Strengths Coaching Blog

Friday, March 24, 2017

Preventing Stress and Burnout Through CliftonStrengths - Called to Coach S5E8

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Nicole Seichter.


Nicole Seichter, Founder and CEO of Strengths4you, focuses on coaching people through stress before they burnout. She especially focuses on people working in corporate businesses: How can she help people in organizations reduce stress and work differently together to make every day count?

Nicole spent almost 10 years in corporate business before becoming a coach in 2008. Nicole had a mission to help people understand how beautiful they are and how to become more their true self. After several certifications and coaching for years, she was still looking for the language to explain human uniqueness. In 2013, Nicole moved to Michigan and started a coaching business called Seichter Coaching & Consulting LLC. In 2014, she finally found the glue to her mosaic through a friend. Her friend told her about the CliftonStrengths assessment and she realized that’s how she could help people understand their uniqueness. She then created her current business, Strengths4you, and connected all the parts of her life, her knowledge, her experience and her work with the “StrengthsFinder Glue”. She is the author of Strengths Based Stress and Burnout Prevention (sold on Amazon June 2017).

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Putting the “I” Back Into Responsibility: Harnessing the Power of This Talent

By Angela Davenport

All my life, others have trusted me to get things done. Dependable and loyal are words that others repeatedly have used to describe me. 

I enjoy being known as a person who keeps her promises, who follows through on every commitment. I do not like to disappoint others. I always give my best. I take personal ownership for everything I do, and I value the trust this creates with others.

I love my Responsibility theme, yet over the past few years, this talent has created a great deal of inner turmoil for me. 

As my career advanced and my responsibilities as a mother of three young children increased, I wanted to do it all -- excel at work, volunteer for the class party at school, contribute to the bake sale, and be a great wife and dear friend. Unfortunately, I found myself sacrificing my well-being to fulfill commitments to others. Even though I have a deep commitment to my physical well-being, I saw myself slowly losing ground on reaching my goals. It was becoming more and more difficult to “find time” for my workouts. They were inconsistent or nonexistent at times, and I started to feel out of balance.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Responsibility

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min

Dependable. Trustworthy. Productive. Reliable. Solid. Owner. All these words can be used to describe those with Responsibility in their Top Five.  Responsibility is one of the themes most likely to show up in the Top Five of the more than 15 million individuals who have taken the Clifton Strengths assessment, which means there are a lot of people out there for whom follow-through, getting it right, and doing it on time are core values. Responsibility is a very productive theme, and it is externally motivated: “If I said I would do it, you can count on me to get it done when I said I would.  I won’t let you down.” It’s not so much the feeling of checking it off the list that motivates those with high Responsibility; rather it is the deep satisfaction that comes from having a reputation as one who keeps their commitments – 100% of the time. “You can count on me” is a phrase those with strong Responsibility talents tend to say often – and like saying it, because it is true.  Utterly dependable is the brand of Responsibility.

In this Installment of Compare and Contrast, I examine the differences and similarities between Responsibility and Maximizer, Belief, and Discipline.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Customer-Centricity through Employee Engagement - Called to Coach S5E7

On a recent Called to Coach, India edition, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Shantanu Sen Sharma.


Shantanu Sen Sharma has 25 years of experience working in the Information Technology field in India. Shantanu has worked for top Indian companies such as HCL and Tech Mahindra. In 2011, he started Ozone Education Consultants, a consulting business aimed at boosting employees’ abilities and skills. He mainly focuses on working with post-graduate students pursuing their masters in business -- helping them develop their strengths for better placements, and coaching leaders in higher education institutions. 
He also works with companies on customer centricity for employees who are in technical or delivery roles and may not be customer facing. This is a major challenge in service industries like Information Technology.  Shantanu's areas of expertise and passion include development of young talent, identifying and leveraging strengths, value-based selling, and creating customer centric teams. He has a large amount of experience in talent acquisition and serves on the selection panel for one of India's premier management schools

Notes from the webcast:
  • Shantanu’s new consulting business started in 2011. He says the key to helping people is to to light a switch in their mind, until that happens it’s difficult to achieve results
  • With students you need to understand the broader perspective; not more than 25% will be employable
  • People don’t choose management as a career, but they do management as a career
  • Students arrive with a low-level of self-esteem and a fuzzy idea of what they want to do with their life
  • Many students come from rural areas and barely speak English, many are first people from their village to go to school
  • When you ask the right question their persona can change immediately from shy to engaged
  • Another example of student who was “all mind but no heart”, basement of Analytic was really coming out, needed to start using Relator more
  • Help the students claim their talents; it gives them self-confidence
  • The aiming part is more important that naming and claiming; need to know what is in it for them at the end of the day
How much time do you spend with each student?
  • MBA is two-year program in India; usually 4 semester
  • Start working with them from the start; do a discovery interview, focus is on strengths
  • More interventions happen in the 2nd semester; then do more aiming in 3rd semester
    1. A strengths journey should not be seen in isolation, your personality is not separate from your reality
    2. Students use strengths to brand themselves
    3. Be able to answer the question – Why should I hire you?
  • Aim it, contextualize it, look at skills the job requires; map it to your own strengths
  • Give examples of when you have exhibited the behaviors wanted
Why customer-centricity?
  • As sales become more and more intense, knowledge of the business becomes more and more important
  • Can articulate to the customer directly through experience
  • But there could be communication issues
  • Use an outside in approach
  • Look at what the customer wants, then at what you have
  • You must have powerful customer insight; then deliver value
  • Understand how customer will benefit and be able to articulate that
New concept coming out in selling – challenger selling – challenge the customer
  • Tell the customer well before the sale the what the customer is describing is not what they want
  • Customers are in a “fuzzy state” and asking for someone to tell them possible challenges
    1. Address both the skill and will using CliftonStrengths
    2. Book – Employees First
  • Customers first is too open-ended; if the employee builds up his skill, and becomes more engaged, then there is more value for the customer
    1. Mapping the personality to the reality
    2. Approach the bigger picture first – which is Aim it
    3. It’s all about making a positive change – job change, productivity change

Don't miss out on the 2017 CliftonStrengths Summit in Omaha, Nebraska on July 17-19. Register today!

