I was recently coaching a team deep into their journey of becoming strengths-based. If you’ve never considered “strengths” as a legitimate business strategy, then consider this: Teams that focus on strengths see greater productivity by more than twelve percent. On top of that, when a team is receiving strengths feedback they are almost nine percent more profitable. Both insights are results from Gallup’s State of the American Workplace.
During this team coaching session we were discussing what it looked like for one of the team members to engage new people. Her top five strengths are Relator, Learner, Includer, Arranger, and Belief.This was a good question for the rest of her team to hear. Despite the fact she leads strongly with Relator, this does not give her the natural behavior to knock on doors of homes to pass out flyers.
Her response to the question was better than I could have hoped.
Me: “What does the experience look like when you are in a position that calls for engaging with new people?”
Team Member: “I have to build myself up to it. I have to stop and think about it.”
It’s like writing with your non-dominant hand to illustrate the feeling when you aren’t using your natural talents. A left-handed person would not confidently pick up the pen with their right hand and immediately start writing. It would be a slower process of adapting to the different feeling, maybe ensuring their pointer finger was properly placed over the pen. Then trying to mentally grasp the reverse motion of writing a letter. For some their upper shoulders may tense up, even becoming warmer due to the tension. This isn’t even describing the lesser quality!
When you are in a position to use your natural talents there is less thinking. You simply perform. It’s why one of the clues to talent is rapid learning. The innate ability to comprehend and perform. It could be difficult to explain how you do so… it’s natural, you just do it! Keep in mind this is not to excuse any of us from more challenging obstacles. It does, however, allow for strategic placement of individuals to ensure they are leading with strengths. Leading with strengths does not mean avoiding certain tasks, but leaning in to team members when applicable so their dominant talents can support your lesser talents. This is why strengths based teams are a powerful business strategy.
Do you want to know how you are designed to make your unique impact in the world? Contact Gallup’s Certified Strengths Coach, Dan Vincent, at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your Clifton Strengths Assessment code. Kaleo Coaching is currently working with organizations and individuals to provide the GOOD work they are called to. Learn more at kaleocoaching.com