How easily do you think you could identify the strengths of colleagues in your team? Do you know what functions of your team they are best to do? Would you know who to call on when you are struggling with some aspect of the work and why one colleague might be better in this instance to help you rather than another? What makes some people rub up against each other and how can this be turned into something constructive for the team?
Teams that work best together and get good work done are teams that know the answers to these questions and are able not only to use their individual and collective strengths but to draw upon and appreciate each others strengths when needed.
In my work with teams, based on Positive Psychology evidenced-based tools, we explore both individual and team strengths and how these enable us ‘to do work well’. Where we can appreciate and make best use of other’s strengths and who is best to call upon for a bit of support when needed. We also explore the ‘shadow’ side of strengths – strengths that can get overplayed and cause collisions with other team members and how to ‘dial’ these strengths up or down to find that happy medium which creates harmony rather than discord.
So are you and your team members up on that dance floor ‘boogieing’ away, stepping up and making room for each other, or are you stepping on toes and could really do with a fun way to appreciate each other’s dance moves? If so, I can highly recommend the Strengths in Teams card set as a fun, interesting and safe way to explore your team strengths, having used it in many team workshops. They also provide a good foundation for exploring what keeps teams resilient and functioning well, especially when the going gets tough.
Here is one evaluation of my work with teams. A one-year follow-up evaluation of a team intervention with 3 Health Visiting teams showed the following outcomes:
- better team morale and energy
- greater sharing of information and ideas between team members
- more confidence in day to day work with families
- greater awareness of own character strengths and how they are expressed at work
- supported reflective practice
- playing to, and appreciating each others strengths in the team
- builds resilience – feel different about work, not getting so down about challenges of the work
- difficult to engage clients responding better
- quality of family assessment reports improved
Top Tips to get you started on your Team Strengths journey
- Strengths Spotting
Identify one strength you see in each of your team mates and how you see them using that strength in their work.
I see you use the strength of ………. in your work when you ………………
Complete for each team member on a separate piece of paper/post-it note. At a team meeting, the notes are given to each other. Reflections can then be shared.
2. Appreciation of Strengths
Appreciation is a key component of well functioning teams and creates micro-moments of connection which support well-being. So, having spotted a strength in your colleague, make a point of appreciating that strength from time to time.
Spread the cards on the floor. In twos or threes walk round the cards and discuss what strengths you see collectively in your team and how they are expressed in the work of the team. Reconvene with whole team and share your observations.
If you’d like a deeper dive into team functioning & flourishing, or your team could do with a bit of resilience building in a fun, evidenced-based and uplifting approach, then have look at Take a Course page and contact me to discuss more.