The art of working on your strengths

So many of us go through life assuming we know what our strengths are. But what if there’s a lot more to it than we thought? We recently got together for our monthly team meeting to discuss this in extreme detail. With a little help from the Gallup strengths framework, facilitated by the incredible Jess Weiss of Human Tribe, we left the session with a clear understanding of the unique combinations we all possess, both individually and as the Tiny Hunter team. It was insightful… to say the least. 

IT STARTED WITH A TEST  

Prior to the in-person session, we were required to take a little test. Though this wasn’t to measure our learnt knowledge about a particular topic, it was to get below the surface of who we TRULY are, what inspires us, what demotivates us and everything in between. The great thing about this test is that you can’t fail it. There are no right or wrong answers. So of course everyone in the team took it willingly and with the insight gained from each person’s answers — a report is generated outlining your strengths from 1 – 34. Throughout the week prior to the session we all received emails outlining our top five strengths as a taster. There were a lot of side chats happening in the office (well, across Google Meet) about who possesses what and what it all means. And with little more information than that, we entered the session both intrigued and apprehensive but also excited to learn more about these so-called strengths of ours. 

NOBODY IS THE SAME AS YOU

The number one takeaway, and what was clear within the first 10 minutes of the session is that everyone truly is unique. Virtually nobody you know will have the exact same 34 strengths as you, in the exact same order (in fact it’s a 1 in 22 million chance). So knowing that made us feel pretty special to begin with. Not only that, but as we went around the room and revealed our strengths to one another — it was a highly connective experience that really proved to bring us closer together. To know and understand each other a little more deeply. Of course there were the ones we all could have guessed about one another, but there were also elements to everyone’s personality that perhaps we learnt a little more about. If that wasn’t exciting enough, we also then went in to break down what the combination of strengths meant for each individual. 

Along with this, we learnt that the chance of our combination of group strength’s being the same as any other group  is even LESS likely. So as a team we felt even MORE special. It turns out, we are a highly strategic bunch.

BUILDING UPON STRENGTH AND OVERCOMING WEAKNESS (SORRY, ‘LESSER STRENGTHS’)

Did you know that when we practice and refine skills around what we’re naturally talented at, our propensity to improve is exponentially higher than when we practice something we’re NOT naturally good at? Basically this means, if you’re beating yourself up over not being good at organising spreadsheets — forcing yourself to TRY and be good at it won’t help. It will only drain you and make you feel deflated. What will help though, is knowing your unique strengths and drawing upon them to find a way to overcome what you’re struggling with. If in this instance it’s organisation and planning, then maybe your strengths are empathy and a thirst for knowledge — so we’d use the combination of those to inspire us to want to learn more about this process, because we empathise with ourselves and want to feel the best we can. If we overcome this challenge, that will make us FEEL amazing. It’s a bit of a roundabout example, but hopefully you get the idea. 

Basically we learnt that there’s no such thing as a ‘weakness’. Just areas we aren’t naturally drawn to or talented at. But we can use our natural talents to work toward overcoming difficulties. 

HAPPY PEOPLE = HAPPY BUSINESS

It’s safe to say that everyone left the session feeling totally invigorated by understanding more about themselves and the rest of the team. Parts of our personality we may have perceived as unfavourable were actually revealed to have incredible potential, when accessed correctly. As with everything, we learnt that strength is all about balance. And each one we possess has a ‘balcony’ and a ‘basement’. So basically an up and a down side. Once we know how to access the ‘balcony’ of our strengths and are aware of the ‘basement’, we can turn any negative surrounding those character attributes into an asset to ourselves and the team around us. 

With this in mind, we felt connected, positive and excited to take on a newly self-aware way of working together. We also went through what we could improve upon as a team based on our collective strengths (and collective… lesser strengths). When you engage in group activities like this there’s a lot to be said for what it does to bring the team together. And a happy team is a productive team. It’s so important to make everyone feel like they’re an integral part of the business, to recognise them for their individual strengths but also to see how everyone can fit together most impact-fully. That’s exactly what this workshop achieved.

Phoebe Carden

Written by: Phoebe Carden
Published: May 5, 2021

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