'Belief' in a nutshell...
If you possess a strong Belief StrengthsFinder theme, you have certain core values that are enduring. These values vary from one person to another, but ordinarily your Belief StrengthsFinder theme causes you to be family-oriented, altruistic, even spiritual, and to value responsibility and high ethics — both in yourself and others. These core values affect your behavior in many ways. They give your life meaning and satisfaction; in your view, success is more than money and prestige. They provide you with direction, guiding you through the temptations and distractions of life toward a consistent set of priorities. This consistency is the foundation for all your relationships. Your friends call you dependable. “I know where you stand,” they say. Your Belief makes you easy to trust. It also demands that you find work that meshes with your values. Your work must be meaningful; it must matter to you. And guided by your Belief StrengthsFinder theme it will matter only if it gives you a chance to live out your values.
What's the power of the Belief talent theme?
The genius of your Belief StrengthsFinder theme starts with the fact that you have some very deeply-held beliefs about what is true, what is unchanging, and what can be, and always will be, dependable. These beliefs go very deep. They provide personal power to stand strong no matter what. They give you the resilience to bounce back from trials and difficult times. This is central to your character. But the genius of your Belief strength is what results from those core values. From your core values, you generate meaning, purpose and direction for your life and all you do. This meaning, purpose and direction translate into a tremendous amount of power, drive and motivation within you. So long as you revolve your life around your deepest values and beliefs, you will experience motivation, drive, and determination to make monumental impact in the lives of individuals as well as groups and organizations.
How do I grow the Belief talent theme?
1. Take time to think through and articulate your core values.
As those with the Belief StrengthsFinder theme find the greatest measure of personal and professional fulfilment in fully living out their core values, the most important first step is to understand exactly what these core values are. These core values represent his/her unique wiring - how his or her views and approaches to life are shaped. They are underlying assumptions that form our convictions and subconsciously influence the way we perceive and react to the world.
A few good questions to ask in unearthing your core values are:
- At the end of my life, what do I want to be known for? What would I like those closest to me to say about me?
- During difficult times in my life, what have I fought hard for?
- In times of conflict or tension with another person, what is it that most bothers me most about the situation, or about what was said? What were the core values that were violated?
- Think about one of your best days ever. How did your values play into the satisfaction you received from your best day?
After taking the time to reflect on these core values, write them down in short, concise statements that are applicable in your everyday life and decision-making processes. For instance, one of my core values is, "Always seek to give power away." As a former English teacher, this core value translated into classroom management practices and a teaching style that focused on building the students up as powerful and free individuals capable of making wise choices. Instead of adopting the typical teacher-centric approach that would have had me micromanaging every single classroom variable, I sought to identify the students' strengths and dreams, and then gave them increasing ownership of their classroom environment as well as their learning process. This resulted in a greater level of hope and engagement in the classroom, as my students saw themselves as active participants with the power to influence the direction of their lives, rather than passive recipients of knowledge.
Taking the time to reflect and think through some of these core values will clarify the overall purpose of your life -- what gives it meaning. This will translate into greater clarity in your decision-making and thought processes, as well as a greater ability to prioritize the events and connections in your life according to what brings you the most fulfilment.
2. Communicate these core values with your team or loved ones.
If you have the Belief StrengthsFinder theme, these core values form the basis of how you make your most important decisions -- and oftentimes, the smaller decisions in everyday life. They influence the type of vocation you choose, the commitments you make to your loved ones and community, the hours you work, the subjects you enjoy studying, and even the type of friends that you make. Therefore, to build trust in your relationships (whether at work or otherwise), it would be beneficial for you to share with others about these core values and how they play out in your life. This helps the people around you to understand your underlying thought processes and motivations, which would help them understand how to relate to you as well as potentially reduce future conflicts.
3. Develop benchmarks to gauge how well you have been living out your values.
Those with the Belief StrengthsFinder theme often have values that are service-oriented. Because of their core values and commitment to the cause, they will go above and beyond to help their colleagues and loved ones. But given this mentality, those with this talent theme also often care very little for power, prestige, or recognition. To them, their primary motivation is the cause or purpose for which they live. They care deeply about the vision they're pursuing, and they want the various aspects of their lives to be aligned with this overarching vision.
It would thus be beneficial for them to think about benchmarks that would help them gauge how well they've been fulfilling this vision. Essentially, it's about answering the question, "how will you know you've fulfilled your mission?"
