People want to feel connected and valued, period. We know that on a cellular level. Operationalizing and integrating that knowledge in the workplace is not always easily achieved. A clear understanding of people’s skills and organizing tasks around those is not enough.
Our skills are not who we are, these are processes and actions we have learned to do well.
To feel connected and valued the core of a person must be reached.
Some Traits Are Overlooked Assets and Avenues to Engagement
Best-of-self traits- the characteristics who make us who we are- are at the core of a person. These are strengths all too often undervalued and underused because they are innate. People take them for granted.
Ever asked yourself why other people seem to struggle with thinking through all the possibilities when it’s as natural as breathing to you? Critical thinking might be one of your best-of-self traits. There’s a lot of talk about the need for critical thinking in the world these days. How often are you able to apply this gift in your role at work?
Maybe you are the kind of person who others tease about getting swept up in one new topic after another? Curiosity is likely on of your best-of-self traits. And it’s an asset for making mini discoveries that lead to novel solutions.
Some Traits Are Not Usually Seen as Desirable . . .
Or Are They
Sometimes these strengths are not traits normally considered useful or desirable in the workplace, like, love, zest or kindness. Until recently.
As organizations continue to shrink their functional hierarchies, as the workforce grows more diverse in every way, as both women and men seek more flexibility and a holistic approach to their lives, there is a conversation emerging about “humanize” the workplace. This is why tapping into assets like zest, love and kindness matters.
Kind people are generally liked by others that creates opportunities to develop meaningful relationships. It is through relationships that things get done. We access information through relationships. Teams function better when the relationships are profound. Things that are hard to say but are ultimately for the best are not left unspoken or glossed over.
Love in the workplace, conjures up all kinds of scenarios, many of them not good. But consider this, love is correlated with healthy patterns of communication, like compromising and good conflict. How much more quality work would be done if people communicated better?
Zest is a fuel for life, it cultivates excitement and energy. People with a gusto fully participate rather than view life from the sidelines. Zest is correlated with feeling work is a calling, not just a job. That’s a win-win for the person and the workplace.
Leverage Traits and Skills to Engage and Retain Talent
For people to feel connected and valued at work we need ways to prevent people from feeling like they are cog in the organizational gears. Where they get ground down and dulled by being reduced to someone who does things that don’t matter much to them.
Instead we need to identify and create opportunities for people to leverage their best-of-self traits as well as their skills. Because when people use the breath of their abilities talents are optimized. Frankly that just feels good. You are not searching for a place where "they get you" and what you offer. You are ready to dig in and do more. And you know that in your cells.