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September 2018
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Trudy Bailey

Happy Mother’s Day

Posted by: Trudy Bailey, Strengths Consultant

 

Talking to my Mum about strengths is often a little challenging. She is far from negative, but her motto in life is “You just have to get on with it.”

 

I was making strengths videos some time back, when I asked her to pick out her top strength and talk to me about what this looked like in action. She struggled and found it hard to resonate with many of the 60 strengths from Realise2 that I showed her, despite Dad and I easily being able to identify many in her.

 

I recall over the years her saying that others had real talents that you could see and that she felt somewhat inadequate to those around her.

 

Eventually, she chose Service and was fairly comfortable with it, but muttering nonetheless that it was just something she just did, she just got on with it and it didn’t feel like a strength. She has spent her 67 years supporting others in various careers and community work and she thrives on it.

 

She has always ‘simply’ attended to others who have bigger needs; from birth as a trained nursery nurse up to the very elderly as a companion for the blind.

 

Service, along with her Moral Compass and Mission, are Being strengths and refer to the way we are, our values. So, when something comes this naturally to us, we often don’t recognise the true value or impact we have on others, and even on the world around us.

 

So, Mum might not have created or won something evident ,but she will leave the hearts and places she touches better off with her time, patience, humour and devotion to making others’ lives easier.

 

Thank you, Mum, for showing me your strengths over the years. You are immensely proud of me, but I wonder if you can see so much of you in me, and stop to appreciate that some of my successes are down to you ‘just’ being you?

 

What are your Mum’s strengths? When was the last time you pointed them out to her and the impact they have had on you? Don’t forget to draw on the more subtle ones and also to be specific about events and naming the particular strengths you see in her.

 

If you want to say thank you to your Mum, and you’re an accredited Realise2 Practitioner, we are giving away one free Realise2 Strengths assessment for your Mum for Mother’s Day. Email capp@capp.co before 12.00 midday GMT on Friday 13 March, quoting ‘Mum’ and stating when you were accredited as a Realise2 Practitioner, to receive your special Mother’s Day Realise2 Gift Certificate.

 

Recognising your strengths can help you become more engaged, happier and productive. So, whatever life stage your Mum is at, this will be a truly rewarding Mother’s Day gift.

 

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Saying Yes and Making it Happen – Celebrating International Women’s Day

Posted by: Trudy Bailey, Strengths Consultant

 

International Women’s Day is celebrated again on the 8th March.

 

Are you a woman who is successful in her career and making it happen? Do you really enjoy your job? We would love to learn from the secrets of your success!

 

As a successful woman myself who runs Capp’s female leadership development programmes, it never ceases to amaze me how the same stories are told worldwide. I can share many of them through my own learning – the hard way!

 

One of these stories is about saying yes. We ask for role models who come onto the programme to share their journey with the emerging female leaders: what has worked well, their journey, their strengths and also their top tips for the future growth of these remarkable women. 

 

One of the most common tips shared by these global leaders is “Take a risk and say yes”.  Even so, I have a slight problem with this.

 

We are probably all familiar with the research that women, unlike men, are not likely to ask for pay rises, and will only seek promotions when they can do everything that’s required. Unlike men, who will go for promotion if there is even a small part of the job that they can do!

 

Often, women have become successful through their relentless hard work, and eventually being recognised by managers who put them forward for promotion or recommend their next post.

 

One of the core aspects of our female leaders training is teaching women to recognise their strengths. It may sound obvious, but we can be so busy running a successful career and home that we haven’t stopped to appreciate what we love to do and do well – our strengths.

 

Of our latest 10 programmes, 97% thought Realise2, our strengths identification tool, was an insightful beginning to the programme, and 95% said it helped them maximise their strengths, thereby enabling high performance.

 

So back to this ‘saying yes’.  I am all for taking risks and challenging ourselves in a big way, as this can be when you can really grow, take ownership of something big and expand your reputation.

 

But, next time you are asked to take on extra responsibility, a new role or lead a project, go back to your strengths. Where do you get real energy from? What would you love to do more of? Where do you get your best feedback? If you could carve out your dream job, what would it be? 

 

Take risks by all means, but your confidence and performance comes from your strengths. Success will come if you take a step back and work with your best assets. Sometimes it might be worth a side step to play to your strengths, since you will quickly be able to show off your capabilities.

 

I wouldn’t be here today without stepping into a colleague’s shoes a few years ago when they had broken their foot! I had no idea how to do it, but knew I had the passion and motivation to find out and make it happen!

