Strengths Coaching Blog

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.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Strengths-Based Development: Identifying Areas of Improvement

By Maika Leibbrant

Manage your areas of non-talent, so they don’t become weaknesses. 

Focus on your greatest talent to develop near-perfect performance. 

The concept of a strengths-based development approach is catchy. It’s provocative. It’s fun to talk about and makes for excellent classroom or team-building fodder. But do you practice it? 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Using Strengths in Hennepin County, Minnesota - Called to Coach S5E36

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Steve Sweere.

Tell us about your background and the job that you do

  • I am the internal communications guy for the county
  • My Top 5 are Intellection, Strategic, Ideation, Input, Learner
  • They are all in thinking themes, so I was skeptical when I took the assessment; then I dug deeper and learned to love it
  • Started with Hennepin about 5 years ago
  • Was a professional actor for 20 years mostly in regional theater
  • When my daughter was born, I looked for more of a day job and happened to come across Hennepin county
  • They were looking to improve things, change things up, improve their internal communications
  • I came in with a little bit different way of thinking
  • Top 5 seemed like a single facet of who I was as a person, that’s why I was initially skeptical
  • Then I found out Individualization and Empathy were 6 & 7 when I took my training and got my 34 theme sequence
  • Even when I was an actor, the way I went about things was that a lot was up here in my head first before it found its way into my body, I was known to do a lot of research for a role
  • Empathy illuminates everything else for me as long as I do the research first
  • And that’s a lot of what I do here when it comes to communication; I research what it is we really need to say, then I look to my heart to figure out how to say it
  • I’m a fan of humor, of conversational conversation; a lot gets lost in formality; say it like its one person talking to another person
  • I’ve also introduced a lot of video to the county; doesn’t have to be super high-end quality; people care more about the content and message

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Strategic: Seeing Patterns Where Others See Complexity - 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 Strategic with guest Tess Starman

The Strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large. This perspective allows you to see patterns where others simply see complexity. Mindful of these patterns, you play out alternative scenarios, always asking, “What if this happened? OK, well what if this happened?” This recurring question helps you see around the next corner. There you can evaluate accurately the potential obstacles. 

Guided by where you see each path leading, you start to make selections. You discard the paths that lead nowhere. You discard the paths that lead straight into resistance. You discard the paths that lead into a fog of confusion. You cull and make selections until you arrive at the chosen path — your strategy. Armed with your strategy, you strike forward. This is your Strategic theme at work: “What if?” Select. Strike.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Finding Your Purpose, Finding Your “Fit”

By Jake Herway

Your fit with anything — a person, a neighborhood, a pair of jeans — is what makes that thing yours. Fit is what makes it worth having. Your fit to a job is no different. Is it the right fit?
The right job fit is as important as the right skill match. Harvard research has shown fit to be even more important to performance than skill in certain industries*.  Berkley researchers identified a bad job fit as one of the primary drivers of employee burnout*.  Gallup has found that one of the top reasons people leave a job is to find a better fit, where they have the chance to do what they do best*.  

Many people talk about finding their passion. Some lucky ones find it early in life, but for many of us, while we are interested in some things and not interested in others, we don’t have a clear passion. So what do we do? How do we find the right fit if we haven’t found our passion? 

The answer: purpose + strengths.

Here is some advice for job seekers looking for the right fit.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Don’t Stop Questioning: How Using Theme Dynamics Enhances My Coaching

By Cindy Grady

Albert Einstein said, "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, I’ve taken this advice and learned that asking yourself the hard questions — the ones that can truly unleash your talents in seemingly magical ways — is sometimes more difficult than coaching others. That’s why everyone needs a coach. I’ve also found that through careful examination of your choices, and asking yourself the hard questions, you can begin to unlock the power of your talents and turn them into strengths. And once you’ve done that, you’ll be well on your way to recognizing the powerful questions you can ask others to help them along their strengths journey.

As I’ve coached people who have recently gone through the Accelerated Strengths Coaching Training, I’ve heard comments like, “I think coaching others will be easier than looking at my own talents and seeing how I can use them effectively,” and “I can help others come up with strategies to use their talents, but when I look at my own, I draw a blank.” While that can be challenging, I’ve found that the best answers come from asking simple, direct questions. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Positivity: Opening Pathways of Possibilities - 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 Positivity with guest Kassie Jorgenson

You are generous with praise, quick to smile and always on the lookout for the positive in the situation. Some call you lighthearted. Others just wish that their glass were as full as yours seems to be. But either way, people want to be around you. Their world looks better around you because your enthusiasm is contagious. Lacking your energy and optimism, some find their world drab with repetition or, worse, heavy with pressure. 

You seem to find a way to lighten their spirit. You inject drama into every project. You celebrate every achievement. You find ways to make everything more exciting and more vital. Some cynics may reject your energy, but you are rarely dragged down. Your Positivity won’t allow it. Somehow you can’t quite escape your conviction that it is good to be alive, that work can be fun and that no matter what the setbacks, one must never lose one’s sense of humor.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Look Back at the 2017 CliftonStrengths Summit: Gaining a Global Perspective

By Bruce Young

Many of today’s workplaces find themselves operating in a global village, where the need for cross-cultural collaboration is becoming more critical. As coaches, we have the unique opportunity to guide our clients through the transition of becoming a global workplace using the tools CliftonStrengths gives us. 

We often refer to CliftonStrengths as a universal language. Despite growing up in South Africa, working for nearly 20 years in London and visiting clients all over the world, I knew that to increase my effectiveness as a coach and consultant I needed to further invest in my understanding of strengths on a global perspective. And so I decided to attend, and present at, the 2017 CliftonStrengths Summit.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Leadership Rhode Island Update - Called to Coach S5E34

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches, Mike Ritz and Kevin Cooper.

Mike Ritz and Kevin Cooper work for Leadership Rhode Island, a community leadership development organization founded in 1981. The mission of Leadership Rhode Island is to provide leaders and emerging leaders with knowledge and access to resources which will enable them to positively affect their communities. Mike and Kevin currently work on the “Make RI Strong” initiative, which is about making Rhode Island (RI) a strengths-based state. Leadership Rhode Island has known for decades that the state of RI suffers from a negative psyche and they are starting to see that strengths are the answer to that. 

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