I recently had the awesome opportunity to facilitate a collaboration / communications strategy workshop with the paid staff at my church, Mosaic Bay, in Albany, CA. A small team of three, members took turns sharing what their top strengths (from Gallup StrengthsFinder) mean to them, then gave feedback about how they see each others’ strengths show up in the workplace.
After defining what success looks like, they focused on using their strengths to evolve the work they are doing to increase community outreach through communications and marketing strategy and tactics. Each member highlighted how they use their strengths to support the success of the team and their goals. The team discussed how their strengths work together in relation to their roles and discovered how to best collaborate as a cohesive team.
Using the principles from my friend, Maureen Monte’s book, “Destination Unstoppable,” I led the team through an exercise to name their formal and “human” roles on the team allowing them to discover how they can work together and best support each other to reach their definition of success. We also did an exercise to highlight what they want to start, stop and continue doing in the various communications tactics they are currently using.
Sometimes we all need to be reminded that it starts with us — if teams want to communicate effectively to stakeholders, we first need to communicate well with each other. Then we can focus on the goal of a stronger external message.
It’s exciting to experience a team collectively strategizing and using their strengths to increase effectiveness. I am thankful for this opportunity!
Here’s what the team had to say about the workshop:
Jennifer’s passion for our team finding their sweet spot took me by surprise. What I expected to be a routine meeting turned into a workshop on listening well, being heard, and encouraging people to find their voice. In a subtle and curiously positive way, Jennifer rebuked our team for not playing to our strengths. Her leadership was challenging, encouraging, and left us better connected and more engaged for the projects in front of us. Personally, as the leader of our organization, Jennifer reminded me of just how important it is to understand your strengths and the strengths of those around me.
— Kevin Knox, Lead Pastor
Jennifer sat down with us and as a team and individually, reviewed our strengths and weaknesses. She had a series of general questions as well as position specific questions for us to answer. As we answered the questions, she would highlight different things from our answers that stood out to her and had us expound on them. After hearing from each of us, she would reiterate what she heard and then give us suggestions and pointers on how we could do our job better, more efficiently and work cohesively as a team.
She was well prepared and I was personally impressed with the ideas she invited us to implement by only being with us a few hours. Jennifer had helpful plans and resources to elevate our work potential. If your team needs to be refreshed or perhaps needs new perspective, Jennifer will work diligently to make sure your time spent is productive and specific to your task at hand. And she makes it fun too!
— Dorynda Venable, Director of Operations
Being on a staff of three can have its advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is that we know each other well. The disadvantage is that we know each other well. When Jennifer came in to lead us in a strengths and communications workshop it helped us to see and hear things in a new way. Like I said, we know each other well and often have seen each other from the same vantage point. It was like having a fresh new set of eyes and perspective. It was awesome!
Jennifer served the purpose as a facilitator, teacher, sounding board, therapist, and coach. She thrives in this position and it shows in her enthusiasm and dedication to leading us. I’ve worked with many people and Jennifer has such a gift of bringing clarity of purpose, direction and execution for a group. To see someone work in their area of strength is such an inspiring sight to behold. This is definitely Jennifer’s strength!
— Jeanne Wong, Connections Pastor