StrengthsFinder is Life Changing | Get Clear on your Needs {Step 7 of 9}

StrengthsFinder Life-changing Step 7

Of all 9 Steps, here in lies THE most powerful point of impact that StrengthsFinder and CliftonStrengths has had for me, my clients, and my family—it’s about our needs.

Consider this relational firestorm…

We have just packed our entire house to move across the country. David has been out on the ship, away from the family and insulated from the ins and out of the moving process. By the time he returns, we are moved out and staying at a beach front hotel. He is ecstatic to be with the people he loves the most. I am still catching my breath.

We are both dripping with excitement and anticipation of our month long road trip across the country. We have it all scheduled out to minimize driving hours in a given day and maximize time with friends and family along the way.

I envision long hours sitting shotgun, MacBook in lap, personal hotspot running hot, with giddiness that my work is so mobile and I can literally work from the road. He envisions those same long hours of driving, talking through the dreams of life, both big and small.

And that is where the firestorm starts.

He accuses me of being self-interested, I accuse him of being non-supportive. I think he is constrictive. He thinks I am aloof. We both think each other irrational.

It did not go well. On day 1…or on day 14, sadly. We just kept hitting a wall. Frustration fast turned to contempt and it was a downward spiral from there. (Plus, staying with friends and family and driving hours with our kids within earshot behind us did not really make for great “duke it out” conversations!)

We had different visions and different approaches. And really, we were both hurt. Hurt that the other did not see what we need most.

Marriage Conflict

Our Top 5 Strengths are good at telling us WHY we approach life and see the world as we do. They are great at helping us determine HOW we perform our roles at work and at home and HOW we can refine our behavior to experience even more energy and success.

But what they do best of all is give us specific insights into our deepest and most individualized needs. They help us see what we truly need to thrive, and give us insights into why some things might frustrate us to no end.

Around Day 14, when we had finally suffered enough, we finally turned to our Strengths (yes, I, who live and breathe these things took 14 days to be humbled enough to get there).

And what we found was the the root of our firestorm.

My Achiever and Arranger that needed to work at my own pace, and with flexibility, was challenged by his rigid expectation of constant conversation.

His Relator need for deep one-on-one relationship was being violated by my assertion that work takes priority.

These needs are not optional nice-to-haves. These are bonafide, deep psychological and emotional needs that must be met in order to thrive. Otherwise, we just shrivel. Which is what was happening as our road trip went up in smoke.

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When our needs are not being met or are violated, we are set up for frustration and even failure. We are drained and frustrated, and often times, we cannot put our finger on exactly why that might be.

Your StrengthsFinder Top 5 Strengths give you the best shortcut I know to identify and remedy the root of your greatest frustrations and firestorms of your own.

So, get laser clear on your needs by starting with these basics:

  • Read through your Strengths descriptions again and identify clues to your ideal environments and what your Strengths need.
  • Think: What are the specific elements of environments that you find extremely satisfying? And which others leave you laying flat?

Or for a lightening fast short cut, use this popular FREE tool to give you a starting idea for what your Strengths really need.

  • Bring it home with a recent story from your own experience (this video has another of mine if you’re looking for another example):
    • Think of the last extremely frustrating experience you have had, whether with a colleague, manager, spouse, or child. Take a deep breath in. Exhale long and slow.
    • When you break down the frustration into smaller pieces, what was the piece that really set you off?
    • Rather than focus on his or her behavior, focus your attention on what underlying pieces of you felt violated or misunderstood.
    • Look at the needs you pulled from your StrengthsFinder Top 5 Strengths. Which of these was mistreated or misunderstood in that frustrating moment or experience?

StrengthsFinder Bring Need Tool

This was not easy for me at first. In fact, I still have to dissect frustrations carefully to see the root of the demise. Most often, I can see that my own psychological and emotional needs have not been met or even worse have been discounted or tromped on.

This exercise is both weighty and enlightening. Once you see your Strengths as windows into your needs, you are poised for even more action and impact through your Top 5 Strengths.

{Check out the FREE 3 page fillable/printable Checklist to be sure you get this one marked off}

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As always, let me know how you are coming along on your own “Strengths Journey.” I want to help you! So connect with Isogo over on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

One of the best places to join the conversation is over at our Facebook Group — Energy Up Frustration Down by Strengths. Join us for weekly chatting, complaining and commending, as we all try to figure out just how to use our Strengths to impact the most important things around us—in our work and life.

{In the meantime, check out the FREE 3 page fillable OR printable Checklist to follow the 9 Steps to Life Change through your Strengths}

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Stay tuned for next week as we dive into STEP 8. Or if you have missed them, check out Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Step 5, and Step 6 from the past several weeks.

If you’re ready for expert insights about your StrengthsFinder Top 5 that go beyond your standard report, but maybe are not ready for a full-on coaching conversation, I’ll send you maven insights and a real story on each of your Top 5 Strengths, straight to your inbox for just $14. Would love to help you make your Strengths “work” for you.

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