How To Apply CliftonStrengths Input At Work

StrengthsFinder Definition - Input

Often people will ask us, "What does it mean to have the Input 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 Input theme have a need to collect and archive. They may accumulate information, ideas, artifacts or even relationships. 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 Input - 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 Input.

These "Strengths Stories" give you another chance to see, in a very specific way, how other people with similar talents show up in life. They give you examples of where they see it in use as a strength. And they share action items that can help you aim it to performance at work.

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 Input

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 Input

  • Doing busy work, and not feeling useful in the moment
  • When you can’t find a resource for someone and you know you've curated that information in the past

Yays for CliftonStrengths Input

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 Input

  • Curating resources for the team that can be applied to current or future projects
  • Research aimed at a current job or industry trend

How CliftonStrengths Input 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 Input

  • Packrat
  • Hoarder of ideas and things
  • Bogged down in research or study

How CliftonStrengths Input 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 Input

  • A go-to for team tools and resources
  • Growth mindset
  • Sharer of knowledge

Situations That Make CliftonStrengths Input 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 Input

  • Require the use of disappearing media like live stream that can't be tagged or saved for future use.
  • Provide irrelevant tools or unfindable/unsearchable resources on the job.

Situations That Make CliftonStrengths Input 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 Input

  • Put archived resources to use.
  • Offer time to investigate and share the results of research with those who will value it.

Personal Brand - 'How' CliftonStrengths Input 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:

  • Inquirer
  • Collector
  • Sponge
  • Generous
  • Applier
  • Well-Read
  • Knowledgeable
  • Researcher
  • Investigator
  • Librarian
  • Archivist
  • Curator

How To Invest In Your CliftonStrengths Input Talent On The Job

  • Identify your areas of specialization and actively seek more information about them.
  • Make time to read books and articles that stimulate you. Schedule the times.
  • Deliberately increase your vocabulary. Intentionally collect new words and learn the meaning of each. Enjoy reading the dictionary and the encyclopedia — this might seem strange to some people, but for someone like you it is a good way to strengthen your self-concept.
  • Devise a system to store and easily locate information. This can be as simple as a file for all the articles you have clipped, or as sophisticated as a computer database.
  • Identify situations in which you can share the information you have collected with other people.
  • Accept that you will never feel that you know enough.
  • Partner with someone with a strong Focus or Discipline theme. This person will help you stay on track when your inquisitiveness leads you down intriguing but distracting avenues.

Tips For Managing Someone Who Leads Through The CliftonStrengths Input Talent

  • Focus this person’s natural inquisitiveness by asking him to research a topic of importance to your organization. He enjoys the knowledge that comes from research.
  • Position him in roles with a heavy research component.
  • Pay attention to his other strong themes. If he is also strong in Developer, he may excel as a teacher or trainer by peppering his lesson with intriguing facts and stories.
  • Keep him posted on the news within your organization. He needs to be in the know. Pass along books, articles, and papers you think he would like to know about and read.
  • Help him develop a system for storing the information he collects. This system will ensure that he can find it when he and the organization need it.
  • When you are in meetings, make a point of asking him for information. Look for opportunities to say something positive about his recall, such as “It’s amazing. You always seem to have the facts we need.”

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

  • Ask this person to partner with you when you need someone to be continuously engaged in learning and cutting edge research.
  • When you start a best practices project, consider enrolling someone with the Input talent to curate a Best Of list that highlights excellence in your industry.
  • Call on them when you need someone to access, vet, and organize large amounts of information into small, usable bits. Be sure it is pointed to a specific result. They like to aim their learning at a goal, not just collect for collection's sake.

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

Input 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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