 

Find out more about our female leadership programmes at capp.co

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Recognising the Role of Your Strengths in Your Success

Posted by: Trudy Bailey, Capp

 

Martin Seligman, the founding father of Positive Psychology, developed a world-famous simple exercise concentrating on identifying 3 things that went well in your day. Focusing on this simple philosophy can help build our life satisfaction and takes just a few minutes of diary writing each day.

 

I was reminded of the power of the exercise last week working with a client. When was the last time you stopped to ask this vital question: What Went Well?  When did you last enable or challenge your colleague, manager, children, friends or family to think about what was good in their lives?

 

Your successes don’t need to be earth-shattering and ideally something from each of home and work is a great combination.  Seligman then asks you to focus on the why, so that you can identify the reason for your success. For example, was it down to hard work, love, thoughtfulness, love of learning or the research or planning you undertook? Or something else?

 

With such brilliant benefits, why aren’t you doing the What Went Well daily? I am also at fault. Rushing in the door from work with many things to do, it’s easy to forget (why do I always get presented with a cooking ingredients list at 8pm the night before?!)  In the midst of this, I can sometimes forget our evening meal ritual of ‘What was good about your day?’

 

When I first started this, everyone would moan and I never forget my father’s face when introducing it at Christmas dinner!!  However, when I forget, the children now often remind me as they look forward to the positive reinforcement this gives them.

 

One way to help us think about why something went well is to have a better understanding of our strengths and to relate these to the situation. Identifying and using our strengths leads to better engagement and performance in your role. If you needed it, this gives you the business case for your 5 minute time out.

 

So, next time something goes well, big or small, ask yourself what strengths you were using that enabled you to succeed. Strengths can be about how you relate to people, how you think, your motivation, your communication and your passions, so try and identify at least one. By doing this, you will become more confident in using your strengths, enabling further success and creating a virtuous spiral of positivity.

 

To help you, there are just 5 days left to take advantage of our January Realise2 offer to buy 4 Realise2 codes, and receive the 5th code FREE!  Simply go to www.realise2.com and enter GOALS2015 at the checkout to make the most of this offer.

 

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Achieve Your Goals as a Team

Posted by: Trudy Bailey, Capp

 

We know from our research that optimising strengths will help you reach your goals as an individual. In this blog, let’s look at how this works with teams, to ensure you are committed to achieving team as well as individual success in 2015.

 

1. Define the standards.  Research that looked at high performance across 19,000 people found that knowing your performance standards was the No 1 predictor of high performance. So, do your team know exactly how they are evaluated?

 

2. Define the goal.  We love data, so we also know that the top strength that people want to see in their managers is Mission. Having a clear sense of purpose in what people do is critical. Do you and your team have a clear sense of what exactly it is you are achieving, why you are doing it and a well-communicated strategic plan for its execution?

 

3. Define the individual tasks needed. Break the goal down into bite-size achievable tasks in your project plan, with timelines for delivery. How long will it take and when will it be delivered by? What are the milestones? Who is on the project team and why? What are their responsibilities?

 

4. Define the strengths and people needed. Who, with their Detail and Planful strengths, is in charge of the execution? Who on the team, with their Innovation and Creativity strengths, loves to come up with new ways to achieve the creative elements? Who has the Drive and Persuasion to work with the data and the clients?

 

It may be tempting, particularly if you are a small team, to go with the tried and tested of who does what, based on what you always have done. But if you want to see an improvement in performance (the Corporate Executive Board suggests up to 36%), it is worth the investment of structuring responsibilities around people’s strengths.

 

Don’t assume that just because it worked before it was a success: the team could have been using their learned behaviours rather than their strengths. If this was the case, you might not have seen the painful expressions on their faces as they struggled to get the job done!

 

5. Define the weaknesses. Are there any gaps in the team? Can you learn from previous challenges of where the team needed extra support? Highlighting these gaps and seeing if anyone can use their unrealised strengths to fill the gaps and support the goal is a great way forward.

 

Understand the strengths of your team with Realise2 during January and get one Realise2 Profile absolutely FREE for every 4 Profiles that you purchase. Simply enter ‘goals2015’ at the checkout.

 

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Calling All New Year Goal Seekers!

Posted by: Trudy Bailey

 

It’s New Year’s resolution time again! You know, the resolutions we make this week and then typically make excuses for next week!

 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Succeed with your New Year’s resolutions by making them part of you and something you really want to achieve – align them to your strengths so they just come naturally.

 

We know from our research at Capp that people who harness their strengths to achieve their goals are more likely to be successful in achieving those goals. Including your New Year’s resolutions!  

