Do you know those people who seem to be the resident historian in a family or in an organization? Have you encountered people who are compelled to fill you in on all the details of past decisions, so we can avoid pitfalls and past mistakes? These people may have the strength of Context.
Definition of the StrengthsFinder theme of Context
People with the strength of Context look back in time to understand the present. They look back into history to bring the present to life, and to add stability and meaning to the here and now. These are the people who believe, “If we do not study history we will repeat the mistakes of the past.”
Many times, people with the strength of Context have some type of history hobby, reading material, genealogy or even a history degree to the list of things that lend them to study the past. People with Context look back in time to observe the patterns of thinking and decision making, making observations and remembering how people reacted and what people did. They can then recall the outcomes and even the key elements that proved right and wrong as history unfolded.
People with the strength of Context want to understand original intention and underlying structures that formed history. As they learn, they build an accurate understanding of the past to reshape the way we plan for our future. They need to take time for this thorough process because it is only through the thinking, studying and deliberating on the past that the present gains meaning.
How Context is Generative
The StrengthsFinder theme of Context is generative because it is a form of thinking and problem solving that has a proof which has been validated in the past. When this is applied to the present, it can bring a valuable source of information to solving present problems and challenges. Context is also not held by the past, rather they use the past to explain what events led us into this situation and give the freedom to make better decisions about the future. Generative Context uses the past to build a foundation for the future.
Examples of Context
People with context often begin their stories with
- “In the past we…”
- “Historically, the best way is…”
- “At my last company, we…”
- “This same thing happened in 1983, 1999, and 2007 and this is what we can do today.”
A new employee came into a new position in a company. Aware of his strength of Context, he drew connections to past employment and leadership experiences in order to be successful. And each day, he would develop his own history within his new company. Sometimes people with Context come most alive after they have established a past… a history within a new place. And once they have established their own history, their personal confidence and overall involvement will increase.
If you have the StrengthsFinder theme of Context, how do you see it at work in your life? Share your observations below.