by Sankaya Hall
Most of us have been confronted with the old, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” question during job interviews. Even if you’ve practiced your answer in the mirror a thousand times, it’s always awkward and never completely true. “My strength is that sometimes I just work too hard,” might sound familiar.
Most times when we’re asked these questions, we don’t really know the “right” answers. This is partly because we don’t really know what our strengths actually are. Neither are we aware of what makes us unique, our preferred “working styles” or instinctive ways to solve problems. An even bigger problem, neither does our supervisor or team lead.
While this may not be much of a red flag in “Corporate America”, being unaware of these team member characteristics could cause major issues for a non-profit organization and its ability to effectively communicate and work as a team.
Typically, non-profit organizations are focused on specific issues, improving situations and having a real impact in addressing the many challenges facing the world. Often, the focus is so exclusively on what is going on ‘out there’ that very little attention is given to what is going on within the organization. However, it is just as important (if not more) to focus on what’s going on within the organization because when communication is strong internally, your organization will more likely be able to effectively communicate externally.
Luckily for you, I have a solution (or two…maybe even three)! To help improve both communication and teamwork within the non-profit workplace, resources such as personality assessments can measure team member’s communication styles. Learning the differences among these styles often help organizations develop programs and workplace rules that minimize conflict and improve communication among co-workers themselves and between workers and management.
I know what you’re thinking, “…but there are just so many of these things around!” or “I’ve heard about these but I’m not sure which one to use for my organization nor how to use it!”
Surprise *does the birthday dance*! Here are 3 assessment tools (and their uniqueness) in which I think would be beneficial to any non-profit organization:
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) – This tool helps you identify gaps in your team, group team members into certain personality types, develop more leaders, and help improve work culture as a whole.
- StengthsFinder – Thistool helps you focus on your strengths and the strengths of your team members, and improve on them, to feel more fulfilled, and to perform better in your chosen field or role.
- Kolbe A Index-This tool provides insight on how someone prefers to take action. It provides a holistic understanding of the natural instincts and unique talents of each team member.
In my webinar (watch here), I share exactly how each tool works and what they measure; how to make results from the assessment(s) work for your organization’s growth; and general tips for getting the most out of each assessment. I strongly believe that these tools can help improve internal communications and teamwork within an organization, which will in-turn improve its external communication practices.
Challenge: If you or anyone else can prove me wrong, I’ll give you a cookie 😉
Sankaya Hall is a 2015 masters candidate in Georgetown University’s program for Public Relations and Corporate Communications. She has worked and volunteered for several non-profit organizations and specializes in leadership and communication training for college students. You can find her on LinkedIn, or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org