This Episode’s Focus on Strengths
Jessica Rhodes joins us to show you how to apply your top strengths. She also shares some magical ideas for uncovering the natural talents of people on your team.
You’ll find this episode especially useful if you’ve had your team take the StrengthsFinder survey, yet wondered how to actually apply strengths to real-world situations to improve and grow your business. Jessica is an inspiring guest, who encourages you to experiment. She helps you change things up, use your strengths to maximize potential, and to increase profitability.
As we’re expanding our StrengthsFinder team in Austin, Texas and around the world, this interview was helpful for us too. It was a great mix of strengths-based development, hiring tips, and awesome chats about growing as a leader.
What You’ll Learn
Jessica shares these tips:
- Start with you. Understand both your strengths and weaknesses. Use your strengths to move you to where you want to go. And hire people who are strong in the areas where you’re weak. This leads to a well-rounded team (and keeps you from having to perform tasks you hate)!
- Use your strengths to achieve your goal. Jessica shares the first major goal she achieved after completing the StrengthsFinder Assessment. Knowing that she was going to be on maternity leave in nine months, she set the goal to have her company not only be surviving, but experiencing a strong level of growth, even while she was taking care of her family.
- Try Task Swapping. Find the right team members, and match their job responsibilities with their strengths.
- Hire And Quickly Experiment With Your Team’s Talents. Be willing to test out new responsibilities. Jessica switched things up with her employees after reading the StrengthsFinder 2.0 It has improved business performance and has helped the team enjoy their roles. For example:
- Sue did fine when she started, yet she really started exceling when she became the Director of Client Happiness. It was a perfect use of Sue’s Positivity, Woo, and Communication talent themes. Jessica also asked Sue to use those talents to create customer onboarding packets and to run their client gratitude program.
- Cathy did fine when she started, yet she really took off when Jessica started tapping into her natural talents. Jessica used Cathy’s Input and Learner talent themes when she made Cathy the official hub for software training on the team. It allowed Cathy to get energy from being a curator. Jessica helped her invest in her Developer and Strategic talents to create new systems and trainings that would serve the business in the long term.
- Make It Rain With Change. Realize that while some people enjoy doing the same task every day, others get easily bored. If an employee gets bored, change their responsibilities so that person has a high level of variety. Then watch to see how much that person’s productivity increases (and it will).
- Remember This Is The Beginning, Not The End. It’s more than just knowing your strengths. Jessica says that the results of the assessment are like a little bitty drip in a giant ocean. Once you have the results, then it’s important to use
- Show You Care. Value your employees and listen to them. Employees respond well when you’re investing in them. It makes them feel cared for and more loyal.
- Tap Into Their Quirks. Match employee strengths with tasks. They’ll be stronger at their jobs. And they’ll be happier, which will make you happy too. Jessica stressed learning, thinking, and “keeping your ears and eyes open” to see how things play out.
- Consider How Talents Impact Relationship Building. Match your team members with clients carefully. When teammates and clients are a good mix, you can create a positive bounce in your business.
- Create a Culture of Trust. Encourage employees to speak up when they’re unhappy about tasks. They’ll feel trusted to apply their own strengths and to work around their weaknesses. This helps you to implement change to keep them happy. It will keep your clients happy as well.
- Feel The Strengths Love. Use employee strengths to solve differences. Jessica shows how to use understanding of a fellow employee’s strengths and weakness to solve conflict in the office.
- Why Strengths? According to Jessica, the benefit of understanding and utilizing strengths-based development is that you’ll be happier! If you are around people who enjoy what they’re doing, you’ll be happy and have more positive results.
Resource of the Episode
Remember, using your strengths and those of your employees will benefit everyone. Your company will grow. Your employees will be happy. You will be happy. And according to Gallup research, teams who focus on strengths improve their productivity as much as 21%.
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StrengthsFinder Tools For Managers
If you’re a people-manager and you want to build a strengths habit on your team, check out your huge page of strengths focused leadership resources. We don’t charge for this because we want to help you keep the StrengthsFinder momentum going. Teams who receive strengths feedback have 8.9% greater profitability. Yowza! Sounds like a great reason to join. Source: Asplund, J., & Blacksmith, N. “Strengthening Your Company’s Performance.” Gallup Business Journal.