RelatorRelator Strength: Get Known For Your Talent

I get tons of questions about how to go deeper to align your CliftonStrengths talent theme of Relator with your career. So in this series, I break down one strength per episode.

That way,  you can add to the insights from your StrengthsFinder report and make a better match between your job and your strengths.

- If you’re reading as a manager, use this series for career development ideas and even new clues about responsibilities you could give a person with this talent theme so that they can show up at their best.

- If you’re reading for yourself, use this as a chance to build a reputation for your strengths so that you’re more likely to be given assignments that live in your strengths zone.

Today, the talent theme of the episode is Relator. You’ll get three layers to chew on:

  1. Career Branding
  2. Red Flag Situations At Work
  3. Fresh Application Ideas

Career Branding For The Relator Strength

You probably already have a reputation for what you know. If you imagine your resume or your LinkedIn profile, I bet it's full of “the what,” which are things like job titles, skills, knowledge, expertise, or the degree you earned.

What’s missing in most resumes and profile is "the how,” and this is where your StrengthsFinder talent themes live. This is an overlooked use for LinkedIn. That's why it's not just for job seekers - it's also about shaping your career.

I bet you are just like my StrengthsFinder training clients, where you don’t see your teammates and customers every day. That’s why LinkedIn has become so important for career branding. It's where your teammates, customers, and vendors go look you up before a meeting - to see who they’re about to talk to.

Rather than only telling them what you know, you should also give them a peek at how it is to work with you.

Here are a bunch of adjectives to consider using in your career branding efforts and your LinkedIn profile when you lead through the Relator strength. People who lead through Relator often have a tight-circle, a good BS Alert System, and are often:

  • Friendly
  • Genuine
  • Loyal
  • Transparent
  • Comrade
  • Revealing
  • Caring
  • Trustworthy
  • Tight-Circle
  • Compatriot
  • Intimate
  • Authenticity-Spotter
  • Deep Connector
  • Relationship-Focused
  • Confidant

Red Flag Situations When You Lead With The Relator Strength

These are the cultures, interactions, or situations that feel like soul-sucking drudgery to someone with the talent theme of Relator. They might even make you want to quit the team. So I’ll give you a couple of these to be on watch for — because if they fester, you might get the urge to disengage on the job or become detached at work.

Here are a couple of Red flags for the Relator strength (talent theme):

  1. Keeping Up Appearances. If you lead through the Relator strength and you feel that people are always Peacocking around to show off only the polished, perfect parts of their contributions at work, you’ll probably be drained by the relationships at work because you think they’re fake and superficial.
  2. Transactional. If you’re in a role where there’s no time or desire for building relationships over time, you’ll be drained by it. If the sterile, fast, transactional exchanges are part of the expectation, you need to find other ways to fuel your need for care and friendships. Try challenging yourself to see how quickly you can drip in relationship-building anecdotes into a 30-second conversation (note: this doesn't mean superficial, talk-about-the-weather type of small talk). Activities like this will help you test it out to see if there’s room for relationships in your organization.

3 Fresh Application Ideas For The Relator Strength

These are ways to apply the talent theme of Relator at work , even when the job duties on the team feel pretty locked in. If you’re listening as a team manager, be sure to have a conversation around these ideas. You’ll both be able to come up with places to apply them.

For someone who leads through the Relator strength, put the talent to good use with one of these options:

  1. Nurture. When you need a deep relationship to develop over time, think of someone with the Relator talent to nurture it over the long term. For example, this could be someone who manages your most important account. Or it could be the person who onboards new hires as their first-year mentor. Or it could be a performance coach who helps a peer develop over time.
  2. Confidentiality. Sometimes you can’t tell everyone about a decision or a product or a process change. Yet you need someone to be assigned to it. Often, people with the Relator talent are great keepers-of-confidences. Especially when they can tell it is important to someone else.
  3. Authentic. Imagine a situation where your team or your brand is getting dinged for being stiff, stodgy, and old school. You’re afraid to swing too far into the informality that seems to be taking the world by storm. You still worry about professionalism, yet you need to attract great talent to your team. If you’re trying to strike the balance, call on someone with the Relator talent to bring the authentic, professional personality of your team out to the world. This can be valuable for marketing your team and your company when you’re hiring for the next opening.

