This week we found this fantastic article on Huffington Post by Susan Peppercorn (Principal, Positive Workplace Partners) on what strengths are. Enjoy:
If you want to thrive, you won’t get there by only trying to fix your weaknesses. You also need to leverage your strengths. As the field of positive psychology has focused more on looking at what works instead of what doesn’t, increased attention is being paid to the benefits of strengths identification and development. Research on strengths at work shows that the use of strengths is connected to greater work satisfaction, engagement, and greater productivity.
What are Strengths?
We intuitively understand that strengths are something we’re good at, something that takes less effort than things in which we don’t excel. Strengths, however, are more than what we do well. Strengths also energize us. Did you ever notice yourself involved in something where you lost track of time because you were so engaged? That’s an indication that you were using one or more of your strengths. Strengths that are energizing align with your values. One person whose strength is courage might decide to climb Mt. Everest but another might demonstrate their courage by standing up for a colleague they think is being treated unfairly. Both are demonstrating courage but in very different ways.
“Your interests in life drive your character strengths and vice versa. Bring the two together and you have a recipe for success in life. Interests and character strengths are two natural energy resources within us,” says Dr. Ryan Niemiec, psychologist and author of Mindfulness and Character-Strengths A Practical Guide to Flourishing.
image courtesy Shutterstock
In order for your company to prosper, you must figure out how to build a team that works well together. That can be a difficult task. After all, creating a team means bringing together people with different skillsets and varied personalities to work towards a common goal--a complex undertaking.
When I look at the tactics smart managers implement, I see five common threads to how they approach team-building:
1. Play to Individual Strengths
You need to understand what each individual member's strengths are and put each person in a place to shine.
It is very rare that an employee can improve upon a deficiency, especially if that deficiency is a part of their nature. If a team member isn't good at details, they will never be good at details. You need to decide if they do the rest of their job well and if so, partner them with someone else who can help shore up their deficiency.
I hired an account manager who was excellent with customers--especially our more difficult customers--but she was not good at details. I partnered her with another team member for one final review of the documents she produced before they were sent out.
2. Encourage Transparency
Teams are a lot like families, and you need to let them work things out on their own. When things start to go awry, bring together those who aren't getting along and make them work through their concerns. Don't let them put you in the middle of a he said/she said situation. Your primary job is to help team members understand each other better.
This approach will feel uncomfortable, but if they learn that your go-to strategy is to bring them together to work it out, they will start trying that on their own and will only involve you when absolutely necessary.
This is a curated blog filled with great stuff on teams we have found in our wanderings
Understand your partner better //