Welcome back to the Pathway Blog!
Today we’re talking about something that plays a big part in a successful, cohesive workplace: the StrengthsFinder assessment.
This is one of our favorite things to talk about and plays a major role in our Leadership University program. If you have further questions about how the StrengthsFinder assessment can improve your workplace dynamics, we encourage you to contact us and set up a time to talk!
StrengthsFinder: Setting the Stage
One of the biggest hurdles in the workplace is disengagement. The typical workforce setting requires employees to come to the same office and perform many of the same tasks, day in and day out. For a satisfied employee who feels valued and heard, this is the perfect situation. However, if your employees come to work every day carrying the feeling that their talents and abilities aren’t being utilized, you’re about to have a disengagement problem on your hands – if you don’t have one already.
In a study done by Gallup, it was discovered that an employee’s chances of becoming disengaged at work decrease significantly if a boss or manager focuses on their strengths, rather than their weaknesses. As we have touched on before, disengagement can lead to serious dissonance in the workplace, so it’s important to find ways to avoid it.
So how do we actually focus on our employees’ strengths and keep them engaged? This is where the StrengthsFinder assessment comes into play.
More Than Just Talent
So what exactly is a strength? Is it just something you’re good at or something you enjoy?
Perhaps, but it’s not actually that simple.
Talent x Investment = Strength
You see, a strength is more than something you just happen to naturally be good at — that’s what we call “talent.” There’s an equation of sorts we like to use when talking about the difference between talent and strength, and it looks like this: Talent x Investment = Strength
Talent (a natural way of thinking, feeling, or behaving) x Investment (time spent practicing, developing your skills, and building your knowledge base) = Strength (the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance)
The StrengthsFinder assessment will help you identify those talents that, through diligent investment, can become the key to a happy, successful career.
Welcome to the Strengths Zone
When you are able to identify and develop your strengths, you’re in what we call the “strengths zone.” Being in this state of awareness allows you to assess a certain situation and determine if and where your specific skill set can further the mission of your organization.
Being in the strengths zone can improve confidence, your sense of personal direction, hope for the future, and even kindness toward others. Basically, when you know what your strengths are and how you can use them, you’re achieving one of the most important elements of emotional intelligence: self-awareness.
“It’s important to understand that there’s nothing wrong with exhibiting weakness in certain areas. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses — that’s just called being a human.”
Another part of being in the strengths zone is being able to recognize your weaknesses and manage them efficiently. It’s important to understand that there’s nothing wrong with exhibiting weakness in certain areas. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses — that’s just called being a human. Awareness of lesser talent allows you to avoid roadblocks in the future.
If you can establish some systems (like partnering with someone who excels in your area of lesser talent) designed to manage those weaknesses, you’ll be able to focus on your strengths and improve upon them with clarity of mind and freedom from guilt.
This awareness also helps avoid “blind spots” that can be built up by your talents. For example, someone with a laser-focus and drive to accomplish might stomp on a few toes as they work to check items off their to-do list. Having awareness of your weaknesses and blind spots can help you avoid unpleasant “casualties of talent.”
Surround Yourself With Strengths
The benefits of strengths-based leadership are bountiful to say the least. If you strive to surround yourself with a team of satisfied, skilled individuals who are allowed to pursue their interests, fulfil their needs, and improve upon their highly-valued skills, it won’t take long to get a glimpse of the heights your business will inevitably reach.