How To Apply CliftonStrengths Intellection At Work

StrengthsFinder Definition - Intellection

Often people will ask us, "What does it mean to have the Intellection 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 Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions. 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 Intellection - 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 Intellection.

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 Intellection

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 Intellection

  • Being the recipient of decisions (and needing to execute on them) without explanation
  • Working on a team where acting before thinking is the

Yays for CliftonStrengths Intellection

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 Intellection

  • Offer time to think deeply about both the theoretical and practical
  • Having time to get thoughts together before reporting out or sharing opinions in the group

How CliftonStrengths Intellection 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 Intellection

  • Grammar police
  • Aloof
  • In his/her own world

How CliftonStrengths Intellection 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 Intellection

  • Conceptual, smart, deep
  • Demonstrates wisdom and understanding
  • Creates models for thinking

Situations That Make CliftonStrengths Intellection 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 Intellection

  • Put them under pressure to react in the moment.
  • Demonstrate that surface level groupthink is dominating the team's decision making process.

Situations That Make CliftonStrengths Intellection 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 Intellection

  • Give them time to be alone to think.
  • Ask them to explore theory and perform research before executing.

Personal Brand - 'How' CliftonStrengths Intellection 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:

  • Philosopher
  • Deep
  • Muser
  • Mediative
  • Intense
  • Intellectual
  • Critical Thinker
  • Reflective
  • Writer
  • Contemplative
  • Solitude Seeker
  • Introspective
  • Willing To Be Contrarian

How To Invest In Your CliftonStrengths Intellection Talent On The Job

  • Thinking can be energizing for you, so schedule times for thinking. Use these times to muse and reflect.
  • List your ideas in a log or a diary. These ideas will serve as grist for your mental mill, and might yield valuable insights.
  • Take time to write. Writing might be the best way to crystallize and integrate your thoughts
  • Find people who like to talk about the same issues you do. Organize a discussion group that addresses subjects of interest to you.
  • Deliberately build relationships with people you consider to be “big thinkers.” Their example will inspire you to focus your own thinking.
  • Explain to others why you need your time for introspection. Although it might seem to others that you aren’t doing anything, introspection allows you to refine your ideas; thus, for you it is productive behavior.
  • Allow others time to think through your new idea after you have presented it for the first time. Realize that they might not immediately understand this new idea because they have not spent as much time as you have pondering it.

Tips For Managing Someone Who Leads Through The CliftonStrengths Intellection Talent

  • Capitalize on the fact that thinking energizes this person. For example, when you have a need to explain why something has to be done, ask them to think it through for you and then provide you with the perfect explanation.
  • Don’t hesitate to challenge their thinking. They should not be threatened by this. On the contrary they should take it as a sign that you are paying attention to them and be stimulated by it.
  • Encourage them to find a few long stretches of time when they can simply muse. For some people pure thinking time is not productive behavior, but for them it is. They will have more clarity and self-confidence as a result.
  • Have a detailed discussion with them regarding their strengths. They will probably enjoy the introspection and self-discovery.
  • Give them the opportunity to present their thinking to other people in the department. The pressure of communicating their thinking to others will force them to refine and clarify their thoughts.
  • Be prepared to partner them with someone strong in Activator. This partner will push them to act on their thoughts and ideas.

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

  • Ask this person to partner with you when you need someone to think deeply on a topic.
  • When you have intellectually challenging work, offer it to this person. Be sure to give them time to think. If you invite them to join a project team, they will often want advanced notice to think through things on their own and bring you their best thinking on the topic.
  • Call on them when you need a philosophical debate or to come up with deep, challenging questions.

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

Intellection 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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