How to spot the character strengths in your project team

by Elise Stevens | Futureproof Your Career Podcast

Have you thought about your strengths lately? Not your skills and talents, but the key character strengths within your personality.

If you’re a project manager there’s a good chance you’re prudent and persevering, which means you like to have a plan and you don’t like to give up.

Ruth Pearce believes the key to building strong teams full of motivated people is for leaders to study their own character strengths and then highlight and acknowledge the character strengths of others.

In this podcast, Ruth describes working with teams that were under stress and how her desire to get people more engaged without breaking the budget eventually led her to the science of character strengths.

Instead of relying on your intuition about people, she recommends getting to know your own strengths and learning how to spot them in others.

Points raised in this podcast:

  • Every person possesses the 24 character strengths in varying degrees, giving each person a different character profile.
  • Project managers score similar to the average population for character traits such as honesty, judgement, curiosity, kindness and fairness.
  • Project managers score higher than the average population for prudence, perseverance, forgiveness and teamwork. They score lower than the average population for social intelligence and perspective.
  • People who know their character strengths and use them every day are more engaged at work.
  • If you recognise character strengths in people, you can energise and motivate them to build the skills they need to fulfil their role, rather than simply telling them what they need to do.
  • The first step in exploring character strengths is to work out what yours are. Determine your top five and then consciously think about how you use them. Then you will start to see the character strengths of others.
  • By highlighting and encouraging the character strengths of others, you can begin leveraging the strengths of the team for the benefit of the project.
  • If you take a closer look at the character strengths of people who get under your skin, you may find them less irritating.

About Ruth Pearce:

Ruth Pearce is an experienced project and program manager who is passionate about the future of the people who lead projects. Her purpose is to build engaged teams, led by empathetic, socially intelligent project managers through strengths-based project management. She is a certified coach, trained mediator and experienced speaker. She is the author of Be a Project Motivator: Unlock the Secrets of Strengths-Based Project Management.

I was delighted to have Ruth submit her profile for my 2019 Celebrating Women in Project Management Series. See Ruth’s inspiring profile here.