Let me give you a number: 295 undecillion. That’s 295 with 12 commas and 36 digits behind it. That’s a big number. One in 295 undecillion: that’s the likelihood that you’ll meet someone just like you in terms of your talents.
In CliftonStrengths work, we identify 34 talents that each of us has to some degree, from the most intense to the least intense. If you take all those talents and put them in every possible combination, the number of combinations is 295 undecillion.
It’s Unlikely You’ll Meet Someone Who’s Wired Exactly Like You
To put 295 undecillion in a little bit of context, the odds of becoming a victim of a lightning strike in the US is about 1 in 700,000 in a given year. Over the course of your lifetime, it’s about one in 3,000. This number is 295 undecillion. The odds of you meeting someone just like you are stacked against you.
Do you think maybe that explains why there’s conflict in the world? Every human conflict arises from a misunderstanding between talents. Sure, it might be exacerbated by socio-economic conditions, disparities, ingrained biases that we all have to some degree, or maybe the messages that we were fed and we took to heart. But the real conflict begins when we misunderstand who the other person is, and why.
Then it’s all downhill from there unless we stop it in its tracks by understanding ourselves and each other fully so that we can modify our own approach. I’ll give you a simple example in my life.
Being Mindful of Other People’s Talents and How They Process Things
My partner and I have this annoying interaction tendency that sometimes that rears its ugly head. Strategic is my number 3 talent. I think very quickly. I raise myself up above a situation and kind of look down at it and examine the patterns of things that are there to determine the path that’s the clearest. Then, I drop the things that are irrelevant or unnecessary or won’t work.
I can do this in a split second. Strategic is my partner’s # 31 talent out of 34. It’s virtually not present in him at all. It’s way down the list. And his number two talent is Empathy. Empathy is way down my list of 34. So he feels deeply and I think quickly. He doesn’t necessarily see what I’m thinking, as I’m disregarding irrelevant, or what I think are irrelevant ideas or undoable ideas.
It’s not that his ideas aren’t worthwhile. Of course they are. Obviously, we all have good ideas. It’s just that I think very quickly in sort of an ‘I already examined that one in my thought processes’ kind of way, and wrote that one off.
I see the connections between things because I’m above it, looking down at it. It’s just the way I’m wired. So we both become frustrated. I become frustrated because he seems to pursue something that I know is not going to work. He becomes frustrated and hurt because he thinks I may not be listening to the idea that he has. Altogether it can get pretty frustrating.
If he and I didn’t understand our talents, and the way they interact, we could have World War III at our doorstep. But we don’t. And that’s because we understand our talents. He knows that I think very quickly and that I do disregard irrelevant information very quickly. I know that he’s attuned to his emotions, and he needs to get his ideas out there and at least have them honored.
So we work together on this. We would not have been able to do this were it not for our knowledge of our talents and the objective sort of view that we have of them. We know when their value is most potentially available to us so that we can work together more effectively. And we do as a result of that. It has made a huge positive difference in our relationship.
This type of work can make a big difference in your personal and professional relationships as well. If you want to examine your personal relationships through your strengths, book a call with me and I can help you maximize your potential!