Monday, 19 December 2016

Strength of Character

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I had a super time last week, up at Arneil Johnston, where as regular readers & podcast listeners will know, I do some regular work up in Scotland. A place I love and care about insanely, although I can reconcile being a proud Mancunian, English man, British person and European, all at the same time. its worked for me. Donna Milton, Gill Houston and everyone up there, achieve some fantastic things and I am pleased to be part of it.

Around this time of year, it's the time to look at our strengths in more detail and we all do the Gallup StrengthFinder. It's a great way to look at how you tick and also how to see which team members you are similar to and who complement your skills. A handy matrix can easily be determined, and gaps identified.

One of the ways of working out the company or team you work within, is how often you discuss strengths and weaknesses. How open is your organisation?

I learned my current five strengths. These did not surprise me, they do I believe match the role I perform. Some put their top five on their wall or door.  I have see it on some peoples email footer, although not many. I am not sure that would be for me. Apparently, this starts a conversation, "She is like us" etc. In a team, particularly a close knit team such as ours, it's great to know your limits and who you need to compliment your own strengths.

In many organisations people are forced to do jobs that they are unsuited or poorly equipped for. I have seen that. Often management will not manage staff, or strong personalities believe themselves capable, when they clearly are not. Strengthfinder does root out some of these issues and can be a great forum for change.

To talk openly and socially about some of the strengths that come out the process, can be quite cathartic. Done over some pastries or lunch it can be even smoother. Knowing each other's strengths can create better functioning teams, if they are open enough to relate to that.

Do you think your team could use StrengthFinder? Do you think they could be open enough to look at their own strengths and weaknesses, in order to create a stronger overall team?

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Related Post: Is it time your tenants became your sensors? 


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China Crisis - Strength of CharacterChina Crisis - Strength of Character.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting 07854-655009

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  1. I can't say that I'm a fan. I've worked in organisations previously that have adopted tools such as StrengthsFinder and have had a skills matrix drafted for each member of staff, only for the organisation to never do anything to address the shortfall of skills in certain areas. What was really telling was that managers were not put through the process of having their primary skills identified - thus arguably rendering the entire exercise pointless. Training is expensive and recruitment is even more expensive. I find it very difficult to not look at something like this as anything other than a 'gimmick' anymore.

  2. In fairness, that's more a weakness of management, than a deficiency in these tools. Strength finder can be employed, just to tick a box and if not followed up the team & wider organisation suffers.
    For example, I see staff doing tasks like demos, day in day out and it's clear they are possibly in the wrong roles or have different strengths. Other staff put up with it and it's only when something like this, or a 'Critical Friend' session is done, can it be brought into the open. Sad really IMHO.

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