Now more than ever, business leaders like you are being stretched in ways we never could have seen coming. From charting the unknown in 2020 during the pandemic to now adjusting to the needs of a transitioning virtual force in 2021. How you engage the needs of your team is more important than ever. 

Your business depends on it. 

Spending last year in a virtual setting has caused many changes in the workplace. Of the needs that have surfaced, burnout among leaders and employees is now at record highs. Here are a couple of the trends we’re seeing: 

  • Nearly 60% of leaders reported they feel used up at the end of the workday, which is a strong indicator of burnout. [1]
  • Approximately 44% of leaders who feel used up at the end of the day expected to change companies in order to advance; 26% expected to leave within the next year. [1]

To mark an effective plan against burnout, we have to figure out exactly what we’re dealing with. 

Burnout was first coined by Dr. Herbert Freudenberger [2], a psychologist in the 1970’s who noticed burnout in two areas. First, as a symptom of drug use in his patients and later, a consequence for those working with these patients. His patients would become “fried” from drug use. And those working with them would exhibit similar behavior, either from compassion fatigue or other responsibilities from the job. 

Christina Maslach further researched workplace burnout and defined it as a “work-related syndrome involving emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a sense of reduced personal accomplishment” [3]. 

From Maslach’s definition, we can break burnout into 3 main components: depletion (emotional exhaustion), disconnection from people (depersonalization), and deflation (reduced personal accomplishment). 

Let’s look deeper into each of these components of burnout. 

1. Depletion (Emotional Exhaustion)

Depletion is what it sounds like — the absence of energy or fuel. We can think of this as depletion versus fullness of energy. To avoid burnout, we want our bucket full of energy. There are four key areas we can see the signs of a depleted bucket: physically, emotionally, cognitively, and behaviorally. 

Physical depletion shows up through an increase in heart rate, a heightened startle response, sleep disturbances, crying spells, weepy behavior, and so on. Emotional depletion symptoms give way to anxiety, stress, fear, exaggerated responses, or mood swings. Cognitively you might observe a decrease in focus, motivation, or concentration. Behavioral depletion can look like forgetfulness, accidents, or work problems. 

As a business leader when you see any of these signs in your team, ask yourself, “How can I help fill their bucket?” What strategies, routines, or touchpoints can you put in place to address depletion in your team? Is there work you can outsource? Do you need to hire more staff? Ask yourself how you can best engage and empower your team in their strengths to accomplish their work without burnout. 

2. Disconnection from People (Depersonalization)

We’ve all felt disconnected from the people we work with in some way or another over the last year. With remote working, social distancing, virtual connection, and self-isolation this last year, most of us are just now getting into the habit of seeing others regularly in person. 

People experiencing disconnection from others may pull from relationships, remain in toxic relationships, or not be receiving the emotional and physical touches needed in healthy relationships. Instead of having sources for support, validation, and encouragement, people are left alone to cope in ways that may not be benefiting them — leading to further isolation, pessimism, and withdrawal. 

This is the last thing you want for your team! Human connection is vital to the health of your workplace. As a business leader, the key question to ask yourself is, “How can I increase engagement with my people in their relationships?” This type of engagement requires intentionality, especially if your team is still working in a virtual setting. 

In Gallup’s research with the Q12, some of the most important questions we ask deal with a person’s connection to specific people in the workplace and if there is a general feeling of support and freedom to open up about challenges. Consider implementing a group like the masterminds I facilitate that meet together for consistent encouragement, accountability, connection, and engagement. 

3. Deflation (Reduced Personal Accomplishment)

Deflation happens when we feel like we’re losing the battle in life and work. Someone struggling in this area may feel hopeless and ask themselves questions like…

  • How can I advance my career or income? 
  • Should I close my business? 
  • Should I get another job? 
  • What should I do next? And so on… 

When it comes to deflation, the key is to maintain patient endurance. Meaning we must continue enacting those positive behaviors we know are helpful to both us and those around us. We want to encourage high achievement. Simple actions like eating healthy, taking care of your mind, body, and spirit are effective ways to enact patient endurance. 