 

Some strengths are better suited to goal attainment generally – strengths like Mission, Drive, Catalyst and Work Ethic – but, of course, any of your strengths could be entirely relevant to what you want to achieve.

 

What do you want to achieve and how will your strengths support you? Be as specific as possible to maximise your chances of success.  If your goal is about building relationships at work or home, there may be several ways to go about this. But which way will allow you to play to your strengths?

 

For example, you may dial up your Connector or Rapport Builder strength if it is about strength in numbers, or alternatively your Relationship Deepener, Listener or Service to go one step closer and stand the test of time.

 

Perhaps you have a strength which might hinder your goal, and you need to think about dialing this down. One of mine is Counterpoint – I simply love having an opinion. However, there is always a time and place and Counterpoint doesn’t suit every situation, as sometimes we need to move forward with the plan and execute!

 

Are there any weaknesses you will need to minimise to achieve your goals? Don’t get tripped up here, acknowledge the weakness so that you can compensate for it and ask for help.

 

To help you and your team achieve your 2015 goals, Capp are offering ‘Buy 4, get 1 free’ for all Realise2 Profiles (Premium or Standard, max 125 total per person) purchased throughout the whole of January. Simply enter the code ‘GOALS2015′ during the checkout process.

 

Give yourself your best chance of achieving your New Year’s resolutions, and buy your Realise2 Profiles here. 

 

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Winning through your strengths

Posted by: Trudy Bailey, Strengths Consultant, Capp.

 

With the Commonwealth Games in full swing, I thought it would be great to share with you ways in which we can all be part of a winning team by using our strengths. Referring to the strengths and Strengths Families from Capp’s online strengths identification tool, Realise2, what do you bring to situations that make a winning combination?

 

Competitive: Let us start with the most obvious. You love winning and this will usually be the only acceptable option for you as it probably hurts to lose! You are used to leading and being part of a winning team.  Competitive was one of the top weaknesses in the UK in our Realise2 study so consider how can you support others and role model your talent to encourage others’ competitiveness.

 

Motivation:  What are your motivation strengths and how will these deliver your competitive goals? If you have Work Ethic or Persistence, you can put the time, energy and effort into keeping going to make sure you achieve success. If you have Drive you will push yourself to win as you love achieving the demanding goals you have set yourself. Those with a sense of Adventure will compete successfully by pushing the boundaries and achieving the impossible.

 

Thinking: If you are naturally gifted in your brainpower, what thinking strengths can help you win? You may want to come up with the newest or most creative idea in your organisation. Perhaps your Judgement helps you make winning decisions or your organisational strengths of Planful or Order make sure you get to the top of your game with the right resources and in a timely manner.

 

Relationships:  If people are your focus you might not have thought too much about winning but your skill at getting the best from people will help deliver winning targets and goals through others. If you are emotionally connected with others use this talent to pick up on clues of others strengths and weaknesses to channel their energy in the right direction. If you are the natural Connector, use your network to put the winning team or resources together.

 

Being: Some of the Being strengths are all about ‘Making a Difference’ for example, Mission, Legacy, Service and Moral Compass. By aligning your passions and values together with your goals, it won’t be long before your commitment to the task sees you outperforming others and driving teams forward positively.

 

Communication:  The key to getting others on board to deliver performance. With Narrator as a strength, your talent for storytelling and anecdotes is a powerful and convincing message to others as to why they should outperform. Perhaps you offer the Counterpoint, always looking for alternatives so you can achieve success another way if you come across challenges. The ability to use your Explainer and Scribe to avoid jargon and make sure the whole team understands their individual and team goals will be a powerful combination.

 

So, the next time you are working towards a winning goal, compete in a way that plays to your strengths and you are far more likely to maintain your engagement and get to the result you want.

 

Realise2 is the leading online strengths identification and development tool, used by 80,000+ to unlock the potential of individuals and teams.

 

To find out more about how using strengths can help your organisation find and retain the right talent, call Capp on +44(0)2476 323 363.

 

 

Follow @Capp_co on TwitterLinkedIn & Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

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Leaving a Strengths Legacy in Your Career

Posted by: Trudy Bailey, Strengths Consultant, Capp

 

I was asked recently to support a client on helping them work with the older generation in re-engaging them with their role as they approach their last 10 years at work. I thought I would share my reflections so you can see how Realise2 can support your workforce in leaving a strengths legacy through their career.

