How can you discover your strengths?

How do you manage people? Have you taken the Gallup assessment, which was given to over 2 million people, and provided insights on 34 types you might have to manage at work? This can be an invaluable tool as you help people discover their strengths, and focus on these in their work.

Ask these four questions to people you work with, and see how different everyone is, and how you can start to motivate different types of people.

1. What’s the best praise you ever received?
2. How often do you like to check in with your manager?
3. What’s your best method for building relationships?
4. How do you learn best?

Here is part two of how to manage the different types of people in your organization. If you haven’t read part one yet, you really should.

Managing Competitors
Use competitive language with this person. Talk about “outsmarting’ the competition. Measure them against other people. Set up contests. Find places where they can win. One of the best ways to manage this person is to hire another competitive person who produces more. When they lose, let them mourn, and then quickly move them into another opportunity to win.

Managing Connectedness people
This person will have social issues that they will defend strongly. Listen to them. Your acceptance of these issues will influence the depth of the relationship you can build with them. If they have a spiritual orientation or strong faith, your acknowledgment of and acceptance of this will let them become more comfortable with you. Encourage this person to build bridges with others in the company to show each person how they all rely on others.

Managing Context people
When you ask this person to do something, explain why it needs to happen. Get the background on colleagues in meetings before you sit down to business. Get this person to help others understand what has been done and the thinking behind what is currently being done. Get case studies to help illustrate his points, and highlight the key discovery from each anecdote, which can then possibly be turned into classes.

Managing Deliberators
This person can excel at negotiating contracts, a rigorous thinker that can help you see the pitfalls in your plan. Do not ask this person to greet or network for your organization, and do not ask them to make snap judgments. This person is a private person, and does not want to share the details of their life with you. Don’t take it personally. They are selective and do not want to move quickly from team to team.

Managing Developers
Developers help people around them succeed. They are excellent at mentoring and teaching classes. This person loves to recognize others for their genuine achievements. Often people under this person can be transferred quickly to positions of larger responsibility because they grow people and prepare them for the future. To make this person happy, tell them, “Your encouragement and confidence helped this person succeed.”

Managing Discipline people
This person can bring structure to chaos. They can also be annoyed by clutter. Tell this person the schedule. Don’t surprise them, but if there have to be surprises, help them develop routines to respond to surprises. This person can help you plan and organize your own work, and the work of others.

Managing Empathic people
This person needs to work with positive, optimistic people. Don’t overreact when they cry. They often feel things more keenly than others. Before getting this person to do something, ask them how they feel about the issue involved. Get this person to see their empathy as a gift, as it helps them understand others and sense what others are missing.

Managing Fairness people
Practical bent which means they will be more comfortable with getting tasks accomplished than long range planning. Most comfortable with predictable patterns, but also good around fairness for everyone. This person is good with establishing routines and consistent practices for your organization.

Managing Focusers
This person thrives on regular check-ins. Probably not sensitive to the feelings of others. New goals, and new measures of success are what this person pays attention to. They prefer to have an agenda for meetings. They like to talk about their goals and their progress towards those goals.

Managing Futurists
Put this person on the planning committee. They can see a brighter future around the corner. Stimulate them by talking about what could be. Have this person create a presentation to show the future to others. Give them time to think, write about and plan for products and services needed in the future.

Managing Harmony people
This person does not want conflict, they are NOT at their best when confronting others. Determine in what ways you agree with this person and regularly reinforce these agreements with them. Surround this person with others strong in harmony, and they will be more focused and more productive when they know they are supported. Don’t bother trying to discuss controversial subjects with them. They may not show you they disagree with you. Help this person find authoritative backup for actions they take.

Managing Ideation people
This person has creative ideas, and position them where their creativity will be valued. Especially as a designer, this person can shine. They thrive on new ideas, so try to feed them ideas that are within the scope of your mission. When decisions are made, take the time to show this person how each decision was rooted in the same theory or concept. They need to see the organization being coherent.

Managing Inclusiveness people
This person wants to make everyone feel like a part of the team. You can put this person in a donor or client-facing role and be certain that they can help break barriers between people. They like to work with products or projects made for everyone, not just one little subset of people.

Managing Individualization people
This person can judge a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses admirably. They can really see the world through the other person’s eyes, and can help you get the right roles for everyone according to their strengths and weaknesses.

Managing Input people
Put this person in a research role. They want all of the books, articles and papers you can throw at them. This person loves to be on the internet, gathering facts that may eventually be useful. They need a system for storing what they collect. And look for opportunities to say, “It’s amazing, you always seem to have the facts we need!”

Managing Intellection people
Encourage this person to take time to simply think. Have a detailed discussion with this person about their strengths, they will enjoy the introspection and self discovery. Challenge their thinking and they will enjoy that you are paying attention to them and will be stimulated by this.

Managing Learners
Position this person to continually learn about their fast changing field. They will enjoy the challenge of maintaining competency. Encourage this person to take courses at the local college or association. Help them track their progress by identifying milestones and celebrate these. Encourage this person to become the resident expert in a particular area. Have them work beside someone who will push them to learn more. And ask them to conduct presentations to teach others what they’ve learned, and secure financial support to continue their education.

Do you recognize ways you have tried to manage people here? Do you recognize ways people have tried to manage you here?

What works best on you?

What seems to work best on the people in your office?

Try to do one on one assessments of people you work with, and reward them in certain ways that seem consistent with their strengths. Do you notice an increase in productivity or a lift in mood?

On the 12th, we’ll finish talking about the different types and how to manage them in the workplace. Make notes when you find people that you know in here, and make notes on 5 different types you feel drawn to. How do you best like to be managed? This is going to help you figure out what works and what doesn’t.

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