You may think of the Relator® as someone who has never met a stranger, but that’s WOO—winning others over. People with WOO believe that each stranger is a friend they have yet to meet, but Relators are selective about their relationships. They tend to be more guarded and cautious when they first meet people.

Relators may not immediately come across as relationship-oriented people because their strength lies with in-depth relationships, not shallow connections. Relators are always looking for an excuse to get together with their friends or their colleagues because genuine relationships fuel them. Relators are not interested in job title or status; they are interested in their relationship with you.

Relators are skilled at building better friendships and relationships, not only in their families and friendships but in the workplace as well. It is important for Relators to find and develop deep, trusting friendships in the workplace. The Gallup book, Well Being by Tom Rath, demonstrates how people enjoy better well-being when they have at least one good friend in the workplace. So, if you have a great relationship with your boss, your supervisor, or a colleague, count yourself blessed.

People with the Relator strength have the gift of creating loyal, trusting, sharing relationships that will never break. Guess what? My wife has this strength, too. We have been married for over thirty-six years (and have known each other for thirty-eight), and I always say that any woman who can put up with me for thirty-six years has to have some serious relationship abilities. Many of my wife’s attributes—like her loyalty—come from being a Relator.

Mervyn Davies is the former Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank and is an example of an executive monetizing his Relator strength.

Davies was the chairman of a British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London, England. This bank operates a network of more than 1,200 branches and outlets across more than 70 countries and employs around 87,000 people. In the world of business, he is known as one of the world’s most influential. Being the chairman of such a large bank, you would think he would be a stubborn, bottom-line first businessman, In fact, British newspaper The Guardian calls him “that rare breed: a banker [whom] people like.”  How did Mervyn Davies gain the reputation as this rare breed of banker?

His top 5 Strengths are Achiever, Futuristic, Positivity, Relator, and Learner. Davis knew that to be successful in leading this organization; he had to use a Strengths-based leadership approach. He needed to build a leadership team with the same diversity as Standard Charter Bank has in the networks they operate. To that end, he developed an incredibly diverse leadership team focusing on different backgrounds, personalities, and strengths. Knowing his strengths well, he wanted to surround himself with other strengths that would allow them to do things he couldn’t do well.

Once he had his team in place, Davis leaned into his Relator strength to find a way to build trust between himself and his leadership team. According to, “The Power and Edge of Relator: Those with Relator among their Signature Themes form deep relationships and are most productive when they are working alongside colleagues they know well. As a result, they can be great collaborators and bring encouragement to others on their team.” So he set out to form these deep relationships.

He made a point to over-communicate with his team. He would send communications to his top leaders with details about why he was making the decisions he was making. Some of his decisions were considered controversial, and he wanted them to understand where he was coming from to build their trust relationship. He also shared more than work; he shared his personal life too. When his wife developed breast cancer, he sent an email to his top 4oo executives, letting them know what was going on with him and how it would change his schedule for the next several months. His Relator strength makes him value authentic relationships, and he was an example of that.

In addition to being open about his life, he was widely known for helping others put their family first. The result of leaning into his Relator strength created a culture where the employees had an unprecedented level of trust in their CEO.

How are you using your Relator strength to build your team and organization for greater trust? How can your organization become more profitable from building deep authentic relationships?

Here are three questions for you to ponder in order to build deeper relationship with your team:

  1. Which talent themes can help you ask better questions to explore strengths?
  2. When can you help clients turn their strengths inward and outward for success?
  3. How could you better help employees understand underusing (coasting) and overusing (speeding) with their strengths?

How can you use your Relator to build a firm of endearment?  Let me know in the comments below. Want to talk with me about how you could monetize your strengths or other business-building questions you have? Please schedule you free Ask Brent Anything call, and Let’s Talk Strengths.



Positivity ® is one of my wife’s top strengths. Now you know why I married her—she has incredible relationship strengths. People with Positivity are generous with praise and love to smile. They are light-hearted, playful, humorous, and they’ve got bundles of passion, energy, and kindness. But don’t get me wrong—Positive people are not inherently naïve. They realize there are crises and challenges in the world but choose to focus on what is right instead of what is wrong. The strength of Positivity helps them to find the good in all situations.

People with the strength of Positivity make special events come alive. Birthdays, retirement parties, get-togethers of all sorts—Positive individuals enjoy creating events where others laugh, connect, share, and feel good about life. As a result, people are drawn to individuals with Positivity. However, individuals with Positivity should protect themselves from those who see the minefields instead of the flowers in the garden, as negative people tend to drain their energy.

It is important to remember that Positive people are not always in a “good mood.” My wife may not be feeling great for any number of reasons, but she manages to have a Positive demeanor and doesn’t bring others down. If we are dining at a restaurant and my wife isn’t enjoying the food, she will never say it because she doesn’t want to dampen anyone else’s experience. This can be a strength and a hindrance because Positive people may not open up and share their hurts, challenges, or stresses, thus internalizing tough emotions.

People with Positivity are not interested in changing negative people, as they prefer instead other Positive people. Throw a Positive person into a room full of negative people, and the positivity will wilt. Throw them into a room full of Positive people with Positive potential, and the Positive person will find the spark that will light their potential on fire.

