Leveraging Strengths in the Workplace

We all have those little things we don’t enjoy doing. They’re usually the things we stuff to the bottom of our to-do list. For some, it’s expense reports, for others it’s making a powerpoint to show to the boss. Think about whatever those pesky little tasks are for you…

Now, imagine what life would be like if you could eliminate at least half of them from your life. You just wouldn’t have to do them. How does that feel?! It’s possible to make this a reality when you learn to leverage your team’s Strengths!

Buying a car with the boss.

Boss: “I’ve had it with this “bleeping” car! “

Me: “What? What’s wrong?”

Boss: “I’m supposed to pick up our two most valuable clients and it’s making loud grinding noises and won’t accelerate!”

Me: “OK. Are you alright? Do I need to come get you?”

Boss: “I’m pissed! This damn thing won’t go over 20 mph, the engine is revved but won’t shift into upper gears, and when I come to a complete stop the engine dies. Now I’m coasting to every stop light in hopes of not actually having to stop!”

The company car was several years old and based on the description from my boss, Christine, I figured the transmission was shot.

Long story short, the mechanic said the repairs were more than the car was worth. So, Christine says, “This car is a piece of shit! You can squash it flat and send it to the recycle yard. I’m never driving it again! Find me a new one and we need it soon!” Then, she listed off several requirements.

I went to work immediately researching vehicles to meet hers and the company’s requirements. After two weeks, Christine stopped by my desk and asked, “Where are you at on selecting a new vehicle?”

I explained I had narrowed it down to two vehicles: GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Travers. She asked if I had decided on the available options required to meet our needs. She then asked why I hadn’t finalized the decision. I was a little embarrassed to say that it was really just a matter of a couple minor options and that I wasn’t thrilled to sort through the options on the car lots to make a final decision. She left and I went back to my work.

That afternoon, Christine called around 3:00 PM.

Boss (Christine): “How soon can you leave work?”

Me: “ I guess in 30 minutes if necessary, why?”

Boss (Christine): “I’m at the dealership! I’ve driven both models and had the salesmen at each dealership hold the color I like with the options you identified at the front. Their waiting on your arrival for the final test drive. See you in 30 minutes!”

Result: The most efficient and enjoyable car buying experience, EVER!

Why? How’d that happen?

We leveraged each other’s Strengths!

What leveraging Strengths looks like.

At Trybal Performance, we utilize the StrengthsFinder Assessment to identify individuals’ strengths and focus on maximizing them much like a professional athlete hones their natural physical talent or a professional singer hones their voice and musical talents.

Three of my top five strengths are Analytical, Learner, and Deliberative. Analytical refers to my interest in data and reasoning. Learner refers to my constant drive to learn new things. Deliberative refers to my high awareness of obstacles and extreme care in all decisions I make.

The first two in Christine’s top five are Achiever and Focus. Achiever drives her to complete tasks and check items off her list. One of her favorite sayings is “Do it now.” Her Focus keeps her zoned in on a priority and keeps her from straying off on tangents.

Consider the dynamics at play in our situation above. Leveraged properly, it was like a symphony with all the right instruments playing at all the right times to produce beautiful music.

I gladly spent the time at the beginning of the project learning and analyzing the details, to make a very careful decision around the requirements including safety, reliability, comfort and performance. Christine pushed the project through completion with a clear focus on making it happen.

This was a true WIN-WIN scenario! By the way, this is a true story for those of you wondering.

Why I love the Strengths approach.

I love the StrengthsFinder approach because the results are actionable! We use the Strengths approach daily in all we do at Trybal Performance, and our clients do to!  

“So what’s my takeaway?”

Leveraging the right people with the right strengths at the right time can make all the difference. Think about when you start a capital project to buy a machine tool, welding equipment, or office equipment. Is your project management team for the new client performing at max capability? Is your staff leveraging each other to maximize impact of the new student engagement program?

If you’re interested to learn more, check out our website at trybalperformance.com.

What do you have to lose?


Wondering how Strengths can maximize your team? Get your free consult today!

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