In our blog this month we explore leadership through the lens of another personality profiling questionnaire – the Strengthscope report. This is such a useful tool to support employee engagement, productivity and authenticity in the workplace. If we know what energises us, we are more likely to be at our best more of the time.
Strengthscope defined – energisers
The Strengthscope report provides an understanding of the things that energise us. We are also likely to be good at these things or have the potential to be good at them. There are 24 energisers clustered in to:
- Thinking – for example, common sense, critical thinking and detail orientation
- Emotional – for example, courage, emotional control and enthuthiasm
- Relational – for example, collaboration, compassion and leading
- Executional – for example, results focus, flexibility and decisiveness
Of course, it is human nature to focus on our flaws and weaknesses. How often, when you receive any type of feedback whether that is a 360 or a development conversation, do you look initially at the developmental feedback rather than the strengths? I notice in coaching sessions that people do just that. We may ignore all the great data about ourselves in favour of working on development. Whilst it can be useful to have a critical eye of ourselves, it can also be a danger if overused, as we can overlook making use of the strengths we already have.
The Strengthscope report looks at the areas that are most natural to us, where we are most likely to perform at our best. This is called using a strengths-based approach. Consider how this might impact your mindset, positivity and performance at work if you focused on you and your teams’ strengths.
We can also use our energisers to work on our development areas too. The energisers, once identified, become our “go to” strategy for solving development areas in the first instance.
Describe a recent moment where your energy was at its highest at work. What were you doing?
Benefits of a strengths-based approach
The strengths-based approach enables teams to focus on the positive aspects of themselves whilst working on development. It provides the leader with a clear sense of what motivates each team member and therefore how you can get the most from each person. Development conversations become more about building on what is already innately there, rather than fixing or criticising.
How do you currently structure a development conversation with your team members?
How could you focus on strengths to discuss development areas?
We can also quickly spot what our energy drainers are. We may be very good at these areas, but they don’t give us satisfaction or energy. I liken it to a good cocktail – it may need a mix of sweet (energisers) and sour (drainers) tastes to make the ultimate cocktail delicious to drink. However, if there is too much sour tipped into the glass it may be dreadful to drink. Likewise, at work we will all have aspects to our work that drain energy, and we will of course need to do some of these, just not all the time. Once we categorise those energy drainers, we can work towards making them manageable and timely – as we all have moments where tackling energy drainers is easier than at other moments in the working week.
What drains your energy at work?
In what moments of the week can you tackle these so that they don’t take too much energy?
Strengths in overdrive
Our strengths can also become too much if they are dialled up too high. If we overuse them they can become ineffective.
Examples of strengths in overdrive
- Being overly enthusiastic in a meeting where others are reticent about the idea you are presenting, may cause others to disengage, as their enthusiasm is not at your level yet.
- Being so detail orientated that you struggle to make decisions and lose results focus.
- Being so collaborative and involving others that you don’t reach consensus quickly enough.
- Having such high compassion that you are not willing to provide tougher feedback.
- Being so controlled with your emotions that others don’t know what you are thinking.
What strengths do you overuse? And, in what situations does this happen?
Using strengths to overcome challenges
Once we are aware of our natural energisers, we can use these to overcome development areas. Rather than fixing the weakness we can focus on dialling up the strength we already have. Of course, there are weaknesses that we may need to pay attention to and address, however using our strengths as the primary tool to achieve a change is very useful.
- If collaboration is one of your natural strengths and critical thinking is an energy drainer, you may find discussing the challenge that you face with others will provide you with some better critical thinking vs if you did it alone.
- If leading is a strength and detail orientation is an energy drainer, there is an opportunity to work with others who are more detail orientated whilst you provide the leadership direction.
- When working from home, we may forget our desire to collaborate, particularly if our energy drainers are collaborating and relationship building. If we are energised by taking initiative and flexibility we may choose to be in the office on certain days of the week to enable us to connect with others.
Carving out regular reflection time both for you and your team is crucial to enhance progress. Making reflection time part of the regular working week, through informal development conversations is a great starting point.
Here are some useful steps to taking a more strengths-based approach to you and your team:
- Work out you and your teams strengths (energisers).
- Share and discuss these – explore what this means to you as a team.
- Understand you and your team’s potential strengths in overdrive – what strategies can you deploy to manage this?
- Reflect on the energy drainers for you and the team – what can be done to minimise these?
- Reflect on how you can bring a more strengths-based approach to all conversations.
I wonder what you have taken from this blog? If you would like to know more about how coaching and a strengths-based approach can support you and your team then please get in touch.