Strengths Coaching Blog

Friday, January 19, 2018

Coaching Strengths at Schwab - Called to Coach S5E39

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Greg Conaway.

Greg Conaway is a Senior Manager, Enterprise Learning & Talent Management at Charles Schwab, based out of the company’s Denver, Colorado office. He is responsible for managing the company’s strengths and engagement efforts. Conaway was first introduced to CliftonStrengths while working at Schwab. CliftonStrengths are a big part of the company culture, and he was able to attend Gallup’s Accelerated Coaching course soon after joining the firm. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Comparison of CliftonStrengths and DiSC

By Adam Hickman and Mary Claire Evans

As coaches, we face a variety of options when choosing the best development tools to help our clients. In this blog, we will dive into a comparison of two well-known tools — DiSC profiles and CliftonStrengths — weighing out the differences and providing a little history, too.

DiSC Theory Overview

The DiSC theory originated with American psychologist William Moulton Marston, who published the Emotions of Normal People in 1928. It established the Marston Model of the Four Dimensions of Behavior, which is based on directly discernable and quantifiable phenomena. The theory derives its name from Marston’s four original dimensions — Dominance, Inducement, Submission and Compliance. These were later changed to:

      • Dominance
      • Influence
      • Steadiness
      • Conscientious

The primary objective of DiSC assessments is to be a tool for measuring an individuals’ behavior. A person with a Dominance behavior style, for example, is “direct, forceful and outspoken with their opinions”; an Influence style is “outgoing, enthusiastic, and lively”; Steadiness describes someone who is “gentle, accommodating and patient with others” and the Conscientious style is “logical, reserved and precise.” The dimensions themselves are presented in a quadrant system that creates the DiSC Circle. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

5 Whirlwind Lessons From a Newly-Certified Strengths Coach

By Cindy Grady

The most meaningful discoveries I’ve made in my journey to become a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach are the same lessons I learned from The Wizard of Oz. Whether you’re intimately familiar with the journey of the farm girl from Kansas or not, I think you’ll find some magic in these lessons, just as I have. 

1. Follow your own yellow brick road. 

As a newly-certified CliftonStrengths coach, I have learned that everyone has a different style and different path to finding their coaching “groove.” As someone who leads with Maximizer, this was very distressing at first. I wanted to understand what the perfect formula was, replicate it, and make it better. I learned to draw on my supporting theme of Individualization to make my coaching journey my own. 
It’s okay to have a different coaching style. Dorothy and her friends appreciated each other’s differences and you should appreciate your own as well. Once I embraced the uncertainty of not having a fixed path, I could enjoy every step and dial into my Maximizer to improve what I learn along the way.  

Friday, January 5, 2018

Technology and Strengths: Developing Together - Called to Coach S5E38

On a recent Called to Coach India edition, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Sundara Nagarajan.

Sundara Nagarajan is currently Operating Partner at IndusAge Partners.  He is leading the enterprise development advisory practice, focused on scaling businesses founded on deep technology innovation.   

He passionately helps technologists to scale innovation, so they can impact the world positively.  As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, he blends coaching as part of the advisory process to help innovators scale-up business. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

“The Little Lights Are Not Twinkling”

By Tim Simon

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is an iconic holiday movie. Most people I know can quote many of the movie’s lines, but one particular scene always piques my interest.
Clark has spent days putting up thousands of lights and decorations on and around his home. Though at times frustrated with the pace, you can see he enjoys the work. With the project finally complete and “Oh, Come All Ye Faithful” playing in the background, Clark embraces each of his family members as they stand outside the house and gaze lovingly at 25,000 incandescent lights. As Clark wishes a “Merry Christmas” to his father-in-law, Art simply states, “The little lights are not twinkling.” All of the enthusiasm drains from Clark’s face as he replies, “I know, Dad, and thanks for noticing.” Of all the lights burning brightly, his father-in-law can only point out the lights that are not working.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Exploring the Idea of Strengths-Based Problem Solving

By Maureen Monte

“We always hope for the easy fix: the one simple change that will erase a problem in a stroke. But few things in life work this way. Instead, success requires making a hundred small steps go right — one after another … everyone pitching in.” – Atul Gawande

It is human nature to “hope for the easy fix.” But what happens when things just do not go as planned? Though it can be difficult, these times can be viewed not as hurdles, but as opportunities to use our strengths.

On a recent Theme Thursday webcast, I spoke about the power of Ideation and how I use it to productively solve problems. The more I understand about Ideation, the more I “connect the dots” and realize I use this theme to problem-solve in three distinct ways: through the proactive power of Ideation; the reactive power of Ideation; and the lifesaving power of Ideation. Don’t have Ideation in your top five? Top 10? Good news! The process of using these “powers” is not theme-specific. Your strengths can help you solve problems just as effectively as mine do. Let’s dive in. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

What About Weaknesses? With Dean Jones - Called to Coach S5E37

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with the Principal Architect of Gallup's Global Learning Strategy, Dean Jones.

Weaknesses – we all have a lot of them!

What about weaknesses?

  • Gallup often gets accused of not caring about weaknesses and telling people to ignore their weaknesses – that somehow weaknesses don’t matter.  
  • Nothing could be further from the truth.
  • No discussion of strengths is complete without a discussion of weaknesses. You can begin to accurately identify and gauge your strengths without knowing and identifying those areas where you are weak.  
  • Strengths occur against a backdrop of weaknesses. It’s like light and darkness – you can’t distinguish one without the other.  
  • So, ironically, weaknesses are a really important for strengths development. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

3 Reasons Self-Discovery Just Isn’t Enough

By Bob Van Baren

A few years ago, I discovered that I had very high cholesterol. I remember learning this news and thinking, “That is really interesting, I now have a greater understanding of my health. I can move on now.” Okay, that is not what I thought. What I did think, after I was done freaking out, was that I needed to make some major changes to my diet and exercise routine. Discovery of this issue was a springboard for real change. If discovery is just the starting point in dealing with a health issue, why is self-discovery treated as the beginning and end of someone growing their talents into strengths? 

When it comes to making the most of your talents, simply discovering them is not enough.

Friday, December 8, 2017

CliftonStrengths: More Than a Learning Intervention, A Movement - Called to Coach S5E35

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Abhishek Joshi.

Guest: Abhishek Joshi — "Employee Turned Entrepreneur”

  • 14 years of experience in OD, talent management and learning and development functions
  • Formerly L&D at IndiaMART / Max Life Insurance Company Ltd
  • Currently, the co-founder and practice head of Inpingoo - an experiential learning, behavioral science, and technology company that delivers learning and development.
  • Bridging the gap so that technology doesn’t hamper learning but instead develops/supports it

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Restorative: Bringing Things Back to Life - 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 Restorative with guest Mike Hafner

You love to solve problems. Whereas some are dismayed when they encounter yet another breakdown, you can be energized by it. You enjoy the challenge of analyzing the symptoms, identifying what is wrong and finding the solution. You may prefer practical problems or conceptual ones or personal ones. You may seek out specific kinds of problems that you have met many times before and that you are confident you can fix. Or you may feel the greatest push when faced with complex and unfamiliar problems. Your exact preferences are determined by your other themes and experiences. But what is certain is that you enjoy bringing things back to life. It is a wonderful feeling to identify the undermining factor(s), eradicate them and restore something to its true glory. Intuitively, you know that without your intervention, this thing — this machine, this technique, this person, this company — might have ceased to function. You fixed it, resuscitated it, rekindled its vitality. Phrasing it the way you might, you saved it.
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