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How Managers Can Get the Best out of People

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By Jennie Wong

(MCT)—What are your greatest strengths? What are the greatest strengths of each of your employees? And how can you best manage all of those strengths?

You might find it easy to write down a list of the weaknesses you’re working on in yourself or are trying to address in each of your team members. But research by Gallup and others has shown that this focus on our flaws leaves a lot to be desired.

In the book “Now, Discover Your Strengths,” Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton point out two flawed assumptions that are rampant among managers: That we can learn to be competent in almost anything, and that our greatest room for growth is in our area of greatest weakness.

Their research, however, shows that the world’s best managers assume the opposite: that our talents are enduring and unique, and our greatest room for growth is in the area of our greatest strength.

Here’s how you can become more like the world’s best managers.

—Start with your own strengths: The easiest and most logical place to begin is with yourself. Think about the things you’ve always been good at. Maybe these are qualities that have even been criticized when you’ve taken them to extremes. For example, my nearest and dearest will tell you that I’m exasperatingly argumentative, but no one will dispute that my assertiveness is a strength, too.

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