So you want your organization’s employees to be more productive and enjoy coming to work? The difference is knowing what you and your team do well everyday

Knowing your strengths and using your strengths are not mutually exclusive. The other day, a client wrote to me to let me know, “I had my sister take the StrengthsFinder assessment! Guess what, we have three Strengths that are the same! We loved chatting about it, and after I hung up the phone with her it made me miss her even more.” She has also had her husband take the StrengthsFinder assessment and was thrilled by her discussion and learnings with him.
This is what I call an enthusiast! Someone who experiences something they’ve seen impact their entire lives, so it only makes sense to them to share it with those who are important to them.
Committing to Strengths.
When we choose to be enthusiasts of StrengthsFinder, there are three significant contributions we’re deciding to make to the lives of those around us:
1. We’re choosing to see their Strengths.
A lot of times, we can sort of feel when someone is in the zone. We see they’re feeling good, that they’re being productive, and that those around them are being positively impacted. Most of the time, this is the combination of all their Strengths, synergizing in perfect harmony. When we choose to specifically discover someone’s Strengths, we can make sense of why certain moments are so empowering for them. We can peel back the layers, discover the intricacies, and create new moments that can also be very empowering for them. We’re intentional.
2. We’re figuring out how we work best together.
Not only does becoming very intentional about someone else’s Strengths serve them immensely, but figuring out how the combination of our Strengths with theirs can be leveraged also adds immense value. This is known as thyme dynamics (1+1=3) when we purposely work from not only our strengths but the strengths of those on our team or in our personal lives we and other win as well.  Knowing our leadership styles can get us started from the right framework to see how we each operate high-level, and then looking for natural synergies and even areas of tension can prepare us for the best and worst. If we have Strengths that are the same, like my client saw with her sister, we might be seeing the world through a more similar lens than those who don’t share our Strengths. When we have two Strengths that are very opposite, like Activator and Deliberative, we may find in there an area for potential greatest tension but also potential greatest partnership if we’re aware and sophisticated in those Strengths!
3. Take a different perspective on weaknesses.
As soon as we understand that every Strength has a dark side, we realize that a lot of the time someone’s area of weakness is in fact the over-accentuation of their Strengths, which completely reframes how we experience someone falling short. If we can notice someone’s Dark Side showing up rather than saying, “What the heck is the matter with this person!” our perspective is a lot more constructive. We can learn to have conversations around sophistication and make it about how their Strengths are showing up rather than labeling them a bad, incompetent or unworthy person. You might say, “Hey, is your Command on its Dark Side today?” with a bit of a smile, and have a colleague experience that as a gentle nudge to be mindful of their behavior. It feels like you’re on their side
Using Strengths.
So whether you’re bringing this work back to your family or deciding to engage it in a new way with your team, the intention you put behind how you use the StrengthsFinder tool will make all difference. You can take the assessment, browse over your report, maybe attend and introduction workshop, and then leave it at that.
You can understand that the power of this work can make the difference between whether your team comes to work happy and engaged every day and is more productive.  Dive into using the tools and frameworks to in your StrengthsFinder report help facilitate that process. Start with the thyme that most resonates with you and practice recognizing when you are using that thyme. Consciously beware of when you are using more than one of your thymes. If you have both individualization and self-assurance in your top 5, you might find yourself saying to a team member or direct report, “don’t worry I won’t let you fail”. I use to say that to my direct reports and it wasn’t till I read my StrengthsFinder report did I know why I said it and how I was making a positive difference with the people I was responsible for. They appreciated the caring for them as individuals I demonstrated toward and because of that demonstration they out performed their peers.

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