From time to time, I run workshops for strength-based teams. Many of you have asked me what we do during those workshops. I decided to answer this question in a post. Maybe you’ll find it useful, even if you don’t take part in such a workshop. You’ll be able to see what steps should be taken to help teams discover their strengths.
What is the scenario of the workshop and how long does it last ?
The workshops I run are always customized to the needs of the group. However, each workshop has a number of common elements. They are:
- Why do we talk about talents and strengths?
- What are the origins of the strength-based methodology and what benefits do we gain from it?
- Talent vs strength: How do we build strengths when we know our talents?
- My personal talents: Understanding how each of us can develop our own talents.
- Talents within a team: What are the talents in the team? How can we utilize them? How do we build partnerships?
- Dynamics of talents in the team: Creating and interpreting the talent map.
- Strengths in practice: How do we use strengths in typical team situations?
How long does the workshop last?
The length of the workshop depends on the number of participants. At least 8 hours must be booked for groups of 16 participants.
Parts of the workshop
Each part of the workshop is focused on a slightly different topic. The common denominator of all of the parts is the interactivity of the participants. Only a small part of the workshop is focused on the presentation of theory. The rest is composed of activities, performed individually or in groups.
Why do we talk about talents and strengths?
It often isn’t very obvious why we talk about talents and strengths. That’s why we begin each workshop with an introduction to the strength-based method, explaining why it works and showing the benefits of working according to this methodology. We also display statistical data that connects a strength-based focus with increases in both productivity and profitability. This part is then concluded with a discussion of the topic
Talent vs strength
In the beginning, we show how talents and strengths are connected. We discuss what a talent is and how to build a strength out of a talent. By the end of this discussion, we have a common understanding of the terms, which is crucial for the next parts of the workshop.
My personal talents
In order to employ the strength-based methodology, it’s a must to understand your own talents. That’s why we take time in the workshop to focus on discovering what each talent is, how it has been visible in our lives so far, and how it can be used in the future to solve problems or reach desired goals. Much of this is done using the framework called “Name It, Claim It, Aim It.” At the end of this section of the workshop, each participant is able to begin building a plan for achieving a chosen goal using his/her strengths.
Talents in a team
Once everyone is familiar with their own talents, we move forward to discover and understand the talents that are present in the team. Sharing our own talents with our colleagues helps build awareness of the talents present in the group . It’s empowering to see that our talents are both unique among others and similar to the talents of others in the group. The end result of this section is usually an open conversation between group members about talents.
Dynamics of the talents in the team
Each team has its own talent map. We create this map for each group during the workshop; it allows us to discuss a number of topics. We are able to discover whether the majority of the talents of the team are in the Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building, or Strategic Thinking domains. Then, we can name the strengths of the team, spot the unique talents of team members, and discuss how they can be utilized more productively. That knowledge also allows us to consciously seek partners in the team based on the team’s specific needs.
Strengths in practice
The last part of the workshop is working on applying the newfound knowledge about talents in a practical way during the work day. We practice performing typical actions present in each team in the context of the talents, e.g., in delegating, giving feedback, and communication in general.
This is a great way to wrap up the whole workshop because it allows participants to leave with a very practical tool that may be applied to their everyday work.
The above description shows sample parts of a typical workshop. Participants of the workshop are able to learn about their talents and strengths, work with them, talk about them with their peers, and, most importantly, use that knowledge in practice to help them become more productive and efficient in their daily tasks.