In every one of my roles, I work with teams of people and use StrengthsFinder. The effectiveness, or ineffectiveness of those teams has a direct correlation to how well each team member is positioned, based on their strengths to impact the mission of the group. This plays out in a variety of contexts but, as Led Zeppelin sang so many years ago, “The Song Remains the Same.”
Do you get a chance to do what you do best every day? Does a majority of your day drag on and on, or does your day seem to fly by? If you answered no to the first question and find your days dragging on and on, these are easy clues that you are probably in a bad fit based on your own strengths.
Good Strengths Fit?
We recently hired a new recruiter in our office named Skip. Skip is high in the Gallup StrengthsFinder strength of “Woo.” Skip spends a good part of his day talking to people about graduate education and connecting them to degree programs. I know that this time flies by for Skip, not because he told me that, but I see his energy and passion for making lots of phone calls and finding energy in doing that activity.
Bad Strengths Fit?
I also know that in the past I have had employees who were not in good fits. I can think of one person in particular who seemed to be counting the days until retirement even though they were not close to retiring. The days dragged on for this employee. They were hired for one job, that was a decent strengths fit, and then the job changed and they were suddenly in a bad fit. They were rarely successful in what they were trying to do and became frustrated when challenged to do better. The job changed and what was newly required did not give this person energy. I remember that they used to leave the second their scheduled hours were over – it was like they could not wait to get out of here.
How do you find a good fit?
- Take an assessment test, MBTI, StrengthsFinder, etc. Find out how you are wired and careers that might fit your temperament and strength mix.
- Go through your results with people who understand the instruments and how they might tie into career options.
- Do some informal interviewing and ask managers in careers that you are interested in how your strengths might work, or not work, in that opportunity.
I can guarantee if you do some of this self-discovery you may improve your own setting, or at least be prepared when a new opportunity arises to make a clear decision of whether that path is a good one for you to take. Life is too short to be in a role that you can’t wait to be done with each day.
StrengthsFinder Based Teams
The process I refer to above should also be done in a team setting to evaluate whether or not your entire team is pulling in the right direction based on strengths and temperament. The leadership impact is exponential if you have a bunch of people in good fits helping each other achieve a common mission.