I often meet professionals who have taken the Gallup Clifton Strength Finders assessment as part of a team workshop or a work seminar. They enjoyed learning more about themselves and then didn’t know what to do next.  Hmmmm.

I get it – there’s just not enough time in one workshop to let the details about how amazing you are to really soak in.  It takes time – and often someone to help you unpack it who can help you talk through how you use your strengths.

So, what do you do after you have your Clifton Strength Finder results and the workshop is over?

Quick History Don Clifton and CliftonStrengths:

For those that don’t know, Don Clifton used 5 characteristics to define and recognize the 34 strengths he validated with research.  He studied people who displayed the following:

  • Yearnings – can’t stop doing it or can’t think about not doing it
  • Deep satisfaction – totally satisfied when getting to use it
  • Glimpses of excellence – a strength that comes in unexpected situations
  • Rapid learning – intuitively know the steps
  • Flow – just gets in it and is not distracted

If you can remember feeling any of these when doing anything, that’s when you were using one of your strengths.  Some people go a lifetime not knowing the science that backs up why they do what they do – until now.

So, you take the Clifton strength finder assessment and you get to name each strength, claim it, and aim it at what you do when you are at your best.

The Big Dilemma Knowing How to Use Your Strengths

How do you take your newly named strengths and understand how to maximize them?

You need to have a plan.  Gallup recommends that you look to understand each of your top strengths in:

  • breadth
  • depth
  • calibration
  • awareness

What does that mean exactly when you not in a workshop anymore?

To understand your strengths in breadth means to explore each of your strengths well enough to be able to understand what they are and how they contribute to what is you and what is not you.  When you grow in your breadth of a strength you start to be able to recognize it in others.  Gallup calls this ‘strength spotting’ – when you can spot how someone acts, behaves, and problem solves.

This is especially helpful when you are in a manager or team lead position.

The Manager Dilemma How To Leverage Team Strengths

Most managers are too swamped to spend time getting to become experts in the breadth of any one strength outside of their own and the risk of this is that they learn just enough to use the names of each strength as a label on someone.  Labeling anyone is not cool.  It’s limiting and doesn’t celebrate the true value of each strength.

Here’s How You Help Your Team Work to Their Strengths

The best managers view their employees as individuals. Let each person spend time learning breadth in their own strengths and spend small increments of time at regular meetings to let people share what they’ve learned.  This can be done in 5-10 minutes and allows the people within the team to understand more fully each person’s value in how they show up at their best. This limits the labeling in a negative way and expands the value of each person’s abilities.

The Manager Challenge: Get To Know Your People

Managers should take the time, though, to get to know their people in a deeper way.  To know the depth of a strength is to take the time and list several qualities that each person’s top strength offers and how it shows up. This allows you to really appreciate the best in your people and regularly recognize opportunities to maximize the talent you lead.

Breadth and Depth are a great start to managing others with the understanding of what motivates and excites each person.  Doing so shows that you value your team.  We will talk about calibration and awareness in the next blog – in the meantime – start with breadth and depth.

To get your team on board with a strength finder workshop, contact Carole and book a consultation.

Discover Your Talents with Strength Strategy!

The best managers get to know themselves and their team. You lead a team to success by understanding your team's capabilities, and by people in positions that play to their strengths while partnering them with people who will overcome their weaknesses. Discover your strengths, and the strengths or your team, with our Strength Strategy course!

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