I've been influenced by the ever entertaining Marcus Buckingham https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2n9eWIKBkyM and his view on strengths. While I'm not naïve and I know that there's a reason why we call work work, I also believe it's useful to discover your own and your staff's strengths. If you do, you can spend more time feeling energized at work, less time feeling drained and - if you're a leader - experience more productivity and success from your staff.
Strengths are not the same thing as abilities. You may be able to do all kind of things but they're not your strengths. Strengths give you energy. Abilities drain you.
For example, I was trained as a litigation attorney, something that's turned into more of a paper war than a courtroom drama these days. Unfortunately, it's not like something out of How To Commit Murder or The Practice but simply the ability to pay attention to many details and draft endless, lengthy documents. I could wage the war but the effort drained me. It was not my strength.
"...you can spend more time feeling energized at work,
less time feeling drained..."
What energizes me is teaching people new ideas, either though consulting, speaking or workshops. When I'm talking to people one-one-one or in front of a group, I'm energized. While most people fear public speaking, I've always loved lecturing (just ask my family!) and I have a teacher's heart.
What Should You Do?
While there's always part of any job that we don't like and we may not be able to accommodate our staff's desire to use all their strengths, it's important to discover our own strengths and to honor theirs' as much as we can. There's no question that the payoff in terms of our energy and the resulting productivity will lead to more personal and organizational success. Encourage open dialogue about strengths and how to match jobs to employee's innate strengths.
Did You Know?
For more information, call or write us at: 303-216-1020 or [email protected]
Our management and leadership workshops focus on helping leaders lead people into discovering their own strengths, as well as what strengths the organization needs. We also discuss how to deal with strengths mismatching, and how to talk with employees and bosses about these subjects.
Be sure to read Lynne's helpful books on how to handle tough conversations
with your employees and your boss.