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2 May 20247 min read

Strengthify's New Format Higher Education Discovery Workshops (April 2024)

"An exceptionally impactful workshop, delivered with passion and a perfect pace, offering great insights into strengths-based approaches at organisational, team and individual levels."

Our Discovery Workshops are designed to let attendees 'experience' a strengths-based approach; leaving with an understanding and appreciation of their own and others' unique strengths. As well as exploring practical ways to make positive changes to their work and personal lives, to 'harnessing' their own and other's strengths whether as team members, managers or leaders of teams, departments or organisations.

For the latest dates/locations of our Discovery Workshops, and for details on how to register your interest, please check out our Events.

We use a strengths-based psychometric tool called the CliftonStrengths assessment which we provide all attendees with free access to. This ensures all attendees can get the most out of the session and walk away 'bought into' a strengths-based approach based on an understanding of their own unique strengths.

Building on from the success of our Higher Education Discovery Workshops in Winter 2023/4, we wanted to provide an even better experience and launched a new, updated workshop format in late April 2024.  

The first, and to date our largest workshop, was in London on the 23 April with 36 attendees from universities as far away as Northern Ireland and Scotland making the trip.

The feedback we collected showed that attendees found the workshops valuable primarily due to the opportunities for personal and professional development, the enhancement of team dynamics, and the insights gained from structured discussions and activities.

What are the benefits of attending a workshop?

Key benefits of our Discovery Workshops include the ability to understand and leverage your own unique personal strengths, improve interpersonal relationships through a deeper understanding of colleagues' strengths, and discover practical applications of these insights in both work and home environments. The workshops also actively promote self-reflection and strategic thinking about career and team development.

100% of attendees said they were extremely likely or very likely to recommend our Discovery Workshops to a friend or colleague.

A chart showing 100% attendees were extremely likely or very likely to recommend our Discovery Workshop

The following feedback highlights some of the benefits seen by attendees:

  • "[An] exceptional workshop that helped to fully understand strengths-based organisations as a whole - as well as time to consider a complex report - [which was] valuable from the perspective of an organisational development professional, a team leader, and an individual who is interested in their own development."
  • "From attending the workshop I can see how focusing on identified strengths could be applied to my work and home life and it also highlighted to me why I may have made different decisions in various aspects of my life which I had never seen as being driven by the same set of strengths before."
  • "It was very interactive and everyone was able to contribute, it was interesting to understand my strengths and how I can apply this to my work and ensure that my team understand what I am doing and why."

The value of a strengths-based approach to organisations

A key aspect of our workshops is to help attendees recognise the advantages of adopting a strengths-based approach within their organisations. This encompasses everything from initial recruitment, through to onboarding, professional development, performance management and change management.

A strengths-based approach can help improve your ability to highlight and utilise individual talents, thereby fostering a more inclusive and positive work environment. By focusing on strengths, teams can achieve greater synergy and performance, moving away from a deficit-focused model that emphasises and focuses on weaknesses.

Workshop attendees saw key benefits as including improved morale, enhanced team cohesion, and more strategic task allocation. They also saw the approach as a catalyst for personal and career development, helping individuals to discover and refine their optimal roles within the organisation, which in turn could enhance overall job satisfaction and reduce negative self-perceptions.

The following feedback highlights some of the reasons a strengths-based approach resonated with attendees:

  • "In my mind focusing on strengths of those around you can only be beneficial for all concerned, and could help people to find what they should really be doing with their careers and personal lives to enhance wellbeing and satisfaction levels."
  • "Understanding our common and different strengths [allows] us to work better together."
  • "It helps [to build] a high performing team."
  • "Recognising each individual’s strengths can improve team cohesion."
  • "It was great to celebrate the good stuff! Often as an organisation the focus is on areas of weakness rather than strengths."

What positive actions do attendees think they will be able to make following on from the workshops?

Following the workshop, attendees expressed a variety of ways in which they plan to implement positive changes in their work practices based on the insights gained, particularly regarding managing performance limiters, utilising strengths, and communicating effectively within teams.

Enhanced Self-Awareness and Application of Strengths

Many attendees found value in gaining a clearer understanding of their own strengths and how these can be optimally utilised within their roles. This self-awareness is seen as a tool for capitalising on personal strengths in daily tasks and long-term goals: "I will capitalise more on my strengths!" and "[I will] look at how to apply my strengths against my role and goals to enhance my experience and engagement."  This highlights a shift towards leveraging personal strengths more consciously in their work environments.

Improved Team Communication and Development

Understanding and sharing these insights within teams were also seen as vital. Attendees plan to use the common language and concepts learned about strengths to support and develop their teams. One said it was "Very helpful to understand my strengths in the workplace and have a common language to use across my team too, to support their development." One of the key aims of the workshops is to foster better communication and understanding within teams, enhancing overall team performance.

Strategic Task Management

Aligning tasks with individual strengths was another significant takeaway. Participants indicated they would use their understanding of personal strengths to better align tasks and responsibilities or delegate them appropriately. As one attendee noted, "I can use the assessment to help align tasks/projects based on my own strengths, or decide to instead delegate elsewhere." This strategic approach to task management can help lead to more efficient and satisfying work outcomes.

Addressing Blind Spots and Performance Limiters

Several attendees recognised the importance of identifying and managing their blind spots and performance limiters. The knowledge gained is anticipated to help them mitigate these challenges, as reflected in the comment: "I have a greater awareness of what my blind spots are/can be." Another explained a specific strategy: "now that I understand that I may need to have more time to digest/deliberate on information before coming to conclusions... I will more regularly ask for information in advance wherever possible."

Shift in Focus from Weaknesses to Strengths

Finally, a general shift in focus from dwelling on weaknesses to emphasising strengths was a common theme. Participants expressed a newfound appreciation for concentrating on what they do well, as evidenced by the reflection, "I’m going to look at how I work and how I can bring my strengths more clearly into the workplace. I’m less bothered about the weaknesses and I learnt about focusing on positives today."

These planned changes indicate a positive outlook toward using the insights from the workshop to not only improve personal performance but also to enhance team dynamics and overall organisational effectiveness.

Are the workshops aimed at managers and leaders?

Anyone will benefit from our Discovery Workshops, and we had both senior leaders and those with no line management responsibilities attend with similarly positive outcomes and feedback.

However, anyone in a management and/or leadership position will also be able to reflect on the benefits a strengths-based approach would have on their teams, departments or organisations.

"It helps bring the best out of someone."

Can I attend a future Discovery Workshop?

Look out for more higher education-focused Discovery Workshops and other events (or sign up for our newsletter) as we look to ensure that as many people as possible are able to take this ‘first step’ on their strengths journey.

We’re also, as always, more than happy to set up a call or meeting to explain more about how we believe strengths can help you, your teams and organisation flourish.

"The approach helps to engage the individual in critical self-reflection without self-criticism (and clarifies the distinction between the two) in a way that is accessible and digestible."

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