The Domains of Strength
Is it better to be a well-rounded person or be part of a well-rounded team? Should you know a little about a lot or a lot about a little? Now the answer indeed does depend on the situation, but following the philosophy of Strengths, there are a few things that you do uniquely and unusually better than others. Likewise, others do things that are just better than you. So naturally, you need to play your part and lean on others to do their part as well.
Domains of strength, which are an easy way to organize and think about the 34 themes of Strength, help break Strengths down into categories, which are thinking themes, relating themes, influencing themes, and executing themes. In this episode of the Leadership Vision Podcast, we discuss the domains of Strength in-depth, describing what each of them means, how to use them in a team setting, and what to do if you have too many or not enough of a certain domain represented on your team.
What are the Domains of Strength?
The domains of strength are four different categories that have been used to group Strengths together, Strengths that have a common way of forming relationships, making decisions, thinking things through, and how to get things done. We use domains of Strength because they help people understand how the talents of each of their StrengthsFinder themes are brought together to form a theme. The four domains of Strengths are:
What are Domains of Strength Meant to Do?
Domains are great in helping us understand reference points, but not specific pathways yet. That’s not what domains are meant to do. The domains are meant to help us identify the motivation and the essence of Strengths as they exist in their raw form.
At Leadership Vision, we see the domains of Strength as first, a great way to help us put different categories or put different groupings of Strengths together. And second, a way to help us understand the motivation or the reason why behind these Strengths when they do express themselves. And to also recognize that each of these Strengths, although they have the same type of motivation, the same type of starting point, are all going to express themselves differently when we actually see the behaviors of Strengths and action.
Imbalance in the Domains of Strength
What about people who are seemingly unbalanced when it comes to the distribution of their themes of Strength? Maybe all or most of them fall in the thinking domain, for example. Is this good or bad? And what does it mean for an individual or a team?
All of us have ways that we get work done. All of us have ways that we uniquely think and ways that we uniquely influence other people, and every one of us has a way that we relate to other people. Just because you do or do not have a Strength in a particular domain does not mean you don’t do that particular activity. Recognizing that just because a person doesn’t have Strengths in a particular domain, for example the executing or thinking domain, does not mean that they don’t execute tasks or influence others.
Why are the Domains of Strength Important?
At Leadership Vision, we seek to provide as many opportunities as possible for people to build stronger relationships and to discover how they can work better together intentionally. Introducing the idea of domains creates an opportunity for further conversations that helps team members understand how each person does what they do. The domains of Strength provide ways for us to better know each other and in how each of us shows up. The least frequent representation of Strengths, no matter what the domain is for your particular team, is an opportunity for the expression of uniqueness.
Takeaways & Activities for Your Team
Armed with the knowledge of domains and their importance, what do you do if you find yourself with an imbalance in Strengths? For example, what if a lot of the themes of Strength on your team are in one particular domain or another? Below are a few takeaways and things that you can do to bring balance and health to your team.
- Identify the key influencers on your team. If you are the leader of a team, identify the key leaders or the key influencers on your team on any given day. Who are the dominant players? Who are the most outspoken people, either through positions of influence or just by nature of who they are? This could be one, two, maybe three people, but do an honest assessment of the people who have the greatest influence on your team.
- Identify the Strengths of your key influencers. Next, look at the five Strengths of each key influencer on your team in order to discover the domain in which their Strengths are coming from. What is the dominant domain your team is functioning out of? How does your team build relationships, think through things, get things done, or influence others?
- Identify the common and uncommon Strengths of your team. Now that you know who has the dominant voice and who the other shaping voices are in that conversation, look at what domains are represented in that common voice. Then find which Strengths may be overlooked or misinterpreted or simply ignored because they’re the voice that’s not common.
- Identify the context for your domains of Strengths. Context has a shaping and defining impact on which Strengths are valued and how Strengths develop over time. Step back and look at the organizational culture and professional context of your team. What are the dominant domains that exist within this context and how are they influencing your team?
- Identify your next team need. Ask your team to pair up in conversation or discuss as a group what strengths they use to think things through or their least common domain. Look what you have first, which Strengths and domains are influencing your team and how were you actually using these things on a day-to-day practical basis? Then look for a type of person you might need, not a Strength that you think you need.
Your Domains of Strength
The domains of Strength are a tool in which to better understand the Strengths of ourselves and the Strengths of others. Which domains of Strength show up on your team and how do they help your team function? We’d love to hear from you. Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, on social media, or comment on this blog.
About The Leadership Vision Podcast
The Leadership Vision Podcast is a weekly show sharing our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a strengths-based approach to people, teams, and culture. We believe that knowing your Strengths is only the beginning. Our highest potential exists in the ongoing exploration of our talents.
Please contact us if you have ANY questions about anything you heard in this episode or if you’d like to talk to us about helping your team understand the power of Strengths.
If you’d like to be featured on the Leadership Vision Podcast, let us know how you are using Strengths and what impact it has made. Contact us here!