Leading with Self-Awareness – Finding the Inflection Point with Intellection (Week 33 – Part 3 of 3)

Are you Self-Aware?  Self Awareness is a powerful skill for unlocking your maximum potential. This is part of the Leading with Self-Awareness Series where we spotlight all 34 StrengthsFinder ® talent themes and the 4 domains of Strength.Weekly, we provide a fresh 3 part perspective on the descriptions for each theme, along with their powerful go-to and watchout characteristics. In this post, Brandon focuses on the watchout’s of the Intellection theme, by sharing how Ines developed her Intellection talents into strengths. Does this sound like behaviors you need to watch out for? 

Intellection ® –  People exceptionally talented in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.

The Intellection theme is in the Strategic Thinking leadership domain.  Leaders with themes in the Strategic Thinking domain set the high level roadmap and paint pictures of what could be.

Because Ines has spent so much time in reflection, she brings great self-awareness to the table. She knows that when she is leaning very heavily into her Intellection theme, she can unintentionally alienate others and that she can be a bit of a loner.

When she was younger, a mentor shared with her that she came across as sometimes arrogant, even judgmental. Over her career she has worked hard to adjust that behavior, but there are times she still finds herself taking too stern of a tone with others.

Ines knows from experience that she spends an inordinate amount of time thinking. She also knows that it’s just part of the whole ebb and flow of things that there is a natural point when it’s time to transition from thinking to execution. She has struggled with finding that inflection point.

Ines is eager to use her newfound knowledge about the Intellection theme in order to bring more peace and balance to her workday.

As part of our recent coaching sessions we discussed Intellection watchouts for leaders:

  • They can be socially awkward – alternatively isolating themselves, being standoffish, or discussing items with such depth that they lose others.
  • There is a perception that they overthink things, and make discussions too complex. Along with this unnecessary complexity, there is the perception that they can spend too much time thinking instead of doing.
  • There are times when their mind swirls in thought, painfully.

Here are a few things the Intellection leader can do to develop their talent into a strength:

  • They can let people know they are approachable. They can let people know they are available to talk about personal matters.
  • They need to let people know that they welcome, respect, appreciate, and want to engage with others.
  • They can take a little bit of latitude to reflect out loud, but ultimately they need to “land the plane” when sharing their thoughts with others.
  • They would be really well served spending time meditating, and learning more about disciplining their mind and their thoughts.
  • They are best received when they bring their ideas out of the clouds and onto the ground so that the ideas can be made actionable.
  • They can gently warn others when they are about to go “deep” in the sharing of their thoughts, and balance their need to be thorough with the reception they get from other participants in the discussion.
  • They can watch for being judgmental.
  • They can make it a point to find others who want to think and talk just as deeply.
  • They can express their thoughts in ways that encourage people to respond.
  • They can keep things simple. Even their “simple” will have depth and robustness.

Ines is developing new habits related to her Intellection theme. Through personal contemplation, she is becoming more aware of finding the right inflection point so that she switches from the act of thinking to the act of participating in the world around her. She is finding more peace and productivity, and her relationships are improving measurably.

The first step in becoming more Strengths-Aware is to Take the StrengthsFinder® Assessment for $15 today and then spend time understanding the results. Knowledge not applied can be wasted!  If you are ready to go from the knowledge of strengths to the power of application CONTACT US today.

Stay tuned for the next article in the Leading with Self-Awareness series… “Leading with Self-Awareness –Creating Possibility with the Learner Theme”


Brandon Miller is the CEO of 34 Strong Inc. a leader in StrengthsFinder ® training and organizational development. 34 Strong works with organizations across the United States in developing teams around talent to optimize performance and maximize results. Brandon specializes in working with organizations on developing sustainable strengths-based organizational culture. Brandon’s top five strengths are: Maximizer, Achiever, Activator, Strategic, and Arranger.