Jumanji: A Study in Strengths-Based Teams


by Anita Polite-Wilson, Ph.D., CPC, Executive Coach & Consultant for Parrish Partners

Building the Strength of Your Team

In the interest of your commitment to employee engagement, ask yourself three questions:

  1. How can I recognize and leverage potential strengths inherent in my team members?
  2. How can I create individualized, meaningful stretch assignments aligned with business objectives?
  3. How can more effective, real-time coaching for performance be enjoyable for me and my team?

If you struggled to quickly answer the questions above, you could benefit from the Strengths-Based Organization philosophy.  I have coached and helped leaders and their teams across several industries realize that leveraging the power and richness of diverse strengths, perspectives, and approaches will accelerate individual, team, and organizational performance.   If you could use a win-win-win solution, then read on.

To help your team perform amazing feats on a regular basis that will move your business forward, here is a one-word solution:  Jumanji.  And, here are three thoughts that will guarantee a transformative shift:

Change Your Frame | Change Your Focus | Change Your Future©

Re-frame business goals into adventures that focus less on the task at hand and more on the strengths of the people who will complete the tasks.  One major “win” will prove out this new paradigm and renew a sense of faith among team members enabling everyone on the team to consistently rise to the occasion in the future.

An entertaining illustration of this is the movie Jumanji because it recounts a story that plays out often among teams:  people fail to recognize and leverage their strengths by conforming to a persona that doesn’t suit them just to meet the expectations of others, i.e., managers (ouch!).  Not good for them or for business.

Without spoiling the movie for you, let me link some key movie themes with the questions I posed above:

  • Recognize and leverage strengths inherent in your team—Honor people as they are and refrain from trying to make them “well rounded”. Let them shine as they are, not who you think they should be.
  • Create individualized, meaningful stretch assignments aligned with business objectives that showcase what people do really well. You’ve seen it in them.  Help them, and those around them, see it too.
  • Coaching for performance can be enjoyable for you and your team when everyone knows and values everybody else’s strengths. Team coaching will evolve when contributions are attributed to strengths.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to plan a teambuilding event featuring the movie Jumanji (and popcorn!).  Have the team count the number of times the word “strengths” is heard in the movie and have a discussion afterward.  Then, plan a Strengths-Based Organization training. Contact michele@parrishpartners.com for a discovery conversation and to discuss customizable options for individuals, teams, and organizations.

Copyright Anita Polite-Wilson, 2018, All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Anita Polite-Wilson is a Gallup Certified Strength Coach and a Certified Professional Coach with a background in human and organization systems, organizational leadership, and management.   As the newest member of Parrish Partners, we encourage you to reach out to Dr. Anita for any number of Strengths-Based solutions, from the coaching of your early to mid-career professionals, to devising team charters, to facilitating strategic leadership off-sites focused on leveraging individual strengths that accelerate organizational performance.