Doing strengths vs. being strengths-based

I love what I do, working with teams and organisations to help them become strengths based.  So often I will hear a leader say “Oh I have done a Strengths workshop, I don’t need to come to this one/another one”. Discovering your Strengths is just the start of the journey and scratching the surface.  When I am doing a half day or even full day workshop, we are on the start of the journey.

So, what is the difference between doing strengths and becoming strengths based?

CliftonStrengths is a development tool,  the more you work with your strengths, the stronger they get and a means of tailoring talent to task and improving performance.

According to Gallup research, on average work groups that received and continue to receive strengths-based development showed:

  • 10% to 19% increased sales
  • 14% to 29% increased profit
  • 3% to 7% higher customer engagement
  • 6% to 16% lower turnover (in low-turnover organizations)
  • 26% to 72% lower turnover (in high-turnover organizations)
  • 9% to 15% increase in engaged employees
  • 22% to 59% fewer safety incidents

Reason enough to use strengths as a developmental tool, like anything, if we don’t use it we forgot or it might wither.

It’s not a once and done

We are so much more complex that just 5 or even 34 words or themes and so are the people in our teams.  To become a strengths-based leader and organisation takes time and conscious investment.  Investment to understand how your team think, feel and behave and it has to start with understanding yourself.  How your talents and strengths themes play out for you and how that might be different to people around you.  I work everyday in the field of strengths and I still learn something new every day.

To become Strengths based Gallup recommend these 7 Strategies for Creating a Strengths-Based Culture

In working with hundreds of organizations, Gallup uncovered the characteristics common to companies that accomplished the most with their strengths interventions. These companies achieved results toward the upper end of the ranges mentioned previously in the six outcomes studied. These companies often work toward creating a strengths-based culture using seven strategies:

  • Leadership alignment: Putting the elements in place for a strengths-based culture, beginning at the top
  • Manager alignment: Developing teams and employees from the perspective of strengths
  • Internal communication: Generating awareness of and enthusiasm for strengths
  • Strengths community: Making strengths an integral and natural part of the organization’s day-to-day operations
  • Performance management: Focusing development and recognition on employees’ strengths
  • Coaching: Building a network of strengths experts and advocates
  • Brand building: Tying the organization’s strengths-based culture to its larger brand

Organizations that achieve the most with their strength’s interventions have an unrelenting commitment to strengths. They weave it into the company’s fabric, actively pursuing that culture through the seven powerful strategies. Any organization can use this simple approach to improve its culture and boost business performance. (Source Gallup)

As an independent consultant and Gallup Accredited coach my role is to help organisations realise the business benefits quoted by implementing these strategies.  Having a Gallup Accredited Coach to help guide and advise you is one of the best ways to become strengths based faster and see that ROI, however there are a lot of things you can do yourself to keep Strengths alive and start the investment within your organisation and team after you have discovered your Strengths.