Leadership can be complex at times. Leaders are responsible for impacting a variety of individuals toward a common goal. What is the trick to success? One critical aspect of leadership success is valuing the strength of a team.
Gallup Research is a globally recognized leader in data and research. In “Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements (2014),” Gallup finds the wellbeing of an individual is based on the interaction among five aspects: career, social, financial, physical and community. These five aspects of life must not be considered independently, but instead must be understood as interdependent and connected. This connection is critical for construction leaders to recognize as they influence teams composed of individuals. Leaders must see individuals as a whole person, not merely an input to a desired organizational output.
Strength Finders, which is an assessment tool that identifies an individual’s top five strengths, is another well-known area of research from Gallup. The primus of this research parallels with positive psychology, clinging to data that shows individuals have higher engagement levels at work when they are using their talents.
“Living your Strengths (2004)” uses this research and holds that “naming our top talents gives us permission to accept our areas of lesser talent and either discard them or manage them. It gives us permission to stop trying to be who we are not and concentrate on who we are—who we were originally created to be.” This research holds that individuals develop their strengths by using them every day and, in turn, they are greater resources for an organization. Leaders aid their teams by emphasizing the unique strengths of the individuals on their team. By discussing strengths and providing projects that use an individual’s strengths, leaders are influencing individuals to be more engaged and committed organization.
Consider further the connection between strengths and wellbeing. Leaders who provide individuals the opportunity to use their strengths at work daily are influencing the career aspect of an individual’s overall wellbeing. According to the book Wellbeing, referenced above: “Compared to those who do not get to focus on what they do best, people who have the opportunity to use their strengths are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life.” As leaders seek to develop teams that value their strengths, three recommendations from “Wellbeing” include the following.
- Have each team member use their strengths every single day.
- Cultivate a culture that encourages growth and shares in the development mindset.
- Encourage the team to be social together and allow for time for individuals to develop relationships with each other.
Using these tools, leaders can better position themselves to value and support their teams—ultimately leading to higher productivity, increased worker retention and a better bottom line.