What are your Strengths?
It’s hard to escape the end of summer – kids returning to school photos on Facebook, increase in the traffic and a turn in the weather. I was talking to my own girls, Lily (9) and Jessie (8) about their return to school and their plans for years 5 and 4 respectively. I realise that playing to your strengths has a massive impact on all aspects of life. The confidence and upbeat tone that Lily talks about maths (yes maths!) compared to reading is quite unmistakable. But unlike school where you get an end of term report tracking progress, ability and effort – strengths and development areas at work are harder to identify and quantify. We have for a number of years been assessing individuals underlying ability, personality and motivational fit with organisations and roles but how do you identify an individual’s full strengths?
As a GB masters Judoka it would be easy to think of my strengths in terms of bench-presses and dead lifts, although those don’t get you very far in an office environment. However the knowledge of where my strengths lie does help me plan my game plan as well as my approach to training, and improving my performance both on the mat and here at Getfeedback. In a recent LinkedIn blog post Caroline Carr Head of Learning & Development, Sales, Marketing and Operations at O2 draws on the parallels of the benefits of Fitbit data for fitness for tracking progress with relevant data in L&D. She states ‘if we can’t track it – if we can’t measure it – where’s the case for investing it?’ Same as Caroline’s Fitbit provides her answers to all those questions in relation to her health and fitness to provide her with a compelling case for investing her time and efforts, data is also required to identify where to invest time and effort in an individual’s development. It’s a good read if you get the chance.
For ability, personality and motivation online psychometrics can undoubtedly help shed light on areas of strength and preference but where should you start with regards to behavioural development? Since we formed Getfeedback back in the year 2000 we have been assessing individuals against the Schroder model of high performance – it’s just such a well validated, clear model once you have worked with it (as a number of my former colleagues will be sure to agree) it becomes the benchmark for all other behvaioural models.
We use this throughout all our tools and methodology. 360 degree feedback surveys can be a great tool for reviewing where you are at but what if you work in a small team or not everyone has access to emails and /or you need data faster than a 360 will allow? 1:1 assessment, work-shadowing or development centres are great sources of behavioural data but not always logistically practical or financially viable.
In working with my colleagues from our consultancy team we have developed a new self-assessment tool, appropriately named MyStrength.
This tool is in the final stages of development and is really exciting as it allows us to compare the equivalent our own personal bench-presses against all of the 11 Schroder behaviours. It allows us to review current behavioural strengths to improve our performance – both in the context of our roles and the environment in which we work. It also links in to the self-led development we have seen a move towards in recent months.
This tool is unique in that it provides a clear snap shot in time of strengths against the Schroder model. It also takes into account the importance of the behaviours which allows us to go further with our analysis to generate a Johari window showing behavioural scores against competence – feel free to take a look at my own report to see how this is presented- this is my actual report (all be it in beta versions)
I have been using this report in my own personal development – however as with the maths comparison with my daughter Lily, I also combine this information on strengths with my knowledge of the areas I have the passion and energy to pursue and what my organisation needs and expects of me in my role. Where individual strengths and passion meets organisational needs represents an ideal place for personal and organisational development.
Which Schroder behaviour do you need to improve your bench-press for?
We are formally launching this tool at this year’s CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition in Manchester
but if you would like to try it for yourself or discuss it further before then please get in touch.