When I was about 9 or 10 years old, I got in trouble in school for bartering snails for colored pencils. Yes, my school mates traded their beautifully sharp and colorful Caran D’Ache pencils for slimy yet speedy snails. Interestingly, it wasn’t bringing snails into the school that was the problem. It was the deal making and wheeling and dealing manifesting on the playground instigated by yours truly. Clearly, my entrepreneurial spirit was not encouraged where I went to school. Such a shame. And just in case you needed further evidence, my bartering wasn’t limited to snails. I was a conker broker as well. I didn’t recognize it at the time, but this was one of many shenanigans as a precocious little girl which should have clearly shown me a path to a career in sales. It’s always seemed second nature to me to find a solution a problem or provide resolution to someone else’s. If there’s a win for both of us, that’s even better. The question “why might they want this?” is always foremost in my mind.
And what does this flashback have to do with the idea of balance? The first step on the path to finding team balance is knowing yourself.
I’m a big fan of readily available tools to identify your core strengths. Specifically, on identifying strengths, Gallup’s Strengths Finders is an excellent place to start. You can also take DiSC assessments and Myers-Briggs tests. They all help with the question of who you are. (I test as an E.N.T.P. if you were curious.)
But I think your personal value proposition is much more than what a test shows. Dig a little deeper. What are you really great at doing?
- Getting things done?
- Connecting with people?
- Identifying potential problems in a plan?
- Evaluating strengths and weaknesses in a financial plan?
Those are all great, but they all sound like the kind of questions asked in an interview. I want you to go much deeper. Take yourself back to the ten-year-old you. The one who wasn’t worried about what other people thought. The one that was quite happy to dress up as a superhero and run around the backyard saving everyone from everything. That you.
Was there something that person was naturally good at? How is that manifesting itself today?
And if you’re still not sure, take yourself back into your last meeting. That meeting where you were sitting there thinking, “I see the answer. Why doesn’t anyone else see it? It’s so clear.” What was it you do or see when you find that simple answer? That’s thing there, that thing that seems SO simple to you is the thing you’re great at doing.
This brings us back to the idea of balance and balancing teams.
If you know who you are and what you bring to the table, then what other talents does the team need? More importantly, what other talents does an idea need to become a thing? Look around at the people working with you on an idea. Determine what innate talents are in the room. Work with those talents, fill in the holes to bring balance and an idea to fruition.
A little self-reflection for all of us in the Balance Series. You can check out previous articles in the series: Part I: How can you be courageous so you can be brave? and Part II: Do you practice organizational empathy? and Part III: Looking at the Whole and Not Just the Role.
Next time I’ll be exploring the other talents in your team and learning to play well with each other for maximum results.
Be Curious: What We’re Reading
We are voracious readers at The Amplify Lab. We’ve chosen a couple of articles that really opened our eyes to some new and amazing ideas and made us think outside the box, beyond our knowledge sphere.
"Crying at Work: When It’s Okay and When It Isn’t" by A. Pawloski on NBCNews. Crying at work can damage your career, but you can recover if you proceed carefully, experts say.
"5 Core Reasons People Resist Facing Reality Instead Of Changing It" by Kathy Caprino in Forbes. Part Of The Series “Braving Up To Build a Better Life”