Intellection® is the CliftonStrength® for people that love to think! Sherlock Holmes uses this strength when he retreats to his “mind palace” to solve complex mysteries, as seen in the clip below. And, Barrack Obama maximizes this strength when he spends 1-3 hours/ day in his “hole” reading, writing, and reflecting. These examples not only make the most of their Intellection® superpower when dedicating time to complex thinking, but they enjoy it and require it to function well.



Intellection® is one of the CliftonStrengths® closely linked to one of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® styles. It is tied to the “I” for introversion. Commonly misperceived as shyness, introversion is anything but. Just look at Barrack Obama! He has been called a lot of things, but “shy” has never been one of them. Introversion and Extraversion are not connected with friendliness or one’s ability to be outgoing or shy. They are connected with a person’s energy. Introverts require time on their own to recharge and extraverts require time with people to recharge. It’s that simple. Conversely, introverts’ energy is drained when around people and extraverts’ energy is drained when isolated.


All of this is to say, people with Intellection® have their energy drained when around people. They require alone time with their thoughts to recharge their energy. If this time can not be afforded, the Intellection® person’s focus, energy, performance, well-being, and happiness will suffer. To do well in life, they need alone time every day.


While extraverts and folks with the Communication® or Woo® talent may not understand, people with Intellection® relish alone time. They enjoy alone time as much as an extravert enjoys being around their favorite people. This is because people that have cultivated Intellection® as a strength on the balcony have learned to befriend their own intellect. Where an extravert needs to talk out ideas with someone in order to process them, someone with Intellection® needs to think ideas through with their best friend– their brain. This can take a good deal of time, which extraverts may struggle to comprehend. So, it is important for introverts or anyone with Intellection® to explain their need for time to think. Even in the moment, it is a good habit for Intellection® folks to share with others, “I care about what you are saying, so please give me a moment to process before I respond.” Otherwise, people may find them aloof or disconnected. Michelle Obama, an extravert, talks about her struggle to understand Barrack’s need for “hole” time in Becoming. But once she embraced it, it improved their relationship.


If you have Intellection® in your top 5, it is necessary for you to find alone time everyday for you to process your thoughts. It could be while driving or walking your dog, but just make sure you empower your mind to wander without too much distraction. Changing your environment from your typical home or office for this alone time can give it a super boost, too. Get outside. Play light music. Walk around. Journal. Or, maybe designate a special chair or corner for your very own “mind palace.” This is your version of self care! Be kind to yourself.


And, if talking about the former POTUS has you wondering about the current one, check out my post on Donald Trump’s talent that he shares with George Washington.


Clifton StrengthsFinder® is a registered trademark of Gallup, Inc. The non-Gallup information you are receiving has not been approved and is not sanctioned or endorsed by Gallup® in any way. Opinions, views, and interpretations of Clifton StrengthsFinder® are solely the beliefs of Stronger Not Harder.