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Tag Archives: identify team member strengths

One of the wonderful things about humanity is that we’re all so different, and we embody many different traits. Our distinct personalities can lead to powerful innovations, creative solutions, and out-of-the-box thinking. But it can also lead to conflicts, clashing, and misunderstandings. Have you ever tried to assign a highly collaborative leadership task to an extreme introvert? Or asked a “numbers person” to lead a creative brainstorming session.

It can be beneficial, of course, to stretch our abilities and challenge ourselves to reach outside our comfort zones. However, everyone has their limits. A social person who thrives on interpersonal interactions and teamwork can only take solo data entry work for so long. Soon, they’ll be miserable and, possibly, looking for an exit.

As a leader, it’s smart to identify your team members’ strengths and capitalize on them. Develop an understanding of their strengths by doing the following:

1. Ask them directly what they excel at, what they enjoy doing, and what their goals are. You might be surprised by how quickly people open up when talking about these topics.

2. Turn to a trustworthy assessment test for guidance. As an LP of Insights Discovery, I’m a big proponent of the Insights program. Rooted in social science, Insights Discovery identifies four key personality types (Cool Blue, Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow, Earth Green) and outlines their inherent strengths and weaknesses. This can be used as a starting point to understand each individual’s potential. For more information, see my past blog post on Insights.

3. Observe each person on the job. What tasks do they excel at? How do they respond to different situations? Do they seem energized or drained after certain tasks? Taking note of these cues can help you better understand how to delegate tasks for maximum efficiency.

4. Listen to your team members’ feedback. They may have ideas on how they can best contribute to the team’s goals. They may be frustrated with processes or tasks they feel they are over- or under-qualified for. Address these issues and strive to create an environment in which everyone can utilize their strengths.

Once you’ve determined each team member’s strengths, you can start assigning tasks and roles that challenge and inspire. Letting team members play to their strengths can lead to greater satisfaction, higher morale, and better team performance. As a leader, it’s vitally important to recognize everyone’s unique gifts, and use them to drive the team forward and foster a more motivated, happier team.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 

HER NEW EBOOK IS CALLED A QUICK GUIDE TO COURAGE.

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