Strengths Coaching Blog

Friday, March 28, 2014

Replicating Success: How to Learn What You Already Know

By Mara Hoogerhuis, Learning and Development Consultant, Gallup

“Individuals are always stronger when they have their successes clearly in mind.”

-- Dr. Donald O. Clifton (1924-2003), inventor of the Clifton StrengthsFinder and recognized as “the Father of Strengths-Based Psychology and the Grandfather of Positive Psychology” according to the American Psychological Association.

As a Gallup Learning Consultant, I share these words in almost every session I lead. Don Clifton spent his life researching what was right with people. He and his colleagues interviewed millions of successful people over 40 years, logging and analyzing the traits that led to their success. There was greater power, Clifton realized, in studying our successes and what led to them, than in studying our failures. 

Helping your client consider their own successes can be a powerful strategy in helping them to overcome current challenges. My advice to you when studying your client’s success: be patient. I’ve posed this question to course participants, coaches, and colleagues, and found that many people have a tough time recalling a moment of past success quickly and easily. As humans, steeped in the tradition of weakness-fixing, our moments of failure and error are top-of-mind, but our successes are usually not. People often have a blind spot with regard to their own strengths, but an elephant’s memory for what they did wrong. However, I can also attest that once the conversation does turn to moments of victory and accomplishment, there is a palatable shift in the energy in the room or in the one-on-one conversation. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Called to Coach Recap: Dr. Jim Harter and Jim Asplund
(March 21, 2014)

Last week on Called to Coach we hosted Gallup Chief Scientists, Dr. Jim Harter and Jim Asplund. With 44 years of combined experience, Harter and Asplund are the world’s foremost experts on the science of strengths.





Harter and Asplund have been working with the science of strengths since its early development stages, paving the way for over 10 million people around the world to discover their innate talents.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

“I’m Your Coach, Not Your Friend.”

“And I’m Not Even Your Mentor.”

By Al Winseman, D.Min., Senior Learning and Development Consultant, Gallup

All successful coaching begins by establishing a relationship with the person being coached. But then the lines often get blurred, and clarifying those lines is critical to whether a coach is successful or not. That clarification is easier said than done, and it’s easy to see why the lines get blurred and the focus gets fuzzy.

Let’s start with what friendship, mentoring, and coaching all have in common. In all three of these, caring, authentic, honest, deep relationships are formed. And in all three, we must invest ourselves in order to make those relationships worthwhile. Caring and investing are at the heart of all meaningful relationships, but in friendship, the end is the relationship in and of itself. Not so with mentoring and coaching.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Recap -- Theme Thursday: Activator
(March 13, 2014)

On March 13, we held the first ever Theme Thursday. With this series, we hope to provide a deeper context behind the language of strengths by talking in-depth about each of the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder themes.




We focused on Activator for the first theme. We brought in Gallