AS A STRENGTHS PROFILE CONSULTANT, I’VE HAD LOTS OF DISCUSSIONS WITH PEOPLE AT ALL LEVELS OF SENIORITY AND HOW THEY CAN USE THEIR STRENGTHS.
One trend I’ve noticed, however, is it’s rare to hear leaders talking about their own development, the focus tends to be on how they manage their teams. While this is incredibly important and commendable for their leadership style, it’s important to remind leaders that embracing their own strengths can result in great success and should be encouraged.
Here are SOME WAYS LEADERS CAN USE THEIR STRENGTHS EVERY DAY:
- UNDERSTAND YOUR OWN STRENGTHS. Take the opportunity to revisit your Strengths Profile report and really take the time to explore the four quadrants.
- Realized Strengths: what examples do you have of using them to great effect as a leader?
- Unrealized Strengths: which one are you most excited to use more in your leadership and how will you achieve this?
- Learned Behaviors: what would it take to increase the energy in this activity or to delegate it?
- Weaknesses: note any that are critical to your effectiveness as a leader and what strengths you could use to compensate.
- UNDERSTAND WHAT ENERGISES YOU. Leaders who do more of what they enjoy tend to be more engaged at work. Take a moment to list the leadership activities that you enjoy and in particular, what energizes you. Consider how these activities impact your team and enhance your ability to lead others effectively. Always look to new opportunities to utilize your strengths and dial-up when needed, but be mindful to use your strengths in the right measure and at the right time.
- BRUSH UP ON “STRENGTHSPOTTING”. Strengthspotting can be a great way for leaders to deepen their strengths expertise and support team members with their roles. When team members talk enthusiastically about a task, it could be a good indication that a strength is at play. Spotting these moments of energy can help plan workloads and boosts happiness for everyone.
- IDENTIFY WHAT’S DRAINING YOU AND GET DELEGATING! I’ve found leaders tend to enjoy more high-level strategic tasks as opposed to being bogged down by the detail. Identify the tasks that you find de-energizing and delegate using your new strengthspotting skills! Delegating frees you up to do more of the stuff you enjoy, but it also gives other team members the opportunity to develop and carry out work that they feel energized by. It’s a win-win!
- CREATE A STRENGTHS BASED CULTURE. As a leader, others will look to you to set the tone for working relationships and behavior, so if you’re keen to cultivate a strengths-based environment look for ways to regularly use this within your teams. Consider starting meetings with discussions about where a team member successfully used a strength last week and encourage others to follow suit. Other ideas can be making a point to strengthspot in the moment, and giving specific feedback about a strength you observed and the action that the team member was carrying out.
Strengths Profile Consultant at Cappfinity