Learn to motivate and encourage your team using their strengths from the CliftonStrengths Assessment. Catch up on part 1 highlighting traction and driving strengths, and part 2 to read about seeing strengths.

Interpersonal strengths – ensuring the people matter

The fourth category of strengths that Partner2Learn teaches is Interpersonal. Individuals with Interpersonal strengths have the innate ability to focus on the human touch, to ensure that people matter in decisions, and they feel engaged throughout the process. Especially when more people are working remotely, this area is one we want to truly focus on to ensure the people are heard and feel like they are part of the team. Maintaining engagement ensures a smooth, successful transition when change and chaos are in the rear view mirror.

Relator strength on your team

  • How to leverage this strength: They love to build close, deep relationships and have high standards for interpersonal interactions. As interactions change and move more virtual, they can use this time to develop stronger relationships one-on-one with key individuals. They can also help you ensure the new way of personal interaction is warm and sincere.
  • Questions to ask to keep them engaged: Who do we need to reach out to and strengthen our relationship? How can we create a positive, warm culture in a virtual world?
  • Where this strength might struggle: Relators can build high walls and choose to stay connected to the same core people when they need to widen their circle of relationships. Especially, as interactions change, great partner-up opportunities include Woo and Includer. Woos help to widen the circle of connections. Includers help identify people to engage who are feeling left out.

Maximizer* strength on your team

  • How to leverage this strength: They want their strengths to be maximized. During chaotic times, they need to feel confident in knowing that their strengths are still being utilized to their fullest. There is no time to slack now. Additionally, they are eager to work with other individuals who are just as excited to transition from good to great, or the top 5% who want to operate quickly. If you have a maximizer on your team, check-in with them to make sure they feel they are being used to their fullest, especially in these chaotic and uncertain times.
  • Questions to ask to keep them engaged: Do you feel we are maximizing your strengths? What more do you feel you could do to help us finish these projects? Do you think we are maximizing our teams’ capabilities; if not how could we improve?
  • Where this strength might struggle: If a Maximizer does not feel they are being maximized, they can quickly become disengaged and demotivated. Additionally, because they want to work with high-level employees and move at a quick speed, a great partner-up opportunity for them is a Developer who can help soften the Maximizer’s drive to finish fast, which may not work with individuals who need to move slower or be coached along.

Developer strength on your team

  • How to leverage this strength: They are known as the natural encourager, seeing the potential in every individual. They enjoy the process and journey more than the destination. During chaotic times, they can work with your team members, clients, or constituents who need the most care and patiently help them through any situation.
  • Questions to ask to keep them engaged: What is the best way to help this person tap into their potential? Who needs additional support to be successful?
  • Where this strength might struggle: In times of chaos and change, a Developer may want to take more time to adapt and ensure everyone is onboard. Unfortunately, sometimes you need to react quickly. A great partner-up opportunity is with Maximizers. They can help them see the full potential of individuals and stretch the talent.

Includer strength on your team

  • How to leverage this strength: Includers want everyone to be involved and engaged. They see who needs to be invited in to make the circle bigger. Leverage Includers to help identify individuals feeling disconnected, especially in a remote environment, and find creative ways to reengage them.
  • Questions to ask to keep them engaged: Who might feel ignored or disconnected from the team? Who should we reach out to and include in this project?
  • Where this strength might struggle: Includers may spend too much time trying to identify every outlier that is disconnected. A great partner-up opportunity is with Woo, who can continue to network and introduce key individuals to Includers who can spend time engaging key individuals.

Empathy strength on your team

  • How to leverage this strength: They can sense other people’s feelings. Especially, amid turmoil and chaos, seek input from Empathy individuals to easily identify who might be emotionally struggling the most and find unique ways to ensure their feelings are heard and addressed.
  • Questions to ask to keep them engaged: What emotions are you sensing from the team?
  • Where this strength might struggle: Individuals with Empathy can live the emotions of many around them, which can feel overwhelming if they do not decompress personally. A great partner-up opportunity is someone with Restorative, who can help Empathy find solutions for feelings and emotions that the team is experiencing.

Individualization strength on your team

  • How to leverage this strength: They are great at identifying everyone’s unique qualities, or strengths-spotting. This ability allows them to find the best way to help, serve, and motivate each person in ways that match that person’s talents. In crisis, Individualization can help pair up individuals to initiatives based on their strengths.
  • Questions to ask to keep them engaged: How can we best leverage everyone? What do you think would help this person the most?
  • Where this strength might struggle: To some, individualization can feel like favoritism or unfairness if some seem to receive better projects or rewards. A great partner-up opportunity is with Consistency. People with the strength of Consistency want to follow rules and formalized structure. This partnership can provide balance to ensure there is fairness in similar situations, but adjustments when the circumstances require it.

Woo strength on your team

  • How to leverage this strength: Woo stands for winning others over. They love to meet new people, start new conversations, and make new connections. In times of crisis, they are energized by the challenge of finding creative ways to connect and win people over. If they cannot meet in person, they will seek ways to connect through social media and technology.
  • Questions to ask to keep them engaged: What audience do we need to reach out to today to form a connection?  How can we win over this new target market?
  • Where this strength might struggle: Woos are energized by continually meeting new people and starting new conversations. When in-person interactions are not an option (quarantine, travel restrictions etc.), some Woos may struggle with ways to connect to new people if they have not yet built an online community through social media. A great partner-up opportunity is with Relators. Woos can reconnect with their contacts remotely and can also introduce connections to other individuals, such as Relators who can build upon the existing relationship that Woos started and go deeper with key individuals.  

Engage with Partner2Learn for strategic planning support

Stay tuned in the coming weeks to learn how the rest of the strength categories complement traction, driving, seeing, and interpersonal strengths. A high-performing team needs to have all strengths, all categories, all people engaged for maximum results. Are you doing any of this right now? What new ideas are you going to implement today? How can we help you be more successful? We’re here to guide you, help elevate your performance, resulting in a transformation you never imagined.

*Asterisk means that this strength is in more than one of the eight categories.

Original research on the 8 categories conducted by Dr. Mark McKloskey and Jim Louwsma.