Managing Strengths

The previous posts ‘Now Discover Your Strengths’ and ‘34 Strengths’ outline how individuals can perform better if they apply their strengths to any endeavour rather than try to improve upon their weaknesses.

Consider an orchestra.  The first violinist doesn’t want to be the conductor. The first violinist has a skill, a strength in playing the violin.  They have become first violinist by focusing on that strength and achieving their highest potential with the violin.  They have no interest and possibly no talent for conducting and so would not aspire to the role.

But how often do we take a person performing at the top of their field and turn them into a manager, as if, by being good at sales automatically qualifies them to be a sales manager.

It is more efficient and more effective to focus on the strengths of the team and management them appropriate so that the ‘violinists’ can all perform as first violinists rather than promoting them into becoming poor ‘conductors’.

As managers then, we should consider how best to motivate, manage and achieve the best results with the strengths of our people.

the 34 strengths can be managed and motivated in the following manner:

Achiever – Give this person tasks that stretch them
Activator – Give this person scope to set their own goals
Adaptability – Give this person opportunities to deal with change and crises
Analytical – Give this person challenges, complex problems and tough decisions
Arranger – Give this person responsibility
Belief – Give this person tasks that engage their passion
Command – Give this person a task and then let them go
Communication – Give this person opportunities to exploit their communications skills
Competition – Motivate this person with competitive language and the chance to rise to the challenge
Connectedness – Give this person the chance to build bridges in the team and with customers
Consistency – Give this person stability and processes that endure
Context – Give this person historical information to better asses the current situation
Deliberative – Give this person tasks that requires rigorous thinking
Developer – Give this person the chance to help other people grow
Discipline – Give this person the chance to brig structure to chaos
Empathy – Let this person read the moods of others and sense unrest
Focus – Give this person goals and deadlines and let them achieve them
Futuristic – Yoke this person’s vision of the future
Harmony – Give this person a pleasant environment and keep them away from conflict
Ideation – Give this person the chance to develop ideas and their creative side
Includer – Give this person the chance to build teams
Individualization – This person will build effective reward / performance systems and identify an individual’s motives
Input – Give this person the chance to search for solutions or in the research field
Intellection – Give this person the chance to think broadly and deeply about a problem
Learner – Give this person the chance to stay current in a fast changing field
Maximizer – Give this person the chance to improve the systems and processes of the organisation
Positivity – Give this person the chance to motivate the team and create dynamic organisations
Relator – Use this person to generate genuine trusting relationships
Responsibility – Use this person where quality output is required
Restorative – Use this person to identify flaws and problems in the organisation
Self-assurance – Give this person the chance to make difficult and meaningful decisions
Significance – Give this person the chance to stand out
Strategic – Give this person the chance to anticipate problems and create long term solutions
Woo – Use this person in a public facing role and to build long term relationships with key customers

For more information on the strengths movement, I recommend the books, StrengthFinder and Now Discover Your Strengths and the Strengths in Action consulting group.

Dare to Aspire


1 Comment

Filed under Business, Change, Performance, Strengths

One response to “Managing Strengths

  1. Great post. When I was in the military we use to call this the “Peter Principle.” A guy would continue to be promoted above and beyond his level of competence. Then when he would arrive as a supervisor at a new job the people under him or her would have to find a way to work around his ineptitude. Sadly, the only recourse was the hope that you could do such a good job, in spite of the poor manager or supervisor, that they would be promoted out of your squadron to the next level or would retire and no longer be your problem.
    Thanks, keep up the good work.
    Life Performance

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