Invest in your aptitude, for there you will find life’s greatest return on investment.
Own Your Strengths
It sounds like a saying on a motivational poster, but research shows that building on your natural talents is a far more effective way to get where you want to be in life. It’s also a more efficient way to build your team, your department, and your organization. Investing in talents happens when we add the knowledge, skills, and experience that allow individuals to practice and perfect the things they’re already good at or show early signs of aptitude for.
When we take ownership of our own unique set of talents we set a powerful example for the world. We show others how much fun it can be to continually hone in on the many facets of our abilities. We take responsibilities for our weaknesses, address them, and move on. We don’t agonize over them until we’ve gained a tiny bit of improvement. Instead we follow our intuition, invest in rewarding activities and projects, and allow our super-powers to shine.
How Strengths-Based Development is Different
It’s a simple ROI equation. Weakness-fixing prevents failure. Strengths-building leads to success. The Strengths-based development approach argues that it’s a massive waste of human capital to focus our productive energies on mitigating weaknesses. Should we address the ones that are getting in our way? Absolutely. Should we seek out constructive feedback on our blind spots as leaders and deal with them head-on. No question. If something we’re doing, or not doing is getting in our way or the way of others, we MUST acknowledge and tackle these weaknesses. HOWEVER, our primary aim from the standpoint of maximizing the positive impact we can have in our homes, communities, and organizations will not come from tackling weaknesses – but instead by building and flexing our super-powers… our Strengths.
And then there’s that little matter of our own wellbeing. When you’re feeling deflated, depressed, overworked, and under-appreciated, there’s little chance you’re either working in your area of talent or making a positive impact on anything. Conversely, when we’re encouraged to use our talents every day, those talents not only become more sophisticated and reliable, they also deliver RESULTS in every form imaginable. The ROI of utilizing our talents can be measured in so many ways from sales numbers to customer referrals, employee productivity to retention, individual absenteeism to overall wellbeing.
Organizations around the world are asking how to increase employee engagement, reduce turnover, and increase profits. The answer is here. Managers and employers should be nurturing these natural tendencies/talents to transform employees into top performers. The talent is there, it just needs to be brought to the surface, positioned, and utilized.
Building Strengths in your team is not just a matter of philosophy, it is a good business decision. Decades of research supports using strengths to identify roles and develop employees. It’s been shown that engagement by employees at companies who use Strengths Finder is six times higher than employees at companies who don’t develop strengths. Additionally, there is considerably less turnover and profit increases range from 14-29%. In other terms, when individuals and teams focus on building strengths and talents, employees work more effectively and less time is wasted. Less time will be spent on rehiring and retraining employees.
Implementing Strengths-Based Development
If you accept the argument for strengths-based development but aren’t sure how to get started, here are a few tips:
NAME IT is all about identification, definition, and clarity. Assessments like the CliftonStrengths/StrengthsFinder assessment are excellent tools that offer positive and productive descriptions of our talents.
CLAIM IT challenges us, with talent clues in hand, to accept that it’s our job to fit these talent descriptions into our self-image, job responsibilities, and “about me” items like resumes, cover letters, linked-in profiles, etc.
AIM IT is focusing our talents with intention on things we want to accomplish such as meeting deadlines, earning a promotion, launching a game-changing new product, or challenging students to grasp new material.
When we do these with a high degree of authenticity, our talents will deliver significant results for ourselves and others. Though it may not be EASY it is a simple process. We name the talents, take the time to make them our own, then deploy them for maximum impact. Activate Human Capital Group can help you identify these talents and take the right steps to putting them to use.
To learn more about CliftonStrengths/StrengthsFinder, contact Activate Human Capital Group at 530-713-6359 or through our website. Our staff can begin drawing out the best in your team today.