 

  • Connect individuals with their strengths of Legacy and Mission. Establish what this means for them in their role currently. How much do they use these strengths? What would it take to increase their use? How can their strengths make them feel as though they are making a difference? Whether it’s Innovation or in contrast Adherence, how can using these strengths support the person themselves, as well as helping others to achieve their goals?
  • How can you support/excite people with a longer term vision, based on their Realise2 profile rather than day job? What do they dream of achieving in the team? Where do they get the best positive feedback?
  • Are they focussing on their outcomes and delivering these with their strengths? Or are they simply doing what they always do that works? How can they get there another way whilst enabling and supporting the future talent of the organisation?
  • What do their unrealised strengths say? Here is potential to unlock further passion and energy. They might not be aware of this. Discovering it could leverage further motivation as it could be something new to get involved in.
  • How can they use their strengths to role model the future of the organisation? Who can they mentor and what strengths would make a lasting impact to others if they dialled those strengths up?
  • Often senior/experienced people have a lot of learned behaviours. Are they doing everything well, rather than maximising the top half of the quadrant? Having learnt to be capable in all areas may have got them to where they are now, but do they need to keep on proving themselves in their low energy areas?
  • Invite people to cross out those learned behaviours they simply don’t want to use anymore. This can be a helpful trick to get them to find more energising ways of doing things.
  • Re-write their leadership statement, this time based on their strengths. Consider ‘What do I really want people to come to me for and what do I not want them to come to me for? We can get known for our learned behaviours, so it’s important we don’t get stuck in this area.
  • What do they want to be read out at their retirement party?  What strengths lend themselves more towards these goals? Which learned behaviours need to be moderated to enable more focus?
  • If they are involved in succession planning, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the team? Where are the gaps and how could their strengths support them right now to develop and grow?
  • Do their strengths families show a preference for any particular behaviour? How can their role take on more of this whilst delegating the draining attributes to others?

 

As people start to look back over their careers and think about the next generation, a powerful way of doing that is to consider the strengths legacy that they can leave for those who follow. Help inspire your workforce to develop their own strengths legacy today!

 

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Celebrating the Whole You

Posted by: Trudy Bailey, Capp

 

I have spent many years working with Realise2, Capp’s strengths identification tool which includes weaknesses. It still frustrates me a little how slow the journey can be, for some people to accept their weaknesses, mitigate them and move on. In this blog, I share some reflections that might help your weaknesses sit more comfortably with you.

 

What’s the real story?

 

In my experience, if you resonate with your Realise2 weakness, it is very likely something that has been with you for some time and possibly tripped you up at some point. With our 4M Model we recommend you Minimise it, which means: don’t use it; ask others to support you; and focus on the outcome, delivering this with your strengths.

 

My Adherence weakness is here to stay (along with most of the UK!) and I work around it. I know who to call on, when to own it and how I can use my strengths of Pride and Order to support me in overcoming it.

 

Too hard on yourself?

 

Perhaps others around you do this better than you, so you have been particularly hard on yourself. Personally, Scribe is one for me that pops up in this category. I’m surrounded by people with PhDs and so occasionally feel that my talent in this area needs more of a polish. 

 

Revisit your weakness and gather your evidence of when you have done this well before. And choose your comparisons carefully!

 

Frustrated?

 

Sometimes I coach people where they feel one of their strengths has appeared as a weakness (in Realise2). This usually is a sign something simply isn’t working for them in this area. Perhaps it is the way they are using it, or they are not using it at all.

 

Help others to see when they have been successful in this before. What constraints exist around the weakness currently ? See if you  can find ways to release more energy into these tasks.

 

Be Realistic

 

If you were to rate the impact of your weakness that you felt you needed to work on, how critical would it be? Asking clients to do this can immediately eliminate that need to ‘fix’ it by being realistic in terms of how it is really impacting their role. The need to be perfect sometimes raises its head in places it doesn’t need to.

 

And, even better, revealing weaknesses can be extremely positive:

 

  • Weaknesses help us build trust with others. According to Goffee & Jones in Why Should Anyone Be Led By You? if we reveal our weaknesses we become more human and attractive to others.
  • It also helps highlight your team’s strengths. Often, when you delegate your weakness to others, you open up opportunities for them to take on responsibility for tasks that allow their strengths to shine through.

 

So, what are you waiting for? Delegate and be proud to have a couple of things you don’t do so well! After all, none of us is perfect…

 

Contact trudy.bailey@capp.co to understand how Realise2 can support you, your teams, managers and leaders.

 

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Getting the best from a team development session

Posted by: Trudy Bailey, Strengths Consultant

 

At Capp we are very excited to be launching our new Team Profile this week. It still contains some of our clients’ favourite features, but with some added extras we are particularly proud of, such as the Realise2 SWOT Analysis supporting the bigger picture for the team.

