I love my job. One of the main things that I do is work with individuals and teams to help them to understand and utilise their strengths and work more effectively together. It is so rewarding helping people really understand how their core strengths can enable them to be more effective and fulfilled in their work. I also love seeing those “lightbulb” moments when team members come to understand each other in a deeper way.
I can help you to “play to your strengths”
I use the strengthsfinder© online survey which is a very accurate way of understanding your top strengths. Once you have your results we can chat in person or through skype about how your strengths can help you to be more effective, what things you might need to watch out for and how your strengths impact your leadership style.
I can help your team to “play to their strengths”
In my consulting work I take teams from the corporate and not for profit sectors through a team building exercise which focuses on strengths. What I have found works really well is this 4 step process in which:
1 Each team member does the online survey to highlight their top strengths.
2 I take each person through a feedback/coaching session on site or through skype.
3 I prepare a team report which also looks at the combined strengths of the team and creates a team profile and meet with the team leader to overview the results.
4 Then, in a team workshop, we discuss each person’s strengths, encourage them and look at ways that the team can function more effectively together.
A growing number of organisations around the world are seeing the benefits of a strengths based approach to team building. If you are interested in finding out more about how I can help your team to grow, please do not hesitate to contact me.
As we approach the end of the year, it can be a useful exercise to take some time to reflect on the year and to to look forward to 2015. Here are some questions that may guide your thoughts. You can do this twice; once for your personal journey and once to reflect on the year in your work leadership role.
What have been the highlights of 2014 for you?
How have you grown in 2014?
How did you go in reaching your goals for the year?
What have been the greatest challenges that you have faced in 2014?
What big lessons have you learnt?
Are there any messes that you could clean up before the New Year?
What are your main goals for 2015?
What will you need to do to reach these goals and how will you need to change and develop to reach these goals?
What are your concerns for 2015?
I hope that we can end the year celebrating the good things that have happened and learning from and growing through the challenges that we have faced. 2015 will soon be upon us. Let’s make it count. Make a positive impact on the world (it needs it).
When applying for a leadership position it is prudent to consider the history of the role and those who have occupied the role in the past. Knowing something about the staffing history of the role may give you some important insights into its viability.
This information is a little tricky to get. Ultimately it would be great to know how long previous leaders were in the position and the reasons why they left. This question may be a little too “full on” for the interview and there may be a reluctance to go over the past, especially as it could contain some memories of past conflicts and disappointments.
Be careful about accepting a leadership position in an organisation that has seen a string of leaders in that role being “chewed up and spat out”. Some organisations are like machines for digesting leaders and leaving them disappointed and disillusioned. When one leaves, the next is sought without introspection or change. This cycle can continue indefinitely.
You may think that you will be the one who can break old patterns and create a new realm of healthy possibilities for the position and the company. However, your ability to do this will require authenticity and a real desire for change from the company. Some things to question are;
What has been the history of this position?
Are there any recurring issues in the past which has led to people leaving this position? A gentle way of asking about this would be something like, “What did the last person in the role find the most challenging?”
If there are some concerns, it is important to consider if anything has been done to ensure that the next leader won’t leave for the same reasons.
It will save you a lot of stress and heartache to ask the right questions and be totally aware of what you are signing up for. Don’t just be the next in line.
“If nothing changes, nothing changes”
When did you last encourage someone?
One of the most important components of great leadership and effective teams is the development of a culture of encouragement. As a leader, how often do you share encouraging words to those who are doing a great job with the work you have delegated to them?
Sadly, there are many workplaces where encouraging words are rarely heard. Here are some tips about encouraging others;
Encouraging others doesn’t come naturally for many leaders. They know that people are doing a good job but they don’t take the time to thank them and encourage them. Don’t hide behind the “it’s not my thing” argument. I believe that if you are not an encourager then you are not a fully effective leader.
Do it regularly
Okay, having read the previous comment you are going to go out and encourage someone. That’s great; but unless it becomes a part of your style and the culture of the team it won’t really benefit members of your team. With a lack of encouragement, your team members will feel unappreciated, feel uncertain about whether you think that they are doing well and, ultimately, their commitment to you as leader may be weakened.
Do it wisely
Some people are “over the top encouragers” and say wonderful things about everything. Too much encouragement will diminish its effect.
Do it with examples
When we encourage others, it is important to include real life examples of what they are doing well. Some team members who may have issues with self-esteem may not absorb your encouragements unless there is some substance to them and they can see how they really are doing well.
Do it with spoken and written words
There is a lot of power in a hand-written note, expressing thanks and appreciation. There is no value in just thinking about encouraging others. Unless thoughts change into words, they remain silent in your mind.
Do it to your leaders
Sometimes people are reluctant to encourage the leaders above them in the organisation. They don’t want to be perceived as “crawlers” ( an Aussie expression from the 1970’s), grovelling up to their boss for special favours. How sad that many leaders miss out on being encouraged because of attitudes like this. Just do it! They will appreciate it. They need it.
If you are an encourager then;
.. your team will feel appreciated.
.. you will feel good for the positive effect of your words.
.. the world will be a better place.
Who can you encourage today?
” I can live two months on a good compliment” Mark Twain