I’m grappling with the consequences of implementing the strengths based philosophy and a recent conversation with a good client is indicative of the dilemma. This organisation wants their Relationship Managers to be as good at bringing in new clients as they are at looking after them, but few in the team seem to have both strengths in balance (funny that) and training isn’t a viable solution, unless other things are addressed.
The strengths approach (and my experience) says that those who are “hunters” love wooing others (winning them over – to use the Clifton Strengths Finder category) and will never be as good at caring as they are at wooing. When they’ve brought a new client in to the organisation, the wooing is over and the hunter is on to the next prospective client and the new client can suddenly feel a bit “unloved” if no one else takes over to care for them.
The carers in comparison, are a little bit slower in forming relationships with new clients and find the wooing very difficult so they procrastinate. But they love looking after existing clients and making sure they are happy.
A mix of hunter and carer is ideal, but we are more likely to create that in a team than to create that mix in a person.
What happens to a manager of a team who has been tasked with making sure each team member does their share of hunting and caring?
(Note to audience today’s blog is a mind wander, not a coherent story – yet)
I had been having a bit of a struggle these last few weeks with a myriad of tasks that I’ve promised to clients and I noticed my internal conversation with these tasks was one of duty and necessity, which generated a heavy feeling in my body and heart. Then in two sparkling hours I had conversations with University colleagues and the world of possibilities opened up again. After these conversations I noticed a lightness and joy in my body and heart and the other tasks didn’t seem so hard anymore because they are only one part of my work life, not the whole of it. For me, possibility and new ideas are as essential as food and water (and chocolate).
Again this morning I had a different sort of conversation with CTSC colleague Linda Yaven about turning possibilities into some form of documented reality i.e an idea for a product or service. She even came up with an attractive metaphor for how to start – mapping out the landscape – yes, I can see the high peaks and murky valleys and twisty windy roads in my mind already.
Now I’m reading her latest article – Innovation as Community Conversation – which really resonates because it describes the effect on me of these different conversations – excitement that we are building new creative futures through the possibility conversations we are having together.