How To Apply CliftonStrengths Deliberative At Work

StrengthsFinder Definition - Deliberative

Often people will ask us, "What does it mean to have the Deliberative Strength?" First, know that StrengthsFinder will help you figure out your potential. We call them natural talents or natural patterns. We know you're here because you want to turn them into superpowers in your career, so here's the gist: People exceptionally talented in the Deliberative theme are best described by the serious care they take in making decisions or choices. They anticipate obstacles. Here's the full list of CliftonStrengths definitions so you can check out your other talents as well.

Gallup®, Clifton StrengthsFinder®, StrengthsFinder®, and each of the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.

CliftonStrengths Deliberative - Learn All About It

These 10-15 minute "Theme Overview" videos give you a peek into the awesomeness of your talent theme. They also explore the idea that talent themes represent potential, yet if they are not invested in, they might show up looking raw and unproductive at work.
These “Talent Deep Dive” videos explore the nuance of each talent theme. You’ll learn about its power and edge. You’ll consider potential blind spots. These are useful videos if you have this talent theme at the top of your list, or if you want to learn about a teammate who leads through Deliberative.

Your Strengths Will Strengthen Your Performance At Work

In the next section, you'll explore what fuels you up and what drains you. Just like gas (or petrol) in your car, you need to keep your personal tank full to be at your best. Each StrengthsFinder talent theme is energized and drained by different things. When you see the stick figure who looks strong, you can consider how these things fuel you up at work. They're your energy makers. When you see the stick figure who looks weak, consider if these things are draining you at work. They're your energy takers.

Yucks for CliftonStrengths Deliberative

What's a Yuck?

It's a situation, condition, or behavior you might see at work that zaps your energy. Yucks are also things you see on your calendar or to-do list that make you think, "Yuck, if I never had to do that again I'd be thrilled."

Yuck Situations for Deliberative

  • Feeling pressured to rush into judgment and action
  • Making hasty decisions
  • Acquaintances asking too many personal questions

How CliftonStrengths Deliberative Can Be Perceived When Starved

What's a Starved Talent?

This section describes how you might be perceived when the shadow side of your talent is showing. It’s when you’re overusing, misapplying, or squashing one of your natural talents rather than turning it into a strength. We often see people starve, squash, or ignore their talent when they assume it is not valued in that role or company culture.

Perceptions of Starved Deliberative

  • Hesitant
  • Slow to respond
  • Dr. No

Situations That Make CliftonStrengths Deliberative Feel Insulted

What's An Insulted Talent?

Usually, talents get offended or insulted by other people who have natural preferences that are different from yours. It also happens if they fail to see their actions have an impact on someone else (you!). You can also insult your own talents if you have a "troublemaker strength" that speaks loudly and overpowers this one.

Things That Will Insult Deliberative

  • Make this person do the rework that stemmed from someone else's hasty decisions.
  • Put them under pressure to share about their personal life.

Yays for CliftonStrengths Deliberative

What's a Yay?

It's a situation at work that boosts up your energy or makes you feel productive. Yays are also things you see on your calendar or to-do list that make you think, “Yay, fill my days with this."

Yay Situations for Deliberative

  • Exploring and uncovering possible risks
  • Cautiously considering next steps
  • Getting to think carefully and make informed decisions

How CliftonStrengths Deliberative Can Be Perceived When Fed

What's a Fed Talent?

This section describes how you might be perceived when the best version of you shows up at work. It’s when you’ve invested in your natural talents to mature them into strengths. You can feed your talent by considering “how” you approach each “what” on the job. When you apply your talents to productive outcomes, you’re feeding them.

Perceptions of Fed Deliberative

  • Risk spotter
  • Conscientious
  • Thorough

Situations That Make CliftonStrengths Deliberative Feel Honored

What's An Honored Talent?

Usually, talents feel honored when other people acknowledge your needs and potential contributions. Talents feel honored when someone “extends an olive branch” to help you work at your best. You can also honor your own talents by investing in them, by choosing work that naturally calls on them, or by applying your strengths to performance on the job.

Things That Will Honor Deliberative

  • Give them time to think and research.
  • Demonstrate that you have restraint and that you appreciate a conscientious approach.

Personal Brand - "How" Deliberative Operates At Work

Most people have a good handle on "What" they bring to the workplace. Resumes, CVs, and career development conversations are filled with lists of skills and job titles that show "what" you can do. Nearly everyone misses the "How".

