Talent Management – Strength-Based Approach
The sad truth about talent management in many organisations is about ‘closing the gap’. What is it that the executive is inadequate or weak? This often shows up in year-end performance evaluation. The dreaded moments of all executives as they file in one by one to be evaluated.
In Solutions Focus (SF) approach, it is more progressive and effective to focus on the strength of the executive instead of its weaknesses. Focusing on strength leads to higher motivation and higher morale. This does not means SF shy away from weaknesses.
According to Gallup in their interviews of 20,000 senior leaders, they found that the most effective leaders are always investing in strength. When leaders focus on and invest in their employees’ strength the odds of each person being engaged goes up to 73% as opposed to a dismal 9% when they fail to do so.
The oft quoted “half glass full or half glass empty?” Focusing on what is already there in terms of the executive know-how and skills allow them to feel competent and therefore more ready to perform.
Coaching has emerged as one of the most effective methods for developing and engaging talent. A great coach often spend time on helping executives to discover their strengths and applying it productively. The executive may discover skills and capabilities they already have in becoming an even more effective leader. With coaching it is not surprising to hear leader says ‘ I am now clear about the why of my role and how it fully aligns with personal vision’. The effect of this approach leads to improved confidence and a sense of energetic vigour to tackle the daily challenge of a demanding leadership role.
Leveraging on each other strengths is another wonderful way to utilise strength-based approach to achieving results. Each team member becomes aware of their strengths. As they are each contributing from their unique competency, the results are often spectacular and generative. The critical factor in this case is assembling a team with complementing strengths. Coaching the team is like integrating the various strengths of each member to achieve specific outcome. Each member are given opportunities to contribute and share their unique talent towards a desired group outcome. Another feature of generative team is that there is an element of awareness of each other qualities and acknowledgement of these qualities. This raises the level of sincerity and authenticity of the team.
3 TIPS TO UTILISING STRENGTH
- Noticing – It is easy to notice an executive strength. It only takes conscious attention to filter for what the executive is doing really well. The quality of work is a measurement of excellence.
- Eliciting – Ask the executive what is his strength. Drill down into specific actions which represents excellence. This could be in the form of excellence in arranging meetings, excellence in building profitable relationship and excellence in delegating.
- Utilising – Excellence in one situation could be transferred to another situation. For example, the strength in building profitable relationship could be transferred and utilised in team building.
Strength-based approach is a deliberate strategy which can be implemented easily with immediate and significant results.