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In this video, Steve Gulliver speaks about his experience using TalentPredix and how TalentPredix helped cultivate career development excellence at the University of Leicester.

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In this video, Youssef Beyhum speaks about his experience using TalentPredix and how TalentPredix helped unleash thriving careers and meaningful career progression at Samsara EMEA through strengths-based career development.

TalentPredix is proud to be finalists for the Learning Awards 2024 for External Learning Solution of the Year for partnering with Samsara to deliver a strengths-based career development program.

LPI Awards badge learning awards external learning solution of the year 2024 TalentPredix samsara career development career progression strengths based career skills based organization

A positive mindset paves the way for success and peak performance. It will also leave you feeling happier and more satisfied with your life. This has been well established through decades of research which shows that when people work with a positive mindset, performance on key metrics like productivity, creativity and engagement improves. Neuropsychologists have also found that a positive mindset enables better problem-solving through enabling better use of the pre-frontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for higher level, complex thinking tasks.  

There are also countless testimonials from many of the most successful business leaders like Arianna Huffington, Sheryl Sandberg, Richard Branson, Peter Jones, Warren Buffet and Jeff Weiner about the power of building and maintaining a positive mindset.  

A positive mindset involves a lot more than simply being upbeat and optimistic, a ‘glass half full’ type of person. There are 5 main elements: 

  1. A clear, inspiring purpose – a personal ‘true north’ to guide how you will bring value to others and your organization. Without this, it is extremely difficult to remain positive and motivated. 
  1. A high level of self-efficacy – an inner confidence in your abilities and strengths. You must believe you have what it takes to achieve your goals.  
  1. A solutions-focused problem-solving approach – a tendency to look for solutions and opportunities rather than seeing problems as threats and getting consumed by pessimism and anxiety. 
  1. A positive view of others – trusting co-workers and others around you, including valuing different perspectives and believing those you work with have positive intent and strengths that can help you succeed. 
  1. A growth mindset – being curious and open-minded about learning opportunities and willing to overcome limiting fears to test to upper limits of your potential.    

So, here are some of the ways you can strengthen your mindset and become someone who thinks like a winner: 

  1. Take responsibility for your mindset 

 Don’t allow yourself to become a victim to negative thinking and adverse circumstances otherwise you’ll enter a vicious cycle of low self-confidence, pessimism, helplessness and eventually depression. We can all learn from Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, who pointed out in his bestselling book, Man’s Search for Meaning

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”  

  1. Build your career around your strengths 

Your personal strengths are those underlying qualities that naturally energize you, not just skills you have learned or competencies you’re good at. What do you love to do that you could do every day without getting bored? For example, some managers are energized by being strategic and creative while others are more organized and detail oriented. The areas where your strengths and skills overlap are what we call your “sweet spots”, they are areas where you have opportunity to make the greatest contribution and impact at work. Studies show that when people discover their strengths and find ways to use these more fully in their day-to-day work, they are more likely to enjoy work, perform better and achieve success in their careers. 

  1. Challenge your limiting beliefs and self-doubt  

Recognise and write down the negative, limiting things you say to yourself. Treat these as if they were being said by an external person who wants to make you miserable. Dispute or argue against these points as if you were disputing something someone has said which is unfair or unjustified. Try reframing these negative statements as positive, empowering ones. Write these down and look at them every morning before work and whenever you are experiencing episodes of self-doubt or anxiety. Over time, your negative narratives will be replaced with more positive ones.  

  1. Avoid comparing yourself with others 

Always comparing yourself to others (especially those you consider as highly successfully) is counterproductive and will probably only make you miserable in the long run. Happiness and success are highly subjective and often very private so unless you can see inside the person’s brain, you will never know how happy and successfully they really feel.  

Spend time undertaking work and leisure activities that make you feel more fulfilled and genuinely happy rather than activities and interests you see others you admire doing.   

  1. Build high-trust, positive relationships  

People are seen as likeable when they are kind and trustworthy, have a good sense of humour, offer unsolicited support and help, practice regular gratitude and don’t take themselves too seriously. Displaying these behaviours will enable you to initiate and build relationships with co-workers and other people around you who impact your happiness and success. Even if you are by nature a more negative, suspicious or pessimistic person, spending regular time with people who are happy, resilient and optimistic will eventually result in a positive shift in your mindset, energy and effectiveness.    

