Why Intellection Matters


What Is the INTELLECTION Theme

People with the Strength of Intellection are the truly deep thinkers in our lives who love to muse, reflect, and explore the landscapes of the mind.  They are able to think and process in multiple dimensions simultaneously and seem to love the effort of applying mental energy to life—at times, to the point of befuddlement or exhaustion.  In a phrase: They love to think and dive deep.  And, small talk is really not their thing.  Regardless of the situation or time of day, whether actively or passively, they are always contemplating, brainstorming, or mulling over something.  There is a mental hunger present at all times.  They are generally reflective and intelligent people who like to be fascinated, to wonder, and to be quietly awed.  They may attempt to “think” their feelings, which, at times, makes them feel inaccessible.  While typically prone to introversion, they can be very passionate and engaging when it comes to their ideas.  While they can be characterized as cerebral, pensive, and heady, their primary motivation is actually curiosity, which fuels their endless hunt for mental activity.  For them, the world seems to be an extension of their brain—a type of holding place for more thoughts.  In that way, they draw out the best of our own thinking by encouraging us to go deeper into our own mental world.  Their presence cheers a greater awareness, allowing the light of mind to reflect through.  People with Intellection can make the abstract tangible and give us greater access to the invisible world all around us.

Why Should We Care

When it comes to taking an idea to the next level by exploring it from every angle, those with Intellection are among the best.  It is their instinct to go deep with thoughts—the surface is boring to them.  Experts in mentally peeling back the layers of a given challenge or concept, they reveal options, choices, and opportunities that may have been previously unseen or unseeable.  Folks with Intellection are good foundation builders and are particularly skilled at scaling up ideas and filling pipelines.  They curate a depth of understanding—be it macro or micro, focused or broad.  In many cases, they effortlessly nourish an appreciation for the worlds complexities—as opposed to a disdain for them.  This shift in focus allows for clarity and then concrete actions to occur.  They ask us to look into challenges as opposed to look away from them.  They open our field of awareness, help us create solutions, and remind us that wonder can be generative.

Ten Things to Know About People with INTELLECTION

1. Productivity. For them, being productive does not necessarily mean “doing” something.  Sitting down to think, reflect, and process is likely to be viewed as a highly valuable use of their time.  Then, once they’ve mapped something out in their mind, they can generally make quick work of it.

2. Philosophical. Discussing philosophies, theories, systems, concepts, and literature can be extremely fulfilling to people with Intellection.  Questions that cannot be answered have a particular appeal and they like to entertain many angles of a thought without accepting or rejecting a specific one.

3. On/On. It seems that they are always—ALWAYS—thinking.  Even if it is, at times, happening quietly in the background of their minds—there is always an inner-awareness of the mental activity lighting up their brains, which are perpetually growing.

4. Boredom. Being mentally stimulated is a key source of life for them.  From crossword puzzles to intense conversations about the meaning of life, they create ways to stay connected, focused, and inspired.  Boredom is not an option, and they may feel it more intensely than others.

5. Introversion. As introspection is at the core of this theme, folks with Intellection often prefer some time alone each day.  They are generally comfortable spending extended periods of quality time in solitude.

6. Mental Empathy. The way that an empath tunes in and feels the emotions of others, people with Intellection channel the mental activity of others.  They are excellent trackers of ideas and flows of ideas.  They can deeply understand the ways that others think, process, and respond to life.

7. Digesting. At times, they might share an idea that seems either “far out” or non-sequitur.  Generally, this is because they’ve already spent time working it out in their mind and have seen it mentally from all angles.  Don’t be surprised if they hold the rest of us to a high standard, asking us to truly understand and appreciate their ideas.

8. Learning. For them, it isn’t so much about learning things as it is about challenging their mind and exploring things.  Existential ideation, deep thoughts, new ideas, brain games, imagining, and wondering out loud can serve as solid nourishment for them.

9. Depth. They seem to be able to find a greater depth to almost anything.  This stimulates and feeds their sense of wonder and astonishment.  They generally dislike being asked to scale it back.  Being told that “everything doesn’t have to be so complicated” or “deep” will likely annoy them.

10. Love. Thinking big, making big plans, thinking outside the box, and having deep conversations will go a long way in creating a genuine connection with them.  Their love and expressions of it will, too, have a depth and multidimensional qualities.

