In a previous article, we found out how people with Connectedness have a knack for linking concepts together, enough to perpetuate creativity in discussions. Here, we take a step back and look at Connectedness with a macro view – what Connectedness looks like in its raw and mature forms, and how we can harness it for productive outcomes.Connecting cultures

Brief Background of Connectedness

Connectedness is number 22 in Gallup’s list of talents among 33 million people. About 12% of people who have taken StrengthsFinder worldwide have Connectedness in their top 5 talents. Despite having it as my top talent, I still have some difficulty explaining it to people. It may seem hard to grasp, with a kind of mystical aura.

To give you an idea why, consider these statements in Gallup’s description of Connectedness: “We are individuals, responsible for our own judgments and in possession of our own free will, but nonetheless we are part of something larger. Some may call it the collective unconscious…The exact articles of your faith will depend on your upbringing and your culture, but your faith is strong. It sustains you and your close friends in the face of life’s mysteries.”

Connectedness and Belief

People saw many overlaps between Connectedness and Belief, because Gallup describes Belief as such: “Your Belief theme causes you to be family-oriented, altruistic, even spiritual, and to value responsibility and high ethics – both in yourself and others.”

It isn’t surprising then that Gallup combined both themes and called them Spirituality at the beginning. Over time, however, they found that faith isn’t necessarily a part of Connectedness or Belief. They are different talents that can stand on their own, and Gallup separated them.

Connectedness is fascinated by and curious about the links between people, ideas, and things, with or without a religious context. It engages with and studies these links, be it about economics, cultures, ecosystems, or people.

Rock as valuesTo give an analogy of the difference between Connectedness and Belief, Belief symbolizes the rocks you stand on; values and anchors that firmly guide your actions. Connectedness symbolizes the way you understand where those rocks came from, linking your values to the way they grow out into the world.

If both are dominant for you, Gallup characterizes you as so: While your strong beliefs sometimes separate you from others, you still have a connection with and a compassion for all humanity.

 

Raw and Mature Forms of Connectedness

Unlike basements and balconies of talents, raw and mature forms of talents isn’t ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Raw simply refers to an undeveloped talent that could create a barrier between yourself and others. On the other hand, basements refer to the misuse of a talent resulting in unproductive outcomes.

Raw Connectedness is a gut feeling, but mature Connectedness uses the gut feeling to build awareness and shares that with others.

Raw Connectedness overgeneralizes and makes connections that don’t need to be there. On the other hand, mature Connectedness builds bridges and connections that are meaningful and need to be there.

Raw Connectedness appears to be unaffected by what’s going on in the immediate present because it’s more concerned with where everyone is going and the global side of things. Thus it can come across as aloof. Mature Connectedness comes across as patient, understanding, with a big picture approach to things.

Raw Connectedness may create confusion for others, because it either tries to convince others of the connections that it picks up on, or senses something wrong but cannot articulate it well enough. Mature Connectedness accepts the intuition and knows that it’ll pick up some things that others don’t, and provides holistic direction for the future, e.g. “Something’s not right, and here’s how that can give us some insight.”

Transforming Connectedness into a Strength

Do any of the above sound familiar? If you have Connectedness in your top 5, here’s how you can shape its raw potential intoBuild bridges maturity:

You can connect with a diversity of people easily. That’s how you open doors and create trust. You genuinely value people and find common ground quickly with people. When there are divisions occurring that trouble you, build bridges across the divisions with what you have. If you’re in an organization that has unnecessary division between groups, be the bridge builder within that group.

You have the ability to see connections between information. How can your clients benefit from knowing the connections? Find a way to move from just observing connections to doing something with them that’s productive, powerful, and purposeful.

You’re hardwired to care about purpose. Help your friends to write the lives they want to live! What purpose do their lives serve? Work with leaders to mobilize a mass of people to contribute towards something greater.

Article is informed by Gallup Theme Thursday

About Clare Sim

Clare is a strengths advocate and writer in positive psychology who strongly believes in maximizing the human potential. Her passion is in empowering and inspiring people to be the best versions of themselves both in and out of work. In her spare time, Clare enjoys baking, reading about relationship and leadership development, and tranquil moments with nature. Top 5 StrengthsFinder 2.0 Themes: Connectedness, Responsibility, Input, Harmony, Maximizer.