Communication as an effective leadership trait with Kerri Boyles

Episode 9: Strength-based Leadership: Effective Technique to Increase Workplace Productivity

Great Inspirational Motivational Leaders do a great job at identifying what people are good at, and what they like to do, and putting them in a position to succeed versus bad leaders. Scott DiGiammarino emphasizes that what they historically do is tell people “Look, this is the job, get it done, or else.” And so one of things Scott wants to share is a little technique that they used to use, so we can truly understand what people like and what they are good at. For example, you are meeting an employee or you’re meeting a student, take out a piece of paper and draw a big T square with four equal quadrants. Vertically, right down the center of the page, and horizontally, right in the center of the page. So again, you’re looking at four different quadrants. At 12 o’clock, at the top vertical line, write things “I love to do”. At six o’clock, write things “I hate to do”. At nine o’clock on the left hand side, write “Things I’m bad at”. And at three o’clock on the right hand side, write “Things I’m good at”.  

Now, when you think about what you do, or what your employees will do, or what your students will do on a day to day basis, they have hundreds and hundreds of tasks. Everything, from making a phone call, servicing a client, a lot of paperwork, going to a meeting, joining a zoom call, or going to the home office. Every person out there has hundreds and hundreds of tasks. Imagine if they could rank all those tasks in terms of things that “they’re good at, things that they’re bad at, things that they like to do and things that they don’t like to do”. 

I Love to Do Versus I Hate to Do

The task is, for the next 30 days, they have to write down every single task that they’re doing. Everything. Every little small, little thing. And then they have to grade them in terms of, “They like to do it” “They don’t like to do it” “They’re bad at it” or “They’re good at it”. And then they start plotting and comes back 30 days later. Scott found out that people actually came back to the office and came back to the meeting, to actually show their charts. 30 days later, it was amazing to see what was in that top right hand quadrant or the things that they’re good at, and things that they like to do. Got to think of it, if people focus on that quadrant in terms of what their tasks are, they’re going to be incredibly happy. And they can be incredibly more efficient. And they’re going to like their job more versus them having to do tasks that they don’t necessarily like to do, or they’re not necessarily good at it, as of yet. 

The Happier at Work; The More Productive at Work

 Talking about those happy places such as Dreamland, where people can only do things that they’re happy with. Imagine if we can go to a place that people literally just focus on that “I love to do” quadrant, the top right hand quadrant, what you will find is that people will be happier at work and they’ll be more productive at work. And they’re actually telling you as the leader, that you know what they would love for their ideal work to look like. For example, in Scott’s experience in the world of financial services, he had to make phone calls. He was actually good at making phone calls and he actually like to do it. He likes talking to clients. So that would be in his top right hand quadrant. On the flip side, they had a lot of paperwork to do compliance and Scott really wasn’t good at those, because he is not a detailed person. When it comes to paperwork, he is probably not the greatest thing in the world at it. So he’s probably bad at it and he really don’t like to do it because it’s details. So that would drop to his bottom left hand quadrant of things. Now leaders could always say “let’s put together an individual development plan to help me get better at those things.” But Scott said, he’d much rather focus on the things that he’s good at that top right hand quadrant. 

Take Advantage of People’s Strength

Over time, as you go through this task with your people, you will learn as a leader and you’ll learn a ton. First of all, from a respect perspective, just by asking the question, you’ll gain people’s respect because you believe in them. And you want to know what makes them tick and it is great if you do something about it. So you actually see that your employee or your student loves to do XYZ in that top right hand quadrant. Maybe the other 3 quadrants can be the Job description of somebody else. So take advantage of people’s strengths, and what they’re good at. And what you’ll find is people will be happier at work, you’ll find people to be more loyal, and you’ll find people be more trusting. When you have an engaged, loyal, trusting organization, what’s going to happen is you’re going to see productivity fly through the roof, you’re going to see the best in class, and most importantly, you’re going to see profitability at all-time high. 


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