How StrengthsFinder Helps You Know Your Role

When we teach StrengthsFinder, we use images to connect with our clients. Brian and I were recently talking about the image of a busy kitchen. It is a great example of what it means to be a strong person, on a strong team, building a strong organization.

In a kitchen, everyone has a specific job to do. When everyone is in their sweet spot, doing their job, the restaurant succeeds.

Look at the picture above. Can you tell who is in charge? Can you tell what role each person is playing? Probably not. When a team is thriving, an outsider likely cannot tell who is in charge because everyone is working with confidence, passion and dedication to their role. It becomes a team effort.

Jobs in a Kitchen

In most commercial kitchens or large restaurants, everyone has a specific task. There is of course an executive, or head chef. Their job it is to pick the ingredients, set the menu, and make major food preparation decisions.

There is also a Sous chef, who assists the head chef. Their primary role is to make sure everyone else follows the head chefs orders.

Did you know there could be as many as ten different chefs/cooks, all responsible for specific parts of the meal? There may even been many chefs doing that one job in a large kitchen.

There is a grille chef, fish chef, pastry sauce chef, roast chef, fry chef, vegetable chef, etc. Everyone has a job to do. When each member does their job, the team wins. When the team wins, the restaurant wins.

Knowing Your Role and Doing it Well

You may have a very specific role you perform in your organization. To use the kitchen analogy, let’s say you’re the one responsible for cutting the vegetables. After taking StrengthsFinder, you may realize they way you prepare vegetables is unique. You do not do it the way other chefs do.

Perhaps you use different knives, chopping styles or other tools. Maybe you communicate with the Sous in a way that is more efficient. These subtle differences stem from who you are, and your experiences.

When we work with teams, we help individuals understand who they are and makes them uniquely suited to do their job. In some cases, with a few tweaks, they love their job even more.

Know Your Time

Although everyone in the kitchen picture above appears to be working in unison, there is specific timing to what they are doing. If the sauce chef isn’t ready with their gravy the minute the food is plated, the meal is ruined. If the grille chef decides he is done with the meat early, there could be severe food safety issues. And each of the chefs know there is a time to be the star, and a time to let other chefs take the lead.

Knowing when it is your time to be in the front, and when it is time to be in the back, is tremendously important if your team is to succeed.

Understanding how your StrengthsFinder themes complement others will help you do your job, and know when it’s time to call on your skill set.

We were working with a client, and the leader couldn’t handle the early brainstorming phase of beginning a new project. He felt overwhelmed with all the ideas.

After our StrengthsFinder education, 1 to 1 conversations, Vision Trekk and Learning Community 360, we had an idea. The team came up with the top two or three ideas to present to the leader. The leader then took them and masterfully crafted a strategy to help the whole team reach their goals.

What Role Do You Play?

Do you know the role you play on whatever team you are part of? You are probably on many teams. Career, family, community or faith groups, and social circles. All are influenced by your unique mix of talents and the role you play on that team.

At a recent event, one of our Leadership Vision consulting teams asked a group of 30 people to introduce themselves and the role they play with the organization. We specifically did not ask what their job title was because we have found that a job title does not adequately describe the role someone plays on the team.

When we asked the question, “What role do you play on your team?” we began to listen for each person’s level of confidence, passion and dedication to their job. One person actually said, “I would much rather just tell you my job title, that’s easier.”

As you may well have guessed, answering this question was easy for some, but challenging to most. Toward to end of the introductions, a woman simply said what her job title was, not her role. And from that point forward, everyone recited their job title. Knowing your role, your added value, your connection to people and cause is very important to a healthy team. Knowing your role also provides you with a great freedom to help others.

Stand on the Box

Knowing your role isn’t about sticking you in a box and saying this is all you can be. Rather, it’s sticking you on top of a box, so who you are can be experienced by others. When you have focus and clarity about what it is that you are best at, you can spend the majority of your time doing that. You also allow others the opportunity to spend the majority of their time doing what they are best at.