  1. Treat failure as a learning opportunity  

If something doesn’t work the first time, try it again and do it differently. Rather than allowing failure to undermine your energy and confidence, treat it as one of your most respected teachers. Remember that almost every successful business person fails on multiple occasions. The best often stand out because of their ability to dust themselves down and move beyond these setbacks, rather than allowing themselves to be defined by them.   

  1. Notice the good things  

Many people keep themselves so busy at work and home that they don’t take time to slow down and notice the good moments and things in life. For example, we often fail to spot our co-workers doing great work or a friend or partner making a special effort on our behalf. Many even fail to notice and celebrate their own learning, progress and professional achievements. They simply move on to the next thing and lose a valuable opportunity to enjoy the viewing points in their overhasty quest to climb the ‘mountain’. By taking time to notice and appreciate these moments, however small, we will enhance our positive thinking as well as the joy and satisfaction of those around us. 

  1. Don’t try to be positive all the time 

Negative thoughts (I’ve never liked this misleading label) are perfectly normal and healthy so don’t push these thoughts and feelings aside when they arise. Emotions like being sad when you are grieving or being angry or disappointed when someone lets you down are usually helpful responses that motivate us to action to improve our work, lives and relationships. So don’t suppress or deny these feelings without first acknowledging and understanding them. Asking yourself whether they will improve your work, life and relationships is a simple test to decide on how you wish to deal with them.  

TalentPredix offers bespoke consulting and coaching solutions to help you and your team build the right mindset for success in today’s ever-changing world of work. Contact us to learn more at info@talentpredix.com or visit our website to learn more.  

Most of us have experienced times when we lose our mojo at work. We drag ourselves into work and battle through the day, waiting for the workday to end. Fortunately for most of us this doesn’t happen every day but some people stay in this motivational void for too long.  

Here are some steps to help you get out of this unhelpful place: 

  1. Clarify the source of your demotivation  

What’s causing you to be demotivated? It is something at work like your boss or growing boredom with the job? Does it stem from problems at home? Or are the underlying reasons something else like a poor diet and lack of exercise?  

  1. Identify whether you have the power to change things  

Can you change the source of your demotivation and if so, what action will help you change things? Most of the time, we have a lot more influence and control over events than we realise, especially if we call on the help of others when we are struggling. Think broadly and creatively how you can take back control of the situation.  

  1. Refocus your attention on the positives  

When we lose our mojo, we tend to generalise our dissatisfaction and forget all the positive stuff that’s happening. We get into a negative spiral of despair and unhappiness. Take time to remember what’s going well. What were your recent achievements and successes? What did you do well to achieve these results? 

  1. Find solutions and act 

Find solutions to take back control of your situation and regain your mojo. Be courageous and decisive, don’t live with the demotivation. Call on the help of people at work and your friends and family to recover your mojo. Remember that the longer that you stick with a broken mojo, the harder it is to fix as you’ll start becoming consumed by a sense of helplessness. So act now and always remember that it’s your choice to change things for the better. 

TalentPredix provides bespoke solutions to help you build a thriving place to work where your people show up motivated to succeed. Contact us for more: info@talentpredix.com 

Major changes like Covid, digital transformation and the growing environmental emergency are disrupting traditional business models and creating huge impetus for transformation and innovation. To succeed, today’s organizations need to be highly adaptive and constantly innovate to keep pace with disruptive forces and changing customer preferences. 

Yet too many companies still stifle the ideas and creativity of their employees. They straitjacket people with directive leadership and rigid policies, processes, and procedures, smothering the voice and imagination of their people. The results are predictable. Motivation, teamwork, and innovation nosedive, followed by declines in customer loyalty and financial results. 

To succeed and compete in this new era of disruption and innovation, organizations need to learn how to harness employees’ incredible creative potential, as innovation is a distinctly human endeavour. The world’s most innovative companies systematically devise ways to promote a culture of collaboration, creativity, and innovation. Here’s how you can do the same by putting these principles at the heart of your organization’s people strategy: 

Develop creative thinking capabilities  

Creative and imaginative thinking involves intentionally expanding our thinking to find new and useful ideas and solutions to overcome problems, accelerate innovation and enable the organization to achieve its goals. Studies show that it is one of the most important competencies for leaders and teams to possess to be effective. In future, it is likely to become even more important because of growing rates of change and disruptive innovation. Just like emotional intelligence, it is also extremely difficult for AI and intelligent machines to perform creative problem-solving as effectively as humans.   

