Cascade Connection -Issue 36

How do you describe the Strengths of a Team?

Cascade Connection news - read the highlights of 2021 and how we've made significant steps forward in strengthening the Strengths movement this year

What words do you use to explain the strengths of a team and have you considered how they might help increase collaboration with others?

Often we use emotional words such as close-knit, friendly, or enthusiastic. But how much do these really help those who want to engage with the team?

Instead, describe what the team can bring and what it needs to work at its best, this offers a much more powerful insight. The clearer perspective will guide others in how to connect with the team to achieve better results. Cascade is perfectly designed to help you with this.


Team Summary

Cascade team strengths summary

The Team Summary report in Cascade is a one page summary highlighting the strengths of a team. There are several sections, visually showing the distribution of the 34 CliftonStrengths® themes in different ways.

As well as the Theme Frequency Chart and the Domain Pie Chart, you’ll find our Spark Chart. This simple but powerful tool is unique to Cascade.

Cascade Spark Chart

Each of the 34 CliftonStrengths® themes circle the outside of the Spark Chart, in the four quadrants of the four Leadership Domains. The longer the line, the more people in the team have that theme. So it’s a brilliantly visual way of quickly seeing the distribution of strengths across a team.

Cascade team strengths spark chart

The task-oriented Domains – Executing and Strategic Thinking – are at the top of the Spark Chart with the people-centric Domains – Relationship Building and Influencing – at the bottom.

Some teams may have a few long lines showing where there are very dominant strengths; while other teams may have a lot of shorter lines covering many different strengths.

By considering the balance of the themes across the Domains, you can assess the overall strengths or biases of the team.

The Strengths of a Team

At the bottom of the Team Summary are the top 5 themes for the overall team with words to describe each theme. These are specifically designed to help a team to understand and express what it brings, what it needs and how it is motivated.

For example, you can use these phrases to create a purpose statement for the team, or to describe how it best operates. Once shared, this message will also then inform others how best to interact with the team.

Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI)

When considering DEI, you may find that there are some team members who don’t have any of the team’s top themes in their own top 5. As a result, they may feel on the fringe of the team, or like they don’t really belong. However, by exploring two main aspects of their strengths, you can help them feel a more integrated part of the team.

First, identify which themes this team member has that others do not possess. The easiest way to do this is by opening Cascade’s Team Grid, then look for the blue number 1’s in the Theme Totals Bar on row 8.

By highlighting these strengths, you can then help the individual – and their team members – see how their uniqueness benefits the team. Their different perspective will be an invaluable contribution, creating a more balanced team structure, culture and approach.

Overall, the Team Summary report is an excellent conversation piece for a team workshop. It’s so helpful for getting everyone to deliberately consider how the team operates well and what it needs from others.

We also find it’s particularly loved by visual learners and those with an analytical mind, as the graphical insights provide a special perspective of the team. When working with several teams, compare the Team Summary reports for each team. You’ll be amazed at what you may discover!


Where do I start?

If you’re still quite new to Cascade – or in need of a refresher – watch our Getting Started video. In this, Cascade founder Richard Sterry gives you a guided tour of key features and how-to tips.

There’s also lots of help available in our Support section where you’ll find FAQs covering most queries.


Discover and Connect

If you need help updating your version of Cascade or renewing your support package, please contact us.

You can also schedule a Zoom meeting so that we can guide you through updating or using Cascade. Visit our calendar to book a free session.


Thank you for being part of the Cascade community!

Richard, Jill and the Cascade Team

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