Being a team leader is a huge responsibility. Your primary goal is often how to help your team become better and work together to meet certain goals. As a team leader, you’ll want to prioritize discovering your team’s strengths. Here are some key questions you’ll want to ask yourself.
- Are the people on your team engaged?
- Are they as productive as you’d like them to be?
- Do they work together well with you and with other members of your team?
If you answered a hearty yes to all three of these questions, that’s great. But most of us (if we’re honest) probably answered no to at least one of those questions. Here’s why.
The talents – the natural wiring – of the people on your team are likely not being brought forward to align roles and tasks for them in a very intentional way. In other words, team member’s roles and tasks are often not based on the understanding of who they truly, really are.
How to Start Discovering Your Team’s Strengths
It’s very easy to misinterpret people or to not understand them because a lot of what goes on in people’s brains is something that we can’t really see. We can’t really know their entire life story and be a fly on the wall with every experience they’ve ever had.
What if I told you that there is a way to better understand what makes people tick? It can help you then understand what gives people passion and which activities are most aligned with who they truly are. Knowing this, you can align people to tasks and activities while also being able to coach them according to their talents.
When you observe and manage interactions between your team members as well based on the mix of talents on your team, it can create a much better work environment. To begin the process of discovering your team’s strengths, I recommend using a tool called CliftonStrengths. This is just the starting point.
However, I take it quite a few steps further. Yes, the basis of this is to do an assessment of each of your team members and yourself to understand how you’re wired and what your natural talents are. But then you’ll work together to understand how those talents interplay with the roles that you’re in. And in addition, you can mitigate conflicts as they arise, because let’s be honest, conflicts always arise between some people on teams.
And I guarantee you, it’s a conflict of their talents that we’re not able to necessarily see, identify, and then mitigate in an intentional way. I’ve worked with thousands of individuals and hundreds of teams to help them become their best, most natural selves, and then be the most productive they can be.
Reduce Stress and Small Disagreements Among Your Team
I’ve worked with agile teams who are under a lot of pressure to produce product after product or product improvement after improvement on a short timeframe while working together in a very collaborative way. Over time I’ve seen so many cases of personality conflicts beginning to slow the work down because people don’t understand where each other is coming from. Then they begin to interpret it as the person doesn’t like them, or they’re just being difficult.
Well, maybe they are, but maybe they’re trying to express something in a way that I can’t understand necessarily just with limited knowledge as it exists at the time. Understanding people’s talents achieves several things.
For instance, it allows us to be much more intentional in assigning work activities on a team. It allows us to coach much more effectively to the individual. Let’s talk about you as a leader. If you’re a person who likes to get things done, you may have a talent in strengths work called Activator or maybe Achiever. That means you like to get going on things and get things done.
Maybe you’re a little impatient for action. If one of your employees comes in for a one on and they begin talking about their life and just shooting the breeze, you may grow impatient with that. What if they understood that your talents were ones that had you wanting to get some things done? What if they came to you prepared to have a productive one on one conversation about what they’re working on, how it’s going and what they need.
Discovering Your Team’s Strengths is Easier than You Think
Perhaps have a conversation more about personal stuff or sidebar sort of topics that may be important to the person but isnt’t as important to you as time. That happens every day. Those kinds of misunderstandings or frustrations occur all the time. It’s typically because we assume that everyone thinks a certain way. I guarantee you, everyone doesn’t think or behave like you.
I can help you refine, align, and assign work activities much more effectively and start discovering your team’s strengths. As a result, this will increase your level of employee engagement, along with their productivity. This is work, but it can be enjoyable as well. If you’d like to know more, you can book a coaching call with me.
I’d be happy to talk with you about a series of programs that can be customized for your organization, your needs for your team and for you.