But creative thinking is not natural for most employees, as it is not taught at school or even by most universities. Organizations seeking higher rates of innovation should therefore invest in training their staff in creative and collaborative thinking methods, ensuring people have the skills, tools, and techniques to unlock the power of cognitive diversity and people’s collective ideas. Through developing creative thinking skills like learner mindset, powerful questioning, reframing, divergent thinking and cognitive diversity, organizations will promote a culture that encourages curiosity, experimentation, and innovation.   

Build teams comprised of diverse strengths and styles 

At innovative companies like Google, LVMH, Apple, Unilever and Salesforce, employees are encouraged to express their individuality and apply their unique strengths, imagination, and know-how to achieve their own goals and those of the wider business. Employees in these companies are not expected to be well-rounded. They are empowered to optimize their strengths and work with diverse team members that complement them.  By building highly inclusive and cognitively diverse teams, these companies unlock ideas, creative problem-solving and improved rates of innovation. They also become ‘talent magnets’ for the most talented people who seek organizations that provide opportunities for them to shape decisions and the future of the business.   

Build a connected, team-based organization where ideas and knowledge flow freely   

Innovative organizations create opportunities for people from different parts of the business to connect and work together in mixed teams that span diverse functions and business areas. A growing number of innovative and dynamic businesses are organized into natural teams that assemble to deliver specific projects or products then disband once the project outcome or product is delivered. This way of organizing work is a natural evolution of the popular matrix structures found in many innovative organizations.

However, the big difference is that functional lines of reporting are looser or even non-existent. Work is organised by team leaders and highly empowered teams and people are assigned to teams based on their experience, performance track record, and strengths. Innovative organizations also promote informal and frequent connections among employees by enabling people to socialise and have fun together, both in physical and online environments. Enabling employees to spend such time together builds trust, improves collaboration, and accelerates knowledge flows. This provides more opportunities for employees to discuss and refine ideas, as well as a chance to share insights, and better practices.      

Promote psychologically safe workplaces  

Many organizations are now promoting psychological safety as a fundamental pillar or their people strategy. This is crucial as people need to feel they are in a safe and supportive environment that appreciates them and values their input and contribution.  

However, there is another compelling business reason to pursue a culture where psychological safety becomes the norm. To succeed in today’s ever-changing environment, organizations are going to need to accelerate creative thinking and innovation. The only way to do this is to ensure everyone feels they can openly and honestly voice their ideas and opinions, no matter how controversial or challenging these are.  

Encourage ideas and experimentation 

Employers often unintentionally cultivate risk averse and conservative cultures through centralising decision-making and stifling the creativity of people at lower levels in the organization. They create a fear culture by discouraging risk-taking, initiative, and direct challenge of top management. In innovative organizations like Gore, Meta and 3M, employees are actively encouraged to engage in creative problem-solving, hackathons and experiments to improve products, processes, and practices. Leaders in these companies recognise that tolerating mistakes is required to accelerate progress and achieve breakthrough innovation. They encourage and reward employees for coming up with great ideas to improve the business and its products, creating greater value for customers and other stakeholders. They also empower people to stretch themselves beyond their comfort zone and embrace curiosity, agility, and continuous learning.      

Today’s organizations need to be able to adapt quickly and innovate in the face of fast-changing conditions. Leaders and teams who can anticipate, innovate, and adapt faster will enable the business to gain a clear competitive advantage over rivals. They will also be able to attract and retain the best talent, as the most talented people look for employers that value and leverage their ideas and full potential. By implementing these five principles organizations can accelerate creative thinking and unlock the extraordinary creative potential of their people.  

We offer design thinking and creative problem-solving workshops for leaders and teams. Contact us at info@talentpredix.com for more information.

