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When managing your staff, capitalize on each employee’s unique strengths and tailor your coaching to their own learning styles. You can also teach your employees to value these differences – building a powerful sense of team.32

Know Your Direct Reports:
* Strengths and Weaknesses

* Triggers that activate those strengths

* Learning Style

* Goals

* Needs

Activate Employees’ Strengths

According to Marcus Buckingham, author, consultant and speaker on leadership and management practices, the ultimate trigger for activating an employee’s strengths is recognition, but each employee plays to a different audience. He suggests tailoring your praise as follows:33

Tailor Coaching to Learning Style

Adapt Your Coaching Efforts to each employee's unique learning style:
If An Employee Is . . . Coach Him/Her By . . .

An “analyzer”

Requires information before taking on a task and hates making mistakes

- Giving ample classroom time
- Role playing
- Giving time to prepare

A “doer”

Uses trial and error to enhance skills while grappling with tasks

- Assigning a simple task, explaining the desired outcomes, and getting out of the way

- Gradually increasing a task’s complexity until role is mastered

A “watcher”

Hones skills by watching others in action
- “Shadowing” top performers


If An Employee Values
Recognition From . . .
Praise Him/Her By . . .
Peers Publicly celebrating achievement in front of coworkers
You Thanking him/her privately for being such a valuable team member
Others with similar expertise Giving a professional or technical award



For assessment instruments to help identify personality traits, individual strengths and needs, click on Resources for Managers.

Click the following links for:
How do I ensure staff engagement?
How to Recognize and Reward Your Employees
Recognition and Performance Management Tips
Motivation Tips
Motivation Tools
Staff Professional Development


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