How To Expand Your Team’s Unique Ability

Shannon Waller
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Without a traditional corporate hierarchy, your team will want to know how to expand their contribution and get rewarded. Essentially, they want a clear growth path.

They might ask:
“How do I move up?”
“How do I get better?”
“How can I contribute in a bigger way and get rewarded for it?”

The quick answer to this is to expand your team’s Unique Ability.

The definition of Unique Ability.

I like to define Unique Ability by its four key characteristics:

  1. It’s a superior skill, something that comes easily and that you’re better at than most people. For example, it could be how you handle specific conversations, organize information, or even create spreadsheets.
  2. What takes it from an ability to a “unique” one is passion—for the activity itself or the audience. This passion makes it something exciting that doesn’t feel like work.
  3. It gives you energy, and it’s fun. Operating within your Unique Ability makes you feel enlivened and inspired, not depleted.
  4. Despite being skillful, passionate, and energized, you can always see room to grow. Energy and passion drive this constant desire for improvement.

To go deeper, download A Beginner’s Guide To Unique Ability.

How to expand your team’s Unique Ability.

In entrepreneurial companies, immediate and sometimes unpredictable opportunities arise because of marketplace needs or demands. This is thrilling for the right team members, especially when equipped with an ever-expanding Unique Ability.

Considering previous work, collaborations, and experience, help your team figure out where they can go deeper. Help them know themselves better and have conversations about their value and the value of investing in oneself. This will do wonders for your team’s satisfaction in the workplace and success in their role, which will benefit your business.

Encourage honesty when it comes to needed support so each team member can be in a position to maximize their skills while minimizing time spent on things they don’t enjoy or aren’t good at. The Kolbe and CliftonStrengths Assessments can help describe differences to optimize collaboration and smooth friction.

Identifying and expanding areas of Unique Ability in entrepreneurial companies makes it so everyone wins. However, if this approach doesn’t resonate with someone on the team, they may not be the right fit for a company that expects personal and professional growth.

Steps for expanding your team’s Unique Ability.

  1. Explore how to expand your own Unique Ability. This always comes first.
  2. Show your team how to invest in themselves or make the investment for them.
  3. Expose your team to different parts of your organization and ensure they know what you do and why.
  4. Create a culture of openness to innovation, growth, and new perspectives.
  5. Allow your team to experience your company’s offer and provide a safe space to share new ideas. They’ll see things you don’t.
  6. Encourage and support new interests and experiences and explore how expanded Unique Ability can create new opportunities for your business.
  7. Whatever your team members’ strengths, recognize that they all work to make the company successful. Compensate accordingly.

Each team member’s expanded Unique Ability must support the company’s vision and value proposition for this to work. So, the more you communicate, the better, and the more likely your team will stay on board long-term to see it through—and enjoy the process because they’re in their element.

Allowing your team the freedom to be themselves and make an impact is a recipe for retaining great people who are engaged, energetic, motivated, and eager to contribute. Check out the Team Success podcast to learn more about how to support your team’s success.

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