Have a question or comment? Connect with me at Julie.shipman@jwsgroupllc.com

Uniqueness. We talk a lot about uniqueness. No one wants to be mass-produced…. and yet, someone is buying all those Maroon 5 albums.

We are all unique and we are all the same. It’s like the snowflake. The symbol of my coaching business.

Hailing from the great state of Minnesota, I see a lot of snowflakes each year. But I really “see” a snowflake when my daughter is pointing out how this one looks this way and this one looks that way, when they have gotten stuck to her window. It’s when we look at them individually that we see their beauty, their uniquely engineered structure, how delicate they are as one and how powerful together.

I do love a metaphor and the snowflake provides the perfect one for people. All people – it’s a broad category – when you talk with someone. When you learn their story, you learn their uniqueness. Even a set of identical twins has their own traits that make them unique. Talking to people allows you to discover their uniqueness while you discover your similarities.

When I started my coaching business I chose the snowflake because I’m from MN, because I’m a person of faith and God tells us no two snowflakes are the same and because it is the perfect metaphor for the business I do. Every day, I get to learn what makes someone special, unique. Using that uniqueness drives how I coach them. It ensures that the strategy we establish for their unique coaching goals is truly driven by who they are, what motivates them and what skills are strengths. So what does that mean for people managers?

Do you know how to manage each of your employees for their unique skills?

Why take the time to do that?

Because when someone is working in their strengths, everyone benefits including them. Think about a manager that you worked for who knew how to draw the best out of you. It made you a better employee, it impacted your confidence and it probably stretched you in ways you didn’t think you could accomplish. That means great things for a business too.

To learn more on managing this way check out the article in Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2014/07/29/leadership-is-about-enabling-the-full-potential-in-others/#1e2ab5ae6698

There are a lot of great tools out there to learn about individual strengths. My two favorites:

Strengthfinder – https://www.gallupstrengthscenter.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Strengths_ECommerce_Brand_Search_US&utm_content=strengthsfinder&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI68i13cXU4AIVAh-tBh212gAoEAAYASAAEgLdRPD_BwE

Enneagram – https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/

Bottom line: Discover what makes your team members unique. The results will be even better than you think.  And by discovering their strengths, you’ll learn a little about your own strengths in the process.