3 Steps to Harness Your Teams Strengths

It's time to ask yourself: How will I harness my teams strengths each and every day to help us reach our desired destination? In my work as a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, I lead my clients through three steps of harnessing their strengths, which make up the basis of my Strengths Coaching System:

Step #1 - Maximize Your Strengths

Measuring your team’s top five strengths with the StrengthsFinder 2.0 is just the tip of the iceberg. Once you have discovered your signature strengths, you can dig even deeper by exploring the wide array of supplementary strengths based assessments available to help you diversify and define the language you use for your strengths, while also expanding the number of practical techniques you can use to put your talents into practice. The VIA Survey, for example, measures character strengths, broadening the context in which you see and use your signature strengths. Realize 2 and StandOut will also deepen your vocabulary of your strengths.

Strengthening your mindset is all about overcoming the fears and limiting beliefs associated with harnessing your strengths as you mentally prepare yourself for your Iditarod.

My wife and I were certainly anxious before taking our first sled ride. We worried about getting hurt, losing control of the sled, careening into the snowy wilderness. And, while some of those fears were well founded, they had a lot in common with the deficiency or weakness based mindset most of us have developed about ourselves.

So often, when facing a new opportunity or challenge, we prepare for the worst. On the precipice of closing a sales deal, planning a career move, or angling for that next big promotion, we assume we're going to fly off the sled and land in the snow. And this I can't, weakness based mindset predicts our fate. We lose control of the sled because we're so focused on what we can't do, instead of tapping into what we can do and finding others to help us fill in the gaps.

A strengths based mindset, on the other hand, prepares and focuses on what you do best. Remember—a successful sled is led by a team of dogs with different talents. Each individual dog plays a valuable, yet distinct role in every trip. Were the driver to focus on what each dog can't do or doesn't do well, he or she would have trouble unifying the team and staying on the trail. To successfully achieve your goals, you must mount your own sled with confidence, knowing which strengths will help you round the next bend, leaving your cant’s and don'ts at the lodge. Maximizing your strengths starts by becoming an expert on your personal top five strengths while seeking guidance from those who share your talents and partnerships with people who you feel can help you better utilize them. Make a list of resources—books, tools, colleagues—that will deepen your understanding of your signature strengths. Consider joining others in a strengths mastermind group. Commit to an attitude of lifetime learning, whether it is through self-study, coaching and workshops. (I recommend a combination of all three.)

Step #2 - Mobilize Your Strengths

One of my coaching clients uses the phrase “What strengths am I going to use today?” taped above her desk? The pinnacle of the strengths coaching system is mobilizing your strengths to work, to well-being, to marriage, to parenting, to faith, and eventually the world.

Harnessing your strengths is a lifestyle, a string of flags on a map, not a single destination. With each trip—each goal—we refine our strengths style, developing leaders who will one day pass the torch, modeling his strengths for a new generation. In my own life, my strengths are always taking me higher and helping me trek further into the future, making me a better Christian, coach, mentor and model both for my coaching clients as well as those I love.

Now that you are maximizing your unique set of talents, you can take the reins and start to steer your life, team, and business in the direction of your dreams. So, what are you waiting for?

Step #3 - Monetize Your Strengths The third step of harnessing your strengths is often one of the most exciting, especially for entrepreneurs, business owners, and executive teams looking to use their strengths in the workplace. Monetizing your strengths answers the question: How can I hone my marketing message, get more leads, and grow my client base so we can make more money?

A strengths based marketing and sales approach can transform a business—I've seen it happen. I can't count the number of phone calls and emails I've received from clients celebrating a major sale, new position/promotion, or small business success after tailoring their marketing strategies and sales techniques to their top five strengths. In my book, Selling Strengths, I take you step by- step through the process of making over your marketing strategy so you and the unique benefits you offer can really sparkle, allowing you to reach more potential customers and close more sales. Here's your head start. Ask yourself: What is keeping my ideal client up at 3 AM?

Think about how your unique combination of strengths can help your ideal client sleep better at night. Whatever the answer, you want your marketing to clearly communicate how you and your services can solve your customer's problems and add value to their life and business. A strengths based marketing approach gives you a language to communicate why your special blend of strengths makes you the best person for the job.

Strengths based leaders know how to maximize their own strengths as well as the strengths of all the members of their team so that each individual experiences more confidence and personal engagement on the job and the group as a whole enjoys more overall productivity and profitability (and fewer office wars). By valuing and balancing the unique contributions of each member of their organization, strengths based leaders create interdependent teams with trust, compassion, stability, and hope.

A strong business is also based on strong emotional loyal customer relationships. They increase referrals and add value to your services with positive word-of-mouth advertising and glowing testimonials. Securing customers for keeps depends on making authentic, natural connections with your signature strengths. The research reveals that emotionally engaged customers pay 67% more a year for the service they purchase from you because they feel confidence, integrity, pride, and passion. 

Bring GALLUP Certified Strengths Coach and Convene Resource Specialist, Brent O’Bannon to your Forum Day or organization. Learn more at