Strengths Coaching Blog

Monday, October 16, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Intellection

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min

Several years ago while watching Late Night with David Letterman, Dave turned to his band leader Paul Shaffer and said – with self-deprecating humor, “You know, Paul, there’s no off position on the genius switch.” I always laugh when I remember that image, but it’s the phrase that I think best fits Intellection. Always thinking, always pondering, always the internal hum of the turbines of the mind. Satchel Paige is said to have mused, “Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits.” Intellection cannot relate to that quote, because there is no time that is not thinking time. For those high in Intellection, thinking is synonymous with doing. Individuals who have Intellection in their Top Five are introspective and need time for musing and reflection. “Let me think about it and get back to you” are words those high in Intellection utter on a regular basis. Descartes famous phrase “I think, therefore I am” succinctly sums up the point of view of Intellection.

In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I explore the differences and similarities between Intellection— a thinking theme – and Learner, Input, and Analytical – three other thinking themes.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Powerful Partnership through Acceptance: A Deep Dive into 1 of the 8 Elements of Collaboration

By Tonya Fredstrom and Adam Hickman

If you’ve read Gallup’s Power of 2, you know the eight elements of creating powerful partnerships: Complementary Strengths, Common Mission, Fairness, Trust, Acceptance, Forgiveness, Communicating and Unselfishness. Beginning a partnership with purposeful attention to complementary strengths is a good starting point, but how do you continue to grow a “Power of 2” that yields greater results than either partner could achieve alone? What we’ve learned may be helpful as you work with your clients to become more intentional about forming, developing and maximizing partnerships. 

Partnerships are quickly and easily formed with people most like yourself. However in our case, Adam was new to Gallup whereas I had been with Gallup several years, so we didn’t know if we were like each other or not when our manager first asked us to partner on a project. As we worked together, we got a clearer picture of how we were alike — and how we were different. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Input

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min

Some of the most meaningful moments I’ve had in the last three years came while I had the extreme privilege of co-leading Strengths Coaching courses with Gallup’s Strengths Guru, the late Curt Liesveld.  I always learned so much from Curt – about Strengths, about coaching, and about life. One of the many things I learned from Curt was the value of comparing and contrasting. Curt would often say that one of the best ways of gaining clarity on themes was to do what your English teacher asked you to do in essays:  “compare and contrast.”  Just as this process helped students better understand what were often times complex concepts, it can also help coaches better understand the intricacies of different themes. 

Any theme, when paired with another, takes on the power and edge of its partner.  So the beauty in understanding how two themes work together lies in the opportunity it provides as coaches.  We can help people understand they are not either one theme or another, but the combination and of several themes altogether.  

 If you’re ready to take your understanding of individual themes to the next level, this activity of compare and contrast will help you better coach around the themes of talent  This installment compares and contrasts Input with Learner, Analytical, and Includer.

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Strengths Circle of Competence: A Powerful Concept for Reaching Success

By Carlos Martinez

Puzzle pieces and upward graphCompetence is defined as the ability to do something successfully or efficiently. As an individual and a leader, I always strive to display competence by leveraging my own strengths to maximize the strengths of others. I am privileged to have the opportunity to do this each day while directing a manufacturing site that employs individuals with a wide range of educational backgrounds, from high school graduates to those with doctoral degrees. It is my mission to help individuals achieve success by understanding their strengths and aligning them to a role with an aim for performance excellence. 

When individuals understand that leveraging their strengths leads to efficient and successful achievement of their goals — competency — they can more clearly identify the areas that may lead to the opposite result. We can visualize such practical knowledge as a circle. Everything inside the circle is a strength, and everything outside the circle is not. This is our strengths circle of competence.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Futuristic: Creating a Vivid Picture of the Future - Theme Thursday Season 3

On this Theme Thursday Season Three webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Futuristic with guest Travis Guse. 

“Wouldn’t it be great if ...” You are the kind of person who loves to peer over the horizon. The future fascinates you. As if it were projected on the wall, you see in detail what the future might hold, and this detailed picture keeps pulling you forward, into tomorrow. While the exact content of the picture will depend on your other strengths and interests — a better product, a better team, a better life or a better world — it will always be inspirational to you. 

You are a dreamer who sees visions of what could be and who cherishes those visions. When the present proves too frustrating and the people around you too pragmatic, you conjure up your visions of the future, and they energize you. They can energize others too. In fact, very often people look to you to describe your visions of the future. They want a picture that can raise their sights and thereby their spirits. You can paint it for them. Practice. Choose your words carefully. Make the picture as vivid as possible. People will want to latch on to the hope you bring.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Strengths: A Way to Help People Find Their Voice - Called to Coach - S5E28

On a recent Called to Coach Australia Edition, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Kate Cawthorn.