As a business leader, ask yourself, “How can I engage my team in patient endurance?” How can you encourage growth and advancement in your team? What opportunities can your team take advantage of that would encourage high achievement? Continued personal and professional development in this area will greatly increase your team’s sense of personal accomplishment.

How to Beat Burnout in Your Workplace

As we navigate the workplace in 2021, the effects of the pandemic to the workplace are proving to be challenging but there is hope

The first thing to remember is you can’t beat something you don’t acknowledge. Take time to observe how burnout may be affecting your employees and teams. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself the hard questions and take ownership of your role as a business leader within the workplace dynamic. If something is falling through the cracks, lean into it and make a plan of action to promote health in your team.

Encourage daily routines that inspire high achievement and continued personal development. Be intentional about the relational connection among your team and for yourself. View this new work dynamic as an opportunity to advance yourself and your workplace.

The post-pandemic workplace may look different than we could have predicted, but it’s up to us as leaders to take this situation and turn it around for the good of our workplace

What are some of your best practices to beat workplace burnout? Comment below.

My goal is to help you grow stronger, work smarter, and live richer in your business! Beating burnout is crucial to your success in these areas because your business depends on it. 

Do you need more help maximizing the human potential in your workplace? Download my free Workplace Training Brochure. Here I offer resources on employee, leadership and business training, including how to manage stress and burnout. 

Don’t forget to book your Ask Brent Anything call and let’s walk through how I can help you champion your people like your business depends on it.

For more information on beating burnout, check out my book Balance Matters: Turning Burnout Into Balance here.


How would you rate your Virtual Intelligence leading your team?

Virtual Intelligence Within A Remote Workforce showed us that despite the challenges of leading a remote workforce, there are many advantages to work remotely. Therefore, we need to change our fixed mindset, recognize these advantages and not be naïve as to how they can help our team become more productive, efficient, and happier. 

Although some are “zoomed out”, only 7% of remote workers desire going back to the office full-time. There are far more advantages to leading a team with a hybrid model. 

The challenges of on-boarding, staying connected, and having access to everyone on the team are far outweighed by the advantages to your remote workforce.

1. The first advantage to working remotely is the ability to have flexibility in where you live.

If organizations continue to allow the option of working remotely, employees can choose to move where there is a lower cost of living, better weather, or perhaps more family members close to them. This can equate to a happier, healthier employee and possibly reduce your costs. Some companies are offering their employees the option of moving elsewhere and adjusting their pay lower to correlate with the cost of living. Whether Adaptability® is a top strength or not, you can see how all of your team can enjoy flexibility.

2. The second advantage to offering virtual work is increased productivity.

Those with the Achiever® strength will appreciate this! Think about it–working remotely means they can work in more relaxed clothing to represent who they are.  They aren’t fighting traffic, filling up the gas tank, juggling dropping off the kids earlier at the babysitter, etc. Buying back time and creating your ideal work week means you have a happier, more engaged employee who can increase productivity. Research shows most people work more hours when working from home than they do at the office.

Several of my clients have increased their productivity, creating new innovative products, and multiplying results with record revenues even during the pandemic. If your strength is a Maximizer®, you’ll find yourself cheering over this as your team maximizes their productivity beyond what you could believe possible.

3. Finally, working remotely buys back time for better well-being. 

Employees can take breaks to eat lunch with their spouse, pick up the kids, or go to the gym. And, let’s not forget they are not fighting traffic for several hours per day which keeps their stress levels and blood pressure lower. My wife has leveraged her Discipline® strength to lose 49 pounds to be the most physically fit she has ever been with an added bonus to me–working out with her daily has empowered me to lose 15 pounds and go down to my college waist size of 32.

While these are not an exhaustive list of advantages to a remote or partially-remote workforce, these top three reasons are motivating enough that companies are taking note. More and more corporations are allowing their employees to choose a flexible work schedule with a limited amount of time in the office or going totally remote. 