Visit 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!

Shantanu Sen Sharma has 25 years of experience working in the Information Technology field in India. Shantanu has worked for top Indian companies such as HCL and Tech Mahindra. In 2011, he started Ozone Education Consultants, a consulting business aimed mainly at boosting employees abilities and skills. He mainly focuses on working with post-graduate students pursuing their masters in business -- helping them develop their strengths for better placements, and coaching leaders in higher education institutions. 

Shantanu’s Top 5 CliftonStrengths are: Learner | Individualization | Input | Relator | Responsibility

Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Cheryl S. Pace, contributed to this post.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Discipline: Leading With Purpose - 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 Discipline with Gallup's Physical Wellbeing Lead, Ryan Wolf.

Your world needs to be predictable. It needs to be ordered and planned. So you instinctively impose structure on your world. You set up routines. You focus on timelines and deadlines. You break long-term projects into a series of specific short-term plans, and you work through each plan diligently. You are not necessarily neat and clean, but you do need precision. Faced with the inherent messiness of life, you want to feel in control. The routines, the timelines, the structure, all of these help create this feeling of control. Lacking this theme of Discipline, others may sometimes resent your need for order, but there need not be conflict. You must understand that not everyone feels your urge for predictability; they have other ways of getting things done. Likewise, you can help them understand and even appreciate your need for structure. Your dislike of surprises, your impatience with errors, your routines and your detail orientation don’t need to be misinterpreted as controlling behaviors that box people in. Rather, these behaviors can be understood as your instinctive method for maintaining your progress and your productivity in the face of life’s many distractions.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Knowledge: Your Competitive Advantage - Builder Talent Tuesday Season 1

On this episode of Builder Talent Tuesday Season One, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, discuss the Knowledge talent with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Maureen Monte.

People who are especially talented in the Knowledge talent understand that information is a valuable asset. They have a deep desire to acquire knowledge about all aspects of their business. They search for new information to solve problems and succeed in complex business environments.

This Theme’s Power and Edge
They are obsessed with their business. They gather an incredible amount of information about every aspect of it. They use their vast mental library to plan for future products and services.

People with Knowledge “do the leg work”. They have a constant craving to know more and a courage to ask and stay open minded. People with Knowledge are curious and usually obtain a competitive advantage in the market by staying on top of trends.

Tell us about what Knowledge looks like in your world?
Maureen’s value proposition is built around her Knowledge. She has a deep understanding of CliftonStrengths and BP10 and she also has a commitment to understanding teams. In order to understand how team’s work, she got her master’s degree in leadership and business. She wanted the deep subject matter expertise around team’s before she started working with them. This led to her book, Destination Unstoppable.

Have you had the Knowledge talent since day 1? Did you recognize it before you took the BP10 assessment?
Yes, Maureen has always used her Knowledge to help people. If she can give other people a deeper understanding of something, that’s where her heart has always been. She uses her Knowledge to overcome her low Profitability and Selling talents.

How do you use Knowledge to overcome your lower Selling talents?
Maureen engages and connects with people through conversation. She helps them understand the value of what she has to offer with her knowledge of what she wants them to buy into.

How is your BP10 Knowledge talent different from your CliftonStrengths Learner talent?
Learner is one of Maureen’s top 5 CliftonStrengths. She likes learning for learning sake – but the Knowledge talent in the BP10 is different to her. The Knowledge talent is about useful information put into action. Her Learner is used for learning’s sake and not as much for action.

She uses both BP10 and Cliftonstrenghs when she consults with people, but she always uses the CliftonStrengths first. CliftonStrengths help you know what talents you have to use. BP10 helps you know what you are going to do with your talents to build a business.

How do you invest in your Knowledge?Maureen’s invests in Knowledge by being around people who are committed to being subject matter experts themselves. She also enjoys studying and going to school and is considering going back to school for another degree.

What are the best types of partners for Knowledge?
Find someone who knows something very well, that you could not begin to know about. And then, combine your expertise and CliftonStrengths and there you can find innovation, things no one has done before.

Interested in taking the BP10 assessment? Visit Gallup Strengths Center to purchase a code.

Interested in taking a course around coaching? Visit our courses page to explore the unique possibilities of teaching around these Builder Profile Talents. 

How do you feel about the premier of our new Builder Talent Tuesday series? Share your thoughts on the Called to Coach Facebook page.

Register now for the 2017 CliftonStrengths Summit to take advantage of early bird pricing!

Maureen Electa Monte is a success architect based in Berkley, Michigan. She has a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Leadership & Business Ethics. She is certified to coach with Gallup’s Clifton Strengthsfinder Tool and Entrepreneurial Profile10 Tools, the Hay Group’s Emotional and Social Competency Inventory and is certified to teach Business Ethics. She has worked with the Clifton StrengthsFinder since 2006, and has helped over 15,000 individuals and teams achieve strengths-based success, including the launch of a global strengths movement in a Fortune 50 corporation.

Maureen's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are: Ideation, Strategic, Learner, Achiever and Individualization.