Simple exercise to identify and maximize strengths

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

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

Deal with strengths, not weaknesses

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

Why? As a result of science exhibits that specializing in strengths is healthier for motivation. A current study by Gallup exhibits {that a} deal with strengths can enhance efficiency by 8% to 18% and decrease attrition charges by 20% to 73%. That final determine is one to take into account, particularly through the Nice Resignation.

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

Conduct an exercise in understanding

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

It takes some vulnerability to brazenly 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 you probably have these issues, it’s completely attainable 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 prematurely of the dialog. Nevertheless it’s not a requisite. It may also be wholesome and useful to merely sit and listing 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 can strengthen you each.

There’s a easy illustration of what this exercise would possibly appear to be on the FunRestrospectives web site. A easy grid on the whiteboard (or in case you are distant, a device 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 Put up-it notes. (10 minutes)
  • Every individual shares their strengths. Talk about briefly these you each share, and go deeper on these which are distinctive. (5 minutes every)
  • Discuss by means of 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.
  • Kind the notes by pushing the entire frequent/shared strengths to one aspect. Then deal with 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 Put up-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 quick, how will you attain the strengths which are wanted? Does another person on the crew have that energy? Are you able to convey another person in or create a brand new function? (10 minutes)

The occasions indicated listed here are only a suggestion. Typically these conversations could be so partaking that they prolong over a number of classes over a number of days. Irrespective of how lengthy it takes, it’ll be vital to maintain 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 Progress, an Expertise Design chief, speaker, and happiness practitioner.