Strengths to the Rescue

Lean into your strengths to manage through uncertainty and complexity

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 reflected on how I was able to use some of my strengths to relieve the uncertainty of others.   Once again, the super-power duo of Futuristic and Positivity came to the rescue to provide optimism and hope for the near future.

In uneasy times like these, it is important to remember that your own super-powers - your CliftonStrengths - can help to lead you and others to a better place. 

Here are some ways you might consider aiming your strengths to lighten the worry of others during times of uncertainty;

You enjoy taking on new tasks and challenges.  Set a daily goal to meet or speak with a set number of employees or clients every day and ask about their needs, challenges and concerns in the current environment and make a list of how you can help.

You know that only action makes things happen.  When the territory is uncharted, there is a need for people to take action - often thinking and doing at the same time.  Volunteer to step into the middle of new programs and initiatives designed to improve business and/or alleviate ambiguity.

Your ability to respond willingly to the demands of the moment and remain productive when chaos pulls you in many directions is inspirational and calming to those around you.  Take the lead when your team is faced with unexpected detours and sudden requests.

Your strength allows you to jump into confusion and devise new options in order to find the best way to get things done.   Volunteer to help your leadership filter rapidly changing variables and create clarity by aligning and re-aligning them until you find the path of least resistance.

Your constant search for reasons and causes helps you find simplicity in the midst of complexity.  To you, truth is objective.  Help to mitigate the swirl by contributing dispassionate thinking to emotional issues.

You are guided by core values which give your life meaning and satisfaction.  Use these value as guardrails in times of disruption.  Your peers trust you and can depend on you to navigate them through difficult times.

You are not afraid of conflict because you know that confrontation is the first step towards clarity and resolution.   You feel no discomfort sharing your opinion with others.  In times of indecision, you can draw others towards you with your decisiveness and willingness to take risks and move forward. 

Your ability to communicate with others inspires them to act.  As chaos ensues, you have the ability to curate messages into stories and messages that people will remember.  Volunteer to craft correspondence to employees and clients in order to keep them updated and informed.

Your are constantly measuring your progress against the performance of others.  Consider how effectively your  greatest industry competitor is managing the same crisis and raise the performance of your team to meet and exceed their level of service delivery and client care to become best in class.

You are certain that things happen for a reason and there are few coincidences in life.  Confident in the unity of people, you are a bridge builder who can integrate separate parts into wholes.  Help others accept mystery, uncertainty and ambiguity and to have faith in one another.

You believe people function best in a consistent environment where the rules are clear and applied equally to everyone.  In times of trouble and disruption, people need predictability and constancy.  As your business announces policy changes, become the filter to make sure everyone is being treated fairly and consistently. 

You understand the present by researching history.   Your reverence for the past helps you look logically at prior world and local events which have brought disruption and identify effective solutions which were used then and can apply now.  Become the expert on past and effective crisis management and glean some inspiration from best practices.

You know the world is unpredictable, and in times of strife, your point is proven.  You help identify current and future risks, assess them and then plan to mitigate or eliminate them.  In times of trouble, help your team uncover dangers, weigh their impact and then advance with a solution.

When you interact with others, your goal is to help them experience success.  Helping others develop and grow is personally fulfilling to you.  Use unique challenges your business is facing today as learning moments for your team and assign tasks which align with their talents - and then recognize their achievements.

You thrive with routine, order and predictability.  Your detail orientation helps your team maintain progress and productivity in the face of distraction.  Step forward and make sure all of the action and contingency plans are thought through and have timelines, action steps and deadlines attached.

You sense the feelings of others as if they are your own.  You can see the world through the eyes of others and share their perspective.  Leverage this strength to answer unvoiced questions and concerns of your team.  People are drawn to you for your ability to give voice to their feelings and emotions.

You are driven by finding a clear destination every day.  Your focus reminds everyone that if something is not helping you move towards your destination, then it is not important.  You keep everyone on point.  When things are uncertain, work with your team to clarify and agree on a goal or purpose and let your strength help to evaluate if each action will help to move your group towards that goal.

You see detail in what the future might hold, and this detailed picture pulls you into tomorrow.  You have visions of what can be.  When the present is filled with trouble and anxiety, your visions of a brighter future can energize you and those around you.  Share your visions to raise the spirits of your team.

You are calm and even-keeled and seek areas of agreement with others.  You don't mind deferring to experts and advocate interdependence over independence.  In times of stress, tempers and emotions can flair.  Step into the middle and help people with differing opinions find consensus and common ground in order to reduce conflict.  You are a calm in the storm. 

