Are You Independent or Interdependent? A Practitioner Helps You Know
Second in a series explaining how Certified Practitioners help you process profiles
Leading From Your Strengths Profiles empower you to discover and use your God-given strengths and be stronger for it. Because the profile questionnaire can be completed and delivered in 10 minutes or less, it can be tempting to forge ahead and immediately sort through the enormous of amount of information it provides.
A wise practitioner pauses at the outset of this process to ensure you have a biblical mindset about strengths and differences before proceeding with examining your personal data.
For most people, the Law of Differences presents a shift in thinking. Practitioners are trained to explain this powerful principle and make sure clients understand the choice they face about relationships.
The Typical Approach to Differences: Independence
Paul illustrates the Law of Differences by comparing Christ-followers to the human body. The body is a single unit, but made up of many parts. Each part has a vital function. Your strengths, when combined with the strengths around you, complete each other.
Yet the vast majority of people look at their differences through the lens of independence, viewing others’ differences with judgment. For instance, you may value certain strengths (like a high propensity for risk-taking) over others (like deliberation.) By looking at others through the lens of judgment we make a value call that says, “My strengths are not important” or “Your strengths are not as valuable as mine.”
Yet scripture tells us nothing could be further from the truth. “The body is a unit,” writes Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:12 (NIV). “Though it is made up of many parts, and though all its parts are many, they form one body.”
The spirit of independence is derived from pride, arrogance, or even fear. It leads to division (“I am more valuable than her”) or isolation (“no one understands me or appreciates me.”) We fail to see value in others or struggle at recognizing the value in ourselves. The sense of despair destroys healthy relationships.
A practitioner understands the human bent view ourselves and our strengths independently, and invests time in explaining the biblical approach to differences.
The Biblical Approach to Differences: Interdependence
The shift from a spirit of independent thinking to interdependent thinking embraces the truth that “God has arranged the parts of the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be” (1 Corinthians 12:18, NIV).
Rather than an attitude of arrogance, pride, or fear, this approach embraces mutual submission. Each party recognizes their own value but also embraces the strengths of others, understanding that God has placed people around us strategically. We need each other.
The biblical foundation espouses the absolute truth: each person’s strengths bring value to the whole. Without this biblical basis, interpreting the profiles can become an exercise in relativism, leading us to falsely believe some strengths are more valuable than others.
A Practitioner Helps You Understand the Choice
What you decide to do with differences will divide you or unite you with those around you. You can continue to pursue your differences independently, operating without connecting with those around you … or you can embrace your interdependence on others, with the understanding that your strengths complete them and theirs complete you, too. Which approach do you currently own? Do you want to adopt the biblical approach?
A practitioner presents the choice. This decision, and the process that follows, is a turning point – not always an easy one.
The beauty of walking through the process with a practitioner is that you won’t have to make that shift alone.