Strengths Coaching Blog

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Self-Assurance

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min



The theme of Self-Assurance is characterized by a strong internal compass: those high in Self-Assurance are confident in their own ability to lead their own lives, make the right decisions, and successfully reach goals without much advice or help from others. There is a self-reliance to the Self-Assurance theme that is particularly influential; people tend to follow those who know where they are going. But Self-Assurance is not swayed by the size of the crowd that is following – or if anyone is following at all. Those with strong Self-Assurance talents will go it alone if necessary, because this is the path they are supposed to follow. Individuals with Self-Assurance in their Top Five don’t tend to ask for a lot of advice, and when they do it is typically to confirm what they are already thinking. Those high in Self-Assurance tend to be seen by others as risk-takers. But the reality is from the perspective of Self-Assurance, if I feel like this action is the right one to take, it isn’t risky at all. Those with high Self-Assurance need to be in control of their own destiny, and they take steps to ensure that they are.  They are confident in what they do well, and not threatened by others who are talented in areas where they are not. They will recruit and recognize talented individuals, secure in their own abilities.

In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I explore the similarities and differences between Self-Assurance and Belief, Strategic, and Discipline.


Self-Assurance and Belief

Certainty is a common denominator of both Self-Assurance and Belief, so the outcomes and behaviors can look similar. For Self-Assurance, that certainty comes from trust in oneself, while for Belief certainty comes from trust in truth outside of oneself – values, ethics, mission, etc. Those with strong Belief talents are passionate and uncompromising about core values; those with strong Self-Assurance are internally confident in the midst of uncertainty. This “unwavering” quality of both Self-Assurance and Belief is attractive to those looking for someone to follow. Belief can be seen as rigid or inflexible when it comes to core values; Self-Assurance can be seen as rigid and inflexible when it comes to personal autonomy.

Self-Assurance and Strategic

Both Self-Assurance and Strategic are forward-looking and forward-moving themes. Those with strong Self-Assurance talents internally know the best route to take; those with strong Strategic themes assess options to determine the best route to take. Strategic sorts between options; Self-Assurance trusts intuition. Individuals high in Strategic look outward with great peripheral vision, seeing the entire playing field; those high in Self-Assurance look inward, paying attention to their internal compass. Strategic tends to have a back-up plan and makes course corrections along the way; those high in Self-Assurance tend to be confident in the original path they’ve set out upon.

Self-Assurance and Discipline

Both Self-Assurance and Discipline are part of a theme “package” centering around an orientation towards self. As such, both themes display a confidence about them that makes them somewhat similar in some aspects. Self-Assurance is primarily about self-confidence, whereas Discipline is primarily about self-control. But while those with Discipline need structure, predictability, and routine, Self-Assurance needs freedom, autonomy, and independence. Both have a confidence in their decision making. The confidence from those high in Discipline comes from having a well thought out and detailed plan – and then executing the plan. The confidence from those high in Self-Assurance comes from within – knowing or feeling that this is the right direction to take, and then taking it.


Be sure to catch up on Season One and Season Two of Theme Thursday-Self-Assurance to learn more!


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

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