Finally Understanding Each Other

Services Used: Gallup’s CliftonStrengths

The company’s personnel at every level had a hard time understanding each other. In many ways, they attributed the problems to one person thinking that if this person just left the company, everything would work out. But analysis on the inside of the leadership team showed that the leadership team could be swayed by strong personalities very easily at any level of the business. This set up the leadership team to flipflop policy changes constantly, sometimes to the point of reversing last week’s policy decisions the next week. People lost faith in the leadership team. The teams never understood themselves, and they certainly didn’t understand what each person contributed to the team or how they might show up badly on the team.

And then, the person in question left the company…

The company and leadership team now had a hard lesson to learn. Could they do without this person? Were they “the problem” or were there other problems they weren’t aware of? They needed to figure out each other fast to reassign duties and heal from the past.

We undertook three partial-day workshops using CliftonStrengths.

In Day 1, we taught basic principles of CliftonStrengths’ Talents and the science behind Positive Psychology. Each person dove into their own discoveries both in the goodness of their Talents and their own Blind Spots. This equipped each person to be ready for Day 2 – Forming Well-Working Partnerships.

For Day 2, the CEO had previously identified pairs of employees that needed to be able to work together well, including people who seemed to be “worst enemies.” Their ability to work well together, despite their problematic behaviors with each other was essential to the company’s success. We then explored how to become vital partners with one another, including what goodness they might lend to their combined partnerships, as well as potential problem areas where they might rub against each other in the wrong way. As the teams explored these dynamics, they more easily saw that they each contributed damaging thinking and behaviors regarding their partners that impacted the company. They then determined what they would work on together to help their relationships thrive.

On Day 3, we readjusted the learning from both Days 1 and 2 to address the company as a whole. We looked at how to provide Project Management from a Strengths perspective. With this mindset, we set about finding an initiative that we could walk through the Project Management process, linking arms throughout the organization to accomplish every phase of the project. The team was excited to focus on what part each person could contribute to the process. From this point, the team concentrated on successfully navigating the best way to accomplish their objectives, giving each other what they needed, and weren’t afraid to hand off tasks to the people best equipped for them.

It also helped the leadership team gel, making them more productive, and helping them understand their own possible contributions to problems. They learned how to leverage the talents of others to capture information, and use the information to make the best decisions. They gained more confidence in their decision-making and problem-solving abilities.

Outcome: Everyone in the company learned how to become better partners with one another.

The leadership team realized that they were the ones who created policy and created a different process for vetting decisions. They listened to those who offered their views but then went looking for alternative views from others who were quieter. The team kept all these thoughts in mind before making final decisions. This process gave the leadership team a greater ability to make well-informed decisions, with only minor adjustments later on. Decisions were based on strategic thinking instead of listening to the loudest voices and personalities.