relator
People who are especially talented in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with
others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.

For the first 38 years of my life, I thought I was an introvert, a tech guy with my head down, a get-things-done kind of person who shunned social situations.  Turns out I was wrong, sort of.  Strengths Finder 2.0 tells me I'm a Relator.  (Not someone who sells houses.)  After careful consideration, I agree.
Chances are good that you have the ability to instruct.... It’s very likely that you fill your mind with new ideas... you understand why individuals behave they way they do in different situations. By nature, you bond with and work well with people who tell you what they want to accomplish in life. Driven by your talents, you may have friends who come to you for guidance, suggestions, or recommendations. Topics might include situations in their personal or professional lives.
As my best man, Chris, said in his roast toast at my wedding, I am a hard person to get to know.  I am not public with my thoughts and feelings, never have been.  I've been a better listener than sharer.  I find so much more ease and comfort when writing than when speaking.  But, he added, it's worth the investment.

In high school, I offered a shoulder to cry on.  It seemed that all the girls had boy-based sorrows they didn't mind confiding to me, though none of them were interested in being sorrowful about me.  Which still makes me a little bitter, to be honest.

I see today that this has been a theme throughout my life.  It hasn't always been shoulder-crying; sometimes it's been career planning, relationship assessment, or work-politics navigation.  I've spent my life seeing "both sides of the issue," assessing why people make the crazy (and not so crazy) decisions they do.

I think this has helped me in my writing; I spend a lot of my creative effort on making sure characters behave the way they should, are motivated by situations the right way.  I think my stories have a ring of truth, even when they're utterly fantastical, because the characters are believable.

So feel free to bring me your problems or the issues you're struggling with.  I will probably be able to help you through them.  I won't give you answers, but I'll help light your way as you find the answers yourself.

I get it.  I can relate.

1 comment:

Laurel said...

I don't think that the relator label conflicts with the introvert one. You have to be an observer to relate well. Listening is a special skill and comes more easily to introverts, I think. Instead of thinking about what you are going to say next, you absorb and examine information.