Being able to lead a team of people with a variety of skills is an invaluable ability, and a tool to help with that process is StrengthsFinder. Today I’ve brought on the expert on this topic, our two-time guest, Lisa Cummings.

If you’ve been listening for a while, you heard her first episode; it’s one of our most popular! And today’s discussion is equally as good. We’re touching on topics like the misconceptions around StrengthsFinder, how to adapt your communication style based on someone’s assessment results, and what to do if there is a disconnect between a team member’s strengths and their position.

On today’s show, Lisa really brings the goods on those topics, and a few more! So get ready for an informative, and insightful edition of Grow My Revenue.

Listen to this episode and discover:

· What strengths are common in sales teams?
· In the companies that use StrengthsFinder best, what does Lisa most often see?
· What percentage of Americans were recognized for good work in 2015, according to Gallup?
· What is the bamboozle sandwich?
· What are yuks and yays, and how can you use them to improve your team?
· And so much more!

Episode Overview

The first thing Lisa and I talk about is the misconceptions she hears most frequently about StrengthsFinder, and she gave me two.

The first is that this evaluation tool is just Pollyanna. She hears people say things like: “…you must think everyone should just ignore their weaknesses. You must be a fool if you believe people should only focus on what they are good at.”

The second most common misconception is people think there are specific strengths that are good and bad. For example, if competition isn’t one of someone’s top strengths, then they aren’t a good sales person.

Neither of these are true, of course. In the case of the second misconception, Lisa points out that StrengthsFinder doesn’t tell you what job you have or are good at. Instead, it tells you how you do the job you have. It shows you what comes naturally to you and how you can use those natural talents abilities to your benefit.

We also talked about how to adapt your communication based on someone’s strengths, once you’ve all done the StrengthsFinder evaluation. She gives me as an example, after I gave her permission to share my results.

Because I have command and activator as strengths, Lisa said she would imagine I’d want to hear the short answer quickly and now. Even if she didn’t know me personally, she would know to keep things short, simple and concise based on my strengths. But if she was talking with someone who had high empathy and high relater, she would speak differently. Someone with those strengths values one on one conversation.

One additional topic we cover is the two ways to help someone move from an individual contributor to a management role. Too often someone is an amazing individual performer and gets moved into a management role, only to falter and fall flat in that position.

Lisa suggests explaining two key areas to the person about to take on a management position: talent development and business outcomes. The latter, business outcomes, is fairly straightforward and includes things like business goals, aligning with corporate strategy, etc.

But talent development is tougher for new managers to understand. She breaks it down into three key categories: acquisition of new employees, retention of existing employees, and career development. StrengthsFinder is an umbrella over all of those. Using the assessment tool and its findings will help any manager (existing or new) to lead based on people’s strengths which in turn will drive engagement of staff.

Also on this episode of Grow My Revenue, Lisa explains what to do if someone’s strengths aren’t aligned with their job title, and why regular communication about someone’s performance at work is so critical to on-going success. Listen in for all of that and so much more on today’s show with the brilliant and talented Lisa Cummings!