Most of you are probably sick of hearing something along the lines of ‘work harder’. Maybe it’s phrased more like ‘you need to be a bit less…’ or ‘you need to be a bit more…’ it’s likely you will even think ‘if only this person was more organised, less organised, better with people, better with numbers, more focused on detail’ the list goes on.
It’s fair to say many of us want to change many of them. The people that we work with, study with, live with. But the reality is that you’re absolutely, 100%, positively, wasting your time, and theirs. Even if you’re naturally more inclined to identify the uniqueness of each person, biases tend to creep in based on your own behavioural filters. This usually takes the form of us trying to change the flow of an already well established stream. However, gone are the days of the development model where we look at what someone isn’t doing well, then try to make them do it better.
With over 30 years of research by Gallup we now know that focusing on what we do well correlates to productivity and performance outcomes.
I hear all the cynics saying ‘well, duh’, but I would challenge you to find areas of your life where this principle is applied and resulting in positive outcomes. Can you name a few? Yes? Great! Then we’re on the same page and we have some serious research to back up what was just an assumption before. No? Well maybe this is exactly what you’ve been missing. Your cynicism could actually be part of your natural behaviour that is waiting to be developed from a raw natural state, into matured and focused actions.
Focusing on what we do well dramatically increases our chances of success, increasing productivity and engagement at work while also increasing our wellbeing in our everyday lives. For example, by slightly altering our perspective on the person who is extremely good with numbers but lacks inter-relational skills, we can appreciate and understand them in a new and helpful way. Yes they might not be a great people person, but don’t they come alive when they’re in a spreadsheet? Then focus on that by managing around the lack of people skills. First, by being aware of this fact, and second by developing a strategy so it doesn’t get in the way.
The persons natural thoughts, feelings, and behaviours should be the starting point for that persons development. Because at the end of the day, those very behaviours are what sets that person up for success.
Clifton StrengthsFinder is the assessment tool that helps you identify areas of talent by asking you questions that build a profile of your most natural thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Many people are already aware of these natural patterns but are a) unlikely to be able to communicate them with others in a way that everyone understands, and b) unable to direct these behaviours towards the most productive outcomes. CSF is geared to do these exact things. By creating a shared language you and your team can use, and also by creating a coaching framework that guides peoples talent in the direction of performance.