How to Get Your Team to Embrace Their Professional Strengths with Amy Jessen, Ep #19
Play • 28 min

Do you have individuals in your organization who produce great work but don’t possess what most people consider, “Leadership” qualities? What are they suppose to do, they can’t just change their professional strengths like putting on a new outfit, can they? Don’t write those folks off just yet! There are steps you can take to encourage and empower people in your ranks as they grow professionally. Have pen and paper ready; you’ll want to jot down some notes!

Your people need to know that you are rooting for them!

One of the worst feelings in the world is to pour all of your heart and soul into your work only to find out that no one notices or cares. If your people don’t feel like they’ve got you in their corner rooting for them, it will show up in their performance. I’m not saying you need to become the in-house cheerleader, but there are little things you can do to show people that you want them to succeed.

  • Offer a word of encouragement.
  • Ask for their advice on an important decision.
  • Make sure your constructive feedback is accompanied by positive feedback.

These are just a few starting points. Your workplace is unique, but people are the same everywhere, they need positive reinforcement!

Recognize potential and draw it out.

There is someone on your team right now who has untapped potential; it is your job as a leader to recognize that potential and draw it out of them. Consider putting a prospective leader in an uncomfortable situation to see how they react. You might be surprised to see how their professional strengths adapt and shine in a challenging environment. Playing it safe and maintaining the status quo won’t help your people grow. Take a chance and watch as people on your team rise to the occasion!

Encourage self-reflection and personal development.

Think of how you grew and developed as a leader, what did that process entail? Like most leaders, self-reflection and personal development probably played a huge role in your growth as a leader. If you want to see people in your organization step up and realize their full potential, you’ve got to create opportunities for them to grow. You can start by sharing with your team how you developed and grew as a leader as well as the steps and strategies you are exercising to continue your growth. While that may sound like a really bold and vulnerable move, think of the credibility and trust you’ll earn, it’s worth the risk.

Don’t rule anyone out.

Let’s face it; there is a certain template that comes to mind when you think of the ideal leader. Not only can your imagination stunted by that template, but the imagination of people on your team can also be limited! Just because someone is shy and task-oriented doesn’t mean they won’t make a competent leader. No one should be automatically ruled out or automatically ruled in as a leader based on an exterior analysis. Remember, professional strengths can be drawn out and developed over time, and it’s your responsibility as a leader to facilitate that growth!

Outline of This Episode
  • [1:15] I introduce my guest, Amy Jessen.
  • [3:15] What makes project management work meaningful to Amy?
  • [5:20] The difference between Amy 1.0 and Amy 2.0.
  • [10:30] How project management leadership is different than other leadership roles.
  • [16:00] Amy talks about a turning point in her personal development.
  • [22:45] The one soft skill that Amy is working on. What will Amy 3.0 look like?
  • [26:00] Three takeaways from Amy.
Resources & People Mentioned Connect with Amy Jessen Connect With Bruce
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