Looking for the negative aspects in life is human nature, but it isn’t necessarily because people have a negative view on life. Instead, it is also human nature to want to fix things, to make things right.
It is instinctive to find problems and then develop a solution to that problem to feel as if we are accomplishing things. We do this when we tackle projects, but we also do it in our interactions with people, especially employees.
Unfortunately, this style of leadership rarely accomplishes anything. Instead, quality leaders use what is known as strength-based leadership, focusing on the strengths and passions of employees rather than their weaknesses. These four tips can help you move into a strength-based leadership role as opposed to a weakness-focused leadership role.
Ask Don’t Assign
When you are leading a team or a company, it is a natural instinct to want to assign the best staff member to particular projects. Learn about your employees by talking to them individually to identify their strengths.
You may find that a quiet analyst would love to work on a marketing campaign or that your best graphic designer may also have a knack for numbers. It may mean moving people around to fill in gaps, but when you work from a strength-based focus, you will find yourself choosing team members that fit together perfectly.
Diversity is Important
When you focus on weaknesses, you tend to choose “yes” people for your projects instead of those who will question, make suggestions and point out flaws. You want a team made up of many different cultures, passions, ages and genders in order to get a multitude of perspectives.
Instead of choosing based solely on skill, choose team members based on their strengths, even if those strengths may not seem to apply to their actual job title. Diverse teams historically develop the most ground-breaking ideas.
Transparency is a word that is thrown around often in today’s business world, but it is one of the most important character traits of an exceptional leader. If you are open and honest with your team, they will be open and honest with you. You will learn their hopes, their passions and their dreams which provides you with insight to their motivation.
The key is to listen to their ideas rather than just hear the words. When you implement one of their ideas, give them credit to let them know you were listening. You will find that an open atmosphere will encourage your team to work much harder for you and your company.
Encourage Thinking Outside the Box
When you empower your employees, you encourage them to think outside the box, to be creative and to take risks. You want your team members to be curious, naïve and willing to implement unconventional ideas. There will be conflicts as a diverse team often means strong opinions that can lead to disagreement.
Effective leaders know how to guide those passions into action without dampening the enthusiasm of the team or the individuals who disagree.
An effective leader understands how to encourage others to express their opinions, how to motivate a team to think unconventionally and methods for creating an honest, open relationship with everyone in the company.
At Strengths Zone, a Gallup Certified Training & Coaching organization, we provide you with the skills to focus on these four keys to becoming a strength-based leader. Visit us online or send us an email today to learn how we can help you apply strengths-based development to your company.