The CliftonStrengths Coaching Blog is a resource for those who want to help others truly understand their strengths and learn how to use them. Gallup experts and outside contributors share tactics, insights, and strategies to help strengths coaches maximize the talent of individuals, teams, and organizations everywhere.
I’m a Health Professional, Not an Entrepreneur -- How Can Strengths Help Me?
By Brandon Miller, CEO 34 Strong, Inc. and Gallup Certified Strengths Coach
Susan had a passion to help people get well and stay well. This passion led her to earn her degree as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC). For several years, Susan served with various DCs and helped them build their practices, but she dreamed of having her own practice where she could focus on expectant mothers and children. After years of planning and finally gaining the necessary funds and courage, Susan put the plans in motion to launch her own private practice.
When I met Susan, she had a problem -- one that is not uncommon among healthcare professionals I coach. She said, “I went to school to learn how to help people as a doctor, but I have no idea how to run a business.” There are plenty of organizations that could help her, but running a business is big work. She knew she would have to master sales, networking, hiring and managing employees, and that was just the start. How could Susan thrive in a field that seemed so far away from her skills base? As Susan’s strengths coach, I first worked with her to assess her business model. At the same time, we utilized the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment (CSF) to understand Susan’s core talents and how these talents could be developed to increase her well-being and help develop her business.
I helped Susan understand how she used her themes of Intellection and Input to learn more about her field of expertise, and to offer her patients continued education to benefit their health. Susan was also encouraged by her Developer theme, as it caused her to see the best in her patients and gave her drive and determination to help them overcome their health limitations. For a Developer, any and all improvement -- even the slightest bit -- is a sign of success. Susan was growing as a practitioner in her field and experiencing good success in her business. It would appear everything was going according to plan, and yet, Susan still had a feeling that something wasn’t right.
“I’m in a funk,” she admitted. Susan knew something was not right with her, and it was affecting her well-being and her business. We looked at the business and according to the numbers, she was on track to meet and possibly exceed her goals. However, when we dove deeper into her Clifton StrengthsFinder report, we discovered an action item regarding her Input theme. It cautioned the person with Input to be careful not to “store up” too much information, as this could actually cause a negative effect. BINGO!
Susan’s eyes lit up as we discussed the prior month. She had been storing information and had not been using her outlets to share it with those she needed to teach or train. We left the meeting with an action item that she look for a place to share her stored information, so that she could continue to utilize her Input strength at near-flawless performance.
The next time we met, Susan was in a good space. She followed the recommended action item, and even moved ahead to further build her Input and Intellection strengths by signing up for a seminar.
No matter your profession, your Signature Themes are your greatest source of power and brilliance. But we have to let these themes run free, or risk what Susan called a “funk.” As a coach, working with people through their Clifton StrengthsFinder report has grown my appreciation of the potential impact our strengths can have if properly developed with knowledge, training, and intentional use. The process is not always easy, and the answers are not always clear, yet, with an objective perspective to the situation, we can unlock incredible potential.
Coming Soon: Gallup applies its groundbreaking research in the field of strengths to the study of highly successful entrepreneurs. Gallup created the Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder assessment to help people discover, share, and harness their unique entrepreneurial talent profile. Available January 2014.
Brandon Miller is the Chief Executive Officer of 34 Strong, Inc. and is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach. With over 15 years of experience in business development and ownership, Miller is an advocate for the strengths-based revolution as he works to help others discover their innate talents and develop them into strengths. Miller resides in Elk Grove, Calif., with his wife and their seven children.
Brandon’s top five strengths: Maximizer | Achiever | Activator | Strategic | Arranger