As a leader of a remote or hybrid workforce, changing the way you lead, connect, and engage (what I call Virtual Intelligence) can exponentially increase the advantages of working remotely.

What advantages do you see by working remotely? What are some of your success stories? Please comment below.

Would you like to lead your team with greater Virtual Intelligence according to their strengths? Click here to find out more.


What are your primary roles as you lead your virtual team? How would your team express how they want you to lead them?

Leading and managing a remote workforce requires different skills and a different implementation of your current skills and strengths to be equally as effective with a virtual staff.

What I’ve been teaching with business leaders and organizations are the 3 Roles of Leading with Virtual Intelligence: communication, coaching, and collaboration. Let’s dive in and see how to use our strengths within the context of these roles.

1. Communicator

Whether Communication® is one of your top strengths or not, having a virtual team creates a demand to become a better communicator. Remember communication is verbal with tone and voice fluctuation, non-verbal with eye contact, hand gestures, and proximity. Now there is another element of technology involved in our communication. Video, poor WiFi connection, speaker and mute problems, texting, slacking, which can distort and complicate virtual communication cues. 

Which of your top 10 strengths will you be intentional with for both formal and informal moments of interacting with your team? 

Score yourself on a scale of 1 (low) – 4 (high) on each of the communication skills below. 

Check in formally and informally with my team regularly?
Make expectations specific and clear?
I use all virtual communications modes available to me effectively? 
Self aware of my tone, inflection, facial expressions, eye contact, and pacing? 
Focus intently without multi-tasking while communicating?
Summarize content, speak concisely, and clearly?
Listen deeply for patterns, unspoken concerns, and underlying meaning?
Consider my words, with the strengths, values, and culture of my receiver?

2. Coach

Although you might not be a professional coach with a designation after your name, you are the team leader, or coach, of your remote team. Being yourself and relying on your top strengths can help you coach your team, and enable them to level up, bringing their “A game” to the table.

Again score yourself on a scale of 1-4 on the items below related to skills in coaching. 

Ask open-ended, powerful questions versus bossing with command and control?
Avoid defensiveness when my ideas are challenged or not agreed with?
Focus on the process of personal development as well as performance results?
Empower ownership, goal development, action planning, and accountability?
Use strengths-based approaches and questions rather than focus on weaknesses? 

If you’re a Relator®, model authentic coaching conversations. If you’re a Maximizer®, ask permission to share your insights to polish. If you have high Positivity®, encourage them in their skills and recognize them for a job well done. If Discipline® is your strength, be willing to guide, and share resources to establish routines that help others become more productive.

Equally as important is your role of connecting your team to each other. 

3. Collaborator 

Collaborating with a remote workforce can be challenging; the sense of camaraderie and connection are much harder. However, there are many tech tools and coaching skills that make collaboration possible. And, because your team is experiencing better work-life balance, they can be more apt to collaborate and connect as themselves, rather than solely in their professional role.

Rate yourself on the scale of 1-4 on the collaboration skills below. 

Ask the team to share strengths-based recognition in team meetings?
Use ice-breakers in team meetings to get to know one another more deeply?
Make time for peer accountability meetings?
Build deeper trust and interdependence with strengths-based projects?
Create opportunities for off-site team building experiences? 

Why not invite one of your team members with high WOO® to help model social connection or someone with Connectedness® to build more collaboration. 

Which of these 3 roles do you need to improve the most? Please share your take away’s below.  

If you’re challenged to communicate virtually, coach virtually, or inspire virtual collaboration, you can find resources here that will equip you to lead your virtual team. 


How effective are you leading your team with virtual intelligence?

Non-essential businesses have worked from home for longer than we expected. In the Pandemic from March 2020 to May 2020 work from home spiked from 31% to 65% working remotely. That’s some 100 million U.S. workers. Because of this, we have adapted to being a remote workforce.

In a survey of more than 30,000 employees half of them stated that their desire is to have a hybrid schedule–working at home sometimes, and being able to report to the office. And Gallup reports that 55% of managers say they will continue with remote work after the Pandemic. 

