People exceptionally talented in the Self-Assurance theme feel confident in their ability to manage their own lives. They possess an inner compass that gives them confidence that their decisions are right. Self-Assurance can be less about confidence, and more about courage. It is not always that they know that their opinions are true, but it is that they naturally include themselves as part of the solution. They bring an ability to bravely lead the way. They bring something within themselves that is going to solve any issues they may come across. It is not influencing by pushing the group from behind. It is more going in front and realizing the group is attracted to following you. People with strong Self-Assurance can lead the way. Because they deeply trust their own instincts, they can forge ahead confidently, even on risky paths. They instill confidence in others and show initiative in the midst of turbulence and uncertainty.
Raw Self-Assurance is a lone solider who doesn’t need to know they have an entire army behind them to go out into battle. Self-Assurance does not qualify their decisions based on the feelings of others. It can be a powerful thing, but it can also be a dangerous thing. It can lead to jumping in and going for it without assessing risk. The mature side can be the tip of a spear. It is being comfortable being there and going alone, but knowing that perhaps you don’t have to. You just have to go first. It is the ability to connect people to a cause because you are representing it with such courage and bravery. It is the mentality of me vs. we. If you are leading and no one is following, you are not really leading. You are just out there by yourself. Mature lends you that ability to get to lead from the front, and instill the confidence and trust in the people you are pulling behind you.
Raw can be closed off. You don’t need anyone, anything or any information. It can lead to missing social queues, as well as credible information. Going with your gut decisions, rather than looking for opinions. This can lead to a sense of isolation. Mature is connected. It is plugging in to a cause, and building the credibility around it. Most people with Self-Assurance do not want to talk about it. They don’t want to claim the power of it when it’s at its most mature. Self-Assurance is not synonymous with self-confidence, but rather courage. Raw Self-Assurance is just that courage. It is the blind ability to factor yourself into the equation. You are there without armor, because you are an important part to solving the problem. The mature side is confidence. What drives you from one end of the spectrum to the other is credibility. It is a quest for knowledge, experience and subject matter expertise. The more credibility you have, the more confidence you can bring.
You might not see a lot people lead with this in a mature way. They read Self-Assurance and see the word arrogance instead of assurance. It does take development. It takes looking at the themes around you, and asking yourself if what you are leading aligns with who you are and where you want to go. Who could your followers be? Who are they already? It is the ability to understand your lack of hesitation, and the ability to stay calm in a storm. There is a willingness to take risks with Self-Assurance. That willingness of taking that risk is something to pay attention to. How do you grow your understanding of risk? How do you specialize in it? How do you learn more?
Study success. Look at other organizations in your industry. What has worked for other people? Practice adding words to your perspective, because it is powerful. People with Self-Assurance have a powerful inner compass. Focus on how that compass is going to get out of you and into other people. What is the best way to communicate and persuade? Are there places you can lend your Self-Assurance? Are there individuals that have a cause worth championing that you can be a champion of? You are confident in your abilities, and so let other people follow that confidence. Work a little harder to be more inclusive. Be that calming presence. Find where you are the most calm, the most bold, and lean into those situations.
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Gallup's Theme Thursday is a live Webcast that targets strengths coaches and enthusiasts to provide a deeper context behind the language of strengths by talking in-depth about each of the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder themes.