The Truth About Strengths

By October 10, 2018Inclusion, Leadership, Learning, Strengths

One of the defining characteristics of our work is that it is focused on strengths.

Several realities shape this bias. Scores of studies and meta-studies indicate that teams focusing on strengths far outperform and outlast those that instead focus on deficiencies. There is no research supporting a weakness based model. In our own experience with hundreds of teams, when people critique progress and achievements, they see root causes in the engagement of strengths, not weaknesses.

From this perspective, each time we develop new and more refined skillsets, it’s precisely because we engage existing strengths in new ways. It’s never because we somehow engaged our weaknesses differently.

This points to the transformational reality that teams always have exactly the strengths they need to learn their way into next levels of performance and possibility. This inspires a sense of growth mindset and agency that is vital for team and personal growth.

Making the transition to a more strengths-based culture can happen in simple steps.

1. Reflect back on engaged strengths

Dedicate a margin of every team meeting to what strengths have supported the actual achievements and progress the team has recently experienced

2. Sustain a map of strengths

Have a dedicated shared virtual space where people can post their own and each other’s observed strengths in action

3. Make strengths proactive

Start any planning or solution session by identifying the existing individual and shared strengths we will need going forward.


About Jack

In my late twenties I had the good fortune to have mentors who were practice leaders in what was then called the Human Potentials Movement. They inspired me to help organizations and communities realize their potential in ways they never imagined. It became clear this was the core gift that would shape the past 40 years.