If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you probably know what StrengthsFinder is and perhaps have even benefited from it. If you’re new to our Tryb, StrengthsFinder is an assessment created by the Gallup Organization which helps you identify your Top 5 Strengths out of a potential 34.
Your Strengths are natural patterns of thinking, feeling or behaving you possess that can be productively applied.
They interact with each other to create a unique blend. There’s actually only a 1 in 33 milliion chance that someone has the same Top 5 Strengths as you in the same order. Your Strengths have a dark side, which is the part a lot of people love learning about. Your Strengths also influence your particular Leadership Style. And, most important, knowing your Strengths and the Strengths of your teammates can transform how you work together. In fact, here are 5 ways StrengthsFinder will transform your team:
1. It creates safety.
It’s not always easy to talk to people in a constructive manner about what they’re doing if it isn’t benefitting the team. If you bring it up, they often take it personally and feel offended, so you may just try to deal with it. StrengthsFinder dissolves a lot of this.
When everyone on your team takes the assessment, they learn about the dark sides of their Strengths and how to Sophisticate them (in other words, express the light side more often than the dark side). It becomes common knowledge that everyone has dark sides, and that it’s totally normal.
Once people realize they don’t have to hide their weaknesses, that their weaknesses are most of the time an overaccentuation of what’s truly remarkable about them, it becomes safe to talk about them.
2. It provides new understanding.
If you’re like me, it even provided “Aha!” moments! When you discover the Strengths of the people you work with, suddenly things you couldn’t seem to undersand about them make total sense.
Our natural human tendency is to be attracted to people who are like us; however, in order to have high-functioning teams, it’s important we make room for different Strengths at the table. StrengthsFinder catalyzes the movement of gravitating toward and enjoying people who are very different from us.
Overall, there are four different leadership categories the 34 Strengths organize into: Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building and Strategic Thinking. Learning your own Leadership Style, as well as the Leadership Styles of your teammates, will immediately bring more understanding to how different people approach different situations.
3. Strengths give us a common language.
Often times after reading their assessments, people say, “Yes, I’ve known that to be true about me, but I just didn’t have the words to describe it!” Well, StrengthsFinder provides those words! It categorizes different natural patterns of thinking, feeling or behaving into 34 different words (Strengths).
When people share the same Strengths, they immediately have a starting ground to talk about it. When people have different Strengths, they also have a starting ground to talk about it. Whether you’re curious about what’s similar between you and someone else or what’s different, StrengthsFinder gives you a framework. You can always learn more by simply reading up about a Strength or asking someone questions about their particular Strengths.
4. It makes us happier.
When you discover your team’s Strengths, you discover the areas that naturally light them up. If you pay attention to this and are open to small (or big?!) tweaks within their role to give them the capacity to do what they do best every day, engagement will shift. People will enjoy coming to work. It’s remarkable!
5. Our performance increases.
When people are happier, they do better. When they feel they’re working in an area they are strong, they will be more confident. Although it’s not always easy to fit every person into a perfect role like a glove, studies show most people are already quite close to doing what they love.
Most people are not wishing they could quit their jobs and go galavant on some beach. They like what they’re doing, they just hope for a few tweaks. StrengthsFinder gives you access to what those tweaks might be and how you can implement them to increase performance.
So, what about you? What has StrengthsFinder done for your team? Can you add a #6 to our list?