How To Apply CliftonStrengths Developer At Work

StrengthsFinder Definition - Developer

Often people will ask us, "What does it mean to have the Developer 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 Developer theme recognize and cultivate the potential in others. They spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from evidence of progress. 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 Developer - 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 Developer.

These Career Branding links help you apply your talents to your career. They give you examples of things you might be known for to help your personal branding at work. They also offer some watch-outs to know what situations and cultures can zap your energy.

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 Developer

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 Developer

  • Seeing wasted potential in another person
  • Typecasting people or limiting their career path

Yays for CliftonStrengths Developer

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 Developer

  • Being involved in developing other people at work
  • Seeing and supporting human growth and potential

How CliftonStrengths Developer 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 Developer

  • Obsessively helping low performers
  • Pushing those who aren’t ready
  • Imposing helper

How CliftonStrengths Developer 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 Developer

  • Patient
  • Mentor to newbies
  • Celebrates incremental growth

Situations That Make CliftonStrengths Developer 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 Developer

  • Focus solely on the work rather than those doing the work.
  • Only celebrate mega achievements while forgetting to praise small improvements.

Situations That Make CliftonStrengths Developer 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 Developer

  • Demonstrate your optimism about people.
  • Put them in a position to nurture potential in others.

Personal Brand - 'How' CliftonStrengths Developer 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:

  • Coach
  • Teacher
  • Mentor
  • Celebrator Of Growth
  • Advocate
  • Capabilities Cultivator
  • Encouraging
  • Foster-er Of The People
  • Caring
  • Patient
  • Perceptive
  • Supporter
  • Recognizer
  • People-Investor
  • Talent-Nurturer
  • Potential-Spotter

How To Invest In Your CliftonStrengths Developer Talent On The Job

  • Make a list of the people you have helped learn and grow. Look at the list often and remind yourself of the effect you have had on the world.
  • Notice when your associates grow, and tell them. Be specific about what you saw. Your detailed observations of their growth will enhance their growth.
  • Identify the mentor or mentors who recognized something special inside you. Take the time to thank them for helping you develop, even if this means tracking down a former schoolteacher and sending him or her a letter
  • Make a plan to develop your own strengths based on a detailed understanding of your talents, knowledge, and skills.
  • Partner with someone with a strong Individualization theme. This person can help you see where each person’s greatest strengths lie. Without this help, your Developer instincts might lead you to encourage people to grow in areas in which they lack real strength.
  • Carefully avoid supporting someone who is consistently struggling in his or her role. In such instances, the most developmental action you can take is to encourage him or her to find a different role — a role that fits.

Tips For Managing Someone Who Leads Through The CliftonStrengths Developer Talent

  • Ask this person to tell you which team members are growing in their jobs. They are likely to pick up small increments of growth that others miss.
  • Position them so that they can help others within the organization grow. For example, give them the opportunity to mentor one or two people of their choice or to teach a class on a company topic, such as safety, benefits, or customer service.
  • Be prepared to pay the fee for them to belong to a local training organization.
  • Set them up as those who will give recognition to colleagues. They will enjoy selecting the achievements that deserve praise, and their colleagues on the receiving end will know that the praise is genuine.
  • They may be a candidate for a supervisor, team leader, or manager role.
  • If they are already a manager or executive, look to their business unit for people who can be transferred to positions with larger responsibilities in the organization. They grow people and prepare them for the future.
  • Reinforce their self-concept as a person who encourages people to stretch and to excel. For example, tell them, “They would never have broken the record by themselves. Your encouragement and confidence gave them the spark they needed.”
  • Be aware that they may protect a struggling performer long past the time when they should have been moved or terminated. Help them focus their developing instincts on setting people up to achieve success, and not on supporting people who are enduring hardship. The most developmental action they can take with a person enduring hardship is to find them a different opportunity where they can truly excel.

What To Consider When Partnering With A Colleague Who Leads Through CliftonStrengths Developer

  • Ask this person to partner with you when the team has been feeling like the work is “thankless” - someone with the Developer theme is great at noticing and celebrating the smallest improvements.
  • When your team needs mentors to help new people grow and learn, call on those with the Developer talent to see them through a long term experience of development.
  • Call on them when you need someone who values people. If you have been putting a lopsided focus on systems and processes, someone with the Developer theme can help you see what’s going on with the people doing the work.

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

Developer 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 Icebreakers

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Listen To The Lead Through Strengths Podcast