Strengths Coaching Blog

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Called to Coach Recap: Brandon Miller
(Feb. 21, 2014)

Last week on Called to Coach we hosted Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Brandon Miller. Brandon is co-founder of 34 Strong, Inc., and he uses his strengths to help executives, entrepreneurs, and teams leverage their strengths for personal and group excellence.





Brandon extends his use of strengths beyond his work and into his personal life. His wife and kids took the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment, which brought their family closer together and allowed them to connect in a way they never had before.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Pioneering Strengths in Asia

By Bhavani Prakash, Strengths Coach

As a sustainability advocate, I’ve always looked to nature for inspiration. After all, she possesses the formidable evolutionary advantage of three and a half billion years, and has had more time to try and test ideas better than the best R&D laboratories, management consultancies, and business schools of the world. Of the several leadership, organizational, and life lessons she can teach us, one thing stands out: Nature has always relied on the unique strengths of species to evolve.

As Albert Einstein once said, ‘Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” How often do we go about judging children in schools, young adults in universities, and working adults in workplaces using a “one-size-fits-all” approach, and most likely one that “fixes” weaknesses? Nature would probably remark, “Why focus on failure? Why focus on the things you can’t do well?” It’s important to learn from and manage failures no doubt, but learning from and honing strengths is the key way to evolve to the next level and achieve optimal performance. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Three Questions Every Leader Should Be Asking

By Stosh D. Walsh

This is the first in a three-part series of articles by Gallup Practice Consultant, Stosh Walsh. In this series, Stosh will offer insights on coaching leaders.

The question I hear more than any other from individuals I coach is, “Now what?” Whether the person is a recently promoted first-time manager, or a C-level executive, it seems this important question lingers in the minds of most leaders who encounter strengths. Yet, for all its popularity, it remains a difficult question to answer. StrengthsFinder resonates strongly with the overwhelming majority of people who experience it, yet the percentage of people in the U.S. who say they have the opportunity to do what they do best at work every day hovers around 20%.
 
So, what is the disconnect? And, more importantly, how do leaders and coaches who have the greatest opportunity to drive meaningful change remedy it?

They can begin by asking three questions:
  • How do these strengths enable success in this role?
  • How does the exercise of these strengths affect others?
  • What kinds of strengths are complementary?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Called to Coach Recap: Southeast Asia Edition
(Feb. 10, 2014)

On the latest Called to Coach: Southeast Asia Edition, we talked to Gallup’s Senior Practice Expert, Vibhas Ratinjee.





Vibhas specializes in executive-level engagement strategies and facilitates Gallup consulting programs, including strengths-based leadership and succession management. He is an expert in strengths coaching, and he gave us an exclusive look into his coaching world.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Called to Coach Recap – Brent O’Bannon
(Feb. 7, 2014)

On the most recent Called to Coach, we hosted Brent O’Bannon, founder of StrengthsFinder Coaching and a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach. This was Brent’s second time on the show, and we were thrilled to have him back.





When Brent first learned about strengths, he was a bit skeptical. After witnessing the impact strengths can have, his Competition strength -- which he didn’t yet know he had -- pushed him forward, as he did not want to fall behind. He took the assessment and quickly realized the importance and benefits of having a language with which he could describe himself.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Dropout or Honor Student: The Difference Is Strengths

By Kyle Robinson, Director of Campus Engagement, Gallup

Amanda’s excitement for her future is contagious. Perhaps it is her high positivity, the joy she feels at being a recent college graduate, or simply her engagement in working a job she loves. After spending just a few moments with Amanda, her excitement for living is evident.

It is hard to believe that just a few years ago Amanda was stuck and lost in her academic pursuits. After graduating a semester behind her high school class, Amanda enrolled in a local community college, but quickly became disengaged and dropped out. “I just wasn’t connected,” she reflects. “I was in a program that wasn’t a fit for me, and really no one on campus seemed to care about what would be best for me and my future.” After giving up on academics, she took a variety of positions in retail and fast food as her hope for the future faded.

Five years later, Amanda’s younger sister enrolled in college. Amanda knew she needed to get back on track, but wasn’t sure how. As she began to explore other colleges throughout Michigan, positive student reviews led her more than 40 miles from home to Kalamazoo Valley Community College. “My experience at Valley was completely different,” Amanda explains, “it seemed like they really wanted me to be successful.”

Friday, February 7, 2014

Strengths Spotlight Recap: Robin Stubblefield

We recently sat down with Robin Stubblefield, Director of Student Engagement and Co-Curricular Learning at the University of Minnesota, to find out how she helped incorporate strengths into the campus.





The University of Minnesota began by developing a three-year pilot plan to give first-year students an access code to take the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment when they arrived on campus. Within a year, the university also gave access codes to students transferring to the university.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Strengths Spotlight Recap: Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder With Todd Johnson

On this edition of the Strengths Spotlight, we sat down to talk about Gallup’s new Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder (ESF) with Todd Johnson.





ESF, which Gallup recently unveiled on the newly redesigned Gallup Strengths Center, is centered on the notion that entrepreneurship is the process of turning an idea into a customer.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Surprising Statistic about Most Church-Goers

by Kathy Kersten, Strengths Advocate and Coach

Knowing that I love talking about strengths, my pastor approached me to see if I would be interested in facilitating a strengths session for the board members of the different ministries at our church. He was looking for a way to help newly appointed board members "gel" as a team, and I saw an opportunity to help the members connect with what makes them engaged church members. I love building connections!

The following data from Living Your Strengths surprised me: "The Gallup Organization's 2002 national study of congregation members revealed that most people (53%) do not strongly agree with the statement ‘In my congregation, I regularly have the opportunity to do what I do best.’”

Could a major problem be that church members do not recognize their own talents or how to leverage them at church? Could the StrengthsFinder be the tool to help us be more engaged at church?
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