Your Clifton StrengthsFinder talent themes help you communicate "How" you show up. It's how you think. It's how you feel. It's how you act. These are huge differences in each person that are differentiators on the job. Consider these adjectives you might want to consciously put into your personal branding efforts.

We recommend working a "How" description into the Summary section in your LinkedIn profile (if you don't yet use that section, don't worry, most people haven't paid attention to it until now). Of course, make up adjectives or phrases that describe you at your best. Try to avoid words like "motivated, self-starter" because they're so overused that you'll blend in with everyone else. Here are some ideas to spark your thinking:

  • Cautious
  • Safe
  • Observant
  • Intentional
  • Serious
  • Private
  • Risk-Manager
  • Forward-Looking
  • Confidence-Keeper
  • Sensible
  • Thoughtful
  • Guardian

How To Invest In Your Deliberative Talent On The Job

  • During times of change, consider the advantages of being conservative in your decision making. Be ready to explain these advantages to others when pressed.
  • You have confidence in your own judgment, so always do what you think is sensible, regardless of the impact on your popularity.
  • You see things that others do not. Whatever your role, take responsibility for helping others think through their decisions. You will soon be sought as a valuable sounding board.
  • Don’t let anyone push you into revealing too much of yourself too soon. Check people out carefully before sharing confidential information. You naturally build friendships slowly, so take pride in your small circle of good friends.
  • Partner with someone with a strong Command, Self-Assurance, or Activator theme. Together you will make many decisions, and these decisions will be sound.
  • Explain your process of careful decision making. Clarify that you highlight risk in order to take control and reduce it. You don’t want others to misconstrue your Deliberative theme for tentativeness or fear of action.

Tips For Managing Someone Who Leads Through The Deliberative Talent

  • Do not position this person in a role that requires snap judgments. She is likely to feel uncomfortable making decisions on gut alone.
  • Ask her to join teams or groups that tend to be impulsive. She will have a temporizing effect, adding much-needed thoughtfulness and anticipation to the mix.
  • She is likely to be a rigorous thinker. Before you make a decision, ask her to help you identify the land mines that may derail your plans.
  • In situations where caution is required, such as situations that are sensitive to legal, safety, or accuracy issues, ask her to take the lead. She will instinctively anticipate where the dangers might lie and how to keep your flanks protected.
  • She is likely to excel at negotiating contracts, especially behind the scenes. As far as you can within the confines of her job description, ask her to play this role.
  • Honor that she may be quite a private person. Unless invited, do not push to become too familiar with her too quickly. And by the same token, do not take it personally if she keeps you at arm’s length.
  • Do not ask her to be a greeter, rainmaker, or networker for your organization. The kind of effusiveness that this role requires may not be in her repertoire.
  • In her relationships she will be selective and discriminating. Consequently, do not move her quickly from team to team. She needs to be confident that the people she surrounds herself with are competent and can be trusted, and this confidence takes time to build.

What To Consider When Partnering With A Colleague Who Leads Through Deliberative

  • Ask this person to partner with you when you need someone to be more careful than you are - people who lead through Deliberative are great at helping you not make hasty or risky decisions.
  • When your team needs someone to question or analyze your current processes and action, someone with the Deliberative theme can help you poke holes and see things from a different angle.
  • Call on them when you need to work through objections or questions that you need to anticipate from an audience. They can help you plan for them before you’re in the critical in-person moment.

Turn Deliberative Into A Strength This Month By Making It Your Phone Lock Screen

Deliberative Talent Theme LockscreenClick on this thumbnail image of your StrengthsFinder talent theme to link to the full size image. Then save it to your phone or mobile device as your lock screen.

That way, you’ll be reminded of your plan to focus on that talent…oh…about 98 times per day when you unlock your phone. What a great way to keep your intention front-of-mind! This will help you remember to invest in this talent theme so you can take the untapped potential and turn the natural talent into a strength.

Who knew wallpaper images could be so valuable to your career?! Here are all of the lock screen images if you want to grab an image for a different CliftonStrengths talent.

Gallup®, Clifton StrengthsFinder®, StrengthsFinder®, and each of the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.

Take The 12-Week Strengths Challenge

Get stronger performance at work by using your strengths. The challenge is free. You'll get one email per week for the next 12 weeks with a simple question to uncover more of your hidden potential. If you can get your whole team to join along, you'll get crazy-cool insights about each other.

Note: if you're on this page because you're taking one of our strengths classes, you might also be getting an "Activation Course" with that program. This is a heads-up that signing up for this challenge would give you 2 strengths emails per week if you're already slated for the "Activation Course."

12 Week Challenge - Team Strengths Conversations

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