Over 1/2 of the workforce say they prefer working from home. This adaptation will bring with it advantages, challenges, and a greater need for emotional intelligence and what I’m calling Virtual Intelligence. 

As with everything in the workplace–and life–there are challenges. Let’s look at 3 factors of leading with Virtual Intelligence below. 

First, as a leader, create a work at home success factors checklist. You might even do an office audit together. 

From my 10+ years work at home experience as a professional coach and trainer here’s several success factors I recommend.

1. Create a dedicated office space if possible with a door for privacy, security, and a quiet space with natural lighting. 

2. Arrange for childcare, pet care, and in my situation when the grandkids are visiting. This may require support from others. 

3. Write out your ideal work-life calendar. When will you wake up, have morning routine, breakfast, working out, breaks, lunch, work hours, and end of day rituals. 

4. Dress for success. Yes take your shower, ladies put your makeup on, and enjoy dressing in a way that is comfortable, and produces a positive productive mindset. 

5. Design your office with mind ergonomics. Proper lighting, best video camera, computer proximity, uncluttered desk, motivational Feng shui, and my favorite – stand up desk.  

Leaders and managers with the strength of Arranger® can really help their teams set up a successful work at home environment.

What else would you place on the work at home success factors checklist? Please share your comments below. 

Second, you need to clarify work at home expectations with your team.

Will job requirements and duties be the same? Will you require attendance to scheduled 1:1’s and team huddles? When and how will you interact with your team? Will you require or strongly suggest the use of video for meetings.

By the way, I highly recommend that you set the expectation that your team use video especially for team meetings. Your people will need to practice being on camera so that they can be more confident in communication skills. How will you hold your team accountable for productivity? 

Leaders and managers with the strength of Focus® can really help their team clarify expectations and priorities. 

Finally, virtual intelligence requires emotional intelligence.

Being self-aware recognizing your own emotions, needs, and struggles. How can you model healthy well-being by putting your oxygen mask on first. Show your team with confident vulnerability how to be a human being as well as human doing.

Emotional intelligence also requires being able to have empathy for your team. That means recognizing their emotions, needs, and challenges. Being open and flexible to their uncertainties.  Also being proactive to help your team manage their mental health, their relationships, and providing resources.

Many are “zoomed out” and there are distractions, background noises, and the unknowns when working from home. As the leader it is your responsibility to design and deliver engaging training sessions that overcome the distractions. Or you can invite me to do some workplace training for you and your team. Download my workplace training brochure here. 

Those with the Relator® strength may miss stopping by someone’s desk to check in with them and chat briefly. With a remote workforce, that becomes impossible. It’s important to be intentional in connecting with virtual intelligence. Remote workers have cited feeling isolated and disconnected from their co-workers. However, there are tools you can use and ways you can be intentional so no one is left feeling isolated.

As a leader this requires increased virtual intelligence to lead, manage, and develop your team.

While these challenges demand change and innovation, there are also advantages. We’ll talk more about that in our next blog.

If you’re ready to refine your virtual intelligence schedule your free Ask Brent Anything call.

What do you think it takes to build a 10X business or side hustle?

Like Daniel 1:20 states “In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them 10 times better…”

Daniel teaches us that true wisdom and understanding ultimately come from God, even about business building. My additional insights after reading countless business books, being a business mastermind member for 10+ years, and leading a business over 25 years reveal these top 10 essential areas to build a better 6 & 7-figure business.

Download your 10X Business Growth Plan & Journal to keep you focused on your most important business building goals and projects!

Below I have given you an example of how you can create your 10X Business Growth Plan & Journal. Read through the 10 areas of business and the monthly journal examples as you begin to create your growth plan.  You can click on the examples to zoom in.

Rate these 10 areas of business on a scale of 1-10 for current reality and your realistic stretch goal for the year. Write a SET goal (Specific – Emotional – Time Bound) for each area. You can do this per year or per quarter depending on your motivation.

