How To Apply CliftonStrengths Significance At Work

StrengthsFinder Definition - Significance

Often people will ask us, "What does it mean to have the Significance 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 Significance theme want to make a big impact. They are independent and prioritize projects based on how much influence they will have on their organization or people around them. 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 Significance - 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 Testimonials" videos are real people sharing their experiences with this talent theme. Although you may apply your talent in a different way at work, it's helpful to hear how others use the same natural patterns of thinking, feeling, or acting at work.
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 Significance

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 Significance

  • Being invisible or ignored at work
  • Working in a role that isn't contributing substantial
    value

How CliftonStrengths Significance 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 Significance

  • Attention hound
  • Showboat
  • Superficial

Situations That Make CliftonStrengths Significance 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 Significance

  • Ask this person to sit on the sidelines while the team works on a highly purposeful project.
  • Assign this person work that doesn’t matter.

Yays for CliftonStrengths Significance

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 Significance

  • Accomplishing weighty, world-moving things
  • Making a difference, especially with results that will leave a legacy of importance or meaning

How CliftonStrengths Significance 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 Significance

  • Knowing others value my work when expectations are high
  • Coming through when stakes are high

Situations That Make CliftonStrengths Significance 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 Significance

  • Appreciate the impact — share what it has meant to you, your team, or your customers.
  • Give this person the chance to show up at her best.

Personal Brand - "How" Significance 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:

  • Visible
  • Credible
  • Star
  • Admirable
  • Successful
  • Dreamer
  • Professional
  • World changer
  • Pro-Grade
  • Purpose Driven
  • Performance-Oriented
  • Difference-Maker

How To Invest In Your Significance Talent On The Job

  • Your reputation is important to you, so decide what it should be and tend to it in the smallest detail. For example, identify and earn a designation that will add to your credibility, write an article that will give you visibility, or volunteer to speak in front of a group who will admire your achievements.
  • Make a list of the goals, achievements, and qualifications you crave and post them where you will see them every day. Use this list to inspire yourself.
  • Identify your best moment of recognition or praise. What was it for? Who gave it to you? Who was the audience? What do you have to do to recreate that moment?
  • Share your dreams and goals with your family or closest colleagues. Their expectations will keep you reaching.
  • Stay focused on performance. Your strong Significance theme will drive you to claim outstanding goals. Your performance had better match these goals, or others might come to label you as only a big talker.
  • Write down your strengths and refer to them frequently. Heightened awareness of your strengths will give you the confidence you need to rebound, when, for whatever reason, your “audiences” are not giving you the feedback you need.

Tips For Managing Someone Who Leads Through The Significance Talent

  • Be aware of this person’s need for independence. Do not overmanage her.
  • Acknowledge that she thrives on meaningful recognition for her contributions. Give her room to maneuver, but never ignore her. Be sure to feed all compliments through to her.
  • Give her the opportunity to stand out, to be known. She enjoys the pressure of being the focal point of attention. Arrange for her to stand out for the right reasons, or she will try to make it happen herself, perhaps inappropriately.
  • Position her so that she can associate with credible, productive, professional people. She likes to surround herself with the best.
  • Encourage her to praise other top achievers in the group. She enjoys making other people feel successful.
  • When she makes claims to excellence — and she will — help her picture the strengths she will have to develop in order to realize these claims. When coaching her, don’t ask her to lower her claims; instead, suggest that she keep benchmarks for developing the relevant strengths.
  • Because she places such a premium on the perceptions of others, her self-esteem can suffer when others do not give her the recognition she deserves. At these times draw her attention back to her strengths and encourage her to set new goals based on these strengths. These goals will help reenergize her.

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

  • Ask this person to partner with you when you need a spokesperson for a project, product, or cause that has impact.
  • Work with this person when you know you can demonstrate the importance of the work and the contribution to something big. Remember to offer recognition as well. For most who lead through Significance, public praise will fire them up to do more.
  • Call on them when you need to do high stakes work in the public eye. They are comfortable having a large audience - often thousands of eyes will make their contribution more effective than if they know only a few people will see it.

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

Significance Talent Theme Lockscreen Click 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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