Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Harmony: Seeing Both Sides

People exceptionally talented in the Harmony theme look for consensus. The don’t enjoy conflict; rather, they see areas of agreement.
Clifton StrengthsFinder

Harmony is one of the most misunderstood strengths. Because of its name, people may think of Harmony as a state of being full of peace, love, and flowers. In reality, Harmony is all about your relation to others, not your state of being. People with Harmony have the unique talent of seeing both sides of any story. They are able to put themselves easily into someone else’s shoes in order look at all situations. Unlike someone with Empathy who may do this same thing to feel what others feel, or someone with Individualization who may do this to understand how someone ticks, those with Harmony do this to seek consensus. By seeing all sides of a situation, those with Harmony can easily see what is in agreement among people with the goal of working towards that.

One of the common ways to describe people with Harmony is they don’t like conflict. This often can be construed in a negative way, giving someone a label like “pushover.” Gallup contrasts the development of all strengths using the imagery of “raw” and “mature.” Someone with raw Harmony may look this way; they may be so uncomfortable with conflict that they run from it and turn to
tactics of gossip or avoidance. However, growing and maturing Harmony looks very different. Often people with mature Harmony are the ones you see having the most difficult conversations. Although this may seem counterintuitive, in reality, those with mature Harmony see conflict as opportunity for consensus. They have strong discernment between necessary and unnecessary conflict. They do not shy away from the necessary conflict but take continuous steps to work through it.

9.3% of our mentees and 26.3% of our mentors have Harmony in their Top 5. If you have Harmony in your top 5, you naturally avoid controversial conversation topics. Steer your conversation with your mentee to places in which you both share common interests. However, also be cognizant and mindful of times where hard conversations, done in love, are necessary. Frame your conversation around your strengths by giving examples of a friendship or relationship that you helped work through conflict. Because of the difficulty in understanding this theme, by giving a real-life example of your Harmony, your mentee will be able to gain greater awareness of its power. In addition, because of your natural talent to collaborate well with people, consider how attending a renewal training session, going to a mentor meet up, or attending a fundraiser will enhance your mentoring relationship. By attending one of these events, you will be able to share and exchange information with other mentors, consequently gaining greater confidence and appreciation in your mentoring relationship.

-Tess


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