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How to use strengths to supercharge staff engagement and productivity

How to use strengths

Right now, more than ever, organisations are struggling to find and keep good people. Turnover and fatigue are at an all-time high. What if I told you that you could use strengths at work to boost the engagement and productivity of your staff?

Anyone who has worked with me knows there’s one thing I’ll drop everything to talk about, and that’s strengths. For over 20 years I’ve worked with individuals, teams and communities to uncover and put strengths to work. Around 6 years ago I became an accredited Coach with Gallup, and I regularly use the CliftonStrengths tool to help people in a whole range of roles to learn more about their strengths, or as I like to call them, their own personal ‘super-powers’.

A whole lot of research has shown that when people know and use their strengths regularly, they are noticeably happier, healthier, and more productive. They are more likely to find a state of ‘flow’; doing tasks and learning feel easier and more natural, ideas come more quickly, and we get a real sense of satisfaction from what we are doing. Let’s be real, we could all use more of that in our lives.

So how can you use strengths to get that much needed boost in your team? Here’s my ‘road map’, based on many years of coaching and leading teams using strengths.

Start at the top: Leaders who know and use their strengths have higher levels of self-awareness, self-management, and an ability to deliberately use their strengths to form stronger relationships with each member of their team. I highly recommend individual coaching for leaders (using CliftonStrengths Full 34 strengths profile) so they can use their strengths in a purposeful way. More importantly, they can understand how to use their strengths to manage weaknesses or blind spots (which are actually often overused or misused strengths).

Create a strengths culture in your team: Give team members access to their Top 5 CliftonStrengths and hold a team strengths sharing discussion. Better yet, get a strengths coach (like me!) to facilitate a session for maximum impact. Encourage team members to put on ‘strengths goggles’ and start noticing the strengths in one another. It’s a great way to flip the thinking from blame to curiosity, problem solving, and empathy.

Apply strengths to tough stuff: conflict, misunderstandings, and ‘speedhumps’ in relationships can come about when people have different strengths. When we approach these challenges with a strengths-lens we ask ourselves ‘what strengths does this person have that I can see right now’? We also ask ourselves ‘what strengths do I have that could help improve communication or resolve this challenge?’

Finally, one of the huge benefits of the strengths approach is that we can practice and apply them across every area of life. So often when I am coaching people, they will have an ‘Aha’ moment where their eyes light up and they say ‘I can use this with my family, my kids, my partner…’ and they are absolutely right! This is a huge value-add that you can give your staff. By giving them the keys to their strengths, you’ll not only help them be happier and more productive at work, but it will also give them tools and strategies for a better life all round. And who wouldn’t want that?

By Nicole Weber


Want to know more about strengths coaching for you and your team? Check out our flyer and get in touch with us today.