Consistency: Equality for All

The feast day of St. Katherine Drexel is celebrated on March 3rd. St. Katherine Drexel is the Patron Saint for racial justice. The story is told that she was raised in a family who believed that wealth should be used to promote social good. As a result, she was very disturbed by the inequity she saw during a family trip in the American west. She was especially concerned for the obvious poverty of African and Native Americans. Not long after, with encouragement from Pope Leo XIII, she became a Catholic missionary and educator. Her desire to create equality led her to establish Xavier University in New Orleans, the first college specifically for African American Catholics. Her ability to aim her consistency theme to create justice is a great example of how each of us can use our strengths during this Lent season. Read more about St. Katherine Drexel in this SimplyCatholic blog post by Michael R. Heinlein. (LINK)

According to Gallup StrengthsFinder, people exceptionally talented in the Consistency theme are keenly aware of the need to treat people the same. They crave stable routines with clear rules and procedures that everyone can follow.

Stability through predictability works because it seeks a justified and proven approach. The consistency theme resides in the executing theme. Executors get things done for everyone. They don’t just talk about treating everyone with fairness and justice, they demonstrate it. As a result, they know what is right and they will often speak up for the underdog.

It is highly unlikely that those who have consistency as a dominant theme will seek out change for the sake of change or be the first to set a trend. Shaking things up is uncomfortable but they are not paralyzed by past practice if it doesn’t work in the current context. They are at their best and feel most refreshed when surrounded by regular routines. Rules for these individuals are necessary and even exciting especially if the rule helps to create better group processes or measure benchmarks for performance and task completion. Within the school, these staff members can be counted on to help students and colleagues improve habitual activities. These classrooms are ideal for learners who find comfort and safety in this.

Learners who are high in consistency crave routines. They can be easily upset and perceived as rigid when they believe things to be unfair or when others are treated differently. They benefit from the opportunity to dialogue and learn about concepts like fairness, equality, and when exceptions should be applied so that they do not overlook the uniqueness of each individual.

Look for team members high in the consistency theme when standards, practices, and norms are needed to find solutions to current problems.

Strategic: Finding Multiple Paths

The strategic theme from the strategic thinking domain is a specific way of thinking that allows an individual to see relevant patterns, remove ambiguity and obstacles, and quickly create multiple pathways or alternatives. It is a very distinct way of seeing the world.

Those with the strategic theme are curious and muse about the goals to be achieved. The strategic theme is about being prepared for the possibility of changes en route to the destination. Gallup has a very specific definition of strategic. Strategic is about sorting through clutter, noticing patterns, and being able to sort very quickly to the best route forward. Gallup stresses that it isn’t a skill that can be taught. People with high strategic tend to notice patterns and then can quickly play out alternatives and consequences. The speed at which people with the strategic strength can consider, discard, or choose can be disarming and even confusing to many. The strategic thinker uses an extremely quick sorting process and strong intuition to arrive at the best possible solution.

Strategic teachers are talented at figuring out the best way to evaluate curriculum, identify program weaknesses, implement new ideas, or improve school climate. When change is desired, a strategic thinker is desirable! They are naturally attracted to counselling, problem solving, innovation, change, and start-ups. They love the challenge of determining the best way to ensure that the most meaningful learning occurs.

In the community and parish, strategic thinkers are often found in situations where difficult situations need to be addressed or important planning needs to occur.

Students who are strong in the strategic theme benefit from problem solving activities and project based learning where they have the ability to demonstrate and exercise their innovative abilities. They are intellectually and emotionally engaged by complexity and solution finding. They also require direct instruction in knowing how to explain their thinking process to others. Thanks to the fact that they are so quick, others might be put off and even feel threatened by their decisiveness. Helping them to learn to communicate how and why they arrive at decisions is critical for them to be able to work with others because they are essential to any team!