Our Four Most Commonly Asked Questions about StrengthsFinder
We get many questions about StrengthsFinder. While our approach is customized for each client, and no two engagements are quite the same, the questions we get usually follow a similar pattern.
Below I have compiled four of the most commonly asked questions about StrengthsFinder over the past few years. As always, if you have questions not listed, contact us!
1. We have already ‘done’ StrengthsFinder, how are you different? How do you take what we have done to the next level? How long does this process take?
I know, it is really three questions, but they all go together. What is usually helpful, is to walk through what our core process looks like.
Many organizations we work with have already done something with Strengths. “Doing something” can range from a manager buying a team access and simply taking StrengthsFinder, to hiring an outside facilitator to work with an entire organization. Mostly, it is the former. People come to us and believe in the power of what Strengths can do, but they do not know how to tap into the power of Strengths.
We take things to the next level because our process is designed to not be a one hit wonder. We start with a 201 Education Day that level sets everyone on what StrengthsFinder is, and helps participants get a good handle on their own Top 5 Strengths. In that day they cannot master their teammates Strengths. This is why we continue our process on through 1 hour conversations with all participants which sets up our Learning Community 360 process.
During that Learning Community 360, through visuals and narrative, we teach each person back to the group and guide in-depth conversations between participants. Our core process is done over three days, but spread out over 6-8 weeks. This gives Strengths a chance to marinate in the team before we head to the capstone Learning Community 360.
This approach is unique and is why we take things to another level for organizations. This answer is why our company continues to grow – the work we do with StrengthsFinder makes a big difference and our clients testify to that fact.
2. How much should we do First?
We recommend our three-step process as a great place to start for any team within an organization. Sometimes teams like to start only with our 201 Education Day, then add 1 to 1 conversations and Learning Community 360 down the road. This is fine and can make it more feasible when organizations have certain amounts of resources for training or professional development set aside for this year’s budget.
A recent client chose to do our process over an entire year. In the Summer of 2014, they went through the 201 Education day, then in Spring of 2015 had the 1 to 1 conversations and then in Summer of 2015 did the Learning Community 360. However you choose to start, just start!
3. How can I create Buy In?
A client of ours, Sally, was asking me this same question last year. Sally’s organization chose to do something with Strengths on their own, but found it did not make much of a difference in their culture. When Sally was preparing to talk with her Executive Director about working with us, I told her to “Go ask a bunch of employees what their Top 5 Strengths are.” My hunch was that many of them would have no idea, let alone how to use them day to day to be more productive at work.
She did this little experiment and reported in to her leadership team that no one really knew their Strengths just six months after the organization had ‘done something’ with StrengthsFinder. We are now in the midst of a year long engagement with that organization, taking all 100+ employees through our core process.
Now when Sally asks people, “What are your Top 5 Strengths and how do you use …” these employees will be able to answer!
Sally also could have tried to loop in more Strengths work to upcoming professional development initiatives in her company. Usually companies want to do something around team building, why not suggest Strengths as an option for that investment?
4. How can I Become Trained to help my Organization Become Strengths based?
Most often, after we’ve worked with an organization for any length of time, someone who wants to champion the effort asks us how they can “get training” to further embed this. Our goal with every organization we work with is that Strengths work would be sustained and empowered enterprise wide.
How can that be done? By investing in the people.
Our clients choose to invest in having people trained to use StrengthsFinder in conversations and meetings on a regular basis. These people, what we call “Strengths Communicators,” are embedded and empowered to carry our work deeper into their organizations. This is critical to sustain the work going forward. Trained Strengths Communicators are one of our answers to expanding Strengths based work exponentially within organizations. More and more, organizations want to know right away how this work can be sustained.
So, what Should you do Next?
Wherever you start, whatever you do, do something and know the investment in Strengths and your people will pay off, if you invest at a level that can be sustained.
What have you seen work to sustain a Strengths based culture in your organization? What has not worked?