is a quick tip ezine for Managers who believe in
"Results Derived from Within"
Vickie Bevenour, a Professional Certified
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Recently, I was honored to speak to an MBA class at the School of Management at a local University. My topic was to help the audience understand the importance of identifying and leveraging their strengths to maximize the performance of themselves and their team. Each of the students had, prior to class, identified their top five strengths using the Gallup Strengths Finder Assessment. Have you identified your top five strengths? If not, you might want to do so soon. During the class, we spoke about the importance of developing “Strength Statements” and using them to advance your career through subtle self promotion. Here are several examples of highly effective Strengths Statements and the strength that they reflect:
I am the kind of person who loves to peer over the horizon to see what could be. (Futuristic)
When people have input, the end result is usually stronger. Allowing people to be included in the process has always helped me to be successful in developing strategies and solutions. You want people to go to the mat for you, and this only happens if they feel included. (Input)
I am good at maximizing employee and revenue potential.
I’ve always felt work should be fun. When a person enjoys and is excited about their work it can make a big difference in their productivity.
For me, it’s all about relationships. This focus has helped me in developing strong relationships with my customers, which ultimately lead to increased revenue.
I instinctively use disciplined routines and structure as my methods for maintaining my progress and productivity in the face of many distractions. (Discipline)
I always look for assignments with the high potential for learning new facts, skills, or knowledge. (Learner)
My desire to learn new things allows me to thrive in dynamic work environments when I am expected to learn a lot about new subject matter in a short period of time, then I complete the project and move on to the next assignment. (Learner combined with Activator)
I enjoy using my logical and rigorous analytical skills to identify patterns and trends when solving problems. (Analytical)
My personal drive will always come from my constant need for achievement of something tangible every single day. (Achiever)
The push back that I universally heard from the students was, “No one talks like that” and/or “I would not be comfortable saying that”. Are you thinking the same thing? If so, please consider this before you allow your personal discomfort with subtle self-promotion to derail you from a great idea:
What is it, specifically, that good Managers do? What is the REAL difference between a so-so Manager and a GOOD Manager? The answer is that a GOOD Manager ensures that both the organizational objective and the individual goals are achieved.
What does that mean in day-to-day life? A good Manager will help you identify what she/he believes you are good at (your strengths, talents, skills) and help you translate that into a benefit for the organization. In order to do that you both have to use specific language.
For example, consider these statements:
“I like working on those types of projects”. This does not identify whether the project is bad to good (developer), good to great (maximizer), risk management (deliberative), big picture (strategic), or lots of detail (analytical). An example of a statement with more precise language would be, “I like working on projects that allow me to use my rigorous logic and analytical skills”. The first example is generic. IT does not tell the Manager what, specifically the employee enjoys about “those type of projects”. The second example states a specific strength and provides insight to the Manager about what the employee enjoys doing.
“I like giving presentations”. This does not indicate if you like to lay out the plan (futuristic, command), motivate the team (empathy, harmony, activator), solve problems (analytic, deliberative), or share information (connectedness). Again, the first example is generic. What does the employee actually like about public speaking and presentations? The second example identifies a specific strength.
Clearly the point of “Strengths Statements” is to provide your “listener” with more precise language to advance your career through subtle self promotion. The precise language that you use can be either from the Gallup strengths finder, or your own personal vocabulary.
Lastly, consider the concept of “Servant Leadership”, which is defined as leading an organization with the sole purpose of being a catalyst or conduit to help those in the organization to be their best, which translates into a benefit to the organization. Stephen Covey in The 8th Habit defines the 8th habit as finding your own “voice” and to helping others find theirs.
In summary, here are two suggestions for implementing these strategies of subtle self-promotion:
Take five minutes in your future team meetings to share how each member used their strengths that day. Go first! Become a Servant Leader to your group.
Ask people with whom you come in contact with to tell you about the best Manager that they have ever had. Ask them why this person was a favorite. Then, relate that information to your own strengths theme and identify three techniques or skills that you will use to generate increased return on using your strengths.
Congratulations, you have
taken the next step to deriving results from within.
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