Retreat 2018 Recap: Strengths

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We have just returned from our annual team Retreat, held in late November every year.

Every year we give the Retreat a theme. This theme then doubles as the theme for the year to follow.

This year (2018) we chose the theme Strengths.


The theme was selected as we recognise that when a team (made up of individuals) both know and play to their strengths, great outcomes can be achieved.

What made the concept of spending a day on strengths exciting is that not only does knowing and playing to our strengths enhance our professional lives, but the effects also extend to affect our personal lives. The key take away of the day being that in our workplace and lives if we can show up being ‘our FULL selves’ than we can and will make our greatest contribution. Another way of thinking about this is to be our ‘authentic’ selves whereby every part of us is how we engage with people.

The day comprised of team building activities and games, and teaching sessions on: POGO’s founding core values and our ‘why’ (Simon Sinek), a review of our messaging (Don Miller), review of personality testing, and strengths based assessments as per Marcus Buckingham’s Stand Out assessment and book. We also work-shopped our 3 founding core values (Be Excellent in Delivery, Make Our Customer the Hero, We Value What We Do).

The key learnings were as follows:

strengthsThe POGO Why

  • What you do serves as proof of what you believe (your why)
  • Our team come together because everyone individually is attracted to our organisational why (we all do it for ourselves ultimately ie work at POGO as it resonates with what we individually believe)
  • People don’t buy what you do they buy what you believe
  • Our why has been strong since POGO founding 2014 and it has helped us endure various challenges along the way
  • We need to continue to refine how we message our WHY and find ongoing better ways to communicate it clearly to our clients and community

Personality Testing

Our tool of choice is the 16 Personalities test which is based around 5 aspects as follows:

  1. Mind: how we interact with our surroundings  (introverted or extroverted)
  2. Energy: determines how we see the world and how we process information (observant or intuitive)
  3. Nature: determines how we make decisions and cope with emotions (thinking or feeling)
  4. Tactics: reflects our approach to work, planning, and decision-making (judging or prospecting)
  5. Identity: underpins the above, and shows how confident we are in our abilities and decisions (assertive or turbulent)

The assessment tool focuses on 4 personality types as outlined below. The four subtypes of these chier personality types are also listed below.

  1. Analysts: these personality types are rationale, independent, open-minded, strong willed and imaginative; they are excellent strategic thinkers. Analysts can further be an: architect, logician, commander, or a debater.
  2. Sentinels: these personality types are very practical, like order and creating it, and appreciate stability. They can be inflexible preferring to stick to their own plans. Sentinels can further be: logistician, defender, executive, or consuls.
  3. Diplomats: focus on empathy and co-operation, are diplomatic and good at counselling others. They tend to be warm and influential people.
  4. Explorers: connect with their surroundings, and are spontaneous. They are practical and quick thinking, and good in a crisis.

Emily George teaching on personalities

Strengths Assessment

Assessments as per Marcus Buckingham’s Stand Out assessment and book. The assessment aims to reveal a person’s 2 key roles (from 9 possible roles) whereby the top two roles are the focal point of a person’s talent and skills. The two key roles represent the way of making a difference in the world. The really interesting thing about the Stand Out results are that they represent how people show up to others, not how the person taking the assessment sees themself. The assessment items pinpoint one’s recurring reactions and behaviours, and give the person who has sat the assessment an understanding of their edge at work.

The key takeaways being:

Background to strengths based psychology

  • Psychology: what’s wrong with people (traditional) vs what’s right with people (strengths psych)
  • Strengths psychology emerged in 1998
  • Don Clifton and Gallup scientists
  • a language for talent

People have several times more potential for growth when developing strengths vs fixing weaknesses

Gallup found that: only 1/3rd ‘strongly agree’ with the following statement: at work I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day

This on third are 6x as likely to be engaged in their jobs BUT 3 times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life in general .

A strengths based approach increases confidence, kindness towards others, and direction and hope.

When you can’t use your strengths at work you may: dread going to work, have more negative vs positive interactions with colleagues, treat customers poorly, tell your friends what a miserable company your work for, achieve less on a daily basis, and  have fewer positive and creative moments.

Gallup state that the key to human success is building on WHO YOU ARE. This is where  extraordinary growth can occur. Having the opportunity to develop our strengths is of greater importance to our success than our role, title, or our pay.

Core values workshop

Toward the end of the day we workshopped each of our three founding core values: Be excellent in delivery, make our customer the hero, and we value what we do.

The team came up with ideas on how to continue to improve on the outworking of these core values.

Memorable quote from the day

  • People aren’t a number they have a name (Matt Morby)

We are looking forward to utilising the reflections and teaching from the 2018 Retreat throughout the coming year of: tasks, challenges, obstacles, wins, and outcomes for our clients.

Merry Christmas


Physio With a Finish Line®,

Brad Beer (APAM)

Physiotherapist (APAM)
Author ‘You CAN Run Pain Free!
Founder POGO Physio
Host The Physical Performance Show

Featured in the Top 50 Physical Therapy Blog


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Emily Georgopoulos