Simple exercise to identify and maximize strengths

I overcame colorblindness by collaborating with—and trusting—individuals who had been significantly better than I’m at seeing coloration. As a pacesetter, I discovered early on to identify the place they’re stronger than I’m in different methods as properly.

It may be intimidating to handle somebody who might need extra material experience or maybe has extra schooling in a specific space. Or possibly, as in my case, some individuals are simply extra organized than you. These are the individuals you need in your staff.

Concentrate on strengths, not weaknesses

Whether or not you’re a individuals chief or a person contributor, you need to optimize in your personal strengths whereas leveraging and encouraging the strengths of your colleagues.

Why? As a result of science exhibits that specializing in strengths is best for motivation. A latest study by Gallup exhibits {that a} give attention to strengths can enhance efficiency by 8% to 18% and decrease attrition charges by 20% to 73%. That final determine is one to think about, particularly in the course of the Nice Resignation.

There are many instruments on the market to show you how to perceive your strengths. Gallup has the Clifton Strengthsfinder. One other nice one is StrengthScope, which incorporates assets on how to have strength-finding conversations along with your staff. One more in style instrument, named 16 Personalities, yields an in depth report on strengths and weaknesses that they describe as a “freakishly correct” description of who you’re and why you do issues the way in which you do. This final one feels slightly extra light-weight and enjoyable (IMHO) because it features a set of cute illustrations representing every of the character varieties.


Conduct an exercise in understanding

It’s vital and empowering to perceive your personal strengths. However the energy of this understanding is multiplied once you share it along with your collaborators. 

It takes some vulnerability to overtly talk about one’s personal strengths and weaknesses. Whether or not between a supervisor and direct report or between colleagues, it requires a protected area. However if in case you have these issues, it’s completely potential to sync your strengths and flip your collaboration right into a powerhouse of self-reflection and mutual assist.

It helps to have every of you undergo one of many evaluation instruments upfront of the dialog. However it’s not a requisite. It will also be wholesome and useful to merely sit and checklist out these duties that you just really feel are your strengths and weaknesses. It’s the one-on-one dialog and sharing right here that may strengthen you each.

There’s a easy illustration of what this exercise would possibly appear to be on the FunRestrospectives website. A easy grid on the whiteboard (or in case you are distant, a instrument like Mural or Google Jamboard) is your workspace for idea-sharing.

How the exercise works

  • Every participant writes their strengths and weaknesses on particular person Publish-it notes. (10 minutes)
  • Every individual shares their strengths. Talk about briefly these you each share, and go deeper on these which can be distinctive. (5 minutes every)
  • Speak via every of the weaknesses by giving one another some background and context. (5 minutes every)
  • Take a break. Possibly even come again to it tomorrow after you’ve each had time to course of.
  • Type the notes by pushing the entire frequent/shared strengths to one aspect. Then give attention to discovering the complement for every energy/weak spot, for instance, could I’ve listed “organizational ability” as a weak spot, however my colleague has it as a energy. Transfer each Publish-its to their aspect of the chart. That is one thing you each agree that they’ll personal. (20 minutes)
  • Talk about and agree on which weaknesses are shared. The place you each could fall brief, how will you attain the strengths which can be wanted? Does another person on the staff have that energy? Are you able to convey another person in or create a brand new position? (10 minutes)

The instances indicated listed here are only a suggestion. Generally these conversations will be so participating that they lengthen over a number of periods over a number of days. Regardless of how lengthy it takes, it’ll be vital to hold returning to the dialogue of the strengths in your one-on-one conferences. Make area for holding one another accountable and supporting each other.


Klaus Heesch is head of Optimism & Sustainable Development, an Expertise Design chief, speaker, and happiness practitioner.


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