Sixth in a series that explains components of the Leading From Your Strengths profiles
Leading From Your Strengths (LFYS) Profiles are personalized, detailed 20-page reports which accurately describe your individual habitual patterns of behavior, thought, emotion, and communication. They provide you with sophisticated, objective insights and action steps about your unique strengths – data you can use immediately and long-term. Teams, couples, families, and employers use the profiles in order to work together more effectively. Although the profile questionnaire is quick and simple to complete, it provides sophisticated data in a 20-page report in six sections:
- Your Natural Strengths
- Your Checklist for Communicating
- Your Ideal Environment
- How Others Can Best Lead and Motivate You
- Your Perceptions
- Your Adapted Strengths
The Adapted Strengths section of your report includes three elements: your Strengths Movement Chart (an overlay), “How Are You Having to Adapt?” (a list of useful statements), and Your Natural Style and Your Adapted Style (a chart comparing the two).
Natural Strengths versus Adapted Strengths
No matter what your natural strengths, they remain stable over time. Yet your environment changes regularly – and it is common for you to adapt to it. In your profile report these adjustments are called “adapted strengths.” This section of your profile report explains how you are currently going about making these adjustments. You may use some of your natural strengths in your environment or downplay others, based on how you view what is needed for you to be accepted.
Your Strengths Movement Chart
Your Strengths Movement Chart is a visual representation of your natural strengths, with an overlay that displays a measurement of your strengths movement in four predictable areas: problem solving, processing information, managing change, facing risk. The amount of movement in each of the four areas reveals how much you feel you need to adjust or compensate your natural strengths to match the requirements of your environment. The chart indicates three kinds of movements. The movement can be positive (indicated with a “+”), negative (indicated on the chart with a “-“), or no movement (no symbol on the overlay).
- Positive movement: your environment requires you to use more of that strength.
- Negative movement: your environment requires you to use a strength that is not natural to you
- No movement: your natural strengths are in alignment with your environment
Positive movement or no movement on a particular scale indicate you feel comfortable or valued using your strengths in that area. Negative movement on a scale, particularly with a score of 5 or more, indicates your environment requires you to use strengths that don’t come naturally to you. You can see how your adapted strengths data can give you powerful affirmation. If you are in an environment that uses your strengths (positive movement or no movement), the data validates your satisfaction in those areas. On the other hand if you are under stress or routinely experience dissatisfaction, the data can confirm why: expectations in your environment do not complement your strengths (negative movement). How is this reassuring? The data reveals how you are gifted in ways not matched by your current circumstances.
How to Use Your Adapted Strengths Data
The three adapted strengths elements allow you understand how you are using or not using your strengths in your work or your family. The data can lead you to true transformation when you use it. Here are some ways to get started.
- Identify the adapted strengths movement scores on the Adaptive Strengths Chart that move away from your natural strengths (negative). Pay special attention to scores with more than -5 movement and those areas in which your adapted strengths score cross the energy line away from your natural score. These are areas in which your current environment is not the best fit with your strengths.
- Study the list of statements under “How Are You Having to Adapt?” Which ones sound like expectations you have of your current situation? Of those, determine which are easiest for you to accept and which are hardest – which will show you the intensity of how you are adjusting.
- Use the Natural and Adapted Style chart (which compares your natural approach to your adapted approach) to identify practical ways you are adapting to your circumstances. This information can be a springboard to adjusting your approach … or even to changing your environment to better use your strengths.
- Retake the profile. While your natural strengths do not vary over time, your adapted strengths do, particularly when there are changes in your environment. Retake your profile each year or sooner as circumstances change to give you an objective point of reference and focus your natural strengths.
Some adaptation is good and necessary. In fact, God calls us to continue to grow. However, long-term adaptation consumes energy and may not be the best use of the strengths God has given you. Significant adjustments over time may not be the best stewardship of your strengths. Centuries ago, the Apostle Paul cautioned his protégé Timothy with these words: “Guard what has been entrusted to you” (1 Timothy 6:20, RSV). God has purposely equipped you with special strengths, trusting you to exercise them faithfully no matter what form they take or what environment to which He has called you. Guard yours wisely – when you know how you are using your strengths in your environment.