Tips for managers

Know your own strengths:

To best develop other’s strengths, you first need to understand your own. Leaders who play to their own strengths enhance their abilities and establish a unique management style. This practice fosters an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their strengths and limitations. When leaders are authentic and open about their own strengths, employees follow suit.

Support them to use their strengths:

Understanding one's own strengths does not automatically lead to effective use of those strengths in the workplace. Help employees understand their own strengths and their team member’s strengths. When job demands require employees to complete tasks that don't play to their strengths, great leaders provide recommendations and support systems, such as strategic partnerships, to help employees overcome challenges.

Harmonize team strengths:

Great leaders factor in strengths when creating and working with their teams. Optimize employees by considering how the team member’s complementary strengths can maximize team performance. Assign tasks that best match each individual's natural talents.

Keep strengths at the forefront:

Ensure your employees take a strengths-based approach to every task. When tasks or projects come up, discuss the strengths needed to be successful to help determine who should be involved in completing the task or project. Create a chart with all team member's strengths prominently displayed -- offering a constant reminder to team members about the importance of playing to their strengths and for them to reference when they need to create teams or partnerships for projects/tasks.

Individualize recognition with consideration of strengths:

Effective leaders consider each team member’s preferences and strengths when providing feedback and recognition. For example, public awards might be highly meaningful to some employees but uncomfortable to others. Ask each employee what motivates them and how they prefer to receive feedback to determine the best recognition and feedback for that individual.