If you’re curious how to monetize Positivity, check out my positive psychology friend, Margaret Greenberg, and read her book, Profit from the Positive: Proven Leadership Strategies to Boost Productivity and Transform Your Business. Greenberg highlights research from neuroscience that shows emotions are contagious. Mirror neurons in our brains can catch another person’s mood, just like catching a cold. Dr. Marcial Losada and Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, teach that high functioning teams need a 6:1 positivity to negativity ratio in order to flourish. As leaders, it’s crucial to manage our emotions, like a thermostat, and in doing so, regulate the emotional temperature to create a stronger, smarter, richer work environment. 

Another example of making a great living from Positivity is Barbara Fredrickson. She’s a social psychologist who researches emotions and positive psychology. She is the Kenan Distinguished Professor; Department of Psychology and Neuroscience; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Director, Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory; President, International Positive Psychology Association. Her “broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions” is foundational within Positive Psychology. This theory provides a blueprint for how pleasant emotional states, as fleeting as they are, contribute to resilience, well-being, and health.

Dr. Fredrickson is among the most highly cited scholars in psychology and has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. She has two general audience books, Positivity (2009, and Love 2.0 (2013, have been translated for more than 30 foreign markets.

She was identified in 2014 as the 13th most influential psychologist alive today contributing to counseling psychology. In a partnership with UNC-Chapel Hill and Coursera, Dr. Fredrickson began teaching a free, on-line course in 2015 on Positive Psychology. The first offering enrolled more than 57,000 learners worldwide. Through this and other means, her work influences scholars and practitioners worldwide, within education, business, healthcare, the military, and beyond.

There is power in positivity. In Gallup’s Called to Coach Webcast from October 17, 2018, in the text below the window for the Webcast, it says – “If you have Positivity as a dominant theme when you’re at your best, you are a multiplier of hope.” Hope is amazingly strong. In Hebrews 11:1, the Bible tells us, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Could you make a thriving career like Barbara Fredrickson and be a multiplier of hope to bring positivity into other lives? 

What career could your Positivity strength multiply hope in others? How could you monetize your Positivity strength as an entrepreneur? What products and services could your Positivity help others to live richer ? Let me know in the comments below. Want to talk with me about how you could monetize your strengths or other business-building questions you have? Please schedule you free Ask Brent Anything call, and Let’s Talk Strengths.

Individualization® refers to those who love to discover the uniqueness in others. Individualizers believe that each person has his or her own unique, special story. Instead of seeing people’s similarities, Individualizers see differences—the things that make other people special.

Individualization is my #2 strength, and it helps me observe people’s strengths as well as their struggles. I call it my Strength Spotter and Star Maker.

I remember hearing one Individualizer say that when he started hearing people’s stories, it was as if balloons were popping up over their heads like cartoon characters. The balloons told him what was going on with them, what they were thinking, what they were feeling, and what they wanted.

In a way, people with Individualization have an ability to read your mind—They are also quite skilled at reading body language. As people with Individualization get to know you and your story, they can personalize a plan or strategy to get you from point A to point Z based on your strengths and struggles.

Donald O. Clifton, had Individualization as his #3 talent. Clifton was recognized with a presidential commendation from the American Psychological Association as “the father of strengths-based psychology and the grandfather of positive psychology.”

After serving as a World War II pilot, Clifton served as a teacher and researcher in the field of educational psychology at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln from 1950 to 1969. While at the university, his research focused on identifying the talents of successful people. While doing this research, Clifton developed the strengths theory instead of studying what was wrong with people. Working within his theory, he identified that successful people had specific personal talents that helped them in their work. The question he wanted to answer was, “What would happen if we studied what was right with people versus what’s wrong with people?” Later in his research Clifton named Individualization as one of those talent themes.

You can see how Donald Clifton began to monetize his Individualization when he left the university, founded Selection Research Inc. (SRI) in Lincoln, Nebraska, helping private and public entities with employee selection.

Clifton’s firm SRI experienced massive growth then acquired Gallup in 1988, and Clifton became chairman.

Up to the point of being acquired by SRI, Gallup was known for its public opinion polls by George Gallup. With Clifton as the chairman, Gallup expanded beyond public opinion polls. Gallup entered the management consulting business, consulting with companies on ways to improve their businesses by not focusing on their employee’s weaknesses and trying to fix them but by honing in on their employees’ strengths.

The online assessment tool Clifton StrengthsFinder (now known as CliftonStrengths) was developed by Clifton In 1999. The assessment that we all now know and love that focuses on 34 talent themes that make up the user’s natural ways of thinking, feeling, and behavior gives us an Individualized language to use when working with people to hone in on their individual strengths.

In addition to developing the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment Donald Clifton authored several books:

Though passed away in 2003, Donald Clifton provided the framework that has inspired millions of people, helping them to find their individual strengths and become their best selves.

More than 90% of Fortune 500 companies have used CliftonStrengths to bring the power of strengths-based development to their workplace culture. (Allowing companies and their people to identify their individual strengths and refine the talent into engaging strengths.) To date, over 23 million people have taken the CliftonStrengths StrengthsFinder.

Individualization has the power to allow you to instinctively observe an individuals talent, style, motivation, thinking, and how they build relationships.

What ideas do you get from Donald Clifton on how you can monetize your Individualization strength? In what ways do you see that you can use this strength to build productive teams by leveraging the team’s individual strengths so that everyone can do what they do best?

Let me know in the comments below. Want to talk with me about how you could monetize your strengths or other business-building questions you have? Please schedule you free Ask Brent Anything call, and Let’s Talk Strengths.