High-Performing Teams

I was recently listening to a TED Talk on teamwork and the speaker introduced me to a quote from Abraham Lincoln which is worth remembering; "I don't like that man.  I must get to know him better".  

Within the workshops I facilitate on CliftonStrengths, I speak about how we see the world through the lens of our own talents.  What may irritate us about others really helps us understand more about ourselves.  It is very likely that the behaviors and actions of people we work with that drive us a bit crazy are actually talents and strengths which are foreign to us.  In the world of CliftonStrengths, these are "non-talents" near the bottom of your list of 34 that never "fire" or show up rarely within us.

One in thirty-three million people have the same "Top 5" CliftonStrengths in the same order.  Bringing these talents to work each day is diversity.  Having the ability to actually apply our unique talents and strengths in our workplace is incl…

How the 34 Strengths Deal with Change

By Chris Heinz 

While change is inevitable, each of the 34 strengths deals with change in a different way. Some rush in, some hold back, some bring others along. The key to great change management is utilizing the strengths in a positive way. Here are starter ideas on how the strengths deal with change. At the end of the list, you can come up with your own ideas.

Starter Ideas
Achiever®: Doesn't want to be slowed down; show how the change will make them more productive

Activator®: Able to act on change quickly; eager to move so give timeline

Adaptability®: Flexible and adaptable; can create confidence that the change will be okay

Analytical®: Needs to understand the causes and reasons for the change; give time to consider the factors

Arranger®: Can handle change well, but needs to understand the impact on all the moving parts they are juggling

Belief®: Can be stubborn if change interferes with personal or organizational values; show how change aligns with values

Command®: Prefers …

Strengths to the Rescue

The times are rather stressful.  As I write this post, Coronavirus has become a pandemic, the stock market is plunging and the industry in which I have invested my life, hospitality, is suffering losses and instability.  It does not help that we are overly connected with texts, tweets and e-mails flying at us at break-neck speed.

My Futuristic (#3) and Positivity (#4) are already reminding me that everything will be fine when I look back on this particular blog a few months from now - but for now, things are unpredictable.

On my way home tonight, I decided to stop at some of the ticketing locations my department manages at hotels at Universal Orlando Resort.  I always gain energy after visiting with our Team Members and thoroughly enjoy our dialogue.   During this visit, I wanted to make myself available to answer any questions the team might have about the current state of our business (and the world).

Driving home, I felt better than I did before stopping at the hotels and I refle…

Covering Your "A"

There is something about the start of a new year that I find extremely energizing.  My Strategic (#1), Ideation (#2) and Futuristic (#3) strengths power on all cylinders, motivating and inspiring me to plan the promise of a new year (Belief #6) for myself and my assigned business units.

Don Clifton, the "Father" of positive psychology and the founder of Clifton Strengths is quoted as saying "'Nothing happens until someone expects something of you in ways you can achieve.".  Research has proven that there is a direct connection between understanding and applying your unique strengths and doing your best work.  There is then a connection between doing your best work and feeling your best.  Finally, when you feel your best at work, you perform your best at work - and have a greater likelihood of achieving your goals.

As an Achiever (#5), I am never short of goals to strive for.  This year, one of my goals is to refresh the annual goal-setting and action-plannin…

A Patchwork of Strengths


Playing with Tradition

In October of 1998, a co-worker and I had an unconventional idea to celebrate Halloween in the office. We encouraged everyone in our B-110 workspace to dress in costume and decorate their cubes. Then we invitedpeersfrom other departments to wander through this improvised, silly and disjointed maze. We did not know it at the time, but this spontaneous event which we playfullynamedCubes of Abomination, would become the longest running cultural tradition within Universal’s Marketing & Sales division.
This year, Cubes (that’s what the cool kids call it) celebrated its 22nd annual performance. Like the swallows returning to Capistrano, a band ofTeamMembers once again converged within a designated space, hang some tarp, dimmed the lights and brought the value of fun wildly to life for all to embrace. 
Organizational culture is defined by our shared behaviors in the workplace. Traditions are formed when the best of these behaviors are sustained and transmitted forward for the benefit and e…

Vision Test

Like many good insurance plans, mine covers a once-a-year vision exam.  My cadence for this visit over the past few years has been to schedule it the last week of the year - easy to remember and just before the benefit expires.  

The standard eye test inevitably has you looking through an instrument called a phoropter  (also called a retractor).  This is the binocular looking device that you peer through as you read the eye chart and make super quick life-altering choices on visual clarity (my Deliberative friends must find this stressful).    

During my past few visits, my Futuristic (#3) has made an entrance by quizzing down the Optometrist Assistant about the seemingly antiquated instrument.  I seem to recall looking through this same exact measurement tool in 1968.  Surely with the technology of today, there would be an easier way to test our vision vs. a machine that was patented in 1921?  Perhaps an APP for that?

The answer has been the same.  The phoropter used to test how how pas…