Hi there and welcome. My name is Kerstin Jatho from 4Seeds Consulting, a transformational coach that assists organisations and individuals to shift from languishing to flourishing. In this audio, I want to share with you how to develop a strength-focused lens for your team. So, starting to look from what is wrong to what is strong.

We as human beings are naturally wired to always look at the negative aspect. It’s called the normal negativity bias. We always see something that is wrong before we see what is right, or what is strong. And, that’s been serving us as individuals or as humanity for many years, because otherwise we wouldn’t be around anymore.

So that has saved us. However, it’s not always good in a working environment or even for our own lives. So, we often look at weaknesses in people and ourselves because we just believe that weaknesses are urgent. They need to be fixed and they are development areas. I guess society has conditioned us to focus on that a little bit.

Focusing on our strengths somehow does feel a bit self-centred and perhaps blowing our own trumpet, but we can do it in a more natural way because it’s important to know what your strengths are. Your strengths are really your authentic, unique resources that are so powerful when you tap into them for you to achieve your performance … leverage your ultimate … achieve goal attainment, receive life satisfaction, have meaning in life, give to others, and be happy. So, strengths are really, really important. Plus, they’re very easy for us. They’re energising and they’re effortless. So, we like working with our strengths because of those things. So, we easily go back and repeat an activity.

I mean, think about it. Can you imagine doing a task that you really enjoy? You look forward to doing that. It most probably is the first thing you’ll do in the morning versus something that you don’t quite look forward to doing. Strengths are very much part of your personality. And if you had to explain to somebody how you would do something that’s natural, and that comes naturally to you. You really don’t know how to do that and battle to explain it. And maybe you’re even not sure why that person is not able to do it. So, strengths are very unique to every individual, and we mustn’t assume that because it’s natural and easy for you, that it’s diminishing and it has no value. So, that is something very important to look at.

Sadly, in the working environment, people only use up to about 20% of their strengths. I mean, that’s a staggering figure and also explains why very often performance, low productivity, low job satisfaction, low disengagement, and we have mediocracy in our quality of service. I recently worked with a team leader in an organisation where team morale was very low.

Productivity was low. There were a lot of mistakes being made. People were exceptionally disengaged. And when I started speaking to the team leader, it became very quickly evident that all he focused on was what the team was doing wrong. He expressed it verbally all the time. He articulated it in a very negative way.

So, it was very natural that people felt demotivated, disengaged, not performing, not going the extra mile. I mean, why would they? Would you if you got that all the time and heard that all the time? So, we had to really change his mindset of the language he was using to shift it to a more positive language.

We had to teach him to spot strengths in people and then to acknowledge and validate them for that. So really seeing and utilising people’s strengths. It was quite a process, but it really worked in the long run. So, for you, it’s perhaps to sit back and identify: What are my strengths? What comes naturally to me. What’s easy for me?

What energises me? And just being clear on that is already a big step forward. But what I want to leave you with, and encourage you to experiment with is this. Really sit back and identify strengths in others. Be it loved ones, family members, siblings. So, your social environment, or really people you work with, so sitting back and putting on that strength-spaced lens and seeing what it is that people do effortlessly and easily and get so much energy from, and then share that with them, like validate them for that, or acknowledge them for that. And offer one user strengths in body systems where one person ’s good at something and another person isn’t. And collaborating with people like that in a working environment is very, very beneficial.

So try and establish what your strengths are and then identify them in somebody else and share it with that person. The benefit is the more you see strengths in others and in yourself, the more it becomes part of your natural way of thinking and articulation. And that creates a huge spin-off in your teams and creates a lot of positive energy.

Thank you for listening. And I look forward to connecting with you in the next one

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About the Author: Kerstin Jatho

Kerstin is the senior transformational coach and team development facilitator for 4Seeds Consulting. She is also the author of Growing Butterfly Wings, a book on applying positive psychology principles during a lengthy recovery. Her passion is to develop people-centred organisations where people thrive and achieve their potential in the workplace. You can find Kerstin on LinkedIn, Soundcloud, YouTube and Facebook.

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