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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.

The Truth About Harmony


What Is the HARMONY Theme

Those with the Strength of Harmony are the people in our lives who naturally seek peace in situations and consistently find common ground with others.  It is their instinct to look for and focus on areas of agreement and overlap, with the aim of creating win/win situations.  They work toward stability, transparency, and order because they know that more can be accomplished if all parties move ahead cooperatively.   People with Harmony have a heightened sensitivity to tension, friction, and dissonance, and they will go out of their way to create conversations and solutions that end conflict.  For them, disagreement, power-struggles, and confrontation are tremendous wastes of time and energy—they see the cycles of anger and retribution as wholly futile.  In that way, their need for consensus is more about productivity, efficiency, and moving forward than it is about simple peace-making.  In fact, Harmony is a value for them, it is something seated at their core and they are always operating from that place.  They bring us together by focusing on our similarities not our differences, and their very presence can lift the vibe of a room or shift the tone of a conversation from stagnant to striding forward.  In them we feel supported, heard, and calm—we feel quietly more alive.

Why Should We Care

People with Harmony are simultaneously intuitive and practical.  When it comes to conflict resolution, they can navigate masterfully between opposing viewpoints without getting sucked into any one side.  In that way, they are great at walking a tightrope in tense situations—they can keep their cool and, generally, do not take things personally while peace is being made.  More than that, they are able to get to the root of what is being left unsaid and drive to the core of the issue at hand, which is often times buried under layers.  What makes them unique is their deep desire to appreciate where others are coming from—for them, the act of understanding is an essential inroad to peace.  They may even temporarily suspend their own views and personal comfort in order to get a better understanding of the person or situation.  By cultivating a mindset that focuses on connection, agreement, and common ground, people with Harmony change the ways that we see ourselves, others, and the world.  They teach us how to open our minds, quiet our egos, and use our voices for action.

Ten Things to Know About People with HARMONY

1. Creative. They are often quietly imaginative, brilliant, and visionary people, especially when finding the ways and means to resolve a conflict.  Their ability to hold multiple points-of-view and simultaneously map one perspective over the other requires a substantial amount of creative energy—even though they do this seemingly effortlessly.

2. Binary. For them, there may not just be two sides to every story, there may be millions.  So, resolution means going forward, not right vs. wrong.  They will ask themselves, “How can we reach an agreement so that things get moving along?”  Conflicts are not black and white to them.

3. Elephants. If there is an elephant in the room, folks with Harmony might not be shy to point it out and address it.  For them, the tension of the unspoken can outweigh the tension of the spoken, even if it leads momentarily to a confrontation.  A problem cannot be solved when it is being hidden or avoided.

4. Devil’s Advocate. They are likely repulsed by people who are argumentative for the sake of being argumentative.  In their mind: There are enough actual conflicts in the world, why create more artificially.

5. Awareness. Those with Harmony have extremely fine-tuned radars and can sense the mood of a room as it shifts.  While they are good a brokering peace in times of disharmony, part of their art, too, is preventing conflicts before they even start.  For that reason, they are apt to be very alert in social situations and to track they various on-goings of the room.

6. Sacred Anger. For them, getting angry and confronting another person might be terrifying, but they are willing to do it when absolutely necessary.  As they are rare, such moments may have a particular significance for them.  If someone with Harmony is sounding off, they are more than likely justified in doing so.

7. Sleeping Dogs. Where some people like to poke the beehive just to see what happens, folks with Harmony have zero interest in that.  Their curiosity is not disruptive in that way; it is, instead, constructive asking, “Where do the two circles intersect?”

8. Openness. Folks with Harmony can hear and hold several conflicting perspectives in mind at once without agreeing or disagreeing with any one party.  They are capable of listening carefully and simply seeing where others are coming from—even if they don’t necessarily agree with them fundamentally.

9. Impatience. They have little to no patience for people who are prescriptively old school, stuck-in-their-ways, or opinionated.  Arrogance has a particularly insufferable presence for them as does closed-mindedness, tyranny, and those who force their views upon others.

10. Love. Because their greatest tool is language and presence, they will likely be responsive to those who are self-aware and who use words consciously and conscientiously.  Phrases of affirmation and spending quiet time together are often great acts of love for those with Harmony.

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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.