Team Building Facilitation with Strengths Finder

We have used Strengths Finder 2.0 as part of a facilitated team building session twice in the last six months. Here is what we did:

Strengths Finder 2.0

Prior to the meetings all of the participants purchased and read Strengths Finder 2.0: A New & Upgraded Edition of the Online Test from Gallup’s Now, Discover Your Strengths by Tom Rath. After reading the book they then completed the online survey tool using a code from the book. The tool is intended to uncover certain key talents — patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior that can be productively applied. These patterns are categorized into 34 broad themes or strengths. What the tool then does is identify your top five strengths from the list of 34 potential strengths. Millions of people have purchased the book and used the tool solely for the individual benefits.

We believe that you can get even more value from the tool when an entire team uses the tool individually and then shares their results.

Team Building Facilitation

We begin with a general discussion of the book and how people felt about their own results. Next we go around the room in a round robin format and ask each participant to share their top ranked strength. The facilitator has a list of the 34 strengths on the screen and records people’s names against their strengths. When someone identifies a strength that has not yet been identified by anyone else we ask that person to explain the strength for the benefit of the others. We then go around the room four more times until we have everyone’s top five. At this point we like to discuss surprises, and how well people felt the strengths profiles “fit” one another.

The next thing we do is review all thirty four strengths one at a time. When a strength is possessed by many people we talk about that, but more importantly we talk about the strengths that no one on the team possesses. The first question is; how important is this to the team? If it is important we then discuss mitigating strategies, if it is not important we move on. (In both facilitated sessions there were multiple strengths that were gaps for the teams, but only one or two that were concerns.)

The feedback from both clients was that this was an effective and enjoyable team building effort. In both cases the strengths finder work was part of an offsite strategy session and took a couple of hours of agenda time.

Note: We are not associated with the author or the publisher of the book in any way. You can purchase the Strengths Finder tool from Gallup here  (This is not a paid link)