Picture: StrengthscopeLeader

Leaders are increasingly responsible for the development of employees and must ensure that people are deployed in the right place (or places), where they can best utilize their strengths. Research shows that human-centric and talent-centric leadership (strengths-based leadership) is a predictor of job satisfaction and employee engagement.

As a leader, it’s important to recognize and utilize the strengths of your team members in order to create a people-oriented and productive work environment. In my experience, leaders will quickly reap the benefits of strengths-based leadership for themselves, their teams and the organization.

Here are my eleven tips for strengths-based leadership:

  1. Discover Your Own Strengths: Start by taking a strengths assessment, preferably StrengthscopeLeader, to identify your own unique leadership qualities and strengths.
  2. Identify the Strengths of Your Team Members: Get to know your team members and identify their individual strengths. Encourage them to develop and utilize their strengths. When team members are able to use their strengths, they feel empowered and motivated.
  3. Provide Regular Feedback: Check-ins, regularly provide feedback on your team members’ strengths will help them to take ownership of their work.
  4. Set Goals Aligned with Strengths: Set goals that align with the strengths of your team members and encourage them to use their strengths to achieve these goals. Evidence shows that goals that are aligned with people´s strengths are attained with more ease, utilizing strengths leads to steep learning curves and increased confidence.
  5. Create a Positive and Safe Work Environment: Create a work environment where team members feel safe to showcase and utilize their strengths. Encourage open communication and collaboration. Trust, connection, and psychological safety are essential for a productive team.
  6. Give Space to Utilize Strengths: Allow your team members the space to utilize their strengths when performing their tasks. This promotes self-efficacy, resilience and autonomy.
  7. Use Strengths for Team-Building: Utilize the strengths of your team members when building teams, this helps increase engagement and effective collaboration, as team members are able to recognize, appreciate and utilize each other’s strengths.
  8. Identify Challenging Tasks and Projects: Work with your team members to identify challenging tasks and projects that fit their strengths. This promotes job crafting and helps build mastery.
  9. Celebrate Successes: Celebrate successes achieved through the use of team members’ strengths. Recognition and support of progress goes a long way in fostering a positive work environment.
  10. Continue Learning and Improving: Seek feedback and reflect on your own and your team’s strengths. Self-reflection, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence are key components of effective leadership.
  11. Work with a Strengths-Based Leadership Coach: Consider working with a strengths-based leadership coach, such as myself 😃, Kitty, to further develop your strengths-based leadership skills. I can provide guidance, support and accountability in implementing a strengths-based approach to leadership.

By focusing on strengths, leaders can create a more motivated, productive and engaged team. Utilizing these eleven tips can help you as a leader or manager to cultivate a strengths-based approach to leadership.

Research by the Corporate Leadership Council shows that when managers focus on the weaknesses of their employees, performance declines by up to 27%. Whereas when mangers focus on the strengths of their employees, performance improves by up to 36%


“If I had to single out the best leadership decision I ever made during my entire career at Microsoft, the one momentous action that made the biggest difference, it would have to be -hands down- the decision to start working on my own and my team’s strengths. Building strengths makes good business sense.

– Jan Mühlfeit (executive coach and former Chairman of Microsoft Europe).

About The Author

Kitty Schaap

CoAchieve | Versterk leiderschap en talent vanuit een Strengths-based aanpak. Voor leidinggevenden, HR-professionals, organisaties.

You may also like...