Understanding Others is crucial at every level of the organization, particularly for leaders and managers seeking to enhance their own and their teams’ performance. When being used optimally (what we refer to as “In the Zone”), behaviours associated with this strength include taking the time to listen to colleagues to understand things from their point of view, giving emotional space to understand how your people are feeling and stepping in to help others when they are upset, overwhelmed or emotionally low.  

However, when used too much or in the wrong way (what we refer to as “Overuse or In-excess”) excess, Understanding Others may result in some of the following behaviours: 

 
However, there are a variety of techniques that highly empathetic leaders and employees can apply to avoid these risks, such as: 

Separating emotions and personal life from work  

This is not to say that leaders should embody indifference at work. Instead, they should take care to boundary their personal time and mental energy so that they do not get overinvolved in others’ problems. If they don’t do this, their tendency to identify too much with others’ emotions and provide support to others when they are in distress or experiencing challenges at work or in their personal life may end up being detrimental to their own work, mental health and personal happiness. In extreme cases, it can also result in an unhealthy relationship of dependency that can prevent people from becoming more self-sufficient, confident, and resilient.  

Set clear guidelines and expectations – and enforce them 

As mentioned earlier, some may take advantage of the leader’s/person’s warm and compassionate nature and inclination to help. This may result in them find opportunities to offload unwanted work inappropriately or abusing the leader’s warm-hearted and understanding nature. To avoid this, leaders should clearly communicate role responsibilities and ensure people are held accountable to what has been agreed and subsequently delegated. If it is apparent that a team member is struggling with their workload, the leader should show empathy and understanding in helping the person to improve, particularly where these challenges are caused by genuine personal challenges outside work (e.g., major illness in the family). However, while reasonable allowances can be made, the leader needs to remain firm about what needs to be delivered and offer only reasonable assistance to address any shortfalls.  

Don’t constantly try to rescue others  

Whilst compassionate and understand leaders typically have good intentions by stepping in to try and help others, they often end up doing more harm than good. Check in with your direct reports and colleagues whether they need help before stepping in to rescue them. If they do need help, provide advice and guidance of where to find the best support (e.g., through the HR function, GP practice, professional counselling services) rather than always trying to provide this yourself.   

Understanding others is essential for leaders and managers to enhance performance and build strong, positive relationships at work. However, it should be balanced to avoid emotional exhaustion, dependency, and interference. By setting boundaries, establishing clear expectations, and providing support when truly needed, empathetic leaders can create a thriving work environment that fosters self-sufficiency, self-confidence, and success. 

To find out how we can help your organization avoid using overused talents to help your employees to thrive in their career, contact us at info@talentpredix.com.  

A manager has many responsibilities, one of which is keeping their team engaged and motivated at work. Unfortunately, the economic slowdown and threat of a recession make this harder on managers, while also negatively impacting employee morale, leading to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and higher turnover rates. This has been amplified by The Great Resignation, where employees are willingly leaving their jobs to pursue other opportunities because in the past few years, the demand for talent has grown and now exceeds supply in many occupational areas like software development, B2B sales and leadership. Current data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) predicts that one in five of UK workers will seek other employment options this year. More recent research from Unum UK, an employee benefits provider, found that 19% of workers plan to look for a new position in 2023.  

However, the outlook for employers is not all bleak as recent trends show the rise of Boomerang Employees. The World Economic Forum defines this phenomenon as “staff who leave their jobs but choose to return at a later point when the stress passes or priorities shift”. Data shows that 1 in 5 people who have quit their jobs during the pandemic have gone back to the job that they have left. This suggests that employees are realizing that the grass is not always greener on the other side, and the demotivating factor/s that caused them to leave in the first place are being tackled more swiftly by employers who are keen to war for the best talent. For example, many companies that previously had no flexible work policies are implementing these to remain competitive in an increasingly ‘hot’ talent market.  

