Play To Your Group Strengths


This previous weekend I went to a coaching course for an occasion that I’m taking part in subsequent 12 months. One of many quotes that got here up throughout the course was about selecting the workforce that can enable you throughout the occasion. The quote sounded one thing like this:

Get the best folks on the best bus in the best seats and determine the place you wish to go.

Sounds easy, proper? Proper folks, proper bus, proper seats. Not everybody goes to be an excellent match in your workforce and even when they’re they will not be in the best place to do their finest work. However how have you learnt what they’re good at?

Not-So-Properly Rounded

Final evening, I listened to this glorious Artwork of Community Engineering episode. The visitor was a buddy of mine within the business, Mike Bushong (@MBushong). He’s a really proficient individual and he is aware of learn how to lead folks. He’s one of many folks that will like to work for given the chance. He’s additionally very astute and he has discovered plenty of classes about enabling folks on a workforce.

One of many issues he mentioned within the episode was about folks’s strengths. Not simply belongings you’re good at however qualities you’ll say are your strongest property. Points of you that you simply say are core to what you do. Perhaps you’re good at writing emails however is {that a} power? Or is concise communication your actual power? Are you good at seeing patterns? Or are you analytical? Each process you excel at isn’t a power till you may see the underlying items that you simply actually are good at doing.

One of many issues that Mike introduced up within the episode that basically resonated with me was the concept our efficiency analysis system is de facto constructed round stating weaknesses and inspiring (or forcing) folks to work on them. I can perceive having folks work on some core abilities which can be essential in a enterprise surroundings, akin to time administration or communications. You need to be good at these with a view to achieve your profession.

Nonetheless, having folks choose up new abilities or deal with points of what they do nearly in a vacuum doesn’t actually assist as a lot as managers may suppose it does. May you think about telling somebody like Steph Curry he must work on his dunking abilities? Or maybe telling somebody like Steven Tyler that, whereas his singing is nice, he actually ought to spend extra time taking part in the drums to be a extra well-rounded band member?

The concept of telling professionals to focus on one thing aside from their power is ludicrous. Albert Pujols isn’t going to be the bottom stealing king for a baseball workforce. His power is hitting house runs. Why attempt to make him into somebody that runs as an alternative of somebody that hits? But while you ask a supervisor about reviewing somebody’s efficiency they’ll inform you they want that workforce member to be well-rounded or they should choose up this different ability that isn’t essentially their power however is required.

I’m a good author. I’ve discovered over the previous fifteen years that one in every of my strengths is in written communications. I can distill info and convey it to others by way of written phrases. I’ve managed to adapt that ability into being good at public talking and giving shows. What I might not be good at doing is being a full-time challenge supervisor with duties for managing timelines for a number of groups. It’s as a result of I notice that I should be ok at time administration to get my work completed however it’s under no circumstances a power for me. For my supervisor to inform me to spend extra time specializing in my weak point and fewer on my power is doing me and the workforce a disservice.

Sturdy Bus

While you’re placing collectively your workforce, you want the best folks on the bus. That half is fairly straightforward, proper? However in case you don’t know what they’re good at you don’t know in the event that they’re the best folks in your bus. When you’ve got a workforce of individuals which can be very element oriented do you should add one other element oriented individual to do design work? Or would it not be higher to have somebody with a power in creativity? If you have already got a bunch introverts that work finest in isolation do you wish to add one other? Or do you want an outgoing character in a job that interfaces with different groups or prospects?

While you’re placing the best folks in the best seats on the bus, be sure you’re taking part in to their strengths as an alternative of forcing them into a job to assist them develop. Most individuals love an excellent problem or wish to step outdoors of their consolation zone at times. Nonetheless not everybody is ready to tackle a job that’s one thing they think about a weak point. As an alternative of pushing folks to the purpose of being uncomfortable and making them the unsuitable individual within the unsuitable seat we have to assist them succeed. An instance may be having somebody with restricted expertise creating advertising and marketing materials maybe working to provide you with written items of the deliverables as an alternative of all the design. Or perhaps having them do a single flyer or handout as an alternative of all the job. Giving them the chance to stretch somewhat and succeed is a significantly better method to assist them of their profession as an alternative of throwing them within the deep finish of the pool and hoping they’ll swim.


Tom’s Take

It is best to hearken to all the podcast episode with Mike Bushong. It encapsulates why he’s such a popular and efficient chief. He is aware of his limitations and he works to beat them. He identifies the best folks for his workforce and he places them within the locations they’ll take advantage of impression to get issues completed. He is aware of {that a} good chief makes the folks round them higher by enabling them to succeed. A few of these classes are issues that I’ve discovered over the previous few years by way of Wooden Badge and the way in which he’s phrased them helped me internalize them a bit higher. Play to folks’s strengths and also you’ll be fortunately shocked at how far they’ll go together with you.





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