Who gives you permission to be happy at work?
Who encourages you to be the very best version of you?
And how do you bring it all together to work as one super team?
I recently came across this inspiring article that began with a heartening message –
“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” *
This got me thinking about the journey of development we’ve been on at Alive.
As well as exploring our own strengths we’ve been taking things a step further by combining those strengths to be one beautifully connected team.
We would all love to be the best version of ourselves, be all that we are capable of and exist as happier individuals.
When we extend these sentiments to our team members and work on them together the impact can be incredibly powerful.
Discovering and optimising our strengths
A curiosity to explore methods of self-improvement led us to confidence coach, Stephanie Walters and Strengthscope, a profiling system designed to energise peak performance at work. It’s a positive and pragmatic tool designed to motivate people to develop themselves beyond the narrow boxes we tend to confine ourselves to. It measures 24 work-related strengths and determines a person’s 7 significant qualities which most energise them.
As each team member completed the assessment we began to see the potential benefits of understanding each other’s strengths, refining behaviours and building connections between our unique sets of qualities.
Here’s what we learned about exploring strengths as individuals and as a whole:
Adopt a positive psychology mindset
Positive psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. This isn’t about identifying weaknesses and trying to correct them. It’s about defining and focusing on the things that we’re naturally good at and enhancing those experiences.
Understand your own strengths before working on your team
If you don’t understand your own qualities how can you possibly help to develop the skills of others? Take the time to explore what your strengths mean to you, consider examples of when you’ve demonstrated them, believe them and get comfortable with what you’re good at.
Share what you know
Understanding our own strengths is a great first step, but exchanging this knowledge with the rest of your team members moves this on to the next level. Applying our strengths in complimentary ways is the key to creating happier, more productive and more agile teams. Spend time exploring how one person’s strength supports another and how individuals can work together more effectively.
Help people know they’re going to take a different approach
This could be a whole new world for many. We’re not always great at looking inwards, exploring our own selves and being praised for what we’re good at. It’s a good idea to explain why you’re taking any new approach, listen to any concerns, remain open and share the benefits that it will bring.
Implement a coaching culture
When you know what people are good at you’re in a perfect position to help develop those individual qualities. So be a supportive network, build others up, help each other to explore, stretch and grow their strengths and maximise their capabilities. This isn’t just the responsibility of leaders or managers. We can all take part in developing others.
Let people do what they’re good at
We can get hung up on job roles and doing the things we’ve always done. But if we’re not naturally drawn to certain tasks then they become a hard slog. Review who does what within your team and assign the right duties to the right people.
Making work work
Work should be a positive and enjoyable experience and this won’t happen if we’re not doing the things we thrive on, the things that energise us and the things that others will appreciate.
At Alive our focus has always been about taking care of people. That includes the clients we’re working with, the employees and consumers experiencing our ideas and creations and crucially us, the members of team Alive. Because if we’re not looking after ourselves, we won’t be doing a great job of looking after others.
This was just the start of a journey to refine our relationships, bring context to the things we’re best at and maximise on the opportunities to be the best individuals and the best team we can be. For now, we’re celebrating what we’ve achieved and we’re a happier, stronger team as a result. We’re making work work.
* Thomas Edison
By Caroline Roodhouse