There are a number of steps managers can take to keep employee engagement and morale up during times of uncertainty, and create a culture that employees will not want to leave, but also are more inclined to return to if they do resign: 

  1. Be transparent and communicate frequently – During times of uncertainty, employees want regular updates and transparency from their managers. Make sure you communicate openly and honestly with your team about the state of the company, any upcoming changes, and how they may be affected. This can help alleviate anxiety and prevent rumors from spreading. 
  1. Show empathy and support – Layoffs and the threat of recession can take a toll on employees’ mental health and wellbeing. As a manager, it’s essential to show empathy and support to your team during this time. Listen to their concerns, offer resources, and support, and encourage them to take care of themselves both physically and mentally. 
  1. Provide opportunities for development and growth – Even in challenging times, employees want to feel like they are progressing in their careers. Provide opportunities for learning and development, such as training sessions, coaching or mentorship programs. This can help employees feel more engaged and invested in their work, especiallyduring tough times. 
  1. Recognize and reward accomplishments – During a time of layoffs and recession, it’s easy for employees to feel like their work doesn’t matter and isn’t appreciated. As a manager, try to recognize and reward accomplishments and effort, no matter how small This can help boost morale and reinforce the value of your employees’ contributions. 
  1. Foster a positive culture and team spirit – Finally, it’s essential to foster a positive culture and team spirit during tough times. Encourage teamwork, celebrate wins together, and prioritize team-building activities. Promote strengths-based work practices so people can spend more time at work doing activities that really energize them and align with their career goals. This can help create a sense of unity and support within your team, even when times are tough. 

Implementing simple, actionable ways to keep employees engaged during the economic slowdown will not only improve performance, motivation and retention, but former employees may even boomerang back onto your team.  

As a leader in strengths-based assessment, development and coaching, TalentPredix can help you boost employee engagement, performance and retention. Contact us to learn more.

Disengaged employees can be detrimental to productivity, employee engagement and overall output. Our previous blog covered signs managers should look out for in employees to help nip this problem in the bud.  

Spot and prevent low motivation and engagement   

Of course, the best way to ward off quiet quitting is for managers to check in on the motivation of their people on a regular basis. There are different ways of doing this, including careful observation of behaviour, emotions and energy shifts, engagement surveys and asking questions that uncover people’s motivation during regular check-ins and quarterly performance review meetings. Some of the questions managers can consider asking are as follows: 

Once managers identify a disengaged employees they can explore the root cause of their low engagement in a one-on-one conversation. 

Amplify strengths, successes and progress 

Managers, like most of us, are conditioned to focus more on the negatives we see rather than the positives. This is what psychologists call the “negativity bias”. It is therefore important for managers to consciously learn to spot and magnify strengths, successes and progress, even small wins and shifts in effort. 

By giving positive feedback and praise, managers will promote progress, excellence, and employee engagement. When people feel they are valued and their progress and achievements are recognized regularly by their manager, they are more likely to feel motivated and exert higher levels of discretionary effort (i.e., effort over and above the required level).  

Conduct retention/stay interviews 

Retention interviews are a powerful tool to improve employee experience, build trust, and nip problems in the bud. RotaCloud recommends that retention interviews should be kept relatively informal, held in private, and be consistent as much as possible across different team members. Keeping consistency might be difficult, as everyone has their own sentiments and feelings, but managers can keep a set of key questions or discussion points handy and let the conversation flow from there. This can be done in both in-person and remote or hybrid workplaces. Responses should be collated and kept on record somewhere in order to refer to eventually.   

Demonstrate empathy 

It is important that managers self-reflect and be empathetic above all else. Try to picture themselves in the position of their employees and see their realities to understand where they are coming from. Reflect on how they would react if they were put in their employees’ position? Additionally, consider the employees themselves and the value they have brought to the team, and their strengths and their talents and how these can be further supported to allow them to thrive.  

Act on employee feedback 

Taking this into consideration, it is now time for the manager to act on the feedback given from their employees. It may be revealed that employees are frustrated with a lack of progression and/or development opportunities available to them, then the manager should explore options in upskilling and/or career development for their people. In virtual teams, managers may find that some employees feel disconnected from the broader workforce. This last one might be common among the younger workforce, who are likely dealing with proportionately more “Zoom fatigue” from the pandemic. If this is the case, the leader should find more creative ways to foster connectivity or, if possible, try to organize in-person events to enable the employees to connect with each other more. 

