A lot of people have been asking me recently, why Strengths? Of all of the leadership and personality assessments, coaching programs, and methods that exist, why do you work in Strengths? For me it all comes down to Self-Awareness. I believe one's ability to understand and therefore effectively lead others is predicated on their own self-awareness...awareness of their own strengths & weaknesses.
Peter Drucker once said:
"most people think they know what they are good at. They are usually wrong. More often, people know what they are not good at...and yet, a person can perform only from strengths."
In today's workplace, effective leadership hinges on a leader's ability to individualize their approach to each of their team members. The "command-and-control/my way or the highway"-style of leadership is long gone, and employees today require motivation, training, communication and feedback that is as unique as they are.
If leaders and organizations want to go to the next level...a level of success they've reached, they're going to have to start spending the time, money and energy to coach their leaders in the ability to individualize their leadership style in order to motivate, engage and empower their teams to success. Determining one's strengths and ultimately becoming self-aware is the foundation for this transformation.
The StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment provides each individual their 34-themes in order from where they're innately strong to weak. The idea behind strengths-based coaching/psychology is that our greatest opportunity for upside-potential comes from building on our strengths and not fixing our weaknesses (consider it the Pareto Principle on steroids). For that reason, most coaches, leaders and users only focus on the top 5 themes for each individual.
You will be successful because of who you are...not because of who you are not.
A Common Language that Promotes Ownership
These top 5 themes (mine are: learner, input, futuristic, individualization & achiever) are easy to remember, associate with, and communicate to others (instead of the acronyms, scales, and charts commonly found in assessment results). Employees are able to "own" their Top 5 Signature Strengths; finding ways to organize their time, complete tasks and communicate with others within the organization more effectively.
Managers are able to quickly reference their team members' Top 5 Signature Strengths in order to provide some direction when communicating, motivating or engaging them in the office. When building teams for a particular initiative, management can seek out individuals with complimentary strengths. No two members of your team are same, as leaders we have to know on an individual basis how to manage, lead, communicate and motivate based on the employees strengths, not our own.
Is every employee in your organization able to do what they do best every day? If not, why not?
Organizations that take the time, energy and effort to help their employees find and do what they do best (living in their strengths) create cultures of engagement & empowerment. Employees know that the leadership of their organization cares about them as humans with aspirations, goals, and dreams; not just another widget getting the job done. Employees actively engage in their day to day work, providing more value and ultimately moving the organization closer to its vision and goals.
*If you're not into the "soft" rational of a strong company culture built on strengths, consider this: organizations that have utilized strengths-based education/development experienced a 8.9% increase in profitability & turnover was 14.9% lower than peers.
Whether you're looking for a culture overhaul or just want to gain an additional level of self-awareness to help out your team/organization, I invite you to check out Strengths-Based Coaching and the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment!
husband + father + pilot + director of talent development + leadership coach + startup fan + reader of personal #development, company #culture & leadership books