  1. Mindset (Happiness – Strengths – Well – Being – Success)
  2. Business Strategy (Strengths – Knowledge – Skills – Systems – Written Plan)
  3. Cash (Finances – Pricing – Profitability – Debt Management – Money Mindset)
  4. Product (Offerings – Service Delivery – Quality – Innovation)
  5. Marketing (Brand – Online – Offline Client attraction strategy)
  6. Sales (Funnel – Process – Rainmaking – Tracking)
  7. People (Human Capital – Management – Team Engagement)
  8. Clients (Customer Engagement – Values – Quality – Retention – Follow Up)
  9. Culture (Legacy – Charity – Values – Purpose)
  10. Lifestyle (Leisure – Freedom – Exit Strategy)

Also notice there is a monthly journal on the right hand side for you to write down and celebrate your top 3 wins-successes toward any of your goals throughout the year.

Want to learn more about creating a 10X business growth plan?  Here are some other opportunities.

Listen to Brent teach on how to 10X your business or side hustle previously recorded on Facebook Wednesday Wisdom HERE. 

You can also join the Business Builder Masterclass & Mastermind HERE.

If you want a personal consultation then make sure to schedule your Ask Brent Anything call.

Let me know in the comments below how you plan to use your 10X business growth plan. I look forward to working with you to 10X your business and side hustle through 2021.

How would it help if you could AIM your strengths with a written strategy on ONE PAGE?

That’s the intention of the One Page Strengths Strategy tool that I designed with my Focus – Futuristic strengths and have been using for several years.

I wanted to help my tribe to zoom in and zoom out with your top 10 strengths for life and work for a STRONG 2021 new year.

Download the One Page Strategy document and join me as you fill in the blanks.

Take time to visualize how you will aim your strengths and the successes that you will accomplish in the new year.  My experience is that if you will complete this tool yearly and review it daily, weekly, monthly that you will begin to maximize, mobilize, and monetize your strengths intentionally. You will grow stronger – work smarter & live richer.

Below I have given you a sample of my One Page Strategy Document.  The document is broken in to sections with the instructions on how to use the section just before it.  You can click on the graphic to zoom in.

On the left hand side of the tool you will see 3 major boxes for you to input your top 5 strengths and AIM your strengths into my strengths system. Box 1 Maximize Strengths is a place for you to authenticate intentional steps to grow from raw to refined with each strength. Box 2 Mobilize Strengths is a place for you to apply your strengths into your work/career. Box 3 Monetize Strengths is how you will aspire to live richer in your lifestyle.

The final box on the left side is a place for you to write your two top weaknesses and who your complimentary partners will be with their strengths to collaborate with.

The boxes on the bottom are a place for you to highlight your 6-10 strengths and how you will aim them in your life and work.

To build your vision of success and keep your imposter syndrome at bay is the box at the middle top. Here you will write a short personal & work success story using your strengths.

In the middle box you will choose what are your top 5 work activities and priorities. This will keep your work priorities front and center.

At the bottom middle is a place for you to write your Best of Me, Worst of Me and what you Most Need. As your write keep in mind how your top 5-10 strengths influence your life and work.

On the top right box you will write how your strengths fulfill the demands of the four domains of leadership and how you can intentionally aim your strengths.

At the middle right is a place for you to write your 1-2 sentence strengths purpose statement to always ground you with your Big Why.

Finally at the bottom right is a place for you to write what you will start and what you will stop to create the life and work you want.


Now you have seen the entire One Page Strengths Strategy Document, with examples of how I filled it out.  Your mind is probably popping with ideas for your document.

How are you going to use this One Page Strategy document to keep you moving in 2021?  How do you visualize using it for your team or clients?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.  If you have ideas you want to talk with me about or if you need some clarification on the document sign up for your Ask Brent Anything call.  I am glad we are starting this year off together and can’t wait to see and hear about your growth in 2021.

How ready are you to end 2020 and move forward into 2021?

Are you ready to hit the gas pedal? Does that feel overwhelming for you? In whatever space you are in, using your strengths can guide you into a new year that, as crazy as 2020 had been, will have an equal amount of hope and optimism for 2021.

