Strengths Coaching Blog

Thursday, October 8, 2015

[Recap] Coaching, Sabbaticals and the STOP Method

On a recent Called to Coach: Australia Edition, we spoke with Gallup-certified Strengths Coach, Richard Burton.

Richard started his professional career in property investment and sales. But after being in the industry for almost ten years, he wasn't feeling fulfilled. He needed to really think about what he wanted out of his career and his life, so he took an eight month sabbatical to reflect on what to do. Richard had always been fascinated with helping others, so he started to meet friends and acquaintances over coffee to discuss what issues plagued them. It was then that he started informally coaching others.

Richard expanded his coaching practice and began accepting clients. Two years ago, he discovered the Clifton StrengthsFinder and incorporated it into his coaching repertoire. Richard explained that StrengthsFinder helped him become a better leader, coach and "talent spotter." Specifically, it helped him and others from getting mired in trying to fix weaknesses. Instead, he honed in on improving his strengths and using them every day.

Richard also believes that coaches need to help their clients curb their hectic schedules by taking mini-sabbaticals and using the acronym STOP. STOP means to Step back, Think, and Organize your thoughts before you Proceed. This method helps clients evaluate their careers -- do they enjoy their work, or are there activities outside of work that they "get lost in?" STOP helps Richard's clients focus on the latter activities and turn those into the basis of a career.
To hear more about Richard and his coaching experiences and expertise, watch the video above.

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Richard is a living, breathing example of living on purpose, through leveraging his own strengths. At the age of 37, despite holding a senior profile in the Australian property market, and with a young family to provide for, he made the huge decision to pause and transform his career. He took time off – long enough to identify his own strengths, passions, talents, core values and identity to find his InnerZone.  
Richard's top five strengths: Connectedness | Ideation | Empathy | Maximizer | Learner.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

[Recap] Infusing Strengths into U.S. Education

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup's Executive Director of Education and Workforce Development, Brandon Busteed.

Brandon explained that fundamentally, Gallup is an education company -- it provides education and advice on engagement, strengths and well-being to business leaders and companies throughout the world. Brandon wants to bring that education to U.S. schools. His goal is to turn all universities and schools into strengths-based organizations. Brandon explained that students who know their strengths, receive one-on-one strengths coaching and participate in a curriculum infused with strengths are more engaged students with a better chance at having higher engagement in their future careers and having higher lifelong well-being.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

[Achiever] To Do Lists and Getting Things Done Right

On a recent Theme Thursday live webcast, we discussed the Achiever theme with Scot Caldwell, a Gallup Learning Design Consultant. Scot's top five strengths are Maximizer, Achiever, Strategic, Self-Assurance and Focus.

People with Achiever get things done. Of all 34 talent themes, Achiever shows up in 35% of the population that has taken the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment. People who possess Achiever are notable for their hard work, stamina and energy. It is a Theme of intense "doing."  

Scot's personal brand at Gallup is defined by his Achiever theme. He is known for being a dedicated, hard worker,  and he is proud of that reputation. He often works nights and weekends to accomplish his work. Scot has an intense internal drive to take on a lot of projects and get them done -- and done well. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

[Recap] Strengths Coaching Leads to Passion and Profit

On a recent Called to Coach: Singapore Edition we spoke with Gallup-certified Strengths Coach, Zai Miztiq.

Zai Miztiq is an accomplished entrepreneur. Over the past decade, she has developed successful sales ventures, written and published a book and spoken to audiences in many countries about their passions and dreams. She has even become a mentor to women through the Sisterhood Mentorship Program that she founded to improve the lives of girls and women in Southeast Asia and beyond.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

[Recap] Strengths at the Leadership and C-Suite Level

On a recent Called to Coach we spoke with Gallup-certified Strengths Coach, Rajendra Dhandhukia.

Rajendra has over 34 years of experience in leadership roles at sales and marketing companies, mostly in the pharmaceutical industry of India.

Rajendra first took the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment in 2011, but he didn’t really study his strengths until 2012. He discovered that while each strength has a balcony, it also has a corresponding basement. Rajendra's goal was to stay in each of his strengths’ balconies and to help his team members do the same.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Compare and Contrast: Deliberative

How Your Least Favorite English Composition Essay Question can Build Your Coaching Knowledge-base

by Al Winseman

Of the more than 12 million people who have taken the Clifton StrengthsFinder worldwide, 11% have Deliberative among their top five Signature Themes of talent. This makes it one of the rarer Signature Themes and, as such, it can often be misunderstood or mistaken for other themes. In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I look at the similarities and differences between Deliberative and Analytical, Context and Responsibility. All four of these themes tend to be serious (depending on the other themes that surround them) -- but what drives the serious nature of each of these themes is different and unique to each theme.

Deliberative and Analytical:

Deliberative naturally and instinctively sees everything that could possibly go wrong, and then pursues the safest route to ensure mistakes are not made. Analytical examines the data, and asks questions in order to determine if there is something that could go wrong, but doesn’t necessarily need to take action. Deliberative is cautious, Analytical is probing. Deliberative can intuit why we shouldn’t; Analytical wants to find out why we should. Analytical is skeptical until given proof; Deliberative discovers and displays proof that everyone else misses. Deliberative Is a way of cautiously moving through obstacles; Analytical is a way of thoroughly considering evidence.

Deliberative and Context:

Deliberative is cautious about the future, while Context is reflective about the past. Context wants to know how we got here, Deliberative wants to find the safest way forward. Context wants to know about the mistakes and successes of the past, Deliberative wants to determine the mistakes to be avoided in order to be successful in the future. Deliberative is the brake that is essential for safe driving; Context is the rearview mirror that is essential for safe driving. Deliberative is a way of taking the most appropriate and safest course of action; Context is a way of sifting through past evidence to learn what worked and what didn’t.

Deliberative and Responsibility:

Deliberative is serious about avoiding mistakes, whereas Responsibility is serious about keeping commitments. Deliberative wants to do things right, and Responsibility wants to do right by others. Deliberative slows things down to ensure the right path -- with the least amount of risk -- is taken. Responsibility forges ahead to meet the deadline when a commitment is at stake. Deliberative is trusted because it can be relied upon to consistently see potential obstacles and mitigate risk; Responsibility is trusted because it can be relied upon to consistently keep its commitments no matter the cost. Deliberative takes action once a safe way forward is determined; Responsibility takes action once a commitment is made.

This is the second blog in a series of "compare and contrast" blogs. Which themes would you most like to see compared and contrasted? Keep watching -- more are on the way!

Albert L. Winseman, D.Min., is a Senior Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup. Al brings deep expertise in employee and customer engagement, executive leadership and organizational dynamics to his consulting work with Gallup’s clients. He consults with senior leaders, executives and front-line managers to improve employee and customer engagement and to implement strategic initiatives that drive business growth.