Two weeks back, I conducted a workshop on Tips and Tricks To Engage Employees. The focus of this workshop was employee engagement using a neuroscience perspective.
While discussing the neuroscience aspects, one of the points I highlighted was the importance of leaders and managers recognizing the strengths of the people who work with them in their teams or organizations. Strength is the key binding factor in providing certainty, feeling that we have the power of choice in what we do and also being recognized for our talents because we operate from our area of strength. It provides the endorphin to help our brain move towards an engaged and reward state.
One of the participants had a view that in some industries only command and control works and there is no time, especially given the deadlines, for recognizing strengths or working on creating an environment of Certainty, Recognition, Choices or Connection. An interesting discussion ensued in the workshop once this comment was made.
One of my coaching clients during one of her earlier sessions was sharing her challenges at her work place. She has been with her organization for eight years and she was describing how the head of the business was a very tough person, difficult to approach and someone who was curt. She finds her relationship with him much better currently, though there are times she still feels overwhelmed when she is in a meeting with him. Although he is not her boss, she has to have regular meetings with him since she is the CFO. She also narrated another story to me about how she had to contact some experienced people in the field of psychology for one of her assignments on a diploma course she was doing. She shared with me her experience of how she went about doing this. Listening to her, I shared with her some of her strengths that I had observed. She was amazed at seeing herself from this perspective that I had mentioned to her. She had never seen herself nor had anyone mentioned to her that she was persistent, determined and was always ready to face a challenge. Here was a lady who has faced life with open arms no matter the challenge but was not confident and was not aware about her strength. She is much more confident today with herself having learnt to recognize her strengths and work around her strengths.
- How many of us have been in organizations where the manager or boss harp on our weakness?
- How many of you focus on developing your weakness instead of growing and working on your strengths?
- How many job interviews seek to understand what motivates you and determine whether that matches the requirement of a job and vision of the company?
Each of us exhibit a number of characteristics including empathy, communication with clarity, a sense of humor, negotiation skills, analyzer, ability to delegate.
- How many of you have been hired to a job that matched your talents?
- How many organizations can pride themselves in getting the right talent
Refer my post on Marcus Buckingham Alert: Hiring For Talent
Each of us has our unique strengths, that, if seeded and nurtured well, has an amazing power to develop and grow. If you promote an environment where each of your team members are empowered and encouraged to grow by using their strengths and talents, you will see your team and the organization grow towards its vision.
Yes, command and control may work well in some situations, but have you given thought to what would be the result if in this kind of environment, the leaders and managers took time to recognize the strengths of their team members and utilized them in achieving the overall vision of the company.
How do you recognize strengths of those who works with you and build on that?
- Identify your natural talents (recurring patterns of thought, behavior or feeling)
- Refine your talents with knowledge and skill
- Apply it in your work and daily life.
What are the most common strengths ? The following is an extract from the book Now, Discover your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham
He has identified 34 strengths which are Achiever, Activator, Adaptability, Analytical, Arranger, Belief (living out your values), Command, Communication, Competition, Connectedness (bridge builder), Consistency, Context (understanding the blueprints), Deliberative, Developer, Discipline, Empathy, Focus, Futuristic, Harmony, Ideation, Includer, Individualization (appreciate the uniqueness n each and don’t like generalizations), Input (inquisitive), Intellection (like to think and introspect), learner, Maximizer, Positivity, Relator (seek genuine relationships), Responsibility, Restorative, Self-assurance, Significance (want to be significant in the eyes of other people), Strategic, and Woo (Winning Over Others).
Leaders in their organizations can start to build a culture which recognizes and promotes strengths and have the recruitment process match the strengths of the individuals to what is required in a job. The job search should start off with describing the dominant talents that is required of a role be it a programmer or an accountant or marketer or a business head. Once these dominant talents in the role is identified, the advertisement or the interview process should challenge the potential candidates to claim these talents. As an ongoing process it is important for leaders to identify what are each individual’s strongest themes or strengths that they display? How do these relate to the job that needs to be performed and are they getting enough knowledge and skill for further development? How does this relate to how they are managed?
Other questions you can ask:
What is the vision of your company? Why do you what you do?
What are the career aspirations of your team ?
What are their hobbies outside of work ?
When you make it a priority to sow the seeds for collaborative and collective success, you create and nurture an environment for each of the individuals to thrive and flourish.
How are you helping people become resonant leaders?