Appreciating Individual Strengths: Does It Hurt Teamwork?
by Kate Nasser |
Individual strengths and teamwork are not at odds with each other. In fact, they are innately connected. Why then do so many leaders think that appreciating individual strengths will hurt teamwork?
This is an important issue in this time of asking people at work to do more with less. Study after study shows that appreciation/recognition is the one key thing management can do to inspire and motivate effort and performance – http://fb.me/HgG7O52r.
Leaders, you could argue that the appreciation could be given to the whole team and not the individuals. Yes that is true. Yet, you run the risk of the appreciation sounding shallow and repetitious if it lacks specifics.
You could argue that the individual appreciation could be given in private and team kudos in public. Yes that is true. Yet it cheats the entire team out of the chance to:
- Participate in building a culture of identifying and appreciating the strengths that individuals contribute to the team’s results
- Learn what individual strengths exist on the team for future success and
- Witness the joy that their individual teammates experience when honored for their strengths.
As a leader, what can you do to ensure that individual appreciation won’t hurt teamwork?
- Honor diversity. Don’t fall into the trap of honoring only those individuals who are very much like you.
- Highlight how the individual strengths contributed to the team’s results.
- Recognize both the individual strengths on tasks and also on the interpersonal skills which contribute to the team’s results.
- Applaud the effort of all who blended the individual strengths into team results.
What else helps the team value each individual’s strengths as well as the total results? Or do you think that this is all very risky? I welcome your comments below.
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach, delivers transformational team building workshops and advice that empower you to remove teamwork obstacles — big and small. See this site for more information http://katenasser.com.customers.tigertech.net.