Most of us have heard the slogan “there is no “I” in team.” Does everyone on your team understand and accept that slogan? How do you as a leader foster teamwork?
Too often we talk about teamwork, however, we recognize and reward personal achievement over teamwork. How consistent are you with aligning your reward and recognition system with the culture you want to nurture? Behavior usually aligns with how people are rewarded and recognized.
Last week in the GPS Dairy blog, Matt Heemstra talked about awareness of strengths and weaknesses in his post “Team“. I recommend using the Clifton Strength Finders 2.0 assessment; it is quick and easy online or buy the book Strength Finders 2.0 by Tom Rath. The assessment uncovers and ranks the person’s unique strengths. It helps explain the ways a person most naturally thinks, feels and behaves. Understanding strengths and using them helps lead to more engagement at work and satisfaction in life. A few examples of the Clifton Strength Finder themes are Activator, Analytical, Individuation, Adaptability, Maximizer and Harmony.
I recommend having everyone on the team complete the assessment, then have a workshop explaining what it means and what it doesn’t mean. A team discussion of everyone’s top 3-4 strengths enables a deeper level of understanding of each individual and how they show up and can collaborate. When setting up a task force or project team, wouldn’t it be helpful to know the strengths of the members so that there is diversity of strengths on the team? It wouldn’t be so great to have 3 analytical people or 3 harmonizers: maybe 1 of each on the project.
In my experience, using this tool is a great team building activity, fosters a common language, and helps encourage open communication. By focusing on strengths vs weaknesses there is no negative or downside. Too many people spend too much time focusing on what they don’t have and are hesitant to step up and contribute. Everyone has strengths, what is different and interesting is the rank order of the person’s strengths.