What is a Personal Strength?
In the landmark book by Buckingham entitled “First Break All the Rules” statements were made about how the best managers utilized the natural strengths of their direct reports. There were two additional points contained in the book and verified through experience. People are hard wired with certain traits that are impossible to change in the long term. And, you must know what the natural strengths of each individual on a team.
Personal Strengths are the things that an individual does with passion and shows up everyday wanting to use them in everyday life. They are the traits that make each individual unique and like others at the same time. Now if that seems a little confusing, image how difficult it is for managers with no people managing skills. The interesting thing about this scenario is that some of these traits are “hardwired” in the person’s brain and is a preferred method of operating. Other traits are learned and will be more subjective or changeable with training or knowledge.
Managers need to understand all the possible combination of hardwired traits so they can assign tasks and projects based upon the natural abilities or traits of each individual. Too often, a person is asked to do daily tasks that are the opposite of their natural strengths which leads to major issues in the long run.
First, the manager may have expectations that a task should be done a certain way based upon “certain hard wired traits.” When the job is not done using the preferred methods, then the direct report is considered to be at fault and gets a low job performance review.
Second, the individual that is mismatched regarding their natural strengths and a task or job will become frustrated and usually loses their personal motivation. Then their confidence goes down and they become more demotivated. The reason for this downward cycle is the lack of accomplishment or high performance possibilities. The individual wants to perform well and therefore feel good about themselves – yet the job mismatch with their personal strengths creates more issues.
Finally, human nature being present in all situations, the individual begins to look around for a new job or assignment. The higher the self-confidence the more they will actively engage in seeking new situations or employment. The lower self-confident individuals will hang in until the manager gets so frustrated that the manager takes action dehiring the individual.
Learn what your natural strengths are using assessments. InnerActive Consulting Group offers a complete personal assessment that uncovers your natural strengths and weaknesses. You can be debriefed on the best practices for your strengths – learning how to manage others, select qualified high performers for open positions and how to motivate each individual within your team for high performance. Contact us at 901-757-4434 for more information or a demonstration of how this process will work for you.
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