Strengths and Your Team

men playing sack race with friends


Several years ago, my family embarked into the unknown world of Alzheimers. In addition to navigating the condition of our mother, several family members were very ill and there were multiple deaths that year. My sisters and I all pitched in to execute on tasks that were vital, provide emotional support, and figure out the legal issues involved. We worked together to make sure we accomplished things well from every aspect of the situation.

Afterward, we remarked that each of us lent our talents and skills to create the best outcome. The difference this time, as opposed to earlier in our lives, was that rather than expecting each other to perform in ways that were not natural for the individual person, we opened our minds to recognize the strengths of each of us. It was a lightbulb moment and one of exponential growth for us.

Expect what each can give and celebrate the contribution rather than expecting unrealistic acts and feeling angry or dissatisfied with each other.

The Balistreri Sisters

The same holds true for work situations. Through the years as a coach, many clients talk to me about their company’s lack of follow through when it comes to strengths. For instance, a business or non-profit organization will invest the time and money into working with teams to assess what “type” each person might be. Whether it is the Meyers Briggs or the Disc or something else, each person receives the report about their type.

The report generally precedes a discussion with the whole team. Often, the consultant involved will chart the team member’s individual types to identify where the group is strong in skillset and where there may be gaps. Everyone discusses how to adapt for the gaps and better understand the approaches of other team members to make the team more productive and the work more enjoyable and efficient.

Then, no one talks about it ever again. It’s true. I personally have been a member of teams where this has happened.

Why is this important? It is vital to use the investment in identifying strengths and gaps for so many reasons:

  1. Trust develops. A discussion of skillset and the application of strengths opens up individuals on the team. They feel heard and valued. When no more is made of the initial discussion, people feel cheated or fooled or disrespected.
  2. Authenticity is promoted. When trust develops and employees understand their value to the team, they become more comfortable being themselves at work.
  3. Belonging happens. Workers who are committed to their company or organization believe they belong in the environment. Happy people tend to be more productive.
  4. Your team performs in a crisis. When the team understands everyone’s strengths, and the leader of the team directs the work in ways that match with those strengths, the team performs best in crisis situations.

In the case of me and my sisters, the next time we experienced a crisis, we each jumped into our roles. We acknowledged who should do what based on those strengths. The management of the work at hand was much easier and more productive. The same can happen in your organization when you acknowledge strengths and then provide your team members with opportunities to use their individual skills to create the best results.

For more information contact Mary Balistreri, The Mindful Business Coach at

Published by Mary Balistreri

Mary Balistreri offers a variety of coaching and professional development services to individuals and organizations focused on harnessing strengths to develop more business. Mary’s approach is goal driven, focusing on measurable results and developing actionable plans to move past obstacles that hold individuals, teams, and organizations back from executing on the plan. Mary offers expertise in business development, team building, and leadership development coupled with strategies to improve conversational and emotional intelligence to support clients moving toward their goals and aspirations.

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