 

As you may know, Realise2 is our strengths identification tool, taken over 70,000 times, enabling individuals to perform better, reach their goals and find engagement in their roles. It helps people understand strengths they use often (realised strengths), those they draw on less often; (unrealised strengths), as well as areas of less energy (learned behaviours) and some good old fashioned honesty around what we don’t do well (weaknesses).

 

Working with teams’ strengths can be a powerful experience for all concerned, however, there are some key tips I want to share with you whether you are a leader, manager or facilitator of a team development session:-

  1. Be clear on your objectives: From the start, be very clear what the session goals are. Whether it is to support a change, understand roles and relationships or to drive a goal, don’t deviate from what you set out to do.
  2. Preparation: As a trusted facilitator, prepare for your session well, understanding all the team dynamics and their context. You wouldn’t expect any less from Capp, but the new Team Profile is packed with really useful data for your team. How will you drive this on the day to achieve results?
  3. Keep it simple: Don’t try to cram too much in the session and keep exercises simple. Often teams will simply relish in realising new things about each other so have confidence in your approach.  You may not need to do a great deal on the actual day itself to hear the light bulbs go off and the pins drop. Share your own strengths experiences; encourage the sharing of strengths and use the language – watch the results.
  4. Encourage ownership of data: I personally find the learned behaviours in team dynamics the most fascinating. Watching teams communicate about those things they thought were strengths in each other, and understanding how they can be relied on less (they are not as energising as strengths) is a rewarding experience. We often recognise each others’ strengths and weaknesses, but it is common to be caught out here. Support team members to know what they want to be known for in the team.
  5. Next steps: Don’t leave the room without establishing what the next steps are for everyone as an individual, but also collectively as a team. Of course, they may be very simple and often this is better as actions will be achievable, i.e. putting something on the agenda for the next meeting or displaying strengths profiles. When will the team be following up on the actions? Perhaps, delegate the actions list to the person with Personal Responsibility as a strength!

 

So, next time you are working with a team, consider how  Capp’s new Team Profile can support performance, engagement and, of course, improve communication.

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In Memoriam: The Strengths of Nelson Mandela

Posted by: Trudy Bailey, Strengths Consultant, Capp

 

As my young children ask about the legacy of Nelson Mandela, with their schools recounting his eventful story, I begin by talking passionately about a hero, unlike any other person who will likely ever walk this Earth. My story, of course, started with strengthspotting what his Realise2 profile might have looked like.  

 

I started with his realised strengths of Mission, Moral Compass, Catalyst, Relationship Deepener and Compassion, and an Unconditionality that drove Mandela to be the architect of South Africa’s gradual transformation from racial despotism and moral turpitude, to a liberal democracy, saving his country from a bloody civil war. Becoming its first black president, steering South Africa’s journey of reflection and reconciliation into the post-apartheid era, he was probably not lacking in Counterpoint, Change Agent and Authenticity. Quite an epitaph!

 

Enduring very near primitive conditions when landing on Robben Island in 1962, his Drive, Resilience and Courage facilitated his survival in the face of the chilling words of one of the Afrikaner warders: “This is the island, and here you shall die.” His Catalyst and Compassion instilled in him a commitment to improve the amenities for all prisoners, enabling them not only to receive books and magazines, but to enrol in correspondence courses and even to take degrees.

 

But where do you end with heroes? It is almost impossible not to attribute most strengths to Mandela in view of his uncompromising Drive for Equality. He communicated this through his strengths of Spotlight, Narrator, and Explainer, by refusing to consign the crimes of the apartheid era to history, but instead initiating the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1996. And how could we overlook the extent of his Persistence and Bounceback whilst incarcerated on Robben Island and facing the impact of his troubled personal life when others tested his loyalty.

 

So what were Mandela’s learned behaviours?  They may have included Incubator, Scribe and Listener. Although we could safely speculate that he would have employed these qualities with considerable ease, they would (in all probability) be subordinate to his innate strengths of Action, Equality and Change Agent in navigating South Africa’s transition towards democracy and freedom.

 

Perhaps we would see Gratitude as an unrealised strength since, by his own admission, in prison, he very much regretted not expressing his feelings of kinship with his fellow Soweto citizens.

 

Finally, let us not be afraid to mention that there was possibly one solitary weakness – and one shared by many of us – Adherence!

 

Mandela, as the ‘world is coming’ to your memorial service today, thank you for coming into our world.  History will be eternally grateful to you, and your legacy will live on for generations. Indeed, as one 9-year old asked: “Is he the man who brought black and white people together?”

 

This is the legacy for which you will always be remembered.

 

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