|Focusing your vision, achieving results|
-- Peter Drucker
by Marcella Nelson
Most people and organizations spend more resources on remedial training to make incompetent performers into mediocre ones rather than on developing strengths to make a competent person into a star.
This doesn't mean that there is no room for corrective actions to fill skill gaps. All successful people need to become competent at things that are essential to their jobs. But to focus solely on these areas will not result in first-rate performance.
Here are 8 ideas to help you identify and build on your strengths and help others do the same.
1. Know your own strengths.
There are many ways to increase your self-awareness. Performance reviews, 360 assessments, feedback from colleagues are just a few. You can also take one of many available assessments and work with a trained coach to interpret and apply the results.
2. Redesign your job to build on your strengths.
Find ways to restructure your job to reflect you at the top of your game. Look for opportunities to redesign at the margins: relationships, communications, time frames, etc. If your job can't be redesigned around your strengths, it may be time for a change.
3. Beware of overused strengths.
Under pressure, people tend to do more of what they normally do. If that doesn't work, they become frustrated and over-work it or give up. The decisive person becomes autocratic, the influential person oversells. Knowing your strengths gives you a better idea of how to deal with weaknesses and the confidence to address them.
4. Appreciate diverse styles.
Behaviors that are different from ours lead to frustration and conflict. Our goal should be to move from judging others to understanding and valuing them for their uniqueness. You don't need to like someone to work with them effectively.
5. Know and utilize the strengths of others.
Everybody's motivated. They're just motivated for their reasons, not yours. If you want to succeed you must tap into other people's preferences. Assign team roles and operating rules based on members' styles and have a plan to compensate for missing strengths.
6. Acknowledge and empower.
People leave jobs because they feel unchallenged and unappreciated. University of Michigan researchers found that when individuals or teams hear five positive comments to every negative one, they unleash a level of positive energy that fuels higher levels of performance. Let others know their value and add value.
7. Take responsibility for relationships.
Accept that other people are also individuals. Adapt your behavior to their needs. Remember your boss is an individual too and entitled to do work in his/her best way.
8. Know your values.
Knowing your values is also critical to success. Sometimes there is a conflict between your strengths and values or your values and your organization's. If you have different views of the function of the business and management, your chances of success and satisfaction in that job is diminished.
"Successful careers . . . develop when people are prepared for opportunities because they know their strengths, their method of work and their values. Knowing where one belongs can transform an ordinary person -- hardworking and competent but otherwise mediocre -- into an outstanding performance." -- Peter Drucker, Management Challenges for the 21st Century
Copyright: 2005 Marcella Nelson/All rights reserved.
Marcella Nelson, Breakthrough Coaching
Last month the focus of our call was completing work projects that required a concentrated amount of time to get done. Here's what one of our new participants had to say: "'Pounce on a Project' helped me focus energy and commitment on a project that I had been procrastinating on. By the end of the 'Pounce' session, I had finished the project and gave myself permission to feel the accomplishment and have a reward." -- K.C., Environmental Professional, MA
Join us in Pounce on a Project to complete the project(s) that will result in the biggest positive impact on your life or business.
Join Coach Andrea on Thursday, June 16th, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Eastern. We will join as a group by phone and declare what you want to accomplish: putting together a new marketing piece, finishing that client project, backing up your computer before you buy a new one, making those cold calls, organizing your office, simplifying your filing system, or cleaning under your bed.
During the morning, the group will gather by phone a few times to check progress and get any support needed to finish with a bang. At noon, the group will celebrate their accomplishments. Who says projects have to be boring and tedious? Bring your lightness and fun and join us for the energization.
To sign up or learn more, call or e-mail Andrea by noon on June 15th. Feel free to share this with friends and co-workers, the more the merrier. (Cost of the program is only the cost of long distance phone calls.)
Andrea is available for individual coaching.
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