Some people are great at a variety of things. Some people are great at just a few things.
Some people are ‘naturals’; they’re good at just about everything they lay their hands on— but that doesn’t necessarily mean they enjoy doing it.
Even though these people can do just about any and all tasks, I wouldn’t consider most of them their strengths, and that’s because it may be draining to them— stressful, energy-sucking, difficult, you name it.
If you can recognize the true strengths in your team members, you can play them to the best of their abilities and it’d only be beneficial to not only them, but to you and the business as well.
You have to claim your strengths and recognize the signs that define a strength. If we can apply this to ourselves, we can easily apply this to our team. If we can find things we’re good at— that also ‘fuel our tank’, you’ll have a lot more success. And it’ll be a lot easier to move forward in strengthening your business.
There are four core signs, or emotions if you will, to knowing something is truly a strength:
When you do the activity you feel effective and you feel in control. This is where you feel self-sufficient— you can work on your own and know you’ll rock it every time.
When you go to do the activity, you look forward to doing it. You’ve got this natural ability for doing this task or activity.
While you’re working on it, you’ll be very focused and you may lose track of time, because you’ve just lost yourself in the task… in a good way, because you’re keen to learn the task or activity.
After you’re done the activity, even if you feel drained, you feel fulfilled.
It’s important to understand this because when we get so busy in our work, we sometimes define what we’re good at based upon results. Or we may do the same with our team members.
How many times do owners promote a team member and have them resign within only a few months? How many times does a person land a new position, who’s capable of these higher-value tasks, but in just a few months their performance fails drastically?
Perhaps it wasn’t because these people couldn’t do the jobs, but that the job required them to constantly do tasks and activities that didn’t play to their strengths— it became draining and unfulfilling to them.
You can’t make a weakness a strength— you can help diminish the weakness, and make certain daunting tasks and activities less so, but it’ll never be a natural or true strength.
So how can we minimize our weakness?
1. Stop doing it— team up or delegate the task or activity to others, if possible.
2. Defaulting your time— fill your day with your strengths and gain your energy from those tasks so that when you must handle a task or activity that is your weakness, you don’t get completely overwhelmed in your day.
3. Change your lens of strength— change your perspective on the matter, because sometimes you may think an entire task or activity is your weakness, but in reality only one small aspect or detail is. i.e.: You hate confrontation and arguments with clients or coworkers, but love research, problem-solving, and asking questions. So next time you find yourself in an argument, take it upon yourself to ask a lot of questions in order to solve the problem, and play it from a different angle.
Now that you have better knowledge on strengths and weaknesses in the work place, it’s time to step back and evaluate your team members.
So for example, instead of focusing on your ‘Employee A’ as being lazy because they constantly forget to fill in their paperwork, take it upon yourself to make this something positive. Play with your strengths, and help them diminish their weakness. If you love playing the role of leader and love the task of being educator, then this is a perfect opportunity to dig deep and explain why this is important and go over how to do the task once more.