Diversity of opinions and outlooks can be challenging when working as a team, and yet to be the most successful, teams need to have a variety of strengths which often show up as divergent opinions. We tend to feel comfortable with those who share our strengths. When you know your own strengths as well as strengths of those around you, it helps you understand different perspectives, appreciate alternative viewpoints and work together better to achieve the desired outcomes. Team building through strengths conversations is a way to openly acknowledge differences.
While it is fun to have a member of a team with lots of zest for a project, it is also important to have someone who is prudent. Zest makes a project fun while prudence may feel like it is slowing down a project, it provides a necessary reality check. The apparent conflict offers the team the practical view of what it takes to pull off the project (prudence) while zest brings the team enthusiasm for what is to be accomplished. Together these differences lead to greater success.
What helps your team be successful?
An easy way to find out what your strengths are is to take the VIA survey. This validated free survey uses an online self-assessment to identify your character strengths. Having your whole team take the survey and share results provides an opportunity to get to know and understand each other better. Having a strengths conversation is a way to build team effectiveness and cohesion.
Strengths Conversation Questions for discussion:
- Have each team member share a signature strength and an example of how s/he uses this strength at work?
- What overlaps do you hear?
- What differences stand out as you listen to others?
- How do the different strengths support your team reaching its goal?
- What strength would you like to develop?
It’s fun to celebrate similarities and crucial to embrace differences. Conversations that go beyond the labels increase understanding. Going deeper you can ask about what each team member can do to support and leverage the others’ use of a strength. The more strengths get integrated into the conversations the greater the impact.
What is one strength that you bring to the teams that you work on?
Some Benefits of Strengths Conversations are:
- Informative – come to appreciate and understand differences
- Energizing and increase connection with each other and enhance team bonding
- Increased awareness of a range of strengths that may not have been recognized before
- Acknowledge how differences bring challenges as well as benefits
- Learning how varied strengths allow you to collaborate together more effectively;
- Discovery of ways to support one another
To learn more about how you can use your strengths for more success and satisfaction, contact me.
Improving well-being for healthcare professionals through coaching.
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