Before moving forward into 2021 can you celebrate your gratitude’s, wins, and successes for 2020?

Which projects did you complete? What skills did you learn? What relationships were strengthened? How did you optimize your finances? What results were you most proud of in work and life? Go ahead write down your year end review and share with someone else.

For me my Relator® strength kept me most resilient this year. 1st with God, 2nd with my wife, 3rd my kids & grandkids, 4th with my clients, mastermind & CEO peer group, and finally with my inner circle friends and tennis buddies. These relationships were nourished & multiplied my strength. I’m so grateful for YOU – my tribe!

Moving forward practicing talent-mindfulness needs to be in front of our plans for 2021. With all that we have been through this past year, focusing on what is right with people and having those conversations is super important. Building those connections in yourself and others, so we remember our worth and don’t feel alone, is now more important than ever. Your ability to give this gift of skill to others is where your strengths lie. You are not alone in this time of growth and change. I am honored to walk forward with you through this.

The workplace changed forever in 2020. We have had to learn how to lead from a whole new space. With virtual one on ones and conference calls, you now have to gauge your team’s performance from a distance. Knowing your team’s strengths and how they work is more valuable now than ever to help you lead from a distant place.

Your team’s engagement and strengths are essential to their success as we move into the new year. How can you become more engaged with your strengths in 2021 and help others to do the same? Over the first few weeks of 2021, join me here as I walk you through some of the many free worksheets & tools I have available for you on my website and how you can use them.

The time is now, and the energy’s here, the enthusiasm and hunger for re-imagining strengths.

Now more than ever, it is the time to have conversations that focus on what’s right with people. And giving them the skill to find that focus.

Strengths have transformed people’s lives. One of my colleagues loves to tell the story about how surprised she was when Strategic was one of her Top 5. She said she had never thought of herself as strategic, but she talked to her friends about it. They were surprised she didn’t see herself that way because that was how they saw her. For her, it was as if seeing this in her Top 5 gave her permission to be strategic. She began to call on this strength in her business and personal life. It made a huge difference in both. She felt more confident as she moved forward in projects and meetings.

Finding her Strategic Strength helped her transform the way she worked and interacted with others. Which of your strengths will you use to move forward in 2021? How will you help others to find transformation? Tell me about it in the comments below. As we walk through the free worksheets tools over the next few weeks, you can begin to make your action plan. If you have a specific question you would like to talk with me about, schedule your free Ask Brent Anything  call.

WOW – What a crazy year this one has been. Who would have thought at this time last year what lay in store for each of us in 2020? 

A medical pandemic that left all of us in places we never thought we would go in our lifetime. A year, with a contentious election, that left families and friendships broken and divided. Our country is in a place that I don’t think any of us could have ever imagined.

I don’t think I have ever seen a year that being rooted in your Strengths was more important. 

Over the past year, in our blog series, we have looked at our Strengths in different ways to deepen our roots. 

We have been told that we need to be resilient and adjust to our new normal. With our Strengths, knowing what we naturally do best, we can remain resilient and flow with change. By having developed our raw talents into refined strengths, we can lead others into the same space.

In May of 2019, we started a blog series to look at each Strength in the light of how to monetize it to live richer. With the changes that so many people have come through this year with job uncertainty and job loss, we hope that this series has been a road map to help with those changes. If you are in that space or know someone who is, please take some time to look back over your (or their) Strengths to find ideas for using them to move into the new season in a powerful and productive way.

We also took time in 2020 to look at each of our Strengths and find out how they look when they are raw and refined. In my blog, How to Build a World-Class Strength (September 1, 2020), we discussed that a strength is the ability to provide consistent near-perfect performance in a specific activity that becomes world-class.

One question I get is, what does that mean? How do I maximize my strengths? To answer those questions, we took the next four (4) weeks after that blog, and we looked at each theme one at a time and saw the difference between the strengths when they are raw and when they are refined. (Executing StrengthsStrategic StrengthsInfluencing StrengthsRelationship Building Strengths) It is by taking your Strengths from words on a page and making them into a living, breathing part of your everyday life that you will truly learn the power and joy that can come into your life as you grow stronger, work smarter, and live richer.

