We all need physical, mental and emotional energy to deliver high achievement. Our work with businesses focusing on strengths to encourage energy shows that: teams become more purposeful, effective and successful; sales and profits increase; individual staff performance, motivation and well-being increase. Working with our strengths helps us all to have the energy for high achievement.
What are work-place strengths?
In the workplace strengths can be defined as “underlying qualities that energise us, contribute to our personal growth and lead to peak performance.” (Brewerton and Brook, 2006). They are positive qualities that are reflected in how we each think, feel and behave. Working with strengths encourages leadership that positively influences employee performance, fosters resilience and sets a productive direction for individuals, teams and the business.
There are four dimensions of workplace strengths: relational; emotional; thinking and execution. In each cluster a range of strengths can be drawn upon to enhance performance, support others and stimulate mental energy.
Relational: Strengths associated with how we engage with others.
Emotional: Strengths that are about how we handle both our internal world and show our emotions and feelings to others.
Thinking: Strengths that help us think through different situations as we move towards a decision.
Execution: Those strengths associated with the ‘doing’ of delivering outcomes.
By combining our strengths with our skills and knowledge, we have the energy to that delivers high achievement and peak performance. It is important that strengths-focused leadership impacts upon performance and outcomes. To demonstrate this, let us take a brief look at how leading with strengths can positively influence:
• Getting people on board
• Maximising personal potential
• Creating resilient, positive team
Each of these will influence energise, engage and enthuse people. These people will form productive teams. Productive teams deliver desired business results and make best possible use of all resources.
Getting people on board: both internal and external recruitment is costly in terms of time and money; this sound decisions are vital.
Exploring in depth a persons strengths during recruitment can provide insight into their values and passion for the job and highlight the potential for them to make a tangible contribution to the business. This can then be embedded during the vital period of becoming established; research shows that encouraging a person to play to their strengths speeds up settling in and so they more quickly become a productive team member who is valued and feels valued.
Maximising personal potential: individual performance it is important to the delivery of current objectives and to talent flow within an organisation. To maximise personal potential feedback, appraisal reviews and development opportunities all play their part. Take a look at sound reasons for approaching each from the perspective of strengths.
Positive team work: encouraging team members to know and share their strengths fosters a supportive workplace where everyone can make a useful contribution to overall team results. By working together, individual gaps and weaknesses can be overcome. This fosters positive working relationships that ripples out to deliver improved customer satisfaction. It is also shown to encourage personal resilience and well-being.
Leadership that works with our strengths stimulates energy in you and your team. Energy will help to deliver high achievement. It’s a win-win, so give it a go.