Kate Cawthorn is the Co-Founder & Managing Director of Speakers Institute. As a regular speaker at events, Kate has travelled across Australia and internationally, and has helped over one thousand people discover their CliftonStrengths. 

When you think back to your Accelerated Strengths Coaching course and when you were coming to terms with your top 5, can you talk about that?
Being in a room with an amazing group of people and hearing about their businesses and what they were doing with coaching and strengths, Kate felt envious of their strengths. Strengths like Focus, Discipline and Strategic that helped her classmates put a well-structured coaching business together. She felt she had all the mushy ones. 

“It was a blind spot for me to see a value in my strengths. Before the coaching space, I hadn’t been able to see the value.”

Monday, October 2, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Ideation

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min

Woman PaintingThose with strong Ideation talents are fascinated by ideas. A new idea makes their day, and often times the ideas come like popcorn. I had a colleague high in Ideation who said she would often vow to stay quiet during team meetings, but at around the 20-minute mark found herself clutching the edge of the table in order to keep all the ideas from bursting forth. I see three aspects to Ideation: Creativity, Complexity, and Connectivity. Ideation can be very creative, and the creativity can take two forms. One is a blue sky, blank canvas approach. Some with Ideation high are at their best creating something out of nothing. The other form of creativity is reacting to and improving/changing that which already exists – looking at something and thinking, “What if we did this, or changed this? What would it look like if we turned it around this way?” Ideation loves complexity, often just for the sheer sake of the intricacy of it all. One individual with Ideation in his Top Five is fascinated with Medieval European history – not because he has Context, but because that era of history is so complex and variated. Ideation also loves to make the complex simple and find the common thread. The connectivity of Ideation comes from the ability to see and find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena or ideas. Finding the connection is a particular thrill for those high in Ideation.

In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I explore the similarities and differences between Ideation and Intellection, Futuristic, and Input.  All of these themes are thinking themes, so there are many similarities among them. But the differences, while often subtle, are important.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Celebrating You for Combating Strengths Skepticism

By Tim Simon

Strengths and Weakness wheelIn 2016, the CEO of a well-known assessment company wrote a review of the CliftonStrengths assessment in a prestigious business magazine. I think three statements pretty much sum up the review: 

1.   Strengths-based coaching weakens individuals.
2.   We would be better off if society ended its fascination with strengths.
3.   If an organization’s focus is to make people productive and effective, then they should work on mitigating people’s weaknesses.

I can respect those who disagree with the science and functionality of the CliftonStrengths assessment, although there is ample evidence that the CliftonStrengths assessment is valid, reliable and practical. Gallup’s 2015 meta-analysis of individuals who received strengths-based development confirms the practical and measurable results of the assessment. More than 17 million individuals have taken the CliftonStrengths assessment, and the number of individuals and organizations using the tool continues to grow each day. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Context: Looking to the Past to Discover a Powerful Future - Theme Thursday Season 3

On this Theme Thursday Season Three webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Context with guest Marty Monte. 

You look back. You look back because that is where the answers lie. You look back to understand the present. From your vantage point, the present is unstable, a confusing clamor of competing voices. It is only by casting your mind back to an earlier time, a time when the plans were being drawn up, that the present regains its stability. The earlier time was a simpler time. It was a time of blueprints. As you look back, you begin to see these blueprints emerge. You realize what the initial intentions were. These blueprints or intentions have since become so embellished that they are almost unrecognizable, but now this Context theme reveals them again. 

This understanding brings you confidence. No longer disoriented, you make better decisions because you sense the underlying structure. You become a better partner because you understand how your colleagues came to be who they are. And counterintuitively, you become wiser about the future because you saw its seeds being sown in the past. Faced with new people and new situations, it will take you a little time to orient yourself, but you must give yourself this time. You must discipline yourself to ask the questions and allow the blueprints to emerge because no matter what the situation, if you haven’t seen the blueprints, you will have less confidence in your decisions

Monday, September 25, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Futuristic

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min

Man looking at a future city“What’s next? … Here’s where we should be in ten years. … Future generations will thank us. … We need to do some long-range planning. … Here’s my vision of what we could become.” These are all statements that individuals high in Futuristic have likely said or thought at one time or another.  Futuristic sees tomorrow in vivid detail, anticipates or imagines what could be, and inspires others with that vision. Futuristic is not content with the status quo, but rather is inspired but what the organization, relationship, the situation can become. Those with Futuristic in their Top Five often spend so much time thinking about and envisioning the future that today can seem like the past.  Futuristic challenges an organization or team to think beyond quarterly results and create a plan that will bring long term success. Forecasts and projections energize those with strong Futuristic talents, and their approach to problem solving is far less concerned with how we got here than with where we are going.

In this installment of Compare and Contrast I examine the similarities and differences between Futuristic and Strategic, Consistency, and Positivity.

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