Navigating Strengths Dynamics: Unveiling Blindspots in CliftonStrengths, exploring Restorative



The power of leveraging individual CliftonStrengths to enhance personal and professional success cannot be underestimated. However each CliftonStrength comes with their own set of blindspots. Triggered by discussions in recent workshops, I’m gong to focus on BLINDSPOTS, and to get started thought I’d start with Restorative, because a recent cohort of 126 participants 48% of participants had it in their Top 5. Imagine, in one session there was a whole room full of problem finders, fixers, and perfectionists! In this blog, we’ll explore the dynamics of CliftonStrengths and shed light on potential blindspots, specifically honing in on the Restorative strength. We’ll discuss examples of how Restorative blindspots may manifest and offer insights into partnering with other CliftonStrengths to create a HARMONIOUS and PRODUCTIVE approach. Afterall, Restorative is an executing theme. Ad bad teams vibes would not lie well with it. Creating another problem.


Understanding Restorative:

Restorative is a strength characterized by the ability to solve problems and find solutions, often thriving in crisis situations. Individuals with high Restorative talents possess a natural inclination to identify and fix problems, bringing a sense of order and resolution to chaos. While this strength is undoubtedly valuable, it can lead to blindspots when overemphasized or misapplied.

Restorative Blindspots:

Recognizing and addressing blindspots associated with the Restorative strength is crucial for personal and team development. By understanding the dynamics between strengths and fostering collaboration, individuals can enhance their problem-solving capabilities while mitigating potential pitfalls. We always encourage our clients and workshop participants to embrace a holistic approach to strengths for themselves, and to leverage the diverse talents of their team and wider colleagues to achieve optimal results. Sometimes, for any CliftonStrengths, securing yourself a coach provides impartial guidance in navigating these dynamics to boost your continued growth and success.

Four ways Restorative can head over to the dark side.

1.      Tunnel Vision on Problems:

Example: An individual high in Restorative might become so focused on solving problems that they overlook opportunities for innovation or fail to see the bigger picture.

Suggestion: Encourage a partnership with individuals strong in the “Futuristic” strength, who can provide a forward-thinking perspective and help balance the focus between problem-solving and future possibilities.


2.     Neglecting Emotional Dynamics:

Example: Restorative individuals may prioritize fixing tangible issues but could unintentionally disregard the emotional aspects of a situation.

Suggestion: Collaborate with those with strengths like “Empathy” or “Harmony” to bring awareness to emotional nuances and foster a more empathetic problem-solving approach.


3.     Burnout from Constant Fixing:

Example: Always seeking to address problems can lead to burnout, as Restorative individuals may struggle to step back and delegate or take time for self-care.

Suggestion: Partner with those strong in “Strategic” or “Deliberative” strengths, who can help plan and implement systematic approaches, preventing burnout and ensuring a sustainable problem-solving strategy.


4.     Difficulty Delegating:

Example: Restorative individuals may find it challenging to delegate tasks, believing they can solve problems more effectively themselves.

Suggestion: Collaborate with individuals strong in “Command” or “Activator” strengths, who can assertively take charge and assist in distributing responsibilities, allowing for a more balanced workload.


When your favourite CliftonStrengths hits overdrive

These following points are useful for individuals with troublesome Restorative, or managers, working to help someone take control and ownership of it, shifting from the dark side to the light, or Jedi side.. If  you already possess the CliftonStrengths suggested to help navigate the darker side of Restorative, don’t be surprised if the dark side of one CliftonStrength doesn’t ‘infect’ another. Take for example an individual with high Restorative who also possesses Empathy and Harmony, it’s possible that their inclination to fix problems might be accompanied by a heightened sensitivity to the emotions of others and a desire for harmony in relationships. If others are unhappy, then while these qualities are valuable, they may contribute to a sense of negativity if not managed effectively. Here are some strategies for individuals with this combination of strengths to overcome negativity, eight strategies to help head back to the Jedi side.


1.      Balance Problem-Solving with Emotional Support

Recognize the importance of addressing both tangible problems and emotional well-being. Ensure that, in the pursuit of solutions, you also consider the impact on individuals’ feelings and relationships. This balance can contribute to a more positive and holistic approach.


2.     Communicate Openly

Foster open communication within teams or relationships. Encourage individuals to express their feelings, concerns, and perspectives. By creating a space for dialogue, you can address potential sources of negativity and work collaboratively towards solutions. Openness is also foundation for growing trust within a team. Work to keep these conversations constructive by leaning into others’ talents.


3.     Develop Self-awareness

Cultivate self-awareness regarding your own emotions and reactions. Acknowledge when negativity arises and reflect on the underlying causes. This self-awareness can empower individuals to proactively address negative thoughts and emotions before they escalate. One strategy might be to create a process – maybe a spreadsheet, to list and contain problems. And then work with others in the team to prioritise and address them.


4.     Set Realistic Expectations

Understand that not every problem can be solved immediately or in a way that satisfies everyone. Setting realistic expectations and accepting that some issues may require time and compromise can help manage frustration and prevent a negative outlook.


5.     Collaborate with Positivity-Focused Strengths

Partner with individuals who possess strengths focused on positivity and optimism. Strengths like “Positivity” or “Optimism” can infuse a sense of hope and encouragement, providing a counterbalance to potential negativity.


6.     Practice Mindfulness

Incorporate mindfulness practices into daily routines. Mindfulness can help individuals stay present, manage stress, and cultivate a more positive mindset. Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or mindfulness exercises can be beneficial.


7.     Celebrate Successes, Big and Small

Acknowledge and celebrate achievements, both significant and minor. By focusing on positive outcomes and milestones, individuals can counterbalance the weight of challenges and foster a more optimistic perspective.


8.     Seek Constructive Feedback

Request feedback from colleagues or team members on your problem-solving approaches. Constructive feedback can provide valuable insights into areas for improvement and help individuals refine their strategies in a positive and growth-oriented manner.

Double jeopardy – two strengths are in their blindspot zones

For this we’re exploring how Restorative might interact negatively with Intellection. And what can you do about it?


As a combination, Intellection and Restorative are a powerful strategic problem solving combination, but when both enter the blindspot zone, the may be a lack of strategic thinking meaning that longer term solutions are hard to find and the person becomes caught in a cyclone of reacting to flying objects i.e. immediate problems. While Intellection typically enjoys abstract and complex issues, a lack of time and fire fighting might make it difficult to engage deeply with intricate problems that require nuanced understanding.

If you have both these themes in your Top 10, then cultivating habits and developing accountability/collaboration partners can help to mitigate these blindspots.

  1. Cultivate habitual reflective practices such as journaling
  2. Collaborate with others strong in Strategic or Context to help bridge your long-term planning
  3. Proactively participate in intellectual discussions and curiosity to problem-solving
  4. Develop systematic approaches by breaking down problems and explore consequences to bring a deliberate approach
  5. With your system, engage with diverse viewpoints to build out new strategies to solve problems for wider benefit and impact.

And finally

Remember, the goal is not to suppress Restorative tendencies but to channel them in a way that maximizes positive outcomes and fosters a healthy emotional environment. By integrating these strategies, individuals can navigate challenges with resilience, maintain positive relationships, and continue to leverage their strengths effectively. And think of the impact of sorting out which issues need fixing and how the quality and impact of your work can rise.