The Uniqueness of Individualization



People with the strength of Individualization instinctively identify what makes a person or a situation unique.  They are the ones in our lives who naturally draw out the best in others by tuning in to what sets that person apart and makes them special and distinct.  For them, every individual is completely one-of-a-kind and, therefore, remarkable in some way—and, they love to find out exactly how.  It is life-giving and rewarding to discover the uniqueness of each and every human life.  Even when they look back in time, they like to uncover what distinguished one historical figure from another.  They are outwardly open-minded, curious, and intuitive in their approach to living, and they actively—sometimes dramatically—avoid labeling others or lumping them into groups, categories, or systems.  It is not in their nature to make assumptions or to speak generally.  They prefer personal understanding over cultural understanding when considering the world.  It’s effortless for them to find the innate value in others and to honor that within each person.  Folks with Individualization make us feel seen, known, and understood, and they help us distinguish what makes us valuable.  In a phrase: They remind us that we are each actually important.

Why Should We Care

They are, first and foremost, incredibly observant people who have sharp senses and a deep, sincere interest in the personal uniqueness of others.  This functions as a sort of intuitive radar, which has them focusing on quality differences not general similarities.  Those with Individualization are great ‘readers’ of people, and are able to quickly assess how another thinks and what motivates them.  Like the name suggests, they see each person as an individual.  So, when it comes to teams, social groups, and families, they are keenly aware of the needs of each individual person and can naturally detect how everyone plays a part—a key role.  They do not think in simplified wholes.  And they can draw out secret, hidden, or purely unknown qualities in us that can feel liberating and empowering.  They can help us feel less alone, more visible, and more connected to our lives.

Ten Things to Know About People with INDIVIDUALIZATION

1. Listeners. They are generally good listeners—deep listeners—who pay attention in conversation, not for their chance to speak, but rather for their chance to connect and understand.

2. Gifts. Although they might not necessarily give more gifts than the average person, folks with Individualization generally have a reputation for giving great gifts, near-perfect gifts, gifts that make others say, “How did you know?”

3. Questions. They are among the best question askers on the globe.  It’s like playing Marco Polo for them.  With each question they ask they get closer to identifying a person’s unique strength, gift, or story.

4. Switching Gears. They can shift between communication styles with remarkable fluidity.  In a social situation, it is no problem for them to authentically dial up and down between introverts and extroverts, or connect with carefree people and then serious-minded ones.

5. Chameleons. For them, it’s not just about figuring out the uniqueness of others, it’s about understanding it and, on some level, embracing it.  They are not afraid to ‘try on’ new ideas in order to truly see eye-to-eye with someone else.

6. Tunnel Vision. They, at times, can be so focused on what makes others unique that they can miss the big picture.

7. Whisperers. They are often able to motivate or make a connection with someone when no one else can, like a horse whisperer. People with Individualization can often find their way in to the private worlds of others.

8. Falseness. They are willing to go to great lengths to know—really truly know­­—others.  This includes stepping outside of their comfort zone and taking risks, socially, mentally, and emotionally.  For this reason, they detest falseness.  For them, what is the point of making the effort to know something that isn’t even real?

9. Stories. They seem to really love hearing stories from people’s lives and they will often re-tell them as a way of celebrating the personal greatness of that other person.  They may be in awe at the thought of how many people there are in the world, each one with a complete story.

10. Love. For people with Individualization, it goes both ways.  That is, they want to be known deeply, too.  They like to be loved, seen, and honored for what sets them apart from the norm and to know that they are not interchangeable with anyone else.

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Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at

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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