Orchards Curves in southwestern Washington is a close-knit fitness facility where staff really care about helping members reach their goals. Owner Lynn Moses asked me to provide training in order to help employees understand areas of personality differences. I met with the team to discuss the results of their StrengthsFinder® assessment, provide team-building sessions, and recommend further action steps.
Curves International is a fitness and weight-loss franchise. The Orchards, WA location (NE 95th Street) is owned by Lynn Moses and provides a supportive environment with individualized coaching that encourages women to embrace their beauty and live life to the fullest. In hiring staff, Lynn carefully selects coaches who are compassionate, have overcome adversity, and can motivate members to successfully achieve their health goals. Here’s a video that explains what makes them unique (including an appearance by Jeni Gall, owner of MovePT).
Although Orchards Curves is a dynamic environment, underlying personality differences were causing internal tension. The 6 employees are well trained and perform their coaching duties well. However, several factors contributed to the team’s difficulty attracting new members and reaching sales goals.
I spoke to Lynn about their marketing challenges and her goals of helping the staff understand their personality differences. We agreed that I would conduct two 1-1/2-hour sessions of staff training focused on strengths development and conflict resolution.
Prior to meeting, each employee was asked to complete the StrengthsFinder assessment and send the results to Lynn. She then forwarded the results to me.
Our first session started with an exercise called “Are You An Introvert Or An Extrovert?” Each team member completed the self-assessment and shared their results. Everyone was surprised to discover that nearly everyone is an Introvert (feels more energized by spending time alone). We displayed the results visually using Post-It® notes.
Next, we discussed communication challenges as the Orchards Curves team. The staff divided into small groups for further discussion. The team came together, and each group shared their challenges in reaching customers, what is working, and what could be improved. Finally, we briefly reviewed each employee’s Top 5 StrengthsFinder results.
In the second session, we reviewed of the previous session’s Introvert/Extrovert results and personality differences. Then, we discussed the staff’s StrengthsFinder results in more detail. I introduced the 4 domains of leadership and explained that a majority of the team’s strengths fall in 2 of the 4 domains, Executing and Relationship Building. We also detailed the top 5 strengths of all staff members. One at a time, each staff was encouraged to share their perspective of their results and how they believe their strengths add value to the team. Finally, I shared the “Balcony and Basement” concept of strengths and ended with practical suggestions to further develop the team’s incredible abilities. The employees were asked to complete a feedback form to rate their experience.
After the final session, I provided a comprehensive report to Lynn with a review of the materials covered, analysis of the assessment results, and the feedback results. Staff feedback was very positive, with an average score of 9.8 out of 10. Their biggest takeaways were:
- “Learning different strengths”
- “How to improve myself”
- “Accepting who I am and accenting my positive strengths”
- “How to work with different types of people”
- “Learning how to work well together”
My final report to Lynn included practical recommendations for further training, customer service techniques, and goal setting. I also provided a list of resources to continue supporting staff in their strengths development. She later reported in a Facebook testimonial:
[Grace’s] staff development training… helped us better understand our individual strengths and unique personality characteristics in addition to exploring our strengths as a staff unit. We now have a better understanding of where we are strong and where we may need to make some changes to be even stronger. Not only did we learn a lot, but my staff loved it!
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