One question that’s on every team manager’s mind is: “How can we continue building better teams?”
One of the most common question that we get from our clients is: “How can we use CliftonStrengths (StrengthsFinder) to work together better?”
When you take the CliftonStrengths (StrengthsFinder) assessment, it reveals your Top 5 Signature Talent Themes. These talent themes describe how you think, feel and behave. Every one of us is unique in how we think, feel and behave.
When you know what your talent themes are, your self-awareness increases, such that you understand better who you really are, and what you can do at your very best. At the same time, awareness of your team members, in terms of who they are and what they can do at their very best, also increases.
The CliftonStrengths (StrengthsFinder) Tool is a powerful tool that gives you and your team members a common language of understanding.
This helps you better engage each other in the work that you do, and naturally, lead to you building better teams.
Here are 3 simple ways how:
1. What can I give?
Legendary basketball player Michael Jordon famously said this, “There’s no “I” in team but there is an “I” in win.”
This means that in order for your team to win, you must firstly know what your own strengths are, before you can know how you can best contribute to your team.
This quote is very much in line with the Strengths philosophy of embracing who you are at your very best.
When you understand what your talent themes are, you will be able to articulate your best contributions to your team. You will also be willing to help out your team members in the areas that they might be weak in, but you are strong in.
Understanding your talent themes give you confidence to be who you are at your very best and to do it the way you know best.
A great high performing team needs team members who are aware of their own strengths, and are aware of where and when they can best contribute to their team.
2. What do I need?
It is common practice in many organizations for employees to hide their needs. Many people have the misconception that showing or declaring what your needs are is a form of weakness.
Or they might be afraid that their team members will find them too needy.
But yet, these usually lead to obstacles that stop any team manager from building better teams.
Truth is, helping to meet each other’s needs is vital when working together as a team.
Every talent theme has its own specific needs. These needs must be met and the talent themes must be flourished in order for it to be at it’s very best.
If the needs are not being met, it could lead to unhappy and disengaged team members.
For you to give your best to your team, you must ensure that your own needs are being met. At the same time, you must also help to meet the needs of your team members to bring out the best in them.
Needs are beyond monetary means. It could be a need for time, a need to be alone, a need for a checklist or even for an alarm clock.
Ask yourself: what do you need to be at your very best?
Ask your team members: what are their needs and how can you help them meet those needs?
3. Every difference is good.
Fun fact: To find someone with the same Top 5 talent themes as you in the exact same ranking order is a probability of 1 in 33 million.
You are unique. You are one in 33 million.
It’s almost impossible to find someone who thinks, feels and behaves in exactly the way that you do. We are all wired differently as human beings so we must learn to accept and embrace each other’s differences.
Everyone has their own unique lenses and perspectives.
Part of having a common language is to learn to leverage on these differences that your team members have to offer.
Building Better Teams Begin With Acceptance
We must learn not to shut down perspectives that are different from ours. Sometimes, having someone see things from a different angle might provide you with brand new and refreshing insights on the same issue.
In order to work better together as a team, we must always be open to accept and understand the uniqueness that every team member has to offer.
Ultimately, understanding our Strengths does two things to every individual team member:
- It makes them confidently strong in who they are and what they can do and achieve.
- At the same time, it makes them courageously vulnerable in who they are not and seek help in those areas that they are weak in.
Building better teams is a matter of building up each and every team member to fit their strengths, and thereby their potential well.
StrengthsAsia has worked with many clients across the countries in countries such as Singapore, Bangkok, China, Korea and many others.
We’ve worked with many great companies. Great companies exist because of great people coming together to make great teams.
If you liked the article, and you would like to know more about engaging teams, and how you can start building better teams, download the complimentary guide that we have below!
Dina is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach at StrengthsAsia. She is one of the principal architect and designer of StrengthsAsia’s wildly successful Strengths Engagement Programs. She is passionate about bringing strengths to the education sector, in helping educators and student leaders discover their natural talents, passions, interests, and building ‘strong’ foundations to do what they do best every day.