As a business owner, having the ability to focus on what you do best is where you will see the most success. According to the Gallup Strengths Center:
“People who focus on their strengths every day are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs. They are more productive too, both individually and in teams. And they are more than three times as likely to say they have an excellent quality of life.”
Sound important? You better believe it! Using strengths helps everyone in your organization reach their maximum level of contribution.
Rather than a traditional personality test, the Clifton StrengthsFinder tells you how you’re talented.
“It identifies what you naturally do best. It provides customized results that name your unique talents. It shows you how you’re special and how to succeed by turning your talents into strengths.”
The Clifton StrengthsFinder test has been taken by over 16 million people worldwide and has an immense amount of data to back it up.
What Strengths Look Like
There are 34 different talent “strengths” that Clifton StrengthsFinder identifies. Each one falls under one of four bigger categories.
Each of those bigger categories is either “task” or “relationship” focused.
When you take the test, you uncover your top five Strengths. With only four categories, however, you can easily figure out where you’re dominant.
At Skipio, for example, our Customer Love Team is focused on helping people. So it’s no surprise that most of those team members have strengths that are “relationship” focused. But if you run over to our accounting department or talk to our developers, you’ll find out they have talents that are more “task” oriented, which helps explain why they’re so good at their jobs.
What Knowing Your Strengths Does for Your Business
If you know that you’re great at building relationships, then you’re naturally going to focus your efforts on building relationships, networking, and meeting new clients. If followup isn’t your strength (sending reminders, billing, check-ins, instructions), find a tool that can do it for you. This allows you to spend more time doing what you’re naturally good at.
Now, if you know you’re a really great “arranger,” which is task focused, you can still excel in work that requires you to build relationships. Simply find a tool that makes relationship building easier and more natural for you.
Your Customers Have Talents Too
At Skipio we’re all really open about our top strengths. We wear them like a badge of honor. Some of us even list them in our email signatures. We kind of geek out about this stuff!
But strengths aren’t just about you: They’re also about your customers. So while you can take the Clifton StrengthsFinder test (it’s affordable too), it might be out of line to ask your customers to take it too.
So what do you do? Interact with your clients like you normally do. But while you’re doing this, try to pick out your customers’ strengths and their needs. It won’t happen immediately, but eventually you’ll learn what drives each one.
Wyn, our dedicated strengths coach, says:
“Once you get to know people’s strengths, you also get to know their needs. Then you can adjust your interactions with them. You address people the way they need to be addressed. So your analytical customer might need to see research-based stats to be convinced, but your customer whose strength is ‘self-assurance’ might be motivated more by the success that other customers are having with your product.”
Where to Make Up For Your Non-strengths
There are a number of ways you can make up for your nondominant strengths. For example, if you’re great with relationships but stumble over organization, you could bring on an assistant to keep you in line or have someone set up a series of spreadsheets to track everything for you.
You could also find a tool that picks up the slack. Around here, we naturally use Skipio. It works well for every one of us because it’s full of features that enhance our strengths while making up for the areas where we’re not so strong. It’s pretty versatile in that regard, which makes sense. When you have founders who are dedicated to a strengths-driven workplace, you wind up with a product that’s strengths-driven also.
We’ve seen the importance of strengths here at Skipio and strive to implement it from the top down. Everyone at Skipio, from the CEO to the office manager to every potential hire, has taken the test and knows how they contribute to the team. We know what we do best and see the importance of strengths-based assignments. We’ve created an atmosphere of engagement, productivity, and success because we let our strengths dictate our efforts.