The Six Types of Working Genius (pt 2)

by | Nov 17, 2021 | Coaching, Leadership, Working Genius

Connect Your Strengths with Work 

This model from Patrick Lencioni and his team at The Table Group is the best resource I’ve come across when it comes to crafting a bridge between my strengths and how I approach work. It was so helpful, I decided to help spread the word as a Working Genius Certified Facilitator. Before you read about the Geniuses themselves, take a quick look at part 1 of this blog for an overview of the model.

(BTW: If you’re not familiar with Lencioni or The Table Group – they are fantastic. I encourage you to check out some of Pat’s books such as The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, or his most recent book The Motive.)

An Overview of the 6 Geniuses

1. The Genius of Wonder

A person with Wonder is quite content sitting in ambiguity as they contemplate life. From this place of wondering, they ask questions about potential and purpose based from their observations. This is the birthplace for dreaming, brainstorming and the next Genius – Invention.

The value of Wonder is in their ability to help a team slow down and make sure their work is relevant. Their questions give us insight into what is going on in the environment and where we need to respond.

2. The Genius of Invention

The Genius of Invention, often seen as the most identifiable Genius is no more important than the other five. A person with this Genius loves to create and invent new ideas that solve the questions of the Wonderer.

The value of this Genius lies in helping the team move from what is to what could be. They bring forth new solutions that bring fresh and rewarding results when the team puts in the work.

3. The Genius of Discernment

A person with Discernment has a natural intuition to know the viability of an idea. It’s not based on data, but rather they’re naturally able to see patterns through their observations and provide the necessary feedback.

Those with this Genius help teams save time, energy and finances that may otherwise be spent pursuing wrong ideas or unrefined solutions.

4. The Genius of Galvanizing

Once a solution has been determined, a person with galvanizing will rally the troops behind the new idea. They enjoy inspring people towards action.

The value of this Genius is their enthusiasm and ability to get people out of their comfort zones and moving in the right direction.

5. The Genius of Enablement

This is a positive word describing a person who knows how to get things done. They are happy to step up and get moving in response to the galvanizing.

Someone with this Genius is people-oriented and wants to see a vision realized. Without Enablement, projects struggle to get traction.

6. The Genius of Tenacity

People with this Genius find satisfaction from finishing a job. They are task-oriented and make sure the job is done according to their original expectations.

Those with Tenacity benefit teams because they bring projects to a finishing point that matches the original intent or vision.

The Value of Knowing Your Genius

Personally, seeing my own work experiences through this lens helped me to recognize my own natural strengths. It gave me language and perspective to see how valuable they were. Understandng this allows me to acknowledge why my strengths are valuable and to know when they are needed (or not) in work.

Knowing one another’s Genius within a team can be incredibly helpful if all it does is to help us to alleviate some of the judgement we may have had with our colleagues. We see our own behaviour in light of our ‘intentions’ but we hold others accountable for their actions (what is know as the Fundamental Attribution Error). However, knowing someone’s Genius or Frustrations gives us greater insight into another person’s intent and helps us communicate with more empathy.

Lastly, we can ask our teams and ourselves “are we doing enough of the kind of work I enjoy?” and begin to make adjustments. (Caveat: every job will still require us to work in all 6 Geniuses to some degree)

We want healthy organizations, productive teams and team members that are fulfilled at work. Why not work backwards and begin with the individual people? I believe when we care for people, we will seek to know and place them in work they enjoy and are good at. When this happens you’re investing the value of their strength into your organization which will pay dividends in productivity and morale while creating health in your organization.

Learn more about The Six Types of Working Genius

Working Genius Facilitator

A Team Session

You and I know that organizational health is not a luxurious add-on for your team but a necessary component for success. If you’re looking for the next tool to use for your team development, The Six Types of Working Genius is both simple & profoundly applicable.

As a Certified Working Genius Facilitator, allow me to walk you through a condensed Working Genius Team Session and I’ll allow you to decide the rest!

Know Your Spouse’s Genius

Work happens in the home as well. We plan parties for our kids, we need to pay the bills on time and don’t forget the home renovations or putting Ikea Furniture together. On top of that, many couples have home businesses that one or both are involved in.

This tool will give you language and understanding to approach work with more grace and increased productivity!