I had the immense pleasure this past week of traveling to Chicago to become formally trained in Gallup strengths coaching. In the next month or so, I will complete the requirements to be formally certified and will be an official strength-based coach. While I don't usually thrive in large group training environments, diving into strengths for four and a half days with some amazing people turned out to be such a transformative experience for me. Not only did I learn so much more about myself, being able to dig in and understand my strengths and how each combination contributes to my success, but it also allowed me to see ways that others misperceive me and vice-versa. It has fundamentally changed the way I think about efficient teams, and it has even further provided insight into employee engagement. From a hiring and training lens, I have a whole new appreciation of teamwork, a strengths-based approach to learning and development, and maximizing performance. While I have been able to coach and consult with some teams informally in the past, I now have greater clarity and experience to draw on from this training. Perhaps most encouraging to me is how much better it is going to help support my career coaching conversations moving forward.
There is certainly so much data and information to share; I actually feel like I could go on, and on, and on, and on, but a lot of the insight from Gallup research is available on their website so I would encourage you to check it out. Instead of diving in too deep, or just providing a surface level overview, I thought I would include some of the distinctions, golden nuggets, and ah-ha moments from my experience.
I wish I could be in your brain while you're reading this, because I would love to know if your thoughts were similar to mine; and like I said, this is just a snippet of our week-long conversation. You may have also had similar experiences to me, where I was able to think of specific colleagues or individuals who fit some of information or data. I think that these are some of the many examples that promote the importance of moving to a strengths-based approach in an organization, especially if you manage people. As we start to see the workforce made up a millennials (and soon, GenZ), having a strengths-based approach to managing, development and culture could have some very positive effects, after all, their needs and desires are very different than those before them. Consider how your current organization accommodates Millennial's career desires, in general, from this list (-- and spoiler, can be much easier to facilitate with a strengths-based approach!):
Knowing that, I would encourage you to ask yourself if you currently work in a culture where this growing generation would want to work, grow, achieve and stay.
Is there high turn over?
Are there employees and/or colleagues who you can think of who are 'not engaged' or 'actively disengaged'?
Do some of your teammates or colleagues feel misunderstood or undervalued?
If the answer is 'yes', consider how reframing and investing in being a strengths-based manager, organization and/or team might be a good start!
A creative educator striving to enhance the holistic student experience and committed to exploring personal strengths and fulfillment.