Discovering Individual Strengths to Build Teams

Discovering Individual Strengths to Build Teams

By Dr. Jan Lüdert

How the sum of parts make a unique whole are apparent where individuals – with their varying aptitudes, talents and strengths – come together to form teams. Actually, for any team Aristotle’s dictum that the whole is more than the sum of its parts rings true. You may do things exceptionally better than others do. Likewise, your team member’s display unique talents that differ from yours.

Instead of fixating on individuals shortcomings, the School of Applied Leadership uses the StrengthFinder to support teams discover their talents. By helping teams realize their collective potential strength-based psychology tools assist teams to grow, become more productive, and focus their attention on existing assets.

Discover Unique Talent Themes Using StrengthFinder

Based on the work by Donald O. Clifton, an American educational psychologist, the StrengthFinder assessment foremost helps you to discover natural proclivities, to gain insights into developing great talents, and by extension, to realize new ways to explain who you are to others. After completing the assessment, you will learn which of the 34 distinct talent themes describe your unique set of strengths. Talent themes include, for instance, ‘Activator’ (one who gets things moving), ‘Deliberative’ (one who plans and focuses on details), or ‘Learner’ (one who continuously seeks new knowledge).

3 Steps To Reinforce StrengthFinder Results

If you are interested in seeing your team grow and become even more productive, using the StrengthFinder is a great place to start. Reinforce the tools results in team projects and highlight individual member’s talents to gain traction in your organization. To utilize StrengthFinder results more fully, and especially to build up on your teams collective talents, consider these three simple steps:

  1. Integrate the assessment results into the team’s vocabulary consistently and often. Ask a team member how, let us say ‘Arranger’ or ‘Relator,’ manifest themselves in a project. Highlight your strengths on your office door or in an email signature.
  2. Use the results to kick off individual conversations with each team member and through team exercises. What your team will uncover is how strengths show up in everyday praxis and, as such, will increase the team’s awareness on who could step up when a certain talent is called for to complement the team.
  3. Use your talents to teach others team members. Teaching each other will broaden awareness on different perspectives, different ways of doing things, while illustrating commonalities across difference and based on everyone’s unique strengths.

If you are interested in leading high performing teams, you can also explore City University of Seattle’s graduate leadership programs on the CityU website. We’re all about the finish!