In times of stress, change or crisis, each person reacts differently, according to their specific strengths. That is why it is so important that leaders identify those that each member of their team has and know how to put them into play in each situation, particularly when working remotely and focus seems to be lost at times.
The psychologist Don Clifton, former head of Gallup, proposed dividing personal strengths into four major categories: strategic thinking, relationship building, influence and execution. Then, in each category, he identified different predominant themes in each personality. Thus, for example, among those who are strong in strategic thinking, he identified the analytical, the futurist, the strategic.
The relationship building It manifests itself in issues such as adaptability, connectivity, empathy, inclusion, among others. The influence it is the strength of someone who has the gift of command, communication and can be an “activator”, a “maximizer” or someone who wins people over. The prevailing themes in execution they are consistency, discipline and responsibility, to name just a few.
Here are some examples of how these strengths can help regain focus during times of disruption.
»Who knows how to win over others
People who know how to “win over” others are charged with energy when they manage to interact with their colleagues, but otherwise suffer. For these people it is extremely useful to turn on their camera during virtual meetings, as well as to hold multiple meetings throughout the week, even if they are in remote mode. Given their ability to build relationships, these people can be great allies in making those meetings more stimulating and attractive to others.
»Who has discipline
People with a high sense of discipline can deal with a crisis as long as they have routines and a structure that allows them to feel grounded. By their very nature, they can bring some of that structure and routine to colleagues who, on the contrary, struggle to make sense of the chaos.
»Who has great adaptability
These people often thrive on change, where they feel comfortable and, better yet, can help leaders address old practices with a new approach.
»Who has high performance
The “get it all” person needs to feel that they are being productive and it is essential for them to know the expectations of their particular role. By your need to experience fulfillment, you can give a healthy boost to productivity during the crisis. Also, it can be a great agent for documenting best practices and sharing them with your colleagues.
Given that each strength has a particular need and, in the same way, can make specific contributions, a recommended tactic is to invite each collaborator to answer these two key questions:
- Based on my strengths, what do I need the most during this time?
- Based on my strengths, what tools do I have to help me get through this moment?
The answers They can be discussed first between the collaborator and the leader, who will then have to evaluate the advisability of addressing them with the rest of the team to collectively determine how these qualities can be combined more effectively.
When we understand our strengths, we can make sense of our reactions to the changes that occur around us. And, of course, we can take advantage of them to consolidate the team even in the face of a major disruption like the one we currently face with the pandemic.
The individualization It is key to understanding the strengths of each employee and, above all, it is an excellent way to ensure that each one can focus first on their personal tasks and then on the mission of the organization as a whole.
* The author is General Director of the Mexican Association in Human Resources Management (@Amedirh)