To you, an idea is a new perspective on familiar challenges.  You are not at all affected by the ambiguity and risk of innovation.  You bring new and fresh perspectives to everything you do.  In challenging times - and not - think about the intersection of your customer need and your business model and innovate a solution that will make a difference in the given situation.  

You want to include people and make them a part of the group.  You want to expand the group so as many people as possible can benefit from the support.  You have the conviction that fundamentally, people are all the same and equally important.  When your team is forming planning meetings to deal with unique situations, volunteer to create the roster of attendees so that you have equal representation from different departments and varying points of view. 

You are intrigued by the unique qualities of every person.  You instinctively observe each person's style, motivation, how they think and how they build relationships.  Because you are such a keen observer of other people's strengths, you can draw out the best in them.  Help your leader put the perfect task force together by assembling a team based on the unique strengths required to get the job done.  Your intimate understanding of the unique talents of each individual is quite valuable.  

Your mind finds many things interesting and you often archive information.  You collect things - information, words, books, quotations and tangible items.  In times of uncertainty, it is great to have someone who can find and collect news about current events and actions which businesses in a similar industry are taking to mitigate the problem.  Volunteer to become that go-to curator and collector of information for the team.

To you, thinking is doing.  You like time alone to reflect and solve problems.  In times of disruption, take a walk and find some quiet time to think of solutions, answers and alternatives to share with your team. 

You love to learn and find the process of learning more exciting than the actual content or result.  Often when life throws us curve-balls, we need to learn a new way to swing to hit them out of the park.  Volunteer to help the team by learning something new in order to improve the current situation.

You are energized by transforming something good and making it great.   Excellence, not average, is your measure and you are fascinated by the strengths of others.  Put this talent to work by reviewing the output of your team as they design action and contingency plans and challenge them to elevate them from something strong to something superb.

You are naturally upbeat and enthusiastic and your demeanor gets other people excited about what they are going to do.  The world looks better around you and you lighten the spirits of your team.  When things get hectic and stressful at work, your energy, humor and "glass-half-full" outlook will go a long way to relieve the pressures.

Your Relator talent pulls you towards people with whom you have already forged solid relationships and you derive a great deal of pleasure and strength by being around them.  You deliberately deepen relationships and want to better understand the feelings, goals, fears and dreams of those you care most about.  You bring social depth and transparency to the team.  Leverage this in times of uneasiness to help your team open up to you about their concerns and emotions.

You take ownership of what you commit to and feel emotionally bound to follow it through until completion.  Your conscientiousness and obligation to do things right make you a dependable member of the team.  People know you will get things done.  In times of uncertainty, make yourself available to leadership as they will count on you for immediate help and will trust you will complete the mission.

You love to solve problems and will be at home when faced with unique challenges at work.  You enjoy analyzing the symptoms, identifying what is wrong and finding the solution.  As you are not intimidated by pain or dysfunction, your courage and creativity to solve problems will be extremely valuable when the team is dealing with problematic issues.  This is the time for you to step up and flex every inch of this strength.

You know that your are able - able to take risks, able to meet new challenges and able to deliver.  You have confidence in your abilities and your judgement.  As things swirl and fast decisions need to be made, you will know the right decisions to be made.  Like the keel of a ship, this strength will keep you and your team on course.  Step forward to lead a project team or communication surrounding the issue at hand.  Form conclusions, make decisions and act.

You are driven by a desire to make a difference, to stand-out and to be heard.  This strength pulls you and your team from average towards exceptional.  The ultimate measure of a leader is not where they stand in times of comfort and convenience but where they stand in moments of challenge.  Leverage this moment and this strength to make a difference for yourself and your team.  Let doing something admirable and meaningful for your clients and customers become the guiding light for your team.

You know how to cut through the clutter, find the best route forward and see patterns where others just see complexity.  You can see around the next corner by always asking "what if this happened"?  You discard paths that lead to nowhere and select the course that has the highest likelihood of success.  Your cadence is "what if?", select and strike.  Your ability to find clarity and simplicity in chaos will be highly valuable at this time. 

You enjoy initiating conversations with strangers and derive satisfaction by breaking the ice and making connections.  In your world there are no strangers, only friends you have not yet met.  Use this strength to take point on face to face communication with customers or clients in times of disruption or uncertainty.  




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