As a leader in several different aspects of life, at work and at leisure, I need to make sure that my various teams are motivated and enthused about what they do. Sometimes that’s quite difficulty, everyone is getting Covid19 weary and there is nothing I can do to change the circumstances we are in.
What I find really difficult is to engage the unengagable. Some of them really don’t want to get involved, don’t care and are not interested on what goes on in the wider world, or sometimes even within their own team. These people can sometimes bring others down with them making it much harder to get anyone motivated or thinking about innovative ways to solve problems. It might be because of the type of role they have, perhaps they don’t see that they have much option but to just go along with whatever is happening. Any spark that someone might show is very low level and can be missed if I’m not in the right place at the right time to spot it.
I want people to feel valued in whatever role they play, whether a member of my team at work, one of our bell ringers or someone within any of the other groups I look after outside of work. Identifying someone’s Me Strength, the thing that they are really good at, can be difficult. Merely saying well done, although nice to hear, doesn’t really help someone see their strengths and learn to cultivate them.
Allowing someone to use their Me Strength every day is a good way to get someone to recognise it for themselves. It means that I need to help them identify what their Me Strength is to start with. Having a greater understanding of what someone is energised by is a start. This can then allow you to co-create innovative solutions. It might be that there is another person in the team who can bounce off of someone’s Me Strength and improve their own. It needn’t be done in isolation.
Therese Huston https://ideas.ted.com/2-kinds-of-praise-at-work-me-strength-we-strength/ offers some questions that can help identify someone’s Me Strength:
- What do you know you enjoy doing but haven’t done yet?
- What sorts of activities do you finish and thing you’re looking forward to doing again?
- What do you see on your calendar that you’re excited about?
- Was there a time when you were doing something and you were so absorbed by it you didn’t notice the time go by?
- What did you do on the day that you had your best day? What made it the best day?
The questions Huston offers to help identify We Strengths are also useful to explore:
- What have other people told you that you do incredibly well?
- What’s got you noticed?
- Where do you feel most useful?
- What have you done before that you’re not doing now that had a lot of impact?
- What seems to come more easily to you than for others?
Trying to answer these questions for myself is hard. As a leader I do get to do more of what I enjoy and have the privilege of being autonomous in what I do in all areas of my life, therefore I can manifest more of the things I enjoy or am better at doing, to some extent. There are some things that come more easily to me than others and I am able to do them, or others have noticed and therefore played to that strength.
I am not sure I can remember a “best day”, let alone what I was doing on that day, but there have certainly been days when the time has whizzed by and I’m not sure where it went.
How would you respond to those questions?
One thought on “Finding Inner Me Strength in Others (and maybe yourself)”
I struggle to identify my Me Strengths too. Like you say, difficult in current times when so restricted. I’m beginning to forget what I enjoy or what I might be good at. And not being in people’s company much at the moment makes it difficult to gauge others perception.