Embracing StrengthsFinder Theme Names 2.0

Welcome to the Leadership Vision Podcast, where we share our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a Strengths-Based approach to people, teams, and culture.

Revisiting StrengthsFinder Theme Names

Back in 2015, before we had a podcast, we wrote a blog post called Why You Need to Embrace Your StrengthsFinder Theme Names. In the blog, our CEO Brian Schubring wrote,

Like the nicknames of our youth, our Strengths call out something of our personality, character, or unique gifting. Strengths help us notice and understand our identity and how we find differentiation from one another. Knowing our Strengths also empowers us to recall experiences of life from the past that when shared with others through story will lead to a deeper relationship and personal connection.

Then, in 2017, we turned this idea into a podcast where we built on these ideas. After revising the episode, Brian noted,

as I was listening to it, I realized that many of the things that we were talking about, I now know why people have a disproportionately negative response to their theme names. We can talk about cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias, as well as the positive or negative impacts of family culture and environmental history and other shaping experiences that will be there to help people accept these theme names.

Embracing StrengthsFinder Theme Names 20.0

In this episode of the Leadership Vision Podcast, we revisit the topic of embracing StrengthsFinder theme names and focus on five N’s: Name, Narrative, Needs, Notice, and Neuroscience.


We begin all of our engagements by focusing on the StrengthsFinder theme names for each individual. What has been enduring about this aspect over the years is the power and the impact that a Strength theme name has and the human response that is generated from the theme names. By focusing on theme names, we are affirming one primary thing that we’re always looking forward to, and that is revealing a person’s identity and celebrating the brilliance and beauty of who that person uniquely is.


Narrative is this idea of story; an expanding focus on how Strengths can really help people understand their own narrative, their own story, and where they came from. Everyone is creating a story. We believe that people have a gifting inclination and desire to tell their own stories. What we’re doing at Leadership Vision is taking the language of Strengths and asking people to do two things: start with understanding your Strengths here. Then asking how your Strengths show up here in your present context with the people around you and to reflect back on ‘then and how,’ reflect back to ‘back then’ in those early narratives. How did you become the person that you were? We’re asking people to turn the dial back, to be more reflective and contemplative, and to think about the neighborhood they grew up in, their favorite subjects in high school, the transition into college, your first job. Those reflective “then and now” narratives help us understand how we became the person that we are today.


One of the things that has changed over the past several years is our urgency to begin to ask people to explore how the language of Strengths can help them understand their needs for acceptance. We believe that the language of Strengths can really contribute to our understanding of what those fundamental needs are. In the process of better understanding our needs, we can then become more open, more curious, and more compassionate to others who are wrestling with their own self-acceptance.

Using the language of Strengths, how can you better understand where you feel both like you belong and where you don’t? What is your meaning and how is it that you’re pursuing your purpose?


In addition to having people talk about their Strengths from a present context, we’re also now asking people to notice more how their language of Strength can help them better understand their patterns and preferences that they use to make decisions and to form relationships. We think that this is a really helpful, encouraging exercise for people to see the very practical extension of their Strengths in their everyday processes of collaborating, working together, forming relationships, and making decisions.


Pursuing studies and the application of breakthroughs that are happening within neuroscience helps us be more effective in our work to create healthy and whole human beings, which will result in hopefully more engaged and compassionate teams. In our work at Leadership Vision, we ask people to begin to name how many changes they are going through, how long they can sustain certain stress loads before taking a break, what kinds of emotional struggles are they going through. Asking these questions helps us better understand why people show up the way that they do.

We ask these questions because neuroscience is pointing us to the importance of them, but we also ask people to answer the question like this: Which one of your Strengths has the greatest challenge when dealing with change? or What Strength of yours gets anxious, the quickest?

Your StrengthsFinder Theme Names

In revisiting this topic, we continue to learn, grow, adapt, and find ways to dive deeper into the simple theme names of StrengthsFinder. What do your StrengthsFinder theme names reveal about yourself and your team? We’d love to hear from you. Connect with us at connect@leadershipvisionconsulting.com, 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. Subscribe to the Leadership Vision Podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherSpotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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!