Are Your Employees Zoned-Out or Just Really Focused?

Not too long ago, I was on the phone with a client, Casi, who’d hired me to do a workshop. We were talking through the logistics and I began by asking her what date worked best. I quickly followed with a few other questions. At the end of my litany, there were crickets. Total silence. After a minute or so, I finally said, “Hello, are you still there?”

Casi laughed and said, “I do that a lot!” I laughed, too, as I realized she’d been laser-focused on getting a date on the calendar and hadn’t even heard my other questions.

It was evident in that moment that Casi’s #1 CliftonStrength is Focus.

The Benefits of Having Team Members with Focus

People with the CliftonStrength of Focus are fantastic to have on your team. They love to begin with the end in mind—need to, in fact—and will persevere until they reach the defined goal. They take direction well, have great follow through, and are adept at making any necessary corrections to stay on track.  You can see why they’d make a valuable team member.


How to motivate team members with the CliftonStrength Focus  

Clearly, these employees like goals and deadlines! To get the most from them, make sure you’re giving them both. Ask them for periodic progress updates, not because you’re concerned that they’ll stay on track (they will!) but because they enjoy sharing the steps they’ve completed in the process.

Other helpful hints:

·      Don’t ask him to sit through unstructured meetings that waste time on misdirected tangents. Instead, ask him to help you stick to the agenda and keep everyone on-track.

·      Give her individual and team goals and ask for her input on prioritizing them.

Possible Bumps in the Road

While the benefits of this strength are clear, you may also run into a few hurdles that have less to do with these employees’ performance and are more about others’ perceptions.

Co-workers may view a person with Focus as zoned-out and not paying attention to them when, in reality, they are simply hyper-focused on their task. It’s also possible that people could view a team member with Focus as insensitive and lacking empathy because they’re so absorbed in getting work done (rather than being attentive to others’ feelings).

When you work with Millennial Guru, our workshops help your team recognize how to use each person’s strengths to its advantage—and minimize perceived drawbacks. Co-workers with Focus as a top strength, for example, bring intense concentration to each assignment, which results in meeting the goals you’ve set as a team. When everyone understands how to maximize strengths as a group, the entire team wins.

Talk to Us About How We Can Help

If capitalizing on your team’s individual strengths in order to strengthen your team sounds like a great idea (it is!), we’d love to talk about how we can help. Schedule an informational meeting with Millennial Guru today to learn more about how we can empower you and create team symbiosis that produces solid results.


Paige Cornetet