Intellection is a Strategic Thinking Strength known for its ability to process information deeply and understand issues from many different perspectives. A lot of my best friends and both of my parents have this Strength. I appreciate that all of these people are extraordinarily patient listeners, avid readers, and also some of the smartest people I know. When I’m in a room with several of these people together, I make sure not to speculate on things I don’t actually know, because they will call BS on me. (Actually, most of them are too nice to do that, but I know they’re thinking it!)
In my trio, The Mamalehs, Amy and Shana both have Intellection, along with our accompanist, producer, and sound guy extraordinaire, Will. All three of them thrive when they have plenty of time to do research and think about information deeply, integrating it into the vast network that exists in their mental libraries. You will find many people with Intellection surrounded by books and magazines on various topics that they’re all in the middle of reading. Others may have 30+ tabs open on their browsers. These are people with hungry minds and curious brains, and I am in awe of their accumulated knowledge.
People with Intellection focus on quality thinking, and they need time to produce that level of brilliance. This Strength is a huge part of planning and leading our trio’s Shabbat services together. Intellection helps us consider the themes and messages we want to convey, select appropriate music, and think about how to structure the service in a way that is thought-provoking and engaging for everyone. Shana helps us find deeper meaning in the prayers by sharing new insights to familiar words. Amy is especially great at finding just the right piece of music or story to tie everything together. Will thinks about each singer and instrumentalist, considers the best key, then gets the mics balanced just right on his fancy iPad sound app. The thing about Intellection is that it is not flashy. It’s humble and quiet, but there’s a lot going on under the surface to make that magic happen.
As an Activator… sometimes I drive their Intellection crazy! On the one hand, my Activator is able to help our group move forward with the ideas and plans we make. On the other hand, Activator’s tendency to make something happen quickly and take bigger risks can frustrate Intellection, which prefers to take more time before making a decision. Intellection has a high bar for “enough thinking,” which means that people who have this Strength rarely feel 100% comfortable putting things out there in the world. They often look back and find the holes in the work they’ve done, especially when they’ve felt rushed in the process. The goal is to get to a place where they feel “comfortable enough” to move forward, while knowing that they will likely never meet their own high standards for excellence.
In social situations, deep and meaningful conversation is a must for people with Intellection, so they may become frustrated with small talk, shallow discussions, and surface-level networking events. It can also be hard for people with Intellection to work in a place that is more focused on producing big numbers, but doesn’t value the substance and depth behind what is being produced.
When you’re stuck and need to understand a problem, topic, or situation more deeply, you can count on someone with Intellection to be a great listener and sounding board. Their ability to understand issues from many different perspectives can be very helpful in coming up with creative solutions and making well-informed decisions.
Written by Ariela Freedman
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