I took the Standout Strengths Test today (http://standout.tmbc.com/gui/somMain). I was introduced to it by Janine Gilmour at our recent Workplace Fairness Luncheon. My top two strengths, according to the test, are Creator and Connector. So the greatest value I bring to the team is my “gift for knowing the special formula to release unexpected synergies between people, teams and ideas.” I begin by asking “What do I understand?” and I am not good at snap decision. Yes. I can agree with that. And yes, it is true that though I often present like this outgoing extrovert, in fact I need time on my own to think and re-energize. The strengths test confirmed that.
We learned from Janine that these strengths are hard-wired. The big question is, how do you leverage your own strengths? Janine was very frank about her own experience leveraging her strengths and how she got there. She shared examples of the mistakes she has made learning the hard way and the challenges she has faced, and that won the group over. It takes courage and conviction to meet your challenges head on and to master them. It takes even more courage often to talk about those mistakes in a public forum.
In her presentation, Janine revealed the holy half-dozen intrinsic motivations: mastery, autonomy, feedback, self-determination, affiliation and recognition. I recognize these and I call them the heavy hitters because when people are in conflict, it is often one of these that is missing (along with, inevitably, trust).
Daniel Pink talks about these too in his book Drive. Now this is a book worth exploring if you haven’t already. Pink reminds us that after we are earning enough to make a living, we won’t be motivated by more money, we need autonomy, mastery and purpose. (Check out this animated video of his description here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc).
So how do you leverage your strengths? You need to set great goals. OK. Here is one I get caught up in because I am always evaluating feasibility and do-ability. Maybe that isn’t necessary. My friend Nancy’s great goal is “World peace one conversation at a time.” I need to work on mine… Stay tuned.
You need to foster motivation (see above).
You need to overcome obstacles. I was a sales rep once upon a time, and a significant part of sales training is overcoming obstacles. I learned that to overcome, you actually need to acknowledge and listen.
You need to adopt a master mindset. This is all about the positive possibilities in the future. My standout strengths test indicates that I think in terms or possibilities – “ Wouldn’t it be great if?” So that is a good start.
What do you need to work on? I am going to think about my great goal and get back to you on that one and I would love to hear yours! Comment below.
If you would like to learn more about the Standout 9 Strength Test, contact Janine Gilmour. www.touchstoneadvisoryservices.com.