One tool that has made a huge difference in our company was shared with me by one of my business mentors in EO (Entrepreneur’s Organization). This tool is called StrengthsFinder (SF). What we have found is that StrengthsFinder unlocks productive energy at work.
Upon completion of the SF assessment, it provides examples and scenarios of how to best exert these strengths in life and in the work place. In terms of employee management and productivity, their studies showed that people who had the opportunity to focus on their strengths were 6 times more likely to be engaged in their jobs and 3 times more likely to report having an excellent quality of life. The reverse is true with management. Employee disengagement was highest when management was focused on an employee’s weaknesses.
In other words, if we want increased productivity from our staff, it is smart to get them doing the things they enjoy and are good at. The sad thing is that many of us (myself included) do not know what our strengths are, and this creates the management conundrum, how do we get the most out of our staff?
To be completely honest with you, I was quite surprised to learn what my strengths are (Input, Strategic, Communication, Ideation and Woo). In retrospect, I now see how these are my top 5 strengths. What was surprising was that these top 5 were not what I expected at all. Since then, I have begun to build my company structure with an appreciation of my strengths, and how to build an effective well-balanced team.
I should mention that I have completed a few different personality assessments in the past, and each is useful in their right. I enjoyed SF because of it’s simplicity and ease of application in the workplace. The assessment consists of about 140 questions and takes about 40 minutes to complete. Upon completion you get suggestions on how to apply your strengths and how your strengths complement certain strengths in others.
The assessment costs $10, or you can buy the book and get a free assessment from the book (available at Chapters or Amazon). Please note that I do not have any affiliation with SF, only that it’s made a huge difference in my organization (and others’ organizations).
The Research Behind StrengthsFinder 2.0
List of Strengths*
Achiever – one with a constant drive for accomplishing tasks
Activator – one who acts to start things in motion
Adaptability – one who is especially adept at accommodating to changes in direction/plan
Analytical – one who requires data and/or proof to make sense of their circumstances
Arranger – one who enjoys orchestrating many tasks and variables to a successful outcome
Belief – one who strives to find some ultimate meaning behind everything they do
Command – one who steps up to positions of leadership without fear of confrontation
Communication – one who uses words to inspire action and education
Competition – one who thrives on comparison and competition to be successful
Connectedness – one who seeks to unite others through commonality
Consistency – one who believes in treating everyone the same to avoid unfair advantage
Context – one who is able to use the past to make better decisions in the present
Deliberative – one who proceeds with caution, seeking to always have a plan and know all of the details
Developer – one who sees the untapped potential in others
Discipline – one who seeks to make sense of the world by imposition of order
Empathy – one who is especially in tune with the emotions of others
Focus – one who requires a clear sense of direction to be successful
Futuristic – one who has a keen sense of using an eye towards the future to drive today’s success
Harmony – one who seeks to avoid conflict and achieve success through consensus
Ideation – one who is adept at seeing underlying concepts that unite disparate ideas
Includer – one who instinctively works to include everyone
Individualization – one who draws upon the uniqueness of individuals to create successful teams
Input – one who is constantly collecting information or objects for future use
Intellection – one who enjoys thinking and thought-provoking conversation often for its own sake, and also can data compress complex concepts into simplified models
Learner – one who must constantly be challenged and learning new things to feel successful
Maximizer – one who seeks to take people and projects from great to excellent
Positivity – one who has a knack for bring the light-side to any situation
Relator – one who is most comfortable with fewer, deeper relationships
Responsibility – one who, inexplicably, must follow through on commitments
Restorative – one who thrives on solving difficult problems
Self-Assurance – one who stays true to their beliefs, judgements and is confident of his/her ability
Significance – one who seeks to be seen as significant by others
Strategic – one who is able to see a clear direction through the complexity of a situation
Woo – one who is able to easily persuade
*As listed in Wikipedia:
A PDF with full descriptions is available free from Gallup: