You and your team have taken the CliftonStrengths assessment.
You’ve embraced the thrill and motivation of Strengths for a brief period, and now you’re at a loss for what to do next.
Taking the assessment and discovering your Strengths is only the first step. You can use CliftonStrengths as a resource in so many ways to develop individuals and harness high-performing teams.
“The chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” – Thomas Reid
It Starts with the Individual
Before you can start using Strengths as a team performance tool, every individual on the team must explore and invest in their own Strengths. As a manager, start by having coaching conversations with each team member about their Strengths. Use the following structure as a guide:
- Have each team member review and get a firm grasp on their Strengths.
- Coach individuals to realize how they’ve used Strengths for past success.
- Create an action plan with each person to productively aim their Strengths for optimal team effectiveness.
For some, understanding Strengths will come easy, however, some CliftonStrengths themes may be a little difficult to understand at first.
Rely on resources like the Gallup site for articles, videos, graphics, and more to foster your learning and understanding of your top 5 themes. (This is especially helpful for all those Learners out there!)
Once you and your team members have a good handle on each theme, what they mean, and how they play out, be sure to integrate them into your work routine.
Greater Than the Sum
Once everyone on your team knows how to leverage their talents to thrive, bring the group together. Engage in team coaching sessions to facilitate discussions on ways the team can synergize.
Identify areas where the team may share themes to highlight similarities. Encourage everyone to learn about the team’s profile as a whole – what are areas of Strength? What are some blind spots to look out for? What are some ways to mitigate risk and prevent complacency?
Depending on team size, reviewing the team’s domains may be a helpful indicator to understand everyone’s contributions from a macro perspective. For example, if a team is heavy on the executing and strategic thinking side (task-oriented domains), they may want to take note of individuals on the people-oriented side. This will prevent the team from omitting the human element of work and reflect more on how to leverage people’s talents, hone inclusivity, and build relationships.
Further, teams should not think that an absence of representation in a domain or a specific theme signifies a deficiency. A set of themes for an individual or a team cannot be deemed as “perfect,” “bad,” or “insufficient.” Strengths are Strengths! Different sets of Strengths are what make our workforces unique and diverse. There are so many creative and meaningful ways to implement and get the most out of Strengths on teams.
For your team to excel,
- Identify complementary domains and/or themes and ways to capitalize on them.
- Identify potential blind spots.
- Mitigate both complacency and risk by creating intentional collaborations (Collaborations can be between pairs, subgroups of the team, or among the entire team).
- Create a game plan for how each team member fits into the puzzle on a given project or task at hand.
- Rinse and repeat for every project, program, or instance where teamwork is necessary.
Ready, Set, Aim
Once you incorporate Strengths development into your routine, each team member will get to know their Strengths like the back of their hand! At this point, you will be able to embed Strengths into your team’s daily or weekly practices. Strengths will become a seamless, unconscious practice the more you use it.
Here are a few ways you can make Strengths part of your daily practice:
- Have each team member focus on one Strength per week; publicly share ways that they are using that Strength to be productive that week.
- Set one Strength per week as your lock screen or desktop background.
- Read your report on a given theme each day for a week.
- Write a power paragraph with one theme per sentence. Read it every day to remind yourself how to leverage them for success.
High-performing teams can look to each other to complement talent on projects, discussions, and starting new initiatives. High-performing teams know how to avoid complacency by welcoming diverse opinions to the discussion.
Leaders who seek to cultivate team performance can recognize the role their people play in the team’s overall success. They guide their teams to act intentionally rather than attempting to force contribution in a way that is not aligned with their natural talents.
People that invest in their strengths are:
- 6x as likely to be engaged in their jobs
- 6x as likely to strongly agree they opportunities to do what they do best every day
- 3x as likely to report having an excellent quality of life
Investing in Strengths is not merely a “feel good” activity. Investing in Strengths has real-world applications that yield tangible results! Engagement, enjoyment of work, and excellent quality of life are strong indicators of output and productivity.
Employees that are more productive and engaged are less likely to leave their job and are more likely to have a positive impact on the organization’s bottom line.
Churchill Leadership Group is certified and highly experienced in delivering strengths-accelerated learning journeys, with four Signature Solutions: Manager Effectiveness, Team Performance, Executive Coaching, and Leadership as Great Coach. Learn more about our Strengths-Based Organization program here.
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