I’m curious, what has been working for you when applying your Strengths knowledge with your teams? I continue to meet leaders who, through their employers, have taken the Strengths assessment but are not supported in applying their newly realized Strengths. So, they are left struggling, sensing there is untapped possibility but not sure how to access it. The tragedy here is that they are given a potentially powerful tool without the instruction manual.
While facilitating Strengths Based Leadership training, I meet leaders who are eager to be in service of their teams. What I have experienced to be true is that the better you know yourself, the better able you are to understand and empower others. The better and deeper you understand your own Strengths the more compassionate and empowering you can be with others.
This is part 3 in the 5-part series on Peak Performance by Diana Gabriel, Certified Strengths Strategy Coach.Look for the spark and light the fire. Click To Tweet
How can you be sure you are bringing out the best in your people? If you are leading a team, or are on a team that is responsible for results, you know how difficult it can be to engage everyone and work in the right direction. The energy sprays in all directions initially, and then fades quickly.
Last week, we talked about research from brain science psychiatrist Dr. Edward Hallowell. In his book, Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People he suggests five steps to bring out the best in people. Let’s go deeper into his research and explore how using Strengths supports his findings.
step 1: SELECT
To match the right person to the right job, examine how these three key questions intersect.
- At what tasks or job does this person excel?
- What does this person like to do?
- How will this person’s gifts and talents add value to the organization?
Set the stage for your employees to shine and excel with responsibilities they are naturally good at and are energized by. You can position them for success and add the greatest possible value to your organization.
step 2: CONNECT
To contribute to your best leaders, managers and employees require a mutual atmosphere of trust, optimism, openness, transparency, creativity and positive energy while applying Strengths from a place of interdependence. Each group and individual can also contribute to reducing toxic fear and worry, insecurity, backbiting, gossip, and disconnection by increasing their Strengths awareness.
A positive working environment starts with how you, as the leader, respond to negativity, failure, and problems. Your leadership sets the tone and models preferred behaviors and reactions. Employees take their cues from those who lead them.
To encourage connection:
- Look for the spark of brilliance within everyone.
- Encourage a learning mindset.
- Model and teach optimism, as well as the belief that interdependent teamwork can overcome any problem.
- Connect one on one, instead of relying on electronic communication.
- Be curious about each person.
- Treat everyone with respect.
- Meet people where they are, and know that most want to do their best with what they have.
- Be a champion of what is going well.
- Use humor without sarcasm or at the expense of other’s.
- Seek out the quiet ones, and invite them in.
This may seem like common sense to you while, to others it may not be. At times we fail to apply this wisdom. When people are floundering they do not need to have their flaws and mistakes highlighted, it’s not helpful. Instead, be curious and explore where the real problem lies. Focus on what they are doing well, where they are strong and what you can provide for them to help them be successful.
Be generous with your time, your energy, and your words. Look for what they are doing right. Everyone has gifts and talents but often do not realize it, or know how to apply them.
Look for the spark and light the fire. Coach people – bring out their best through identifying their Strengths. What’s happening where you work? What do you do with your team to encourage peak performance? To bring out the best in people? I’m interested to hear from you. Contact me here or on LinkedIn.