You did a study with three different types of managers: one who focuses on team members’ strengths; one who focuses on weaknesses; and a manager who just flat-out ignores their team. What were the results?
Being ignored by a manager is the worst-case scenario. In this situation, 4 in 10 people were actively disengaged in their jobs. Actively disengaged is a “kind” label for someone who is negative, angry, scaring off colleagues and customers, and kind of tearing the place down. So the first thing a manager needs to worry about is just paying attention.
When a manager focuses on people’s weaknesses, only 2 in 10 are disengaged in their jobs. Things are going a little bit better. Let’s call it the typical performance review—80% on your gaps and 20% on what you are doing well.
The final category is really where it makes a difference. When managers spend the majority of their time focusing on strengths, only 1 in 100 employees are actively disengaged in their jobs.
Tom Rath, author of Strengths Finder 2.0
From an EntreLeadership podcast with Chris LoCurto