Strengths Spotlight: Competition

As an avid fan of CliftonStrengths (previously known as Strengths Finder), it’s fun to spotlight one of the 34 strengths in my newsletters.  I often speak of each strength having a dial, with a range of 1-10. With greater awareness we can modulate our top strengths by turning them up or down, to get the results we desire. Every day presents us with new opportunities to calibrate our gifts in new ways. 

When our strengths are working optimally, we experience high, positive, energy. We could do it all day! When they aren’t optimal, we feel drained and exhausted. The beauty of this powerful tool is that it’s different every day – there is always more to learn. Today I would like to spotlight the Competition strength.

I’ve recently spoken to several women who are challenged by the Competition strength. They wonder how (and even if) it serves them well, especially in the workplace. Unsure of how to use it successfully, they acknowledge that they have turned it way down (or completely off) at work.  They struggle to see it as a strength instead of a weakness.

Gallup defines the Competition theme as those who “measure their progress against the performance of others. They strive to win first place and revel in contests.” Those who have this strength may notice:

  • An aspiration to be the best
  • Awareness of their competitors
  • Needing peers for comparison and motivation

They might say, when I watch others perform, I get better.  

You may be someone with the Competition theme, or perhaps you know someone who has this gift. To increase your understanding of this influencing talent,  I suggest watching this CliftonStrengths video.

After doing so, one client shared:

Thank you so much for that video. It hit sooo many things that are competition that I hadn’t really thought about as that. As the speaker was talking, I was like, yup… mmm hmm, spot on! Things like looking not just up and down but left and right. The two that really struck home were:

  1. Recognizing talent before even some folks see it in themselves…. I recruit talent for my teams this way…. but had never thought of that as “competition “
  2. Building the bench and having plans for all contingencies for my team. I have built trust, so folks let me know their short- and long-term plans, which helps me develop the contingencies. Again, never pieced that with competition….