People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.

What makes you stand out?[1]
Instinctively, you read to stimulate your mind, to broaden your perspective, and to explore familiar as well as unfamiliar subjects. Reading is a solitary activity, which is one of the reasons why you like it so much. You are quite comfortable being alone with your books and your thoughts. Chances are good that you are apt to feel good about life the moment you can sit down and read. For you, the acquisition of information is a basic need. Probably for you, following the twists and turns of a well-crafted plot populated with interesting characters is a form of relaxation.

Driven by your talents, you continually absorb, integrate, or catalog new information with ease. Ever eager to expand your knowledge base, you read avidly. Because you can access your memory bank at any time, you are free to process writers’ or researchers’ ideas immediately or at a later time. It’s very likely that you choose to associate with people who think big and think smart. Exchanging ideas, concepts, or theories with intelligent individuals exhilarates you. You pull together as many thoughts as possible from these animated conversations. You never know when someone’s question or suggestion will be valuable. You mentally file away or physically document these snippets—that is, small bits—of insight or wisdom for easy retrieval.

By nature, you continually expand your sphere of knowledge by reading. A good book or a well-written magazine article can transport you to other cultures or centuries. The printed word—whether on paper or on a computer screen—is your passport to new destinations. Like world travelers, you pick up a variety of souvenirs from your reading, such as facts, data, characters, plots, insights, or tips.

How can a person with Input turn this talent into strength?[2]

  1. Gather Regular Feedback
    One of the valuable things worth collecting for those with Input is usually feedback from people. Getting feedback from people not only presents greater opportunities for learning, but it also creates and avenue for blind spots to be discovered and tackled. This leads to personal growth.

    We can intentionally ask for feedback from people we work closely with or people we have lots of interaction with. The more frequent the feedback, the more productive a person with Input can become. In a team, Leaders with Input will also do well to gather feedback before proceeding in key decisions. Gathering feedback and making sure people are heard is a powerful way for leaders with Input to build a trusting relationship with others.

    One way to get good feedback is to learn to ask good questions. Good questions help to draw out critical data and insightful feedback from people, so that the information gained is relevant and helpful. This way, learning is maximized.

  2. Develop a Storage System
    People with Input would do well to sharpen their ability to store their collections. One of the worst feelings for people with Input is knowing they have a particular resource to share, but realizing they are not able to find it. One of the key abilities or skill sets to pick up is the ability to store and organize information such that the resource is always ready to be shared. Make use of technology to help. A person with Input can leverage on powerful tools such as Evernote, which allows data storage, note-taking and filing.

    One thing to note is that even with good storage systems, people with Input can still find themselves drowning in clutter. This clutter can be in the human mind or in a physical storage space. Part of the reason for the clutter is simply the massive amount of collection and absorption that takes place every day. A good discipline for those with Input is to set aside regular time to clear the clutter.

  3. Seek Complementary Partnerships
    Partner those with Focus
    People with Focus have the ability to stay on track towards a goal amidst distractions. Partnering people with Focus allows those with Input to determine key areas of priority that they can invest in. Working with Focus helps those with Input to stay on track and become an expert on a particular subject matter. People with Input gain a lot of credibility by directing their research into a particular focus and becoming a knowledge expert in that field.

    Partner those with Connectedness
    People with Connectedness desire to network and to share with others. They also have an innate ability to connect the dots. Partnering people with Connectedness allows those with Input to explore different networks and groups where the resources gathered can be channeled and shared to benefit a greater community.

    When the Input talent is in its infancy, it tends to result in lots of hoarding without any productive use of the resources. The idea of hoarding without sharing will ultimately lead to a standstill, like a sponge. It reaches its limit when everything that is absorbed is not squeezed out. By partnering those with Connectedness, people with Input can become more mindful of those who can benefit from the knowledge that they have gathered, and generously share with these people.

    Partner those with Empathy
    People with Empathy have the innate ability to understand how others feel and make sense of emotions. By partnering people with Empathy, people with Input are able to take the feedback collected from teammates or subordinates and better understand how they feel and why they feel certain ways. This allows those who lead with Input to strengthen bonds and create trust by exploring actionable steps that address both the practical and the emotional concerns of a team.

Concluding thoughts
People with Input process large amounts of information and store useful data to share with others. In a world where knowledge is highly valued, these people empower their teams to soar by their ability to quickly collect process and share resources.

[1] StrengthsFinder 2.0 online assessment result, PDF
[2] Ref.: Strengths School (