The CliftonStrengths Coaching Blog is a resource for those who want to help others truly understand their strengths and learn how to use them. Gallup experts and outside contributors share tactics, insights, and strategies to help strengths coaches maximize the talent of individuals, teams, and organizations everywhere.
Consistency is in the bottom five of my Clifton Strengths theme sequence, sitting at number 32, so I don’t have a great personal understanding of this theme. I needed a “poster child,” someone with strong Consistency talents that I could look to as an example. As it turns out, my father-in-law is my poster child – he had Consistency in his Top Five. He hated to see anyone disadvantaged by their life circumstances, and it drove him nuts when people got special privileges because of their status. To him, everyone deserved to be treated the same, and the rules applied to everyone. Fairness was a big deal to him. In his last five years of employment at the meat packing plant, he was the union representative – and one of the most effective ones the plant ever had. He had the respect and trust of both the frontline workers and management, because both sides knew he was working for what was fair and right and equitable for everyone. He was consistent. In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I will look at the differences and similarities between Consistency and Harmony, Includer, and Context. Consistency and Harmony Consistency and Harmony have a lot of similarities. Both themes trend to be more focused on groups than individuals. Both themes have an efficiency component to them. And both themes tend to focus on how we get along and work together. Consistency works toward creating the organizational efficiency of a group, while Harmony works to establish the emotional efficiency of a group. Harmony sees conflict as completely unproductive and so will either avoid conflict or resolve it; Consistency sees the establishing of group norms and standards as key to preventing the conflict that makes groups unproductive. Consistency creates efficient processes for a group, while Harmony manages the emotions of a group. Consistency and Includer Includer is the “we are a team” theme. “Teamwork makes the dream work” is a favorite quote for those high in Includer. As with Harmony, Consistency and Includer have a lot in common. Again, both tend to be more focused on groups than individuals. Includer is sensitive to those who might feel excluded from the group, while Consistency is sensitive to being fair to everyone so they feel part of the group. Includer demands broad involvement and inclusion, while Consistency demands fair rules and standards that by which everyone will abide. Those with strong Includer talents want to draw the circle wider, while those with strong Consistency talents want to ensure that all those within the widened circle are treated fairly and equitably. People high in Includer tend to be socially accepting and tolerant of varying points of view, while those high in Consistency are intolerant of anything that is unfair or discriminatory toward one group over another. Consistency and Context Individuals high in Context may be mistakenly thought to be high in Consistency, especially when they are advocating for a consistent approach that aligns with past decisions. While that may be the outcome of Context, the two themes are really quite different. Context is primarily a way of thinking about and analyzing information, while Consistency is primarily a way of getting things done. Consistency wants to improve efficiency by reducing variation. Context wants to improve efficiency by examining past solutions – “why reinvent the wheel?” Context thinks about past events and situations to understand the issues of today; Consistency implements standard practices and group norms to execute solutions to the issues of today. Those high in Consistency advocate for acting according to the rules; those high in Context advocate understanding the past before taking any action that will impact the future.
Albert L. Winseman, D.Min., is a Senior Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup. Al brings deep expertise in employee and customer engagement, executive leadership and organizational dynamics to his consulting work with Gallup’s clients. He consults with senior leaders, executives and front-line managers to improve employee and customer engagement and to implement strategic initiatives that drive business growth. Al's top 5 strengths are: Ideation | Futuristic | Maximizer | Strategic | Command. Be sure to catch up on Season One and Season Two of Theme Thursday-Consistency to learn more!
Register now for the 2017 CliftonStrengths Summit to take advantage of early bird pricing!