September 2, 2021

Need to Boost Your Team? Play to Their Strengths


At the beginning of a hot, chaotic summer, there were a lot of things we’d rather be doing than talking about our strengths — and weaknesses — to our coworkers.

But RG gathered to do just that, together with Alice Ko, Certified Gallup CliftonStrengths® Coach at Strengths for Teams. Alice administers Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Strengths Finder Assessment, a two-part assessment and workshop meant to help employees appreciate the different ways their teammates approach communication and problem-solving, and identify complementary partnerships. More than 90% of Fortune 500 companies use CliftonStrengths® to bring strengths-based development to their workplace culture.

For RG’s tight-knit group, working in a remote setting has placed an even greater emphasis on humanity, personal development, and work styles.

We learned that it’s important to check in, take a pulse and see how we can communicate best and most efficiently.

We also learned a shared language for feedback and individual development.

The Test

The CliftonStrengths Assessment is made up of 50 multiple choice questions. Participants get 30 seconds to answer each, and are instructed to be as honest as possible. At the end, everyone gets ranked characteristics; strengths are at the top and weaknesses at the bottom.


The Results

We each had 3-5 vulnerable minutes to report on our personal results. While some results were as expected, others were surprising.

Your Top 5 characteristics, according to the test, truly define you at your core. One colleague had Command and Deliberative in hers. But in meetings, she tended to recede into the background. Her reserved and seemingly quiet demeanor was actually her way of processing and synthesizing. When she comes back from reflection, her analysis and ideas are spot-on, 100% of the time.

It was an incredibly valuable realization. Now, we know to give her time and space to work through an issue or come up with a creative solution. Her work life — and ours — will be better for it.

Our Aha Moments

It is a fallacy that all employees need to be perfectly well-rounded. In teams, star-shaped personalities work great.

Star-shaped dynamics, rather than smooth circle edges, make for strength-partner relationships. When we embrace our strengths (star points) and acknowledge our weaknesses (inner corners), we are able to work best with those who complement us.

In turn, our strengths — say, an analytical mind — supplement weaknesses — someone less detail-oriented but more creative — as points and corners align.

Going forward, RG team members will display their CliftonStrengths® badges on their Slack profiles as a reminder to others. This intentional team-building will inform onboarding, too. It has already informed follow-up conversations and even inspired role changes.

Most crucially, in this time of fragmented communication and interpersonal challenges, we’ll set proper expectations for each other and form the right working relationships that will allow all of our stars to shine the brightest.

Click here to learn more or get in contact with Alice for your team.

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