Strengths Stories In Action – StrengthsFinder Talent Theme: Ideation
I am a storyteller. I see the world as a thousand, million different storylines. I get inspired by people on the street, the clothes they wear and the stories they might tell me if I stopped to ask them questions. I see a connection between people and their environment that makes me wonder, “what if?” The thing inside of me that itches to write is the thing that sees every person as a book, and one I could write. There is something about a clean slate that makes my brain go crazy with ideas and visions. A challenge to my writing is the feeling that I cannot say enough or do justice to someone’s story I yearn to write. However, I have to believe that the way I see the world and the seemingly disparate connections between people and places and things is unique. Ideation fuels my creativity and ties me to the world around me. My Ideation talent has allowed me to discover who I am as a writer and speaker, and has given me a foundation from which to put out my ideas.
Why You Need To Invest In Your StrengthsFinder Talent of Ideation
If you lead through the CliftonStrengths talent theme of Ideation, you probably are energized by ideas and love to find new ways to do things, and can easily find connections between seemingly unrelated ideas, people or things. If you have Ideation, you are an asset to almost any group because you can build on existing ideas while also learning quickly and enhancing connections.
I believe that Ideation is at the heart of my creativity. I think the reason it’s at the top of my Top Five StrengthsFinder Talent Themes is that it cohesively uses the other four talents. I love brainstorming because I can draw on my past experiences and knowledge (Input), and because I get the opportunity to try or learn something new (Learner + Positivity), and having a great idea makes me eager to begin doing something (Activator). Part of having Ideation is what allows me to see and make these connections between my other talents.
Ideation is a powerful talent because it is so dynamic and when used frequently and consciously, can enhance not only ideas and experiences but your other strengths and talents as well.
The Superpower of Your StrengthsFinder Talent of Ideation
People naturally talented with Ideation are spontaneous, creative, insightful, and resourceful. Ideation can bring new life to a system or group or problem. People talented with Ideation usually think outside of the box when approaching a problem, and can bring fresh perspectives to anything. People with Ideation need freedom to discover and use their talent. For me, this came in the form of public speaking.
I really love the brainstorming process of group projects or starting something new. In high school, I competed in extemporaneous speaking. My love for extemporaneous speaking came from trying impromptu speaking first in middle school. We were given random prompts, and we had ten minutes to prep a story or speech. I loved the thrill of having only ten minutes to come up with something to talk about for five minutes, and that I seemed to be pretty good at it. I always found a weird story or connection.
In high school, I got talked into extemporaneous (extemp) speaking (pun intended), which was a bit more difficult yet just as rewarding. Extemp was a part of the speech and debate team, and required me to keep up with current events. At competitions I would draw a prompt with a question like, “Who do you think will win the 2016 presidential election?” I would have thirty minutes to come up with a seven minute speech that included verbal citations, and I had to persuade the three to five judges to believe me. Like I said, thrilling.
I discovered my love for public speaking at these tournaments. I found that the pressure of a blank slate and a time crunch caused me to think critically and creatively, strengthening my Ideation talent without me even knowing it. I went to Regionals in extemporaneous speaking two years in a row and gained experience and knowledge of myself that I will forever benefit from.
Applying Your Strengths To Your Career
Ideation helped me discover my love for public speaking, and it has also been a catalyst in my entrance into the blogging world. I think one of the reasons blogging appeals to me so much is because I get to put my ideas into a format that works perfectly with my Ideation. A lot of people, including me, who are high in Ideation can be low in Consistency. I can come off as lacking follow through because the combination of my top 5 StrengthsFinder Talent Themes can make it easy for me to get bored or feel stagnant. Blogging is low commitment. It’s a blank slate from which I can write about anything, and doesn’t require me to abide by rules that might hinder my creativity. With blogging, I take my ideas into my own hands, find a way to put them into my own words, and that’s it. Once I post a blog, I’m done, and I have successfully used my Ideation strength and made room for more.
Because of blogging, I have found a voice in my writing, have been able to put my ideas and skills out into the world, and have strengthened my Ideation talent.
What are some ways you can strengthen your Ideation this week at work?
- You could create a vision board to put your ideas into tangible words and pictures. Creating a road map for your inspirations and ideas might help reign in your Ideation if it tends to run wild.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up in a meeting or group setting. Often your ideas will bring new light to an old subject and can get other people to think more creatively.
- Maybe your ideation has been feeling a little stagnant or bored lately. Change up your daily routine a little. Drive a different route to work and see how your Ideation flows!
Emma Kypuros is the Creative Development Intern at Lead Through Strengths. Through her Strengths In Action stories, she explores how human relationships impact the world. She enjoys writing, cuddling with her dogs, drinking coffee, and eating avocados, in no particular order. She’s a Global Studies Major pursuing work with NGOs. She’s also chasing a writing career, and as you can see from these stories, it’s already in full force. Check out her TEDx talk called “I’m Sorry.” You’ll see a unique perspective on words and their impact on our lives. Her Top 5 StrengthsFinder Talents are: Ideation | Learner | Input | Positivity | Activator.