For example, when I first joined Strengths School™ as a StrengthsFinder® coach, one of the benchmarks we were encouraged to hit was to become a "world-class trainer." The idea was that the more we assumed that identity, the faster we'd grow as StrengthsFinder trainers. However, because I have Belief in my top 5 talent themes, I care very little about gaining mass recognition as a trainer. Instead, what was helpful for me to grow as a trainer was to identify exactly what kind of impact I wanted to make on the people attending my StrengthsFinder workshops -- and I'd know the kind of impact I made by the testimonials that they gave. If they talked about the hope that the new paradigm brought to their lives and relationships, a greater sense of fulfilment and actualization, and a greater clarity in what they'd been designed to do, then I'd know I'd fulfilled my mission well.
Here are a few good questions to ask in the process of developing these benchmarks:
- Through your vocation (or school, community service organization, and so on), what kind of change do you hope to bring?
- What needs of others tug at your heart? What is your dream for them?
- What do you value most in the whole world? How could that increase or improve?
- What would "heaven on earth" look like to you? Where have you most clearly seen heaven on earth? In what way would you like to see more of that?
- What are some tangible ways you could measure this vision being fulfilled?
How could this theme be overplayed?
"Stubborn." "Headstrong." "Does not listen to others' opinions." "Set in his ways." These are what we call the over-extensions of the Belief StrengthsFinder theme. Because those with Belief are passionate and uncompromising on their core values, they can sometimes go overboard in this inclination and impose their values on others -- or simply disconnect from people who have values that are very different from their own.
Three Practical Ways To Manage This Theme:
- Ask for feedback and allow your values to be sharpened. Ask those closest to you to share what they perceive to be your values, and take time to listen to their perspectives. This serves two purposes: 1) helps give you real feedback on how you've been living out your core values, and 2) creates a platform for your values to be refined by the feedback of those who know you best. The test of how strong your core values are is whether they can stand the test of time, hold up under a variety of circumstances and challenges, be used to empower the people around you, and whether they strengthen your most vital relationships. Values that are tested and refined with humility are robust and are a gateway to influencing others. These values can be imparted to future generations when they are the cornerstone to your successes in life.
- Build a repertoire of questions to help draw out others' beliefs. Your values give you strength of conviction. They help you orient your life in such a way that every aspect of your lifestyle -- your work, your priorities, the way you approach relationships -- is consistent with your beliefs. But just as your Belief talent theme gives you strength and resilience to navigate through life, it can also help others to find strength in their own convictions. Learn to ask good questions to draw out people's perspectives and find out the core assumptions and values underpinning the decisions they make and the way they approach life. For example, ask questions such as, "What were your main concerns when you made that choice?" "What are your main goals as a [insert role here] in the team?" "What would you say are the most important things to you in your life?
- Maintain an open mind. Just as your values are a key part of who you are, the same is also true for others. Whether or not these core values are constantly at the back of their minds the way yours are, everyone has a certain set of beliefs that they work by -- and just because they may not be the same as your own does not mean they are any less valid (it just means that life may have taught them different lessons). That said, the easy way out for the Belief talent theme is to judge or disconnect from those with beliefs that differ from their own -- which inevitably stunts personal development. But differences do not necessarily have to lead to disconnection. Therefore, whenever you find yourself clashing with someone who may have different beliefs, the most vital step to personal growth is to maintain an open mind, being willing to listen and understand perspectives that are different from yours. Develop a high sense of respect for where the other party is coming from, and keep an open dialogue about how to work with each other while honoring the differences in perspective.
Concluding Thoughts: Those with the Belief talent theme derive tremendous power from their convictions, which gives them the resilience to brave difficult trials and enables them to do extraordinary things. While sometimes labeled as "stubborn" and "set in their ways," particularly if this theme is in its infancy stage, at its maturity, those with the Belief theme have a tremendous ability to lead by example, inspiring others to live true to their convictions and live a life that matters.
Apt Quotes for the 'Belief' StrengthsFinder Theme
"Values are like fingerprints. Nobody's are the same, but you leave them all over everything you do." - Elvis Presley
"You can measure a man's character by the choices he makes under pressure." - Sir Winston Churchill
""Powerful people can be who they say they are on a consistent basis. Because they know how to be themselves, they invite those around them to be themselves." - Danny Silk
Written by Tan Meiling
Meiling is a writer, editor, and Gallup-Certified StrengthsFinder Coach based in Singapore. As a StrengthsFinder® Coach, she is passionate about helping people discover their innate potential and celebrating who they are. She enjoys reading, learning, and sharing her knowledge through writing articles. Meiling is also actively giving StrengthsFinder coaching to individuals and facilitating workshops in Singapore.
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