“Why is no one else seeing her?” thinks someone in your group. “She clearly feels left out. She’s just sitting there, not saying a word, but our leader keeps forgetting to ask her opinion! If someone doesn’t say something to her in three seconds, I’m gonna lose it.”
Ding-ding-ding! Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve just been privy to the internal monologue of Joanna, an Includer. Does it make you crazy when someone’s not invited or repeatedly overlooked? Are you constantly trying to make room for more people every time you plan an event? You might be an Includer, too.
Or, imagine this. A member of your LifeGroup is sharing how every month, they’re barely scraping rent together. Meanwhile, they’ve got the latest phone, wardrobe, and eat out five nights a week. The rest of the group is commiserating and offering an occasional, “We’ve all been there, friend. I wish we could think of some way to help you.” It’s all very nice, but Joe can’t stop himself from boldly offering, “Lookit. You need a budget. And you need to stick to it. Period.”
Welp, sounds like Joe exercised his Command strength. Someone with Command likes to take charge, doesn’t fear a healthy confrontation, and may not be able to rest until they’ve helped a group form consensus.
What are these Includer or Command abilities all about? They’re from the 34 strengths explained in StrengthsFinder 2.0, Tom Rath’s best-selling book. Rath’s premise is that everyone has natural areas of strength or talent. He believes, in general, it’s better to focus on honing your strengths instead of developing your weaknesses. What a relief!
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Someone with the Includer talent can’t stand seeing people forgotten or marginalized. Someone with the Command talent won’t allow a group to flounder without a leader. Are you starting to see how knowing your strengths—and the strengths in your group—will make your group stronger?
It’s like this. If Joanna helps everyone’s voice to be heard, then let her facilitate asking the questions at group. If Joe helps the group reach a conclusion and work toward a common goal, then let Joe research and plan a mission activity for your group. When you understand your group’s God-given strengths, you can begin to work from them. And when you’re working from strengths, your group will flourish. Start discovering strengths today.