Again, what a year 2020 has been. It has been an honor and a pleasure to walk with you through it, and I am looking forward to our journey together in 2021. There is some challenging but gratifying work ahead. Please schedule your free Ask Brent Anything call to talk about any of the things mentioned here or whatever your need might be. Check out my website at for more ideas and classes that will help you on that path.

We are wrapping up our series with the CliftonStrengths Domain – Relationship Building.

You can review the entire blog series at…

Taking Your Executing Strengths from Raw to Refined (October 14, 2020), Taking Your Strategic Strengths from Raw to Refined (October 28, 2020), and last week Taking Your Influencing Strengths from Raw to Refined (November 11, 2020).

It’s crucial in your and your team’s growth in your strengths to know what you are shooting for with your strengths.

Don’t forget to download your Maximize Strengths Worksheet.

This week we will look at the Relationship Building Domain.  These talents help us care better. They are the glue and emotional intelligence for an organization.

According to Gallup, these nine themes “have an innate ability to take the human component into the equation”. People with the Relationship Building domain’s strengths look at how individuals fit into the bigger pictures and can create pathways for them to thrive. A team’s power comes from each person being empowered to use their distinctive talents and appreciate others’.

High-performing teams rely on people with strong Relationship Building themes to bring individuals together and make the team greater than the sum of its parts.

What do we mean when we say Raw to Refined? Raw talent is uninformed, inexperienced, more self-oriented, and unproductive. Refined talent is well informed, more practiced, more others-oriented, and highly productive.

What does it mean when a strength is Raw? What does it mean when a strength is Refined? Let’s take a look at what raw and refined looks like for each strength in the Relationship Building Domain, so you will know what you are aiming for.

People with the strength of Adaptability® live in the present, freely and willingly able to respond to the demands and changes of the moment.

Adaptability Raw: My attention span may be short.

Adaptability Refined: My intense, real-time awareness helps me to respond with immediacy.

People with the strength of Connectedness® believe that there is meaning in everything.

Connectedness Raw:  Awareness of spiritual forces and voices.

Connectedness Refined: Submits to spiritual forces and follows spiritual voices.

People with the strength of Developer® see nothing but potential in others.

Developer Raw: All potential is equally important.

Developer Refined: Wisely chooses in whom to invest to maximize resources.

Someone with the strength of Empathy® senses the emotions of people around them.

Empathy Raw: Tears express my own sorrow, anger, and joy.

Empathy Refined: I weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.

 People with the strength of Harmony® look for areas of agreement and are particularly aware of conflict and dissonance.

Harmony Raw: I need peace.

Harmony Refined: I bring peace.

People with the strength of Includer® are very accepting people; they want to include people and make them feel a part of the group.

Includer Raw:  I dislike segregation.

Includer Refined:  I promote and facilitate integration.

People with the strength of Individualization® see each person as one of a kind.

Individualization Raw: Intrigued by a tree, but oblivious to the forest.

Individualization Refined: Helps a tree to stand out within a forest.

People with the strength of Positivity® are always looking for, discovering, and bringing the positive.

Positivity Raw: Unhappy people make me unhappy, so I avoid them.

Positivity Refined: Make unhappy people happy.

People with the strength of Relator® have a profound relational capacity to develop a relationship with anyone.

Relator Raw:  Most comfortable with one’s friends.

Relator Refined:  Most able to comfort one’s friends.

What is your action plan to get from raw to refined?  What’s great about having everything listed down on one location is that it makes it easier to track progress and effectively plan things out. Planning helps you prepare for the obstacles ahead and keep you on track. And with an effective action plan, you can boost your productivity and keep yourself focused.

Now that you know what each strength looks like in its raw and refined form, you have a clear direction of where you need to go.

  • Have your goals written down and planned out in steps.
  • Highlight exactly what steps you need to be taken.
  • Track your progress.

Start by asking yourself the following questions about your Relationship Building Theme strengths.

