Okay. I admit it… I am not a great cook. When our kids were young and learning to cook, each of us took a night of the week to prepare supper. When it was my turn, the kids would plead with their dad, “Please! Can we go out to eat?” It was mortifying that they preferred a famous fast food restaurant over my cooking. Over and over I tried to improve. But I have never quite gotten the hang of cooking. Meat inevitably turns out burnt, too dry, or the seasoning is off. Cooking is definitely NOT my strength!
Navigate Change Using Strengths
We all have things we don’t do well. The good news is that we all have things we do really well. When we focus on a person’s strengths, not only are they happier, but they get the job done much better and more quickly than they would if they were doing something that focused on their weaknesses.
Want to move through change successfully? Want to boost your team’s productivity? Make sure their tasks are utilizing their strengths. How can you find out what those are? Well, there are lots of assessments out there, and you can also observe and ask questions. Here are a few ideas:
• Notice which tasks each team member volunteers for or naturally gravitates to.
• Ask individuals what three things they want people to know about them personally and professionally. Look at the things that overlap. Those are likely where their strengths lay.
• Find out about their achievements, how they did it, how they felt, and what feedback they got.
• What do they find most interesting about their jobs. Least interesting. Why?
• Ask what they do in their spare time.
• Pose hypothetical questions such as, “If you could do only one thing at work and know you would be wildly successful, what would it be?”
If you have an employee who is struggling, chances are good that she is not using her strengths in her current position. What can you do to tap into her strengths?
How do you help your employees identify and use their strengths? We would love to hear!