Strengths Coaching Blog

Monday, June 26, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Developer

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min



Individuals with strong Developer talents not only see the potential in others, they want to invest in that potential and help it grow. Every individual is a work in progress, and Developers are driven to further that work along. No growth is too small – all growth is recognized and celebrated. Those high in Developer like to teach, coach, mentor, invest. Small increments add up to huge growth. Developers are fascinated with devising the best way to bring out the best in others and help them achieve their full potential. Developers tend to be patient, and make a commitment to human growth. A friend of mine is fond of saying, “by the yard, it’s hard; but inch by inch it’s a cinch!” That saying can aptly apply to the perspective of those with Developer in their Top Five. Incremental progress is the best and most effective way to realize potential.

In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I look at the similarities and differences between Developer and Maximizer, Restorative, and Empathy.


Developer and Maximizer

Developer and Maximizer are similar in that they both are likely to be focused on progress. However, Developer notices and promotes growth in others while Maximizer notices and promotes excellence. That excellence may be centered in other people, but not necessarily. Excellence may be a design, a product, a system, or a performance. Developer is first and foremost interested in the development of people. Developer is a relationship building theme, whereas Maximizer is an influencing theme. Maximizers tend to narrow their focus on what can be built from good to great or (better yet!) great to excellent. Developers, helping someone grow from C to C+ is energizing – while Maximizers would consider such an investment a waste of time. Those high in Maximizer love a maximum return on investment, while those high in Developer love any human potential and progress.

Developer and Restorative

Restorative wants to fix things – and even people, and Developer wants to help people grow. So the outcome of both Restorative and Developer may look very similar. But their point of view is very different. Individuals with strong Restorative talents light up when there is a problem that needs to be solved, so they enjoy helping others solve their problems and understand all the factors that went into creating that problem – so that they can find and implement solutions. Those with strong Developer talents don’t necessarily want to help others solve their problems; rather they look for the growth potential in others and partner with them to implement steps to realize that potential. Developer is about building relationships, while Restorative is about executing problem-solving strategies.

Developer and Empathy

Developer and Empathy are both relationship building themes, and although there are subtle yet important differences between the two, when they both appear in someone’s Top Five it is a powerful combination. Both themes have an intense focus on others. Empathy understands how you feel; Developer envisions your potential. Those with strong Empathy talents will sit with you in your misery, and by their very presence and understanding will help you through it. Those with strong Developer talents can see the potential in you that others may not, and then patiently work with you to help you realize it. Developer understands the potential in others; Empathy understands the feelings of others. Empathy knows how someone feels; Developer knows what someone needs.


Be sure to catch up on Season One and Season Two of Theme Thursday-Developer 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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