I See You: The CliftonStrength of Individualization


I was recently chatting with a client, whose top 5 strengths are Achiever, Competition, Learner, Focus, and Individualization. We were walking through a neighborhood with established homes, some small, some large, all unique.

She told me that any and every time she walked or drove through small towns, she had a million questions, like: Who are the people who live here? How did they get there? What do they do for work? Do they like living there? Have they ever lived in another town? She wonders about their families, their backgrounds, and what life is like in that town and that house.

During our conversation, it struck me that every client I know who has Individualization as one of their top 5 CliftonStrengths asks these types of questions!

As I thought about it, I realized they have these questions partly because people with the CliftonStrength of Individualization are fascinated by other people. They appreciate the differences, nuances, and special attributes each person brings to the table—seeing them for the one-of-a-kind being they are.


Benefits of having employees with Individualization

People with the CliftonStrength of Individualization are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. Because of that, it makes them especially happy when they get to see people doing what they love.

In a work setting, an employee with the CliftonStrength of Individualization has a gift for:

  • Recognizing the strengths a person brings to the workplace and putting them in a role that capitalizes on those strengths,

  • Seeing the potential and positive aspects of diversity and how it can strengthen a work team, and

  • Figuring out how people who are different can work together productively.

These employees can be great leaders and managers, because they appreciate the unique qualities of each employee. They strive to place them in roles that allow them to thrive, which often leads to a win-win situation, because when people are encouraged to use their natural talents and strengths in the workplace, it’s good for the employee and good for business.

Trouble Spots

Many work environments have specific processes in place for the sake of efficiency. You could run into conflict between employees in this situation because people with the strength of Individualization hate a one-size-fits all approach.

They may push back and want to customize the process so it works well for everyone. Other employees might perceive this request as sacrificing what works best for the majority of the group for the sake of one or two individuals.


Capitalizing on Individualization

If you’re fortunate enough to have an employee with the CliftonStrength of Individualization, keep in mind the benefits they bring, precisely because they recognize what’s unique or special about people (or even groups).

If you have tasks that could benefit from customization—changing a standard letter, for example, or a routine presentation, she’d be great at tweaking it to best fit each audience, whether it’s co-workers, company leaders, or customers.

Here are a few other ways you might get the most from these employees:

  • Because an employee with this strength tends to correctly evaluate candidates’ strengths and weaknesses, he’d typically be good in a Human Resources role.

  • Another skill that could be an advantage in HR is that she’s good at helping set expectations and goals specific to each employee.

  • Consider asking her to help form committees and project teams, helping you choose people whose skill sets will be maximized in those roles.

  • When two employees don’t see eye-to-eye, he can serve as a successful mediator, helping them understand the other person’s perspective.

  • She makes a great mentor, because she sees each person’s unique skills and talents.

  • He might make a great manager or salesperson. Look at his top 5 CliftonStrengths and consider how they might work together so he can be most effective for your company.

How Millennial Guru Can Help

At Millennial Guru, we love to see our clients meet or exceed their business goals by capitalizing on employees’ strengths.

We start by using CliftonStrengths to help your employees identify their natural talents. Then we give them the tools they need to turn those talents into strengths.

Schedule a free, no-commitment, informational meeting today and we’ll show you how Millennial Guru can help you transform your work environment. We’ll help you discover how tapping into employees’ strengths can help you retain and inspire your employees—while motivating them to deliver excellent results.

Paige Cornetet