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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

February 13, 2024

Team Building

Submitted by Gregg Hadley

An important factor when on-boarding new colleagues is team building. Colleagues who feel as though they are an integral part of a team and loyal to that team stay longer than those that do not.

An important part of team building is understanding what each team member contributes to the team. We often think of team building in terms of professional programming content and administrative skills (family and consumer sciences, community vitality, agriculture and natural resources, 4-H youth development, office professional, communications and marketing, etc.).

While we often think about those professional and administrative skills in team building, other skill contributions are also important when considering team building.

For example:

  • Who is the idea person on the team?
  • Who is the cheerleader? Who is the listener?
  • Who on your team serves as the lay tech person?

All of these and many others are very important roles to consider on a team.

The role someone plays on a team should be based on their skills and characteristics. There are tools available to help with determining these skills and characteristics, and one such tool is Clifton’s Strength Finders.

State and regional departments and units already have access to Clifton Strength Finders through the Staley School of Leadership Studies. We are excited to announce that we have reached an agreement with the Staley School of Leadership Studies and Dr. Mike Finnigan and Ms. Katie Buhler to offer our local units the same opportunity.

Strength Finders will allow participants to determine their personal strengths and how to use these strengths results to better understand each other and to build more effective teams. Participants will also explore where they are thriving, surviving and suffering, and what they can do to increase engagement and job satisfaction.

Three sessions will be offered this spring and three in the fall. The workshops will be titled Fostering Teamwork through Clifton Strengths. Entire office teams are encouraged to attend. There will be a small registration fee to cover room rental and snacks.

Once participants register, they'll be sent a code to take the Clifton Strengths assessment to find out their top five strengths before they come. We will cover the cost for that.

The first session will be in Manhattan on April 3. The other dates are April 12 in Wichita, and April 25 at a to be determined western Kansas location. Registration will be out just as soon as we get all the details wrapped up, so please be looking for that.

Great teams don’t just happen. We need to work at developing great teams. Clifton Strengths Finders is one tool to help us develop great teams!