Strengths Coaching Blog

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





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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. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Learner: The Journey from Ignorance to Competence - 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 Learner with guest Derrick Jack





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You love to learn. The subject matter that interests you most will be determined by your other themes and experiences, but whatever the subject, you will always be drawn to the process of learning. The process, more than the content or the result, is especially exciting for you. You are energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence. The thrill of the first few facts, the early efforts to recite or practice what you have learned, the growing confidence of a skill mastered — this is the process that entices you. 

Your excitement leads you to engage in adult learning experiences — yoga or piano lessons or graduate classes. It enables you to thrive in dynamic work environments where you are asked to take on short project assignments and are expected to learn a lot about the new subject matter in a short period of time and then move on to the next one. This Learner theme does not necessarily mean that you seek to become the subject matter expert or that you are striving for the respect that accompanies a professional or academic credential. The outcome of the learning is less significant than the “getting there.”

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Guide to More Hopeful Strengths Coaching

By Tim Simon


Alexander Pope wrote, “Hope springs eternal within the human breast.” 

While there are many definitions of hope, I believe Dr. Shane Lopez defined it best: “Hope is the belief that the future will be better than the present, along with the belief that you have the power to 
make it so.”

Hope is an internal human desire. It helps us move forward and look to the future with greater confidence. Hope is not some esoteric or philosophical concept — it is real and measurable. Consider the following:

Monday, November 6, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Strategic

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min



Strategic is one of the biggest buzz-words in business today. Leaders and managers want their teams to be “strategic;” employees are urged to think “strategically” instead of “tactically” – to “play chess” instead of “playing checkers;” and nearly every list of competencies that one encounters in a performance review has a “strategic thinking” category that employees are supposed to master if they have even the slightest hope of being promoted. The word is so overused and over-defined that it has lost almost all its meaning. Yet in the taxonomy of Clifton StrengthsFinder themes of talent, Strategic has a very specific definition – and what’s more, Strategic is the fifth most commonly identified theme among the over 12 million individuals who have taken the Clifton Stengthsfinder.

In a nutshell, people strong in the Strategic theme spot relevant patterns in any given scenario, and can quickly create alternate and multiple ways to proceed. Where most see only complexity, they see patterns and alternatives.  Strategic is about considering all the options, selecting the best one, and then moving down that path – often before anyone else does. It’s a specific way of seeing the world.

In this installment of “Compare and Contrast,” I look at the similarities and differences between Strategic and Arranger, Adaptability, and Connectedness.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Award-Winning Employee Program Using Strengths - Called to Coach S5E33

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with guest Fiona Glendinning.






Fiona Glendinning is the Chief Experience Officer at MinterEllison, an international law firm headquartered in Australia. Fiona designed and implemented an employee program called Empower within MinterEllison that uses strengths to help employees deliver a better client experience and to generate organizational cultural change. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Intellection: Understanding of Pragmatic Thinking- 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 Intellection with guest Cheryl Pace. 





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You like to think. You like mental activity. You like exercising the “muscles” of your brain, stretching them in multiple directions. This need for mental activity may be focused; for example, you may be trying to solve a problem or develop an idea or understand another person’s feelings. The exact focus will depend on your other strengths. On the other hand, this mental activity may very well lack focus. The theme of Intellection does not dictate what you are thinking about; it simply describes that you like to think. 

You are the kind of person who enjoys your time alone because it is your time for musing and reflection. You are introspective. In a sense, you are your own best companion, as you pose yourself questions and try out answers on yourself to see how they sound. This introspection may lead you to a slight sense of discontent as you compare what you are actually doing with all the thoughts and ideas that your mind conceives. Or this introspection may tend toward more pragmatic matters such as the events of the day or a conversation that you plan to have later. Wherever it leads you, this mental hum is one of the constants of your life.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Coaching Updates With Dean Jones - Called to Coach S5E32

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






In this Called to Coach, Jim Collison and Dean Jones discuss the recent changes to Gallup's website and how it effects the coaching community. 

Registration is now open for the 2018 CliftonStrengths SummitRegister before December 7, 2017, to get early bird pricing.

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!




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.
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