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In a Gallup® poll conducted with 10,000 followers, they ask what the most important leaders contributed to their lives.  What ultimately rose to the top were what Gallup® calls the 4 needs of followers – trust, compassion, stability, and hope. Let’s explore a few ways how your strengths can help meet the 4 needs of followers. 

Trust is the first need because it is the root of all relationships. For trust to thrive, you must model integrity and do what’s needed to build psychological safety on the team.  Your strengths can foster connected relationships, transparent communication, objective decision-making and responsible actions. Trust is a key builder of engagement, efficient workplaces, retention, and a willingness to be vulnerable. 

Compassion tells others you care about them.  When you lead with compassion, people come first.  Even difficult conversations happen with kindness. Empathy is one way compassion gets expressed but it’s not the only way. Your welcoming nature, your passionate sharing of values and beliefs, and your desire to fix what’s broken and make things right are all expressions of compassion through the lens of very different strengths.

Stability is a core need in today’s ever-changing workplace.  Despite turnover and evolving priorities, you can lean on your strengths to steady the ship.  Bring your mission, vision, and values to the forefront of team meetings. Maintain consistency with systems and processes that support productivity. Be a visible and dependable leader. Prioritize frequent factual communication because in the absence of information, people make up worst-case scenarios. As you contribute to stability, you will see confidence and a sense of security rise in those around you. 

Hope, as shared by the late Dr. Shane Lopez, a Gallup® senior scientist, is what invites people to participate in creating a future that’s better than the present and the belief that you have what it takes to make it so. Hope is both aspirational and motivational. It’s often best expressed through storytelling.  Everyone has a story and telling it through the lens of your strengths could be your most powerful authentic expression of hope.  Whether you are inspiring others with a vision, coaching and developing a team member or sharing something challenging that you overcame, bringing hope to any situation connects us and unites us in lasting ways.

If you are committed to meeting the most important needs of your followers, I recommend you read Strengths-Based Leadership by Tom Rath and host a team training session to discover how your strengths contribute trust, compassion, stability, and hope at work and to the people in your life.

Gallup®, CliftonStrengths®, and the 34 theme names are trademarks of Gallup®, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sara Harvey

Founder & President, innertelligence

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