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It is possible to create lasting change. We spend one-third (or more) of our time working; when we know our strengths we can leverage our weaknesses, and position what we care about for the greatest success.
When wanting change, we may look to other people who achieved the change we want and decide to start taking action. Success happens in part because of our strengths – what we’re good at can take us most (if not all the way) there. Success happens, in part, by how we approach change, too:
- A study shows that the chance of creating engagement rises by up to 73% if management focuses on employee strengths, and that they can potentially strengthen an entire organization’s overall engagement and productivity. –Rath & Conchie, 2008
- Two-thirds of managers fail to actively engage in their own career development. –Right Management-Manpower, Study of 616 Canadian & US Employees in 2015
- Teams that focus on strengths every day have 12.5% greater productivity. –Gallup
- Focusing on strengths determines whether employees are willing to recommend your company’s products or services to others. In organizations that focus on strengths, 74% will recommend. In those who don’t focus on strengths, only 29% will. –Gallup
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Habits are Powerful Forces
…and we engage more efficiently by using skills that are second nature … by relying on the what and how that we know so well. It is also interesting to note, when believing we have habits that we think have a positive impact, we want others to notice that impact. We want to engage those highly-developed skills with others.
Now, when we are in a new situation – learning different ways of doing things – our ingrained habits want to be used. We want to know we can contribute to the setting.
This is a bit of a puzzle: We do something new, we decide we want to change, yet our existing patterns may demand to be used.
Buy-in requires effort and much diligence to ensure that the message we want to convey is accurately perceived by the people with whom we are communicating. Have you encountered this scenario: You’re given authority to lead a project, and then cut loose to figure out how to get it done?
No one to guide you, no one else specifically put on that project with you. You are starting from scratch. So … the first step, then, is engaging the people necessary to complete the task. To gain their interest, so they’re willing to join and be part of the project too.
When we are able to create buy-in, we are more productive and the project is more fun.
Confidence and Commitment
One of our previous roundtables discussed confidence. Sometimes it’s elusive, and sometimes it’s blinding. To do what needs to be done, we face discomfort. Yet we step up and do what must be done.
We decided to commit, to join in (or lead) a project. We accept the constraints, and learn a few more along the way. We find ourselves juxtaposed:
I can do it. I have the habits and skills to get this done well.
This is new, what new habits and behaviors do I need to do this well?
Can we figure out what the big questions are, ask the questions, and bring our strengths to the solution?
Answer this question along with us.
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Additional resources you may be interested in:
- Change Communication is Also About Changing Habits
- Building the Strong Organization: Exploring the Role of Organizational Design in Strengths-Based Leadership
- Strengths-Based Development Articles by Gallup
- Don’t Hire A ‘Change Agent’ — And Don’t Be One
- How to Deal with Resistance to Change | Heather Stagl | TEDxGeorgiaStateU