Strengths Coaching Blog

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Creating Strengths-Based Goals

By Carol Anne McGuire

Whether it’s a new year, new quarter or just a new week, we tend to see transitions as an opportunity to “fix” what is wrong with us. We vow to lose weight, spend less/save more, exercise, quit smoking or get a new job. Typically, the first two weeks of new goals are fantastic! But soon, most people are back where they started. Why? Are we just lazy? No! We are just trying to motivate ourselves in the wrong way! 

There is room for infinite growth within our areas of greatest potential -- areas in which we use our strengths. If you’re truly ready to make a change, create one that honors your most natural self. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

10 Tips for Leading an Effective Strengths Training

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup's Talent Development Architect, Dean Jones.

This webcast is part two of a two-part series on leading effective strengths training. In part one, Dean discussed five basic things you need to cover about strengths during a training session. 1. Strengths are rooted in the study of excellence, it’s not a typology. 2. Define the difference between a strength, a talent and a theme and be sure you know them by heart. 3. Introduce the CliftonStrengths assessment and be able to talk about the validation of the assessment. 4. Help people name, claim and aim their talents. 5. Address how to handle weaknesses. In this webcast, Dean dives deeper into how to lead an effective training.

Here are the 10 new tips Dean covers in this webcast:

1. Prepare based on five perspectives:
  • Understand the design of the course, get inside the integrity of the design and get the connection points, learn how it pieces together, the narrative and the flow.
  • Think about the participant experience and what you want the outcome for them to be.
  • How will you deliver the course as a leader?
  • Consider the logistics and the materials you will use. Remember not to give people materials until they need it, otherwise it is distracting.
  • What is the intended impact? Participants need something they can take away and apply immediately.
2. Practice, practice, practice; great course leaders practice all the time.
3. Be present.
  • Be authentic, transparent and vulnerable.
  • You don’t have to be funny or entertaining.
  • Create a space of authenticity and connection; your attention is fully on the participants.
4. How you start the course is everything; it sets your trajectory and how the course will land.
  • You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
  • You want to create credibility and accessibility.
5. The course doesn’t begin for people until they hear their own voice in the room
  • Give people a couple of questions – your name, what do you do, share three words that describe you.
  • Give them something good about themselves that they can share; share authentically, not just talk.
6. Great courses work on three levels/dimensions - Bloom’s Taxonomy - cognitive, psychomotor, affective.
  • What do we want people to know as a result of this course? Do (skills)? Feel?
7. Reduce the risk of participating.
  • Participation is always a choice for people, they are calibrating their risk, even extroverted people.
  • Is this a safe place? Will my contribution be honored?
  • Are you creating an environment where people will choose to engage/participate?
8. What participants say in the room is worth twice what you say.
  • Don’t talk too much.
  • If they say what you say it means even more.
  • Training is helping people to discover something and integrate it; not just telling.
9. Great trainings are practical.
  • Help people translate what they learn into action.
  • Great courses can provoke insights in people; need to set them up to translate their insights into action.
10. Close strong.
  • The most important thing for people to do at the end is to be able to synthesize what they’ve learned.
  • Assimilate it into our thinking and behavior.
  • Great learning shifts our behavior, it becomes a part of us.
  • Make sure they review what they learned; what did you cover today?
  • Have people make commitments for what they are going to do next.

To hear more about coaching strengths for organizations, individuals and coaches, please watch the full video or listen to the audio above.

Gallup Strengths Center to browse our myriad of products and learning opportunities for strengths-based development.

Continue the coaching conversation on Facebook and Twitter. It’s a great way to network with others who share a passion for strengths!

Dean Jones is the principal architect of Gallup's global client learning strategy. Dean consults with clients on strategic solutions to address key business issues, including organizational development, performance management, learning and development, productivity and workforce effectiveness. he oversees the direction of Gallup's client learning offerings, the development of the organization's learning consultants, and the growth of Gallup's learning business worldwide, including its public course offerings and learning products.

Dean Jones's top five strengths are Activator, Focus, WOO, Strategic and Relator.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Learn the 18 Books Paul Allen Wants You to Read (And Meet His Wife, Too!)

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup's Strengths Evangelist, Paul Allen.

In this called to coach, Paul Allen interviews his very own wife, Christy Allen. He also goes through a list of Gallup publications about strengths that a lot of coaches aren’t aware of or haven’t read – and why coaches should read them.

Christy recently completed Gallup’s Accelerated Strengths Coaching course. Christy’s top five strengths are Empathy, Restorative, Relator, Context and Consistency. She and Paul are developing a couple’s retreat centered around CliftonStrengths. Tune in to hear more about their new idea!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Everybody Needs a Coach: A Look Back at the Historic CliftonStrengths Summit

By Adam Hickman

“What will happen when we think about what is right with people rather than fixating on what is wrong with them?” – Don Clifton

It was this notion that brought 900 eager professionals to the inaugural CliftonStrengths Summit in July 2016. The movement of coaching had already started, but bringing individuals from all over the world to one location amplified the coaches’ momentum as they sought to empower people to change the world through their talents.

