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Your Stories Don’t Define You, How You Tell Them Will

Jul 30, 2019

Lisa was promoted and knew she would work hard to be a great manager. She had enough experiences, good and bad, to know what she didn’t want to do. But she had an immediate challenge in one of her employees, and had almost decided to find a way to let her go, to fire her. Something about having that kind of power, the ability to make a decision that would at least temporarily have a big impact on a person’s life, made her question her decision, thank goodness.

That was when she was introduced to StrengthsFinders. She took the assessment, began digging into applying what she was learning about herself through the reports generated for her results, and realized she could be a much better manager as she became more self-reflective. What really opened her eyes, though, was the realization that she could be an even better manager if she knew the results of her staff using that assessment. She recognized the value of better understanding not only what motivated them, but what they were particularly good at - what lit them up.

She used that tool for years, uncovering strengths in her staff while becoming more and more aware of her own filters and bias' in how she saw her team. With the woman she had considered letting go, she realized how great a complement that woman could be on the team because she thinks so differently from Lisa.

In this episode, we spoke about some of our strengths, and discussed how we coach people within their specific themes. The Maximizer theme came up a couple of times, and I referred to the movie This Is Spinal Tap, a mock-umentary, a fake rock band documentary.

A maximizer is someone who sees something that’s a 7.5 or an 8 on a 10 point scale and immediately has ideas about how to make it even better, they want to make it an 11. Think about the person in your life who always has an idea about something to add to improve an already awesome recipe. They’re usually perfectionists and have a hard time stepping away from something. The only time you’d hear this person say: “That’s good enough.” is when they weren’t all that excited about the project to begin with - they didn’t see the potential for it to be GREAT.

We also spoke about the differences in how people get from point A to point B, and the fact that there are always multiple ways to do that, but most of the time we have a narrow vision based on our own experience and strengths. When we recognize others for the value they bring, we find more effective ways to accomplish our goals.

Connect with Lisa Cummings on LinkedIn, and check out her website Lead Through Strengths.