How to Work Better as a Team by Understanding Individual Strengths
Last week during a training meeting, the Digital Trike team got together and discussed our individual strengths. We came to the conclusion that even though we all have different strengths, they compliment one another more than we realize. All we need to do is trust in each other’s strengths, have integrity in our own strengths, and respect anyone else’s strengths who may be involved in our team with us. For Digital Trike, this means respecting our client’s strengths so we can all work as a team in the most efficient ways possible to take on the task at hand.
Working effectively as a team is critical in order to reach goals and project deadlines. But not everyone is a pro at succeeding in a team setting. By recognizing individual team member’s strengths, your team will be able to accomplish anything you set your mind to.
Do you wonder what your strengths are or how they can be beneficial in a team setting? There are a variety of quizzes and tests you can take to determine what your strengths might be, but deep down we all know what they are. We can determine our strengths through our passions. Our friends and family members know us better than anyone else, and they could easily list what some of your strengths might be. Once you know what your strengths are, you then can start to figure out how your unique strengths could be useful when working with others.
For companies that have employees constantly working together as a team, here are a few ways in which you can bring individual strengths together to have the best teamwork there is. We have found these methods to be true when it comes to working as a team here at Digital Trike and wanted to share them in hopes they will be beneficial for you as well.
Be willing to understand the strengths of your coworkers
First and foremost, you have to have a desire to understand what the strengths of your coworkers are. If you don’t care, then you won’t benefit by learning how their strengths can infact have a huge impact on your team. Relationships become stronger when employees fundamentally understand one another – when they trust their coworkers and feel comfortable voicing their thought and opinions.
There are many ways to facilitate a shared knowledge of coworker strengths. They could be posted publicly or shared someplace where other coworkers could see them easily. Team meetings could start with introductions that include listing each team member’s top strengths, and how they have been able to use those strengths efficiently that week.
Have conversations with employees about their unique talents and strengths regularly
Employees should be encouraged to share their strengths and have conversations with their coworkers about how they can use their talents to work together more effectively.
Typically, when supervisors or managers have conversations with their employees, their interactions are focused on tasks. While it’s helpful for managers to understand the tasks each employee is working on, a constant focus on fixing immediate problems can sabotage long-term productivity.
A more effective way to develop an employee-manager relationship is to center performance conversations on the employee’s strengths, which in turn leads to improved morale and employee engagement. According to the Gallup Strength Center, people who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged on the job and three times more likely to be happier with their lives in general. Focusing more conversations on employees’ strengths helps them develop their natural talents and improve their work because they are able to emphasize how they naturally excel and how they’re uniquely equipped to get the job done. This also enables them to transfer how they have used their strengths from one task to another and to repeat the process.
Continually give feedback in order to build trust
As previously mentioned, companies should engage employees to talk with each other about their strengths, and managers should have conversations with their employees about how they can use their strengths to fulfill job tasks. In order to make sure these conversations are beneficial to the company, managers should provide accurate, ongoing feedback to every employee.
By acknowledging the uniqueness of each employee, companies energize their workers’ independent thinking and creativity. This in turn tends to make those activities more productive. Gallup has found that strengths-based development interventions have led to teams increasing their productivity by 12.5%. Engaged employees are better at understanding the long-term and short-term goals of the employee-customer encounter and their roles in making those interactions productive and profitable.
Be accepting of the strengths of your clients
Perhaps you’ve learned how to bring each strength of your team together in order to be successful, but have not figured out how to take into consideration the strengths of your clients. When working on a project with a client, what they are envisioning as the end product may not align 100% with what your team has in mind. At this point, most likely you would try to compromise with your client in order for you to both be happy, unless the client won’t be completely satisfied until you give them exactly what they want. By figuring out and accepting the strengths of your clients, instead of just giving them “what they want,” you could make them feel part of your team by acknowledging their ideas and using them to the project’s advantage. Don’t think of their suggestions, no matter how silly they might sound, as a dent in the project, but rather as a benefit. This in turn will show the client you care about their needs and want to make sure their finished project is up to their standards.