What Happens When Woos Get Real


What Is the WOO Them

Those with the strength of Woo are the ‘people people’ in our lives.  They are, in a general sense, the classic extroverts of the world—the ones who talk to strangers everywhere they go, for example, and are energized by near-constant interaction for long periods of time.  While that is, in part, how they operate, the true spirit of the Woo goes much deeper; that is, they are not simply ‘outgoing’.  Instead, they are profoundly connected to the experience of meeting new people.  From there they establish rapport with them and then quickly work to develop a sense of flow and a feeling of friendship in their communication.  Woo is the only strength that is also an acronym, it stands for Winning Others Over, and it’s what they love to do.  They are deft conversationalists, intuitive listeners, and socially courageous people.  Even though they make it look easy, they enjoy the challenge of finding areas of mutual interest with others and, ultimately, becoming liked by them.  These are the people who make new friends while waiting for the elevator or standing in line at the grocery store; they are the ones who come home from their vacations with a phone full of new contacts.  It is simply their instinct to connect and they seem universally magnetized to others—they cannot help it and they cannot turn it off.  It is, in fact, energizing, refueling, and inspiring to them to meet someone who, the moment before, was an absolute stranger.  They remind us, in a way, that the world is as big or as small as we make it and that potential friends are everywhere if we choose to look for them by focusing on our similarities, not our differences

Why Should We Care

We can look to the Woos in our lives to show us how to keep an open mind socially, make the most of our interactions, explore new geographies, and intentionally seek out new experiences.  They have a generally contagious enthusiasm and can be the push we need sometimes to step out of our comfort zone when it comes to meeting new people.  They might be the life of the party or, in some cases, the ones who resuscitate it.  They never seem to run out of things to say or questions to ask—and their questions are generally solid and interesting.  In an effortless way, they draw people out, create an authentic point of shared interest, and dive in.  In short, they possess and expert level ability to connect with humans, plain and simple.  They are energized by the presence of others—the more the merrier mentality feels right at home with them.  And, meeting brand new people is particularly interesting to them, so we can count on them to break the ice and guide the mood and pace of first encounters.  Woos are somehow able to carry on three conversations simultaneously at a wedding reception with people they’ve only just met.  While interactions are sometimes brief, we walk away from conversations with them feeling like a real connection was established, a common ground was found, and that something dynamic and deeply human just occurred.

Ten Things to Know About People with WOO

1. Relationships. Woos may find that their connections to their significant others, BFFs, VIPs, and families actually deepen most through large group and social activities—as opposed to one-on-one scenarios.

2. Nature. If one were to compare them to a tree, folks with Woo have roots that naturally grow out as opposed to down—their networks generally grow wide as opposed to deep.

3. Presence. They love variety, and it is likely that they are keeping an eye on the entire room when talking to someone and gearing up for who they will talk to next before their current conversation is finished.  We are wise to learn to love them in this and not take it personally, because it is not personal, it is just who they are.

4. Compassionate Communication. They naturally understand the subtly and, therein, the power of tone in verbal conversation.  This makes them skillful and instinctive mediators, especially in tense and urgent situations.  In fact, they might really feel alive in the heat of disruption and chaos.

5. Novelty Seeking. Their drive for newness might not be limited to their interactions with people—Woos can be adrenalin junkies at heart who love a good thrill, a loud adventure, or an unexpected twist in the night’s activities.

6. Multitasking. They are great social multitaskers.  A Woo may effortlessly tell a joke, respond to a text message, and signal the waiter for the bill—all at once; they seem to always know the next right thing to say and have wonderfully evolved social instincts.

7. Stadiums. Crowds can be simultaneously enlivening and deeply soothing for them.  One of the ways that they feel connected to life is by being in the thick of things.  Getting swept up in the collective energy of a massive group can feel euphoric to them.

8. Inexhaustible. Being around others can be better than a cup of coffee for them.  Don’t be surprised if they choose to recharge their batteries after a long day with more social activity.

9. Talkative. They love to talk.  However, it’s generally not just to hear the sound of their voice, instead, Woos use conversation as a way of exploring possible points of connection.  They are, in that way, verbal processors, who experience a great portion of their lives through language and words.

10. Love. A grandiose gesture of affection every now and then is not likely to keep them feeling connected; daily activity and proactive interaction, however, will, as it gives them a sense of movement in their relationship.

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Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at StrengthsLife.com

His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world.  He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Gallup Certified Strengths Coach.

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