Tag Archives: strengths research

Podcast Episode 092: Using StrengthsFinder

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2How do you go about identifying your natural talents? Most of us stroll through life largely oblivious to what we may excel at. Either we are subject to the constant focus on our weaknesses, and attempting to get them fixed, in the flawed assumption that this helps us to massively improve our performance. Or, we are simply just not aware of resources that can focus attention more on the task of identifying the talents and developing our true strengths.

The Gallup organisation has not just researched this area for several decades, but also mined the massive database to inform and develop the tools for strengths development. In this episode I reflect on this process of identifying talents and developing strengths. I use my own results from taking the StrengthsFinder test (on two separate occasions) to illustrate the process and themes of talent that have emerged out of the Gallup work.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/092-using-strengthsfinder/id867043694?i=360203264&mt=2

“The key to human development is building on who you already are.” [Tom Rath]

Advertisements

Podcast Episode 090: Implementing great work

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2A good idea is about 10 percent of the effort, it’s the implementation and hard work that makes up the bulk of the effort. But how do we go about identifying and implementing good ideas? What can we use to help us deliver great work?

In the case of a Strengths Approach and Positive Risk-Taking, two of my signature ways of working, I have developed specific practice development tools to help not just identify the ideas but just as importantly put them into practice.

In this episode I outline the Practice Based Evidence evaluation and implementation tools I use in my team development work to put these two particular concepts into practice. These are practice-based tools to be owned and used by frontline staff and teams; these are definitely not managerial tools with a top-down need to audit. There comes a moment when you need to stop revving up the car and shove it into gear (David Maloney), and these tools are part of the gear mechanism not the braking system!

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/090-implementing-great-work/id867043694?i=359052990&mt=2

“When you translate a dream into reality, it’s never a full implementation. It is easier to dream than to do.” [Shai Agassi].

“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” [Conrad Hilton].

Podcast Episode 089: Leading or Managing Change

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Why do we need to be constantly changing things? Is there too much change going on in the world? It is tempting to look back with rose-tinted glasses for the better times, and to bemoan the worst of what is going on at present.

But change has undeniably contributed more positive than negative outcomes for most people. However, in business how can we best manage the process of change in order to achieve the forward momentum that brings positive gains? Prefer & Sutton remind us that a google search elicits much more interest in strategy than in implementation; so we are far more likely to want to engage in talking about change than actually doing it.

In this episode I recount the 8 key ingredients that Pfeffer & Sutton identify for increasing the odds of making the right kind of change. Listening to people is the most significant factor. I also outline the four forces they suggest are needed to create the environment for change to take place. Change is a fact, it is happening all of the time, so lets get it right.

For the full content of this episode click the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/089-leading-or-managing-change/id867043694?i=358569524&mt=2

“Hearing true things is more important than saying smart things… you need to ask good questions before you can come up with smart answers.” [Pfeffer & Sutton].

Assertive Outreach: Examples of Great Teams

IMAG2227_1‘Strengths’ Assertive Outreach: A Review of Seven Practice Development Programmes.

The Practice Based Evidence consultancy made special efforts to get involved in going beyond simple training; focusing on developing teams with a positive impact on practice. It is one thing to claim to support best practice, but another thing entirely to provide evidence for such claims. Assertive Outreach teams in the UK were a particular passion from the original establishment of the consultancy in October 2001. The following article was first published in the Mental Health Review Journal (June 2008) and is reproduced with their kind permission; it is an evaluation of the support provided, from a strengths perspective, for seven such teams.

ABSTRACT

Assertive outreach is based on extensive international research and has been promoted in the UK in 1999 as a key area of the National Service Framework for Mental Health. Its primary aim is to provide a specialist service for people disengaged from traditional approaches of mental health services, but very little attention has been paid to how such services can be developed. Practice Based Evidence, a practice development consultancy, has engaged seven assertive outreach teams to focus on development first, and follow-up evaluation of the impact of reflective practice on team functioning. This has prompted a number of strengths-based recommendations for changing the way we think about developing services before we engage in research and evaluation.

PDF: ‘Strengths’ Assertive Outreach: A Review of Seven Practice Development Programmes

Podcast Episode 087: Leadership or Management?

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2What is the distinction between leadership and management? Do we need to have more of one and less of the other? Ideally we need the good experiences of both.

In this episode I explore the future focus of leadership alongside the present focus of management. Using a series of quotes from the literature the contrast and the complimentary nature of both can emerge, and it is for each of us to reflect on how our own experiences resonate with the messages offered.

Leadership can not be learned from academic theory, it needs to be experienced, and for the experience to be refined through constructive feedback. Management should be about people more than it is about systems and processes. The primary functions of management have a place, but they should not be enabled to become the mainframe of the picture that people have to fit into. It is the strengths and creativity of people that contributes most to achievement, not the managerial tools and targets.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/087-leadership-or-management/id867043694?i=358117275&mt=2

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” [Peter Drucker].

” Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their jobs done.” [Peter Drucker].

Podcast Episode 086: The 12 Questions

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Are we really developing the strengths of our staff in the workplace? I previously outlined my own Team Strengths Assessment, but in this episode I focus on the messages emerging from the Gallup organisation strengths research.

Buckingham & Coffman published First, Break All The Rules in 1999, which included 12 questions we should continually be asking ourselves to identify if we and our employers are really focused on identifying and exploiting what we do best. The questions focus on personal strengths and support and supervision in the workplace. Do you do what you do best every day? This is the key question to focus on, but whether we do or whether we don’t depends so much on having the right conditions within the workplace geared to developing us.

Too access the full content from this episode click the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/086-the-12-questions/id867043694?i=357225170&mt=2

“Teamwork makes a dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team.” [John C. Maxwell].

Podcast Episode 084: Where is the evidence?

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Are we just in the business of keeping academics in jobs? Best practice is the ultimate goal for delivery of any self-respecting business, but we must be confident in the evidence that underpins our beliefs in a particular way of working. A strengths approach is no different, and making best use of our personal assets and resources needs more than just a warm feeling that it is the right thing to do.

Within the research community there are conflicting views on the efficacy of working to a strengths approach. The good news is that the critics are asking for more evidence, rather than questioning the efficacy of the approach itself. Translating evidence into practice comes with its own challenges, and my adopting of ‘Practice Based Evidence’ as a business name was largely informed by a need to strike a balance that is respectful to the messages from real time experiences.

In this episode I reflect on the strengths evidence emerging largely from strengths-based case management, with additional studies in children & families, substance misuse and corrections services. Positive outcomes are reported across a wide range of measures, and ultimately the quality of evidence has to be respected above the quantity of studies (though many on the academic side of that debate may have further questions).

For the full content of this episode click the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/084-where-is-the-evidence/id867043694?i=357225169&mt=2

“Know yourself. Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” [Ann Landers].