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Does your firm have a culture of complaining? Start a new conversation.

I have been using the Gallup StrengthsFinder with clients and employees for about 13 years. I recently went to Gallup and took their coaching certification course because I have found this assessment does many things that other assessments do not.

For example, it gives you the opportunity to change a common and dangerous practice that many workplaces fall into: the culture of complaint. Humans love to complain. We meet someone new and bond over complaints about our health, our families or politics. Kind of boring but pretty normal. At work it can easily spiral way out of control, with people spending hours complaining about changes, customers and each other. Once your culture has gone a little too far down that road, it can be a slow death spiral with symptoms like new people getting an orientation into everything that is wrong with your firm, natural divisions becoming impenetrable silos, and defensive behavior from even the most competent people. It begins to impact customer service, retention and productivity.

Enter the StrengthsFinder. When everyone takes the assessment, they each find out what they are brilliant at. With a good training, coaching and integration program, people start to compare their greatness to that of others. Instead of bitterly observing that one team member is just no good at something, they start to focus on how they each have different strengths and can shore each other up. There is delight when a more junior member brings a strength that no one else has. New people are introduced by their strengths. Defenses go down as teamwork improves.

The conversational culture of complaining is slowly replaced by talking about greatness. People feel safer. The stats all say that people who work from their strengths are more engaged and engaged people stay longer, serve clients better and get more done. Of course there will be one or two old timers who really want to dish the dirt. What do you think is best done with those?

If you are interested in improving retention and culture at your firm, give me a call at 651-274-6461. I would be glad to share more about my experiences with the StrengthsFinder and hear about what is going on at your firm.

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