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Be the Best You: Master Finding People’s Strengths

In your dealings with people I am sure you have found that some are good and “X” and some are good at “Y”. Putting together a cohesive and diverse team involves finding people who are wired different. If everyone looks at the problem the same way you will not get very far. Well you might but you will have an echo chamber and then a team that is more mind diverse will pass you. The only way for this to work is for each team member to not take things personally. Getting your “feelings hurt” because someone sees something different is for adolescent kids, not for adults and young adults. If you cannot do that you will constantly be having your shield up versus seeing what other people are saying.

I have had the pleasure of working with people who I just do not personally understand. Maybe someone doesn’t full listen or process what I am saying. In one example maybe someone is constantly negative. Some might look at that as a problem, which it might be, but what can we use that person for? What do they bring to the team or department? Some might say nothing because they are always negative. I say, use that to further the team, further the project. So what is are they good for? They are good at finding things that could go wrong. Which is kind of important. You want to see all the variables of a project or plan. You want robust discussion and debate. Being in an echo chamber where everyone agrees most of the time means tunnel vision. Not good.

In this example that person has to know they are contributing, and by listening to them they will get that. Does it mean that you have to do everything someone says? No. It means it gets discussed. In my younger years I would always want to shut down people trying to poke holes in my ideas or plans. Now I enjoy it because it means they might have a point and we could have a stronger plan of action due to it. Maybe someone is way too positive. Opposite end of spectrum. Use their strength to see the best case scenario. They are good at putting the puzzle together. Then use these two opposite ends of the spectrum to work together. They will find something in the middle, a plan that takes each other’s opinion into account. This is why I said do not take things personal. If either of these people take each others opinion personally, walls go up. This is just one example, but you get the point.

Sometimes you will come across people who are just not on the same wave length. People who take things personally. You got to persuade them into this mindset. Your team and company depend on it. This can also be used in life in general. Use peoples strengths, even if it is something perceived as a negative. Flip the game over, play it and win.

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