So there you have it. It’s a quick tour for building your career through the talent theme of Relator.

Here's Your Personal Branding Homework For The Relator Strength

  1. Go take action on your LinkedIn profile with the career branding section. Challenge yourself to write one sentence in the Summary section of LinkedIn that captures how you collaborate as a teammate at work.
  2. Then think over the red flags to see if there’s anything you need to get in front of before it brings you down.
  3. Volunteer your talents through the application ideas. And if you’re a manager, have a conversation with your team members about which of these things sound like something they’d love to have more of.
  4. Dig into the Relator strength all the way. You can really nerd out on the nuances on the Relator Talent Theme Page.

 

Here's A Full Transcript Of The 9 Minute Episode

 

You're listening to Lead Through Strengths, where we help teams apply their greatest strengths at work. I'm your host, Lisa Cummings and I got to tell you, it's hard to find something more energizing than using your natural talents every day at work.

And as you might expect, I get tons of questions about how to align your CliftonStrengths talent themes with a career. So, in this series, I break down one strength per episode. This time, it's Relator so you can add the insights from your StrengthsFinder report, and then make a better match between the job and the strengths.

 

Now, if you're listening to this as a manager, use this series to consider career development for your team members who lead through Relator. Use it to find clues about responsibilities or tasks or assignments that you could give this person so that they can show up at their very best. Now, if you're listening for yourself, because you have the Relator talent theme, use this as a chance to build a reputation for your Relator superpowers so that you're more likely to be given assignments that help you live in your strength zone.

I'll give you 3 layers to chew on. One is career branding. The second is red flags, situations you need to watch out for at work. And the third is fresh application ideas.

So, as we start with career branding, you know that you already have a reputation, but your reputation is currently likely all about what you know. So, if you imagine a resume or a LinkedIn profile, they're always full of the what, things like the skills, the knowledge, the job titles, the expertise, the degrees.

What's missing in most of them is the how. This is where StrengthsFinder talent themes live, the how. That's your secret sauce and this is an overlooked use for tools like LinkedIn. See, that tool is not just for job seekers because I bet you are just like most of my Strengths Finder training clients, where you don't actually see your teammates and your customers physically every day. That's why LinkedIn has become so important for career branding, because it's how your teammates, your customers, your vendors, it's how everyone goes out and looks up people before meetings. They want to know who they're about to talk to, they want to see what you're all about. And so rather than telling them what you know, you should also be giving them a sneak peek at how it is to work with you.

So here are a bunch of words and phrases that you can use in your career branding efforts and in your LinkedIn profile.

 

[2:44] If you lead through Relator, you are likely friendly, genuine, loyal, transparent. Sometimes transparency and authenticity get overused I will say, so be careful with those two as they come up. Caring, trustworthy, tight circle, authenticity spotter, so you can see it in others, also known as bs alert system, that one might be a little risque but kind of fun, deep connector and relationship focused. You can see how that's so much more exciting than writing, “I'm a motivated team player”, just what most of these profiles say.

So now let's move on to these red flag situations at work. These are the types of team cultures, the kinds of interactions or the situations that are going to feel like soul-sucking drudgery to you. If you have the talent theme of Relator, there are things that might even make you want to quit a team. So, I'm going to give you a couple of them to be on watch for because if you let them fester, you might get the urge to quit the job or become detached at work, or be the actively disengaged cancer on the team.

So, two red flags to watch out for with Relator. One, I'm going to call it keeping up with appearances. If you have the Relator talent theme and you feel that people are always peacocking around to show off, and they only show the polished perfect parts of their contributions at work, and you think they're putting on airs, you're probably going to be drained by the relationships at work because you think they're fake and superficial.

