Do This Exercise With Your Team/Department

One of my most talented former direct reports uses with her team the book "Now, Discover Your Strengths" and the exercise that accompanies that book.

She recently got me hooked on the book/exercise program.

The program helps you identify your five most important strengths in ways I've never seen before. Among the 34 strength themes covered in the book, I discovered my strengths to be:

Maximizer
Consistency
Empathy
Responsibility
Achiever

Equally, important to knowing one's own strengths is understanding the strengths of each employee you manage. With that knowledge you can build and organize your team, make strategic work assignments, and even hire more effectively.

When I last used the exercise with a department I oversaw, it was fascinating to see how each person discovered something they hadn't anticipated as a strength. It was also fun and enlightening to go around the meeting room and watch the team guess the strength themes of their co-workers.

Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D. co-authored the book and provide detailed descriptions for each of the 34 strength themes. Those descriptions help you to understand how to interact more effectively with a co-worker once you know his/her five dominant strengths.

Share the book with your team. Have them complete the exercise. The exercise can be done via the Internet in about 30 minutes. Then, meet as a group for a couple hours and discover and discuss your and your team's strengths!

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