Walk into the Knit House on Main and you are drawn in to a world of colors and textures. Skeins of yarn spill from every corner; turning a wall of shelves into a work of art. Even people who don’t knit are drawn in by the sure beauty of the space. I walked into the store and it struck me that this is what a Strengths-Based Team should look like…a room full of colorful strengths, beautifully combined, and complimenting each other.
A strengths-based leadership team is defined as “a group of imperfect but talented contributors who are valued for their strengths and who need one another to realize individual and team excellence.” The Knit House might define a strengths-based leadership team as a group of colorfully talented contributors who are valued for their colors, sheen, resistance to abrasion, low snarling tendencies and evenness.
How do you build a strengths-based leadership team?
I recently worked with a group that was dominated by strategic thinkers. And, one member of the team, we will call Dan, felt he was so different from the rest of the team that perhaps he was in the wrong job. Yet, this is where the mix of colors is so important on a team. Dan did not need to leave, we needed his colors to come out more!
First, we looked at Dan’s strengths and those of his supervisor, we’ll call Maria. Dan had unique strengths that Maria did not have. Maria’s role required public speaking and networking. Yet, she had no influencing strengths. She dreaded presentations and networking events. Maria also felt she never had enough time to do strategic thinking and planning for the organization, the part of her job she loved. Add Dan to the equation.
Dan has talents of communication, WOO (winning others over), self assurance and significance. He loves networking events and public speaking. He is energized by public facing opportunities yet his job was totally behind the scenes. An imperfect team? Quite the contrary.
Dan and Maria left the workshop with a plan for Dan to attend more of the networking and public facing events. He was thrilled. In so doing, Maria had created more time for strategic thinking, which energized her. A strengths-based approach was born. Their complimentary strengths and colors were blended to realize individual and team excellence.
What are the unique qualities of the teams you work with? Take a moment to ask yourself:
- Who is on the team?
- What are the unique talents of each individual on the team?
- Who’s talents are being underutilized?
- What makes your team imperfect? Are their imperfections that are hidden strengths?
- Who has talents you do not have? How could you work together?
- What is one step you can take to bring out the complimentary strengths of your team?
Want to learn more about building a strengths-based team? Let’s talk!