The Art of Strengths Coaching

T is for Temperament, Talent And Tactics

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There are many models that describe how people can deliver the goods. This article explores one approach that can by used by individuals, teams and organisations.

The model focuses on how people need to demonstrate the right temperament, talent and tactics required to fulfil a task. Let’s explore how this works in action.

The Task

Great workers start by defining the task to fulfil. They do this whether they aim to provide a service, invent a product, climb a mountain or deliver some other project. Clarifying the real results to achieve, they translate these into a clear picture of success.

Imagine that you lead a team. This could be a team you presently work with or one you want to work with in the future.

What is the task it aims to fulfil? What are the real results it wants to achieve? What is the picture of success? What will be the benefits of achieving these results?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to look at the team and do the following things.

Describe the specific task the team aims to fulfil.

Describe the real results the team aims to achieve – the picture of success.

Describe the specific benefits of achieving these results.

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Temperament

Great teams recognise that attitude plus ability often equals achievement. Looking at your team’s task, what kind of temperament do people need to demonstrate?

Leaders often want people who aim to be positive, professional and achieve peak performance. The ways that people express these qualities may be different, however, depending on their personality styles.

People will require different kinds of temperament if they are climbing a mountain, working in an Accident & Emergency Unit, selling products or whatever.

Good leaders clarify the kinds of qualities they want people to demonstrate. One soccer coach I worked with explained his requirements in the following way.

“I want players who show mental toughness that enables them to make full use of their talents. The ways they express this, however, will depend on the position they play.

“The defenders need to be calm and consistent. The goalkeeper, for example, needs to be the calmest play on the field.

“The midfielders need to be strong personalities who can control the play. The forwards need to work hard – to defend as well as attack – and have the courage to use their creativity to score goals.

“The whole team needs to prepare properly – both physically and psychologically – and deliver the goods consistently over a season.”

Depending on the task to fulfil, it can be useful to bear in mind the following themes when building the team.

Employ the right people. Move heaven and earth to get people who have already got – or have the ability to develop – the right temperament

Encourage people to demonstrate the right temperament. Keep showing them what good looks like in terms of attitude. Reward the behaviour you want repeated.

Educate people to demonstrate the right temperament. Invite them to role-play scenarios that will test their attitude. Enable people to perform well when dealing with pressure situations.

Imagine that you lead a team. Bearing in mind the temperament you want people to demonstrate, try tackling the following exercise. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the rating you would give – on a scale 0-10 – regarding the team having the temperament required to fulfil the task.

Describe the specific things you can do to maintain or improve the rating.

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 Talent

Looking at the team’s task, do you have the right type of talent in the team? What is the talent you have already? What is the talent you may need to add?

Good teams get the right blend of soul players and star players. The star players must, of course, also be prepared to sweat. Such teams have no room for semi-detached players.

Soul players embody the spirit of the team. They have a strong work ethic and do the right things every day. They provide the backbone and make sure the team always gets to at least 8/10.

Such people are loyal and low profile, but neglect them at your peril. Soul players need encouragement. They believe that, providing they do a good job, their loyalty will be rewarded.

They may suffer in silence, however, while watching others grab attention. Reward them for their contribution, because otherwise one day you may find their resignation letter on your desk.

Great teams make sure around that two-thirds of their team are soul players. Such salt-of-the-earth people can also sometimes become star players in a particular niche. But they are happy to put in a daily shift that provides the platform for success.

Star players also embody the spirit of the team. They are prepared to sweat – to work hard – and can also add that touch of class. They sometimes take the team from 8/10 to 10/10.

Great teams often have around one-third of their team made up of star players, but talent brings obligations. It is vital for such players to encourage other people in the team and also act as positive models.

Imagine that you lead a team. Bearing in mind the talent you need, try tackling the following exercise. This invites you to describe the following things.

Describe the rating you would give – on a scale 0-10 – regarding the team having the right talent required to fulfil the task.

Describe the specific things you can do to maintain or improve the rating.

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 Tactics

Great teams implement the right tactics in the right way. They start by clarifying which mountain they are going to climb. They also make sure they are climbing the right mountain.

Such teams then clarify their plan for reaching the summit. They ask:

“What are the key strategies we can follow to give ourselves the greatest chance of success?”

They then translate these strategies into specific tactics people can follow. They make sure everybody knows their part in reaching the goal.

Good leaders, for example, explain the ‘What, Why, How, Who and When’ by saying something like the following.

The What. The specific goal we are aiming to achieve is …

The Why. The specific benefits of achieving the goal will be …

The How. The specific tactics we want to follow to reach the goal are …

The Who. The specific responsibilities of the various people in working to achieve the goal are …

The When. The specific action plan for working to reach the goal is …

People then implement the right tactics in the right way. They do whatever is required to fulfil the task.

There are many ways to do good work as an individual, team or organisation. One approach is to ensure that you demonstrate the temperament, talent and tactics required to achieve the goals.

If you wish, try tackling the final exercise on this theme. Imagine that you lead a team. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the rating you would give – on a scale 0-10 – regarding the team having the right tactics and implementing these in the right way.

Describe the specific things you can do to maintain or improve the rating.

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    1 comment to T is for Temperament, Talent And Tactics

    • Lisa

      Excellent, it demonstrates how teams have diversity and that a good leader is aware and mindful of the team’s members, the goals. This reminds me of backward design in teaching.

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