Strengths-based teams are interdependent and do three things exceptionally well. First, they position team members so everyone can do what they do best. Second, they rely on each other to get work done. Third, they focus on each person’s strengths and manage around individual weaknesses. Strengths-based teams know that the right combination of diverse talents, expressed as productive strengths, drive performance, engagement, and optimal outcomes.
Cultivating strengths on a team begins with applying and refining your own strengths.
Consider the value of your top 10 strengths and what they contribute to the team. Let others know what you can be counted on to do with excellence. This becomes your unique contribution to the team. Next, with the awareness that no one is good at everything, identify your weaknesses and where you struggle. It’s in these areas that a partnership or a team approach is beneficial to everyone.
Once you are consistently applying your own strengths, make time to get to know the strengths of your teammates.
Who on the team has strengths that you don’t? Who might help off-set your weaknesses using their strengths? These team members become your best partners and collaborators. They will likely think and work differently from you but it’s exactly those differences that inspire critical thinking and creative solutions.
To help cultivate strengths on your team, post your strengths team grid somewhere prominent if you have one.
Commit to learning the strengths of your core team members. Find moments to acknowledge and appreciate others when you see them working in their strengths zone. As your team works together, think about the talents that are most needed from each of the 4 domains of leadership – Strategic Thinking, Influencing, Relationship Building and Executing. Look to different team members to provide excellence in each of these domains by activating one or more of their natural strengths. Finally, remember, as Gallup’s Guiding Principles suggests, we are better together, and we need one another for individual and team excellence.
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