What does it mean to consciously apply your dominant Strengths?
I often explore with clients ways to dial up and dial down their Strengths – in different situations, with different tasks or in different relationships – and how are they being more aware and intentional in the application of their strengths. The aim through this, is to be more productive, effective and in consideration of the strengths of the people they are interacting with.
Whilst Maximizer® is not in my Top 5, it’s a definitely a dominant theme for me.
The CliftonStrengths theme of Maximizer® is described as “People exceptionally talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.”
Whether as a manager or as a parent, “How can we make this better?” or “Have you thought of this?” comes out of my mouth, before I’ve even thought about it. I also often see ways to do things better, in restaurants, cafes, systems. Actually I find it hard to turn it off! I’m sure Maximizers know what I’m talking about!
Sometimes my Maximizer can trip me up, and I’ve had good feedback from Tammy, my wife and fellow Strengths enthusiast.
In the past, when presented with school homework from the kids, the first words out of my mouth were something like, “Oh you could have done this,” or “What about this bit here, that you missed?” Tammy has brought to my attention the need to acknowledge the good work and effort first, before looking for improvements. She is exactly right. The difference it makes with it coming from a place of love and recognition, means a more productive conversation.
During a recent leadership coaching session, the coachee and I explored an upcoming session where she was communicating the strategic plan to the team. We agreed at the session for her to send through the presentation to me for some feedback before the session. On review of the presentation, I could see opportunities to improve the formatting, the images and their alignment. However, I paused and thought about what would add the most value to her. It wasn’t hearing about all the options to make it better, but specifically supporting her in refining and being clear in her message.
The power is in the pause and asking yourself, “What adds the most value to this situation?” And then being comfortable with your contribution for the greater good.
What does this look like for your dominant strengths? I’d love to know!