In the world of personal development and self-discovery, the CliftonStrengths assessment has become a powerful tool for individuals seeking to understand and leverage their unique talents. Activator, one of the 34 strengths identified by the Gallup organization, is characterized by a keen ability to turn thoughts into action. However, like any strength, Activator® comes with its own set of blindspots that individuals should be aware of to maximize its benefits.
With Activator® at Number 4, I am only too aware of times when it has not served me well.
Before delving into the blindspots, let’s first explore what Activator® brings to the table. Individuals with high Activator® often possess a natural inclination to initiate, propel ideas into motion, and catalyze change. They thrive in environments where quick decisions and immediate action are required. Activators® are the driving force behind many successful projects, as they are adept at pushing through inertia and transforming ideas into reality.
Blindspot 1: Impulsivity Over Deliberation
While the ability to act swiftly is a valuable trait, Activators® may fall prey to their impulsivity. The eagerness to jump into action without thorough consideration can lead to hasty decisions that may not be well thought out. It’s crucial for individuals with high Activator® to recognize the importance of balance, ensuring that they allow adequate time for careful deliberation, especially in situations where a more measured approach is required.
Blindspot 2: Insensitivity to Others’ Pacing
The sense of urgency and desire for immediate action that comes with Activator® can inadvertently overshadow the pacing preferences of others. Colleagues or team members who value a more deliberate and contemplative approach may feel overwhelmed or dismissed by the Activator’s rapid pace. It’s essential for individuals with Activator® to cultivate an awareness of varying work styles and learn to adapt their pace to accommodate collaborative efforts.
Blindspot 3: Neglecting Long-Term Strategy
Activators® excel in initiating tasks and projects, but their blindspot may lie in neglecting the long-term strategic perspective. The focus on immediate action may lead to a lack of planning for sustained success. To overcome this blindspot, Activators® should consciously set aside time for strategic thinking and consider the broader implications of their actions on future endeavours.
Blindspot 4: Burnout Due to Continuous Action
The perpetual need for action can lead Activators® down a path of constant busyness, potentially resulting in burnout. It’s essential for individuals with high Activator® to recognize the importance of self-care and balance their intense drive with periods of rest and rejuvenation. Incorporating moments of reflection and relaxation into their routines can help prevent burnout and ensure long-term well-being. From a recent workshop discussion, I was sharing a story about my new garden swing seat and how I’ve discovered that the motion of the swing stills my brain. There were 3 other high Activator® people present and they laughed loudly, sharing their same experience!
Blindspot 5: Resistance to Change
Paradoxically, Activators, despite being catalysts for change, may develop a blindspot when it comes to adapting to change themselves. The constant need for action can create resistance to altering their own established routines or processes. To overcome this blindspot, Activators® should actively embrace change and view it as an opportunity for growth rather than a disruption to their preferred pace.
Navigating your blindspots
Navigating the blindspots associated with Activator® requires a thoughtful and intentional approach. Here are three key strategies to help you navigate your Activator® blindspots effectively:
1. Cultivate Mindful Decision-Making:
Pause and Reflect: Recognize the value of taking a moment to pause and reflect before jumping into action. Embrace a conscious decision-making process that involves considering the potential consequences and implications of your actions. This practice allows you to harness the power of Activator® while avoiding impulsive decisions that may lead to unintended outcomes.
Consult Others: Seek input from colleagues, friends, or mentors before making significant decisions. This collaborative approach not only provides diverse perspectives but also ensures that you take into account the preferences and concerns of others. By involving others in the decision-making process, you mitigate the risk of overlooking crucial details and enhance the overall quality of your choices.
2. Embrace Strategic Planning:
Allocate Time for Strategy: Intentionally set aside dedicated time for strategic thinking and planning. Create a balance between your natural inclination for immediate action and the long-term vision of your goals. Establish a routine that includes regular moments for evaluating the broader implications of your actions, identifying potential challenges, and crafting strategic plans to navigate them effectively.
Prioritize and Sequence Tasks: Recognize that not every task requires immediate attention. Develop the ability to prioritize tasks based on their significance and urgency. By sequencing your actions strategically, you ensure that your energy is directed towards tasks that align with your long-term objectives, reducing the likelihood of burnout and enhancing overall productivity.
3. Build Adaptive Communication Skills:
Understand Others’ Pacing: Develop a heightened awareness of the varied work styles and pacing preferences of your team members or collaborators. Tailor your communication and approach to accommodate different perspectives. This adaptability fosters a more inclusive and harmonious working environment, preventing potential tension caused by an overly assertive or rapid approach.
Communicate Change Effectively: Actively work on embracing change and communicate your enthusiasm for it. Clearly articulate the benefits of the proposed changes and address concerns that others may have. This proactive communication style helps build trust and collaboration, mitigating resistance to change and ensuring a smoother transition for everyone involved.
By incorporating these strategies into your daily routine and mindset, you can navigate the blindspots associated with Activator® more effectively. Cultivating mindfulness, embracing strategic planning, and developing adaptive communication skills will not only enhance the positive impact of your Activator® strength but also contribute to your overall success and well-being.
Activator® is a powerful strength that propels individuals into action and drives results. However, like all strengths, it comes with its own set of blindspots that individuals must navigate to harness its full potential. By cultivating self-awareness, embracing balance, and recognizing the impact of their actions on both themselves and others, individuals with high Activator® can transform their blindspots into opportunities for continued growth and success in their personal and professional lives.
And finally, revisit your CliftonStrengths Top 5 (go to www.gallup.access.com/access and login in) . The new report launched in 2024 helps you think through how your top strengths influence each other.
Activator® is a registered mark of Gallup. This link takes you to a series of podcasts on the theme.
The views, interpretations, and thoughts expressed in this article are solely those of the author.