I’m in the middle of reading a StrengthsFinder book, Strengths Based Marriage, by Jimmy Evans and Allan Kelsey. The subtitle, Build a Stronger Relationship by Understanding Each Other’s Gifts, is an understatement.
In my own relationships and in working with many couples around their relationships and each of their StrengthsFinder (now CliftonStrengths) strengths, I’ve found a profoundly deeper level of appreciation for our partners when we know and understand our own and our partner’s top strengths.
The two factors that naturally create strong relationships:
1. Not taking differences personally.
2. Noticing and championing the gifts of our partners’ strengths.
When my clients “Anna” and “Josh” learned their own and each others’ StrengthsFinder strengths, they immediately had far fewer arguments. When I asked them exactly what had shifted, neither of them knew at first. As we talked more, it became clear that they weren’t taking things personally anymore.
Both of them realized that the other wasn’t trying to hurt them, but rather they were naturally doing what their strengths guided them to do. The more we talked and they came to understand the specifics of the others’ strengths, the more they appreciated the differences that the other brought to their partnership.
The second factor, after knowing our own and our partner’s StrengthsFinder strengths involves being willing to notice and champion the gifts, rather than the differences (which we often interpret as “wrong”) in both our own and our partners’ strengths.
For example, my partner has Deliberative in his top 5 strengths. Deliberative makes decisions thoughtfully and carefully. I have Activator in my top 5. I jokingly call in my “dive in the pool and on the way down see if there’s any water” strength.
You can probably imagine if I hadn’t known our top 5 strengths, I would have thought my way of making decisions was right and his frustratingly wrong.
Because I did know our strengths, I deeply appreciated some decisions were far better made with his Deliberative in the mix. I also had more patience than I would normally have had when he needed to think things through because I knew that was his process and he was good at making great decisions that way.
The more I work with individuals and couples around strengths, the more excited I get about facilitating far less misunderstandings and far greater respect and appreciation!
If you would love to give and receive more love, appreciation and understanding in your relationship, I have 2 openings in August for Strong Couple StrengthsFinder Coaching packages.
Get the details here:
As always, post your comments, experiences and insights below . . .