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The Strengths-Based Approach to Managing Teams

In every organization, giving employees a chance to do what they do best has significant impact on business results.

Termed strengths-based management, it’s an approach that considers the strengths of an employee over all else. It does not ignore weaknesses. In fact, it works on them for the benefit of the employee and the organization. However, they are not the primary focus.

What is at the core of the strengths-based approach is the recognition that every employee has both strengths and weaknesses and has several times more potential for growth building on their strengths rather than fixing their weaknesses.

Thus, team leaders who use the strengths-based approach do not play team members in areas where they have weaknesses and expect great performance, without support. Rather they play them in the areas where they will use the best of their natural talents, learn more quickly, and produce a greater quality and quantity of work.

Employees are actually asking for this type of management approach because when they say they want to develop their skills, they are really asking to develop their strengths. They want their strengths and passions to be aligned with the right projects.

Research shows that when employees are able to use their strengths every day, they are three times more likely to report having an excellent quality of life, six times more likely to be engaged at work, and 15 percent less likely to quit their jobs.

The strengths-based management approach is that impactful — and hence recommended.

To start building the culture in your organization, team leaders should:

• Invest in their team members’ strengths

• Build well-rounded teams out of individual team members who are not

• Understand the needs of their team members and support them

Strengths-based management approach calls for organizations to build on what their employees are good at instead of what can be fixed. It enables everyone in the organization to celebrate their strengths, helping to create a more engaged, happier and more fulfilled employee base with increased productivity and innovation.

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