According to a Gallup study, people who have the opportunity to use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged at work and more than three times likely to report having an excellent quality of life. Additionally, Gallup discovered the chances of a person being actively disengaged is only 1% among those whose managers focus on the person’s strengths.
It’s hard to ignore those statistics. That is why I am a self-professed strengths junky. In all aspects of my life I seek to identify the strengths of my friends, family, colleagues, direct reports, etc., and encourage the use of those strengths. This knowledge also helps me understand why and how my team reacts in certain situations and how best to be supportive when they need it.
When it comes to teams, strengths finder is an excellent way to encourage cohesion, and collaboration. I’ve seen it be successful among extremely diverse teams. If you are struggling to bring a diverse team of talented individuals together, try a few of these activities below. Don’t forget, it is your responsibility, as the leader, to help your team realize their full potential by unlocking their strengths. They will attribute this deeper self-awareness to your support and caring. This is a treasure they will carry with them in all aspects of their lives.
Pre-work – You and your team must all have completed the Strengths Finder assessment before completing these activities. Yes, I included you in this pre-work. As the leader, you should lead by example and why shouldn’t your strengths get exercised as well. By sharing your strengths with you team, they can also use your strengths. Cohesion and collaboration should come from the top down.
Here is how you can take the assessment.
- Buy the Strengths Finder 2.0 book. It is about $13 on Amazon. The book contains a sealed code. Use the code to complete the assessment online at strengthsfinder.com.
- You can buy the assessment online at gallupstrengthscenter.com. The assessment is $15.00.
Activity 1: Strengths in my own words
The goal of this activity is to introduce each person to his/her strengths, the Strengths Insight form, and allow space and time for each person to digest and explore his/her strengths.
- Each person reads his/her Strengths Insight (This form is provided once you complete the Strengths Finder assessment.)
- Each person duplicates the template side in the Strengths in my own words PowerPoint slide.
- Each person enters his/her name in the Person’s Name field of the slide he/she created.
- Each person enters his/her strengths in the order in which they show on the Strengths Insight
- Each person, in his/her own words, enters a short sentence in the Description
- Each person saves the PowerPoint slide with the current date.
- Once every person has added their information to the PowerPoint deck, print out the slides.
- I encourage every person on the team to print his/her own strengths information sheet and display it for all to see.
- As the leader, I recommend you print the strengths information sheet for all your team and display in your office. You’ll want to memorize the strengths of each person on your team.
Activity 2: Why I love my strength
The goal of this activity is to allow each person to broaden his/her understanding of his/her strengths, as well as the strengths of those on the team. Participants will also learn how to identify and see other’s strengths in action.
Supplies: These are examples of supplies, you may use any size and type that fits your needs.
- 5x8 Index Cards (5 for each person)
- 6x9 Manila Envelops (1 for each person)
- Strengths in my own words information sheet for each person including yourself.
- Schedule 30 minutes for the activity.
- On a Manila Envelop, write the name of one person. On another Manila Envelop, write the name of another person. Repeat this for all people participating in the activity.
- Using the Index Cards, write one strength on one card for every strength and every person.
- For example:
- Card 1 = Strength 1 for Person 1
- Card 2 = Strength 2 for Person 1
- Card 3 = Strength 3 for Person 1
- For example:
- Take a Manila Envelop and place the five strengths for that person in the Manila Envelop. Repeat this for all the Manila Envelops.
- Don’t forget to include your strengths in this activity.
- While you have everyone in the room, hand out the Manila Envelops to the appropriate people.
- Ask participants to take the next 5 minutes to look at their strengths in the Manila Envelop.
- Ask participants to ponder each strength and pick one they are loving today.
- After the five minutes are up, ask a volunteer to share which strength he/she picked, and ask him/her to explain why he/she loves this strength right now.
- Next ask the others in the room, how you see that strength showing up in that person’s daily life.
- Repeat until all participants share their strengths, including yourself.
Recommended follow up
Continue to meet once a quarter and complete the activity until all the strengths are shared.