Over three days of intensive learning and collaboration, coaches learned how to develop themselves, deploy strengths effectively in organizations, and build and grow their coaching business. They also had an opportunity to learn more about CliftonStrengths alongside Gallup’s most senior coaches.

Friday, January 6, 2017

How to Become a Power of Two in Marriage

On a recent Called to Coach: CliftonStrengths Summit 2016 Edition, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches, Joe and Judy Bertotto. These webcasts will highlight some of the best and most popular sessions from the CliftonStrengths Summit.

After making a New Year’s Resolution in 2012, Judy and Joe followed through on their commitment to pursue a professional development opportunity together. Based on their backgrounds they chose to work on the Gallup Certification and became the first married couple in the world to be Gallup Certified Strengths Coaches.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Strengths Based Tweens: Creating an Empowered Adolescence

By Megan W. Gerhardt, Ph.D. & Sue Bath, Ed.D.

“How we navigate the adolescent years has a direct impact on how we’ll live the rest of our lives.”

—Brainstorm: The Power and the Purpose of the Teenage Brain

MB, age 14, recently took Gallup’s StrengthsExplorer and shared the results -- Caring, Organizer, Dependability -- with her parents.

"Knowing our daughter's top talents has helped me know how to support her better,” says MB’s mother Nancy. “Because she has dependability as one of her talents, I know that I don’t have to push her in this area because she inherently wants to be responsible. Instead, I am trying to help her manage her expectations of herself in that area.” 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Best of 2016: A Year in Review

With 2017 fastly approaching, we wanted to give everyone the chance to look back on the tremendous successes we have had in 2016. We can welcome in the new year knowing that our authors have given us some ground-breaking insights into strengths, coaching and hope to inspire us throughout the year. 

We want to take a moment to thank not only our readers, you are who make our journey a success, but also to our writers, coaches and to everyone that has helped make this year such a brimming triumph. 

Gallup has some amazing things in store for 2017. Be sure to checkout the blog for a schedule of our webcast events. The new season of Theme Thursday is kicking back off in January, and we have some incredible guests lined up for this season's Called to Coach. Also be sure to check out the information regarding our second annual CliftonStrengths Summit in July. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Impact of Strengths and Coaching in Schools

By Tim Hodges, Ph.D.

“In Grow Strong schools we focus on what is strong and not what is wrong. This requires a change of mindset for most teachers because as educators we are thinking in the deficit model in which we look at what a student does not have and try to make up the difference through interventions. In Grow Strong schools, we seek to change the conversation from what students are lacking to what students already have.” 

These thoughts, shared by Rachel Edoho-Eket at the inaugural CliftonStrengths Summit in July 2016, wonderfully frame up the potential for impact of strengths and coaching in schools. Edoho-Eket, an assistant principal in Howard County, Maryland, has firsthand experience in a school and in a district that is committed to building on the strengths of the entire school community. Edoho-Eket’s school, and many others like it around the country, have a core belief that we should focus on what is strong rather than only paying attention to what is wrong. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

How to Unlock Students’ Entrepreneurial Potential

by Becky McCarville

From high school to college, student of all ages are hyper-aware that they need a good job after graduating from college. With student debt at an all-time high in 2016 and employment prospects lower than expected, the job outlook for new grads doesn’t paint a rosy picture.

Due to these factors, economic and otherwise, fewer young people are starting their own businesses.

How can students -- and the world -- dig out of this economic quagmire? Job creation relies on new business startups and scaling up existing businesses -- identifying and unlocking students’ entrepreneurial potential is the key.

Across the nation and worldwide, entrepreneurial classes and programs are buzzing, and many are turning to Gallup’s Entrepreneurship Profile 10 (EP10) assessment to jumpstart the discussion around entrepreneurial talent. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

[Recap] From Startup to Success: How to Build a Business Based on Strengths

On a recent Called to Coach: CliftonStrengths Summit 2016 Edition, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Brandon Miller. These webcasts will highlight some of the best and most popular sessions from the CliftonStrengths Summit.

Brandon Miller is the CEO of 34 Strong, a company focused on Strengths-Based Organizational Development. He led the “From Startup to Success” breakout session at the 2016 CliftonStrengths Summit. Brandon says when he started his business his biggest questions were around growth and defining what the business had to offer to the market. He recommends the books Learn Startup, Leaders Eat Last, Destination Unstoppable, and Profit First as great starting points for anyone considering starting their own business.