  1. Which of your top 5 talents are too raw in the workplace, and why?
  2. In what ways does the raw talent get you into trouble? In what context does it hinder success?
  3. What knowledge, skills, and practice could make these talents more refined?

This is challenging but very rewarding work.  Are you ready to have a conversation with me about creating your action plan or how to help your team members develop their action plan?  Then schedule you free Ask Brent Anything call. Check out my website at for more ideas and classes that will help you on that path. Click here if you need to purchase a CliftonStrengths assessment code for you or anyone else. I am looking forward to working with you as you grow your and your team’s strengths from raw to refined.


Taking Your Strategic Strengths from Raw to Refined (October 28, 2020), was the second CliftonStrengths Domain we studied going from raw to refined.  Our reason is it is crucial in your and your team’s growth to know what you are shooting for with your strengths.

Click to download your Maximize Strengths Worksheet.

This week we will look at the Influencing Domain.  According to Gallup, the eight themes in the Influencing Domain  “help their team reach a much broader audience.” People with strengths in the Influencing Domain can sometimes be characterized as people who step up, speak up, and motivate others faster.

What do we mean when we say Raw to Refined?

Raw talent is uninformed, inexperienced, more self-oriented, and unproductive. Refined talent is well informed, more practiced, more others-oriented, and highly productive.

Let’s take a look at what raw and refined looks like for each strength in the Influencing Domain, so you will know what you are aiming for.

People with the strength of Activator® can make things happen..

Activator Raw: Pushes impulsively, impatiently & indiscriminately.

Activator Refined: Pushes intentionally, urgently & relevantly.

People with the strength of Command® lead you to take charge.

Command Raw: Resists external authority or control.

Command Refined: Exerts authority and control in situations where they are lacking.

People with the strength of Communication® are gifted at expressing thoughts into words.

Communication Raw:  I get into trouble for not being quiet.

Communication Refined: My words build understanding, relationships & inspiration.

People with the strength of Competition® enjoy having their performance measured.

Competition Raw: I despise losing and the people who defeat me.

Competition Refined: Respect and learn from those who defeat me.

 Someone with the strength of Maximizer® is committed to individual and group excellence.

Maximizer Raw: Impatient with weakness & critical of those who are weak.

Maximizer Refined: Grateful stewardship of that which is strong.

 People with the strength of Self-Assurance® feel confident in their ability to take risks and manage their own lives.

Self-Assurance Raw: May be wrong, but I doubt it.

Self-Assurance Refined: Confidently open to being made more certain.

 People with the strength of Significance® have a strong desire to make a big difference.

Significance Raw:  Feel good when I am seen & heard.

Significance Refined:  Do good by gaining attention for the cause.

 People with the strength of WOO® have a likeable capacity to connect with new people.

WOO Raw: Social courage without reason or cause.

WOO Refined: Social intention that builds a supportive social infrastructure.

What is your action plan to get from raw to refined?  Remember to download your Maximize Strengths Worksheet.

What’s great about having everything listed down on one location is that it makes it easier to track progress and effectively plan things out. Planning helps you prepare for the obstacles ahead and keep you on track. And with an effective action plan, you can boost your productivity and keep yourself focused.

Now that you know what each strength looks like in its raw and refined form, you have a clear direction of where you need to go.

  • Have your goals written down and planned out in steps.
  • Highlight exactly what steps you need to be taken.
  • Track your progress.

Start by asking yourself the following questions about your Influencing Theme strengths.

  1. Which of your top 5 talents are too raw in the workplace, and why?
  2. In what ways does the raw talent get you into trouble? In what context does it hinder success?
  3. What knowledge, skills, and practice could make these talents more refined?

This is challenging but very rewarding work.

Are you ready to have a conversation with me about creating your action plan or how to help your team members develop their action plan?  Then schedule you free Ask Brent Anything call.

Check out my website at for more ideas and classes that will help you on that path. Click here if you need to purchase a CliftonStrengths assessment code for you or anyone else. I am looking forward to working with you as you grow from raw to refined.