By: Annie [Woo | Communication | Significance | Focus | Individualization]
- Do you view each person as a distinct, one-of-a-kind individual?
- Do you naturally see how people who are different can work together well?
- Do you know how to build productive teams because you can see the talents of people and structure groups that maximize those talents?
These are a few insights the authors of CliftonStrengths for Students offer to help you better understand your Individualization strength. You may relate to all three, or maybe just one, but the ability to see the unique qualities in the people around you can serve you well in many ways.
Individualization is categorized under the Relationship Building Domain of Leadership Strength. Adapting your approach to individuals based on the characteristics you see in them is what makes you successful at building relationships with many different people. This can benefit you when working on group projects, functioning in teams, and connecting with your friends and family. A common question in job interviews is to describe your strengths. I recently had an interview where I was asked just that. Knowing that teamwork is a key skill that employers are looking for, I was able to talk about individualization. I gave an example of how I have used this strength when working on a group project in one of my classes. Developing Individualization will set you apart from other candidates in your job search, and serve you well working on group projects throughout college and your career.
So, how can you apply individualization to your academics? The authors of the book make the following suggestions.
- Observe the ways other people learn
- Read about others
- Watch those around you, pay attention to how your talents are similar and different
- Learn about other cultures
- Start a study group with people who have different talents and viewpoints
- Take notes about what makes characters stand out in the novels you read
- Notice how your learning style, study habits, writing style, and test-taking skills compare to your classmates to learn about the natural differences between people
- Make a chart listing differences when reading about well-known people
- Encourage those around you to be successful in their talents
- Teach your friends and classmates to appreciate the differences in each other
- Create a support system to find who might benefit from others’ insights
- Take classes about people, such as literature, sociology, or psychology courses
- Enroll in discussion-based courses
- Look for professors who let their students make choices about their learning
- Be a mentor to your peers
- Look for opportunities that allow you to meet people on an individual basis
- Start a journal documenting your observations about different people
- Write feature articles about people on campus for the school paper
Everyone incorporates their strengths into their lives differently, so pick and choose what is appropriate for you from this list. The key is that you continue to be aware of the people around you. Notice how their qualities differ from each other and differ from the qualities you possess. Being able to draw on the strengths of others will serve you well in all that you do in life.