Lastly, it should be ensured that this feedback loop is not a one-off occurrence. A communication line has been opened, and it should be kept this way. The manager should devise a plan to regularly collect feedback, comments, and suggestions from their team, and be flexible enough and willing to find ways to act on suggestions being made. Data can be collected either through formal measures like sending out employee engagement surveys or more informal measures such as sitting down and having a conversation or booking regular one-on-one meetings. Gallup finds that the best practice is for managers to have meaningful 15–30-minute conversations once a week with each employee.  

By actively listening to the needs and wants of their people, managers foster a work environment that is inclusive and supportive, which can help their team members feel valued, motivate them to perform at their best and thus address the issue of employee disengagement.  

TalentPredix has the strengths-based tools, resources, and skills to engage employees to help you build a thriving place to work so your people can reach their full potential. Contact us today to learn more.

The term ‘quiet quitting’ has made the rounds online, from starting conversations and debate on all corners of the internet, to even being named one of Collins Dictionary’s Word of the Year. Collins has defined it as “the practice of doing no more work than one is contractually obligated to do.”  

RotaCloud, a staff management software company, has now identified a new workplace trend to succeed quiet quitting called “resenteeism.” They define it as staying in a job, despite being fundamentally unhappy and actively resenting it. Concerns over job security, cost of living, or a lack of alternative employment options are cited as reasons that employees stay. The main difference that resenteeism has from its predecessor is that the employee is more vocal about their dissatisfaction and may potentially influence the opinions and attitudes of others.  

However, a common denominator between the two is that it all boils down to employee engagement, or a lack thereof. Indeed’s Work Happiness Score revealed that more than one third of U.K. employees are unhappy in their current job roles. Employee engagement is nothing new in the HR industry, but recent events like the pandemic and cost of living crisis have brought it front and center. But the question remains – what can managers do to engage their employees and prevent dissatisfaction?  

Primarily, managers need to be engaged and present at work, so they can identify which employees are putting in less effort than before and seem disengaged from the wider workforce. In a hybrid or remote settings, being present could mean reaching out more to employees to be more visible and keep communication lines open. Being engaged as a remote manager could also mean giving your employees the autonomy and flexibility to do the work on their own time but ensuring that performance standards and deadlines are clearly communicated.  

Some signs managers should look out for in employees: 

In our next article, we will explore how managers can reengage a disengaged employee to achieve better outputs and productivity.  

TalentPredix has the tools, resources, and skills to engage employees to help you build a thriving place to work so your people can reach their full potential. Contact us today to learn more

It is widely acknowledged that teams will play an ever-greater role in the workplace of the future. To compete effective in a fast-changing and unpredictable world, organizations need more diverse, agile, and collaborative teams to tackle greater complexity and adaptive challenges created by disruptive changes and trends, including rapidly changing technologies, new ways of working and shifting employee expectations. 

However, teams face a host of risks and blockers that impede their effectiveness. Many of these dysfunctions have been well covered in the literature and include things like poor trust, lack of clarity of goals and purpose, unclear accountabilities, and breakdowns in communication.  

Perhaps one of the least known and biggest risks to team performance arises when team strengths are overused and this leads to negative, unintended results. Overused strengths occur when team members use their strengths excessively or carelessly and this unintentionally undermines performance, relationships, and results. For example, a team that has a high proportion of team members who are highly task-focused, driven, and decisive may end up driving results so hard that they overlook the importance of listening to others and exploring creative options that could generate better results. Because they are so focused on driving for short-term results, they may also fail to engage external stakeholders to support their plans, resulting in implementation challenges arising from a lack of commitment. Breakdowns in trust and teamwork with colleagues who are more creative, relationship-oriented, and considered in their approach can also arise, leaving these minority team members feeling excluded, ignored, and unvalued.  

The biggest sources of this problem are as follows: 

Lopsided teams 

Failing to assess for personal strengths when hiring people and building teams often results in teams that are lopsided. For example, I once worked with a top team of a major Tech company who had plenty of leaders with strengths in Delivery and Problem Solving, but insufficient team members who were strong at building and maintaining positive relationships with others. This lack of softer power skills in areas like collaboration, empathy and consideration, undermined team effectiveness and results.  

This problem can even spread to other parts of the business, as lopsided team behaviours at the top tend to trickle-down to other management levels. This happens because managers tend to demonstrate the behaviours that get recognised and rewarded by senior leadership. When some strengths are valued more than others in an organization, these feed through into the way new managers are hired, developed, and progressed, adding to the lopsidedness of the entire organization.  

