In a strength based approach to human and workplace relations, instead of pointing out what is wrong and where there is room to improve, attention is paid to what is right and how we can grow together. Employees and colleagues are treated as valuable assets that each have their own unique and productive qualities to be nurtured.
For example, imagine that you have recently put a great deal of effort into a work assignment and you’re excited to present your findings to your colleagues. As you begin share some customer testimonials with the group, your boss points out that you often spend too much time with customers. Where are the numbers? Suddenly nervous, you explain that you did analyze some sales reports and will present them shortly. But burning in the back of your mind is that your boss believes you waste time with customers. And what really hurts is that you thought you were doing a great job! Flustered, you hurry through the rest of your report, noting that from now on you won’t be making much conversation with clients, even though that is what made the day enjoyable and your sales so high.
Strength based behavior does not seek point out flaws (“Where are the numbers?”) and instead highlights the employee’s excellent customer relationships. (“I put Jennifer in charge of this survey because she really knows our client base. Anna will be updating us with the numbers next– she’s been analyzing the statistics.”)
By leveraging the natural talents of every employee instead of becoming critical or diverting their energy to tasks that are not within their skill set, employees feel safe, productive and ready to challenge themselves to further accomplishment.