Two years ago I went through my own, personal “workplace transformation.” I had a successful career as a registered interior designer, at a firm I adored, yet my passion for interior design still didn’t feel like enough. When I realized I needed a change, it was a moment in my career that felt like a big risk. Yet, I joined the Choreo team 2 years ago and, as a newbie with a lot of learning, it was a job that came naturally.
So why was it so natural? My new team loved doing any workplace personality quiz we could get our hands on. We did DISC, PI index, and any quiz that our online searches would pop up. However, when we came across StrengthFinders 2.0, I finally found a voice that I felt summarized my journey so articulately.
In the prelude, by Tom Rath, he discusses the story of Rudy, the “famed” football player who overcame all odds by working hard to ultimately play in a Notre Dame game. The book takes an unfavorable, yet realistic, stance on this in the story. It’s true that Rudy had the passion and drive for football but his natural abilities would not support this as a long-term goal. Sure, it makes a great story, but the argument that if Rudy had taken that energy and his natural strengths, he could have focused on a talent that would have been arguably more beneficial for him.
With my strengths as strategic, activator, communicator, maximizer, and woo, it’s no wonder my journey mirrors Rudy’s. To meticulously focus on details 50 hours a week is not my strength – that was hard to accept but something I knew was required of a great designer. I knew I had a passion for people. My favorite part of interior design was strategizing at client meetings to come up with creative solutions to problems.
So why is this important? Considering the dynamic of a company and a team, no matter how big or small, can make a big impact on the workplace culture. A better understanding of my team leader’s and teammate’s strengths helps me to understand how and why they came to certain decisions and where and when they might need my support. StengthFinders summarizes my ability to strategically think through problems and encourages me to follow my intuition, even when I can’t quite place why. I’ve used this ability to think through communications to ensure our message gets across clearly to clients and the end users of a space because misunderstanding can be damaging to a project. Additionally, it encourages me to lean on teammates when I need quality-control for a task. Sometimes my ideas move a bit faster than my hands…
I’d encourage any individual or team to dive deeper into their strengths. It’s something I believe can achieve a strong team dynamic that ultimately will stimulate your culture and workplace.