Lack of feedback 

Feedback is crucial in order for team members to understand their ‘blind spots’ and overused strengths. Without regular, timely and balanced feedback, it is unlikely team members will recognise behaviours and unproductive habits associated with their overused strengths.  In the absence of this awareness, team members are likely to continue to perform the role as they’ve always done, even when these behaviours don’t work anymore. 

Stress and pressure 

We see many teams, particularly leadership and executive teams, that overuse their strengths because of the huge pressures they are under from multiple stakeholders, including investors and the Board. This causes behaviours such as decisiveness, confidence, and more autocratic leadership approaches to be used excessively, leading to overhasty analysis and decision-making, groupthink (i.e., when teams start to think alike and make decisions that remain unchallenged) and careless risk taking.  

Company culture 

Freedoms and constraints in the company culture can exacerbate overused behaviours. It is hard to forget the examples of Enron, Royal Bank of Scotland and more recently FTX, where rash decision making, and over-confidence were left unchecked because of a lack of company ethics, values and boundaries. This resulted in reckless and unethical behaviour that ultimately led to the well documented demise of these companies. 

Teams can avoid risks arising from overused strengths in the following ways: 

  1. Raise awareness of overused strengths and what triggers these

Teams should take steps to become more aware of their strengths and the behaviours that show up when they are used excessively or carelessly. By using a valid and reliable strengths assessment profiler like TalentPredix™, teams can build awareness of team member strengths and how these show up when they are overused, as well as when they are used effectively. By developing specific techniques to avoid overusing their strengths, team members can balance out one another’s excesses and avoid the downside of their strengths.  

One of the great benefits of this strengths discovery and optimization workshop is that team members start to see their colleagues’ behaviours in a radically different way. Rather than automatically viewing problematic behaviours by colleagues as weaknesses that are difficult to change, they start realizing that some of these behaviours arise from their overused strengths. This provides them with a powerful new ‘lens’ and language to offer constructive and empowering feedback to their colleagues.  

  1. Build diverse teams 

Problematic patters of overused strengths in teams often occur when a dominant strength or combination of strengths becomes the dominant way of thinking in the team – the ‘hammer’ the team uses to deal with every challenge it faces. In such cases, everything starts looking like a ‘nail’ and minority, dissenting team members’ views are steamrollered or ignored.  

Teams can avoid this danger by hiring team members with diverse strengths. Studies show that more cognitively diverse teams made up of a broad mix of strengths, skills, experiences, and different backgrounds (including ethnic and gender differences) outperform those that lack such diversity. 

  1. Promote an open feedback culture 

Teams wanting to avoid overdrive risks should build an open culture of feedback where team members are able to provide constructive as well as positive feedback. It takes times and trust before such candid feedback conversations can occur which is why it is always a good idea to bring in an external facilitator to equip the team with the tools, skills, and confidence to shift to an open culture of feedback. Inviting employees and stakeholders outside the team to provide feedback on team behaviours as well as results can also help guard against excessive behaviours. 

  1. Ensure teams don’t become over-stretched 

Teams that are naturally results-focused and ambitious are far more likely to trip themselves up by using their strengths excessively when they are over-stretched and in a vicious ‘do-do-do cycle’. This stress response means that these types of teams allow themselves little time for engaging diverse perspectives, planning and reviewing work and applying creative problem-solving. By helping these teams understand the dangers of this lopsided pattern and providing them with the support to prioritise their work, build resilience and apply creative problem-solving techniques, team effectiveness will improve and the company will minimize burnout, disengagement, and unwanted turnover of key talent. 

We have highlighted the risks of overused strengths for individuals in a previous blog about this. Similarly, when used excessively or carelessly, team strengths can undermine results and damage relationships. Yet, the vast majority of teams remain totally unaware of the risks arising when they use their strengths excessively or in the wrong way. By implementing the steps outlined above, organizations can build greater awareness of collective strengths within their work teams, how these can be applied effectively, and potential risks associated with overuse. This approach provides teams with a way of optimizing their strengths while also mitigating and correcting excessive behaviours that may derail the team from achieving and sustaining high performance.