The second is transactional. If you're in a role where there's no time, and there's no desire for building relationships over time, you'll probably be drained by it. So, if there's a sterile, fast transactional kind of exchange, and that's part of the expectation on the job, if that's the case for you, you need to go find other ways to fuel your need for care and your need for friendships so you could do that in place on the job.

One idea is to try challenging yourself to see how quickly you could drip in some relationship-building anecdotes, even in little 30 second conversations. Activities like that, challenges like that, you give yourself, they'll help you test it out to see if there's room for relationships in your organization. Even if people act like it's decidedly robotic, and it's all about business, it's not about people thing.

Okay, 3 fresh application ideas for Relator.

So, think about this. If you have the Relator talent theme, as I offer up these ideas, be thinking about the ones that appeal to you. And if you love one of the ideas, think about how you can bring that to your manager so that you can volunteer that talent to the team, so that you can have fun living in your strength zone.

If you're a manager, I'm going to frame these up as if you're assigning work based on these ideas. So, for someone who leads through Relator, put their talents to good use with one of these 3 options.

One, nurture. So, when you need a deep relationship to develop over time on your team, then, as a manager, think of somebody with the Relator talent theme to nurture that relationship over the long term. So, to give you an example, it can be somebody who manages your most important account, or maybe it's a person that you assigned to on-board new hires and be a first-year mentor, or it could be a performance coach who helps another person develop over time. The key here is, over time. It's not just a one-time transaction kind of thing. This is something that develops over time.

And second application idea, confidentiality. Interesting angle here. But you know, sometimes this happens as a leader, you can't tell everyone about decisions that you make. You can't tell everyone about products you're about to launch. You can't tell everyone about every process change or even the ‘whys’ behind it. And sometimes even when you need to keep something under wraps, you might need a somebody to be assigned to it. You might need somebody to execute and they have to keep the confidences. Well, people with the Relator talent are often great keepers of confidences, especially when they can tell it's important to someone else, because this is a relationship talent theme.

So, if they know it's important to you, as a leader, as a company that this is kept under wraps, then they are a great person to potentially do that.

The third, authentic. Now, imagine a situation where your team or your brand is getting dinged for being stiff or stodgy or old school and you're afraid to swing kind of over into the informality that seems to be taking the world by storm. And you might worry about professionalism. But you know that to attract talent to your team, you need to be appealing and a little more human.

You don't really know how to strike the balance? Well, calling on someone with the Relator talent, that is a great idea to be able to bring the authentic, but still professional personality of your team out to the world. So, it can be really valuable for marketing your team and your company when you're hiring for your next open rec. Let them help you bring those qualities out.

So, there you have it. That's a quick tour for building a career through the talent theme of Relator.

So, the homework is: Number one, if you have this talent theme, go take action on your LinkedIn profile. Do some career branding, challenge yourself to write one sentence in the summary section of LinkedIn that captures how you collaborate as a teammate with relator.

The second one, this is all about red flags. If you lead through Relator, go review those red flags and see if there are any of them you need to get in front of, before they create a problem for you. If you lead as someone with the Relator talent, go look at those red flags and think about your team culture. If those things reflect the norm in your team culture, get working with the person with the Relator talent before it becomes a problem and before they disengage.

And then finally, third, this is about volunteering and applying the talent themes. If you lead through the Relator yourself, look at the application ideas I raised and if one of them appeals to you, go consider how you can offer those talents up to the team or how you can talk to your manager about getting assigned those kinds of roles. If you manage someone on the team, have a conversation about these few things, and get some real concrete ideas about how you could apply them on the team.

With that, I'm your host Lisa Cummings from Lead Through Strengths. Now, if you're thinking about doing a virtual or an in-person event, to kick-off your strengths-based culture, head on over to leadthroughstrengths.com/training. Check out our current StrengthsFinder offerings and leadership offerings and see if any, are a good fit for you.

Until next time. Thank you for being part of this powerful strengths movement that helps people unleash the awesomeness that they already have inside of them.

About Andrew Kroeger

Andrew's Top 5 StrengthsFinder Talent Themes are Strategic, Futuristic, Learner, Relator, and Ideation