Capp’s five-step approach to strengths-based recruitment

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Realise2

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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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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Celebrating 5 years of Realise2

Posted by: Alex Linley, CEO, Capp

 

It’s now 5 years since we launched Realise2, our strengths identification and development tool.

 

Realise2 was one of the key solutions we developed in service of our Capp purpose of Strengthening the World. We had then, and still have now, the desire for everyone in the world to know what their strengths are and to be able to use them every day.

 

We’re making progress, but there’s still a way to go. At the time of writing, through Realise2 and our other tools based on Realise2, more than 250,000 people around the world have been given a language and a framework to understand and use their strengths.

 

And this matters.

 

As the research has consistently shown, when we use our strengths, we are:

More likely to achieve our goals

More likely to be engaged at work

More likely to be happy

More likely to be confident

More likely to be resilient

Less likely to get stressed

 

Through our work, and your support, there are now at least a quarter of million more people who are experiencing these powerful lessons for themselves.

 

Here’s to reaching 1,000,000 more people – at least – in the next five years!

 

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Strengths: What They Can Do For You

Posted by: Helen Dovey

 

 

We talk a lot about playing to our strengths; using strengths to achieve our goals and delegating on the basis of strengths.

 

However, the reality for many professionals is simply working longer and harder to shift an ever increasing workload.

 

How many of us actually make a conscious, deliberate decision to use our strengths?

 

We should do because the evidence of the benefits for doing so is quite remarkable.

 

At Capp we love data. We have collected data from over 1,200 people and have found that increased strengths use is associated with the following outcomes:

 

-        Resilience – our ability to take hardships in our stride

-        Engagement – our passion for what we do

-        Vitality – that feeling of being alive and energised at work

-         Mindfulness – our ability to focus on the present and not get lost amidst the stress

-        Grit – our ability to dig our heels in and keep persisting

 

Taken together, this is a powerful combination for anyone faced with a demanding workload.

 

Rather than just make the to-do list or project plan – take 5 minutes to think about how you’re going to achieve this. Which of your strengths will maximise your chances of getting this done and at the same time, increase your opportunity to experience the above benefits?

 

So there’s a lot in it for the individual – what about for the business?

 

Research shows the individual outcomes themselves are in turn linked to desirable organisational benefits. To name a few, productivity and profitability – that is, the bottom line where it really counts. Therefore, enabling employees to use their strengths more may not only increase positive individual outcomes but in turn impact other valuable organisational drivers.

 

What should your next steps be?

 

First, know your strengths. Our research was conducted using our online strengths assessment tool Realise2. Measuring the three dimensions of performance, energy and use across 60 strengths identifies for the individual whether these attributes are realised or unrealised strengths; learned behaviours or weaknesses.

 

Second, ask yourself: how am I using my realised or unrealised strengths to achieve my goals? Where can you up your strength use?

 

It’s worth taking the time to reflect. With the run up to the close of the year hotting up, why not work a bit smarter rather than harder?

 

To read our research on the benefits of strengths use, please see my recent article here in The British Psychological Society (BPS) Assessment & Development Matters, Vol 5 (No 3) Autumn 2013.  Realising our Strengths: Relationships between strengths use and positive psychological characteristics.

 

To find out more about how we can help you find the right talent:

 

Call +44 (0) 2476 323 363

 

Email capp@capp.co

 

 

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Avoiding Strengths Overplayed: Think Orchestra, Not Soloist

Posted by: Trudy Bailey, Development Consultant, Capp

 

In this final blog for our dedicated Realise2 Blog Month throughout April, I turn my attention to strengths overplayed…

 

Using our strengths enables us to enjoy endless benefits such as increasing our performance, goal achievement, happiness and confidence – and the list goes on. Be honest though: have you ever overplayed one of your strengths?

 

I am sure it was with good intentions, but sometimes, we may find ourselves not knowing when to dial back on our view, ethical conduct, or the quest for something new.

 

Some of our strengths may stem from our background; it may be hard to even contemplate taking a step back as we feel we may dishonour who we are or those whom we have role-modelled. However, I know that you know it doesn’t always serve you well!

 

If we don’t take our foot off the automatic pedal sometimes, we may find our strengths lose their energy. Let me overplay my Narrator strength and give you some examples, based on the Realise2 families:-

 

Relating – My extensive experience with Realise2 tells me that we are often caught out here.  The words: “But I love reaching out and connecting with people” echo in my ear. Working with people all day can be exhausting and time out may not be easy, especially if you have a family too.

 

Why not try using your relating strengths in parallel with other strengths? So, for example, think about the power of Esteem Builder and Creativity, or Empathic Connection with Resolver. This will help you move people towards their goals rather than simply ‘relate’.

 

Being – Ummm, how can you overplay the strengths that define how you like to be? Think about what it might look like when your Moral Compass is guided so strongly; that your way is the only way, or when your Humility leaves no room to showcase your own worth?

 

My other favourite is Unconditionality. Everyone wants to obtain advice from someone who doesn’t judge them and their queue of supporters can extend long into the evening!

 

Motivating – All action and no motive? What are you driving, changing and growing towards, and whom are you going to inspire?

 

Make sure you are clear about your purpose before turning up the volume dial on your motivating strengths, as they will be focused towards something meaningful and the energy will be sustainable.

 

Communicating – It is so crucial to be able to communicate effectively with others, but often we get stuck using one style. This then becomes a little tiresome for you and others on the receiving end.

 

Have you had one too many emails from the Scribe, too many stories from the Narrator, or been a tad bored of the opinions of that person blessed with Counterpoint? Try to find a variety of ways of communicating so you can connect with others’ preferences.

 

Thinking – If you have organising strengths – for example, Planful, Order, Detail - then I am sure you deliver your work with enviable Excel spreadsheets, and on time.

 

It is worth just checking though whether occasionally the 80/20 rule or even 90/10 rule will suffice.

 

Overusing these strengths can lead you to be stifled in your career as you are too focused on the smaller things.

 

Above all, think of your strengths like an orchestra, rather than a soloist.

 

On their own they certainly deliver; but using them together creates a beautiful harmony of movement that varies in pitch and performance, allowing both the conductor and audience a more fruitful and engaging experience.

 

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