Leading with the Deliberative StrengthsFinder Talent

From unpredictable to decided

July 31, 2023
Warning sign

Others may say you’re slow to make decisions, but you would say you’re careful to make them. You want to avoid any potential traps or unnecessary mistakes. 

If this sounds like you, maybe you have the StrengthsFinder deliberative talent. 

This strength can be a great asset to leaders navigating uncertain situations. This article will explore four strategies you can use to leverage your deliberative strength as a leader. 

Your Strengths Have AntiPatterns

Deliberative StrengthsFinder TL;DR

The deliberative StrengthsFinder talent means you are a very intentional decision-maker. You take a careful, detailed and considered approach.  

Leaders with the deliberative strength are very risk focused. They are skilled at accessing situations but can struggle with focusing too much on trying to avoid mistakes.  

Using your deliberative strength, you can guide your team through unpredictable to decided.

If you’re already familiar with StrengthsFinder, you can skip over the next section.

What is StrengthsFinder?

SterengthsFinder, now CliftonStrengths, is an assessment based on strengths psychology. The fundamental premise is you will get farther by maxing out your strengths rather than trying to improve your weaknesses. 

I’ve seen numerous leaders grow as they identified their talents and turned them into well-developed strengths. But you don’t have to be a leader to benefit from StrengthsFinder, and you can apply it to more than just work. 

Understanding your strengths and weaknesses helps you better understand and live out your unique design.

Deliberative is just one of the 34 different strengths measured by StengthsFinder. When you take the assessment, you will get back your top 5 strengths. You can pay for an ordered list of all 34, but I wouldn’t recommend that the first time you take the assessment.

Focus is critical to developing your strengths. Keeping just your top 5 in view helps you make meaningful growth in the areas of your life with the highest leverage and impact. 

How do you lead well with deliberative in your StrengthsFinder top 5?

So you’ve taken the StrengthsFinder assessment, received your results and found deliberative in the list. Now you’re wondering how to grow or leverage this strength in your leadership. 

I've borne the weight of considering all the angles when making large decisions. At those moments, I've learned to lean on my team members with a deliberative strength.

These are four strategies I’ve seen leaders with the deliberative strength use to make critical, timely decisions.

  1. Name the possible risks.
  2. Ask for time to consider.
  3. Set a deadline.
  4. Reduce the variables.

Learn to recognize behaviors when you're over-leveraging your strengths to the point that they become liabilities. And discover the path back to health.

Name the possible risks.

When your team is facing a decision a simple but impactful contribution you can make is to help them name all the possible risks.

Many of these risks will seem obvious to you, but some will be entirely invisible to the team.

I really like using the note-and-vote technique here because it allows everyone time to reflect and contribute. The voting will also facilitate the prioritization of these risks.

Ask for time to consider.

Leaders with the deliberative strength hate making split decisions. It feels irresponsible and dangerous.

There certainly are moments when a decision must be made right now. But more often than not, it can wait an hour or even a day.

Don’t be afraid to ask for that time. You can say something like, “This decision is really important and I want it to be carefully considered, can we wait till [this afternoon, tomorrow morning]?

You need to set a deadline when you take time to deliberate.

During that time, you can either get away to think or facilitate a conversation with your team, or both.

The danger here is that you become frozen and keep wanting to delay until you reach certainty. This leads to the next strategy.

Set a deadline.

I’m sorry to say it. You won’t get to certainty. If you wait for certainty then you’ve missed the opportunity, and the decision is likely no longer viable. 

This pitfall is why you need to set a deadline when you take time to deliberate. 

Again, it can be an hour, a day, or a week. But the deadline needs to match the urgency of the decision. Let your team speak into this deadline. They will likely help balance your caution. 

Reduce the variables.

Even when you have time to make a decision, it’s easy to get stuck in analysis paralysis.

I see this often in everyday life when people need to buy a car or a home. It’s a significant decision, so they want to be cautious. But there are also so many variables to consider. 

These variables relate to different and competing values. As the number of variables to consider increases, the complexity of the decision increases exponentially. You'll feel it even more if analytical strength is in your top 5.

It can feel like you're running around in circles, and the decision because overwhelming and exhausting. 

This is another good opportunity to apply the note-and-vote technique. Have the team list the variables relevant to the decision. After grouping them together, vote on which variables will have the greatest impact.

After this, prioritize the list of variables and choose one to three to focus on.

Next steps for StrengthsFinder Deliberative.

As you learn to lead using your deliberative strength, you can guide your team through unpredictable to decided. 

No more taking unnecessary risks or making unnecessary mistakes. When you take a considered approach, you can avoid these traps and chart a course to success.

Action Plan

Leaders with the StrengthsFinder deliberative talent can struggle with an anti-pattern of being frozen as they wait forever for the all-clear. Learning the strengths antipatterns will allow you to continue growing as a healthy, intentional leader. 

You are on an extraordinary journey to living and leading from your strengths. You can explore the list below to learn about the rest of your top 5 strengths.

Frequently Asked Questions


So do I totally ignore my weaknesses and just focus on my strengths?

Strengths-based growth doesn’t encourage you to ignore your weaknesses but not to spend too much time trying to turn them into strengths. Instead, you may need to find team members or systems to fill in your gaps.

Learn more about how StrengthsFind influences your leadership.

There are strengths I think I have; why didn’t they didn’t show up in my top 5?

For some people, their strengths ranked 5, 6 or 7 are almost even. You could also be misattributing a skill or behavior to a specific strength.

Learn more about how StrengthsFind influences your leadership.

Should I pay to see all 34 strengths?

Seeing your other 29 strengths can help give you a fuller picture. But initially, someone should focus on further developing those top 5 strengths rather than trying to give attention across the list. Once you have a good grasp on what it looks like to lead from your top 5, it can be helpful to explore the rest of the list.

Learn more about how StrengthsFind influences your leadership.

What’s the difference between a talent and a strength?

A talent is your natural way of thinking or behaving. A strength is a talent developed over time through knowledge, skills and practice.

Learn more about how StrengthsFinder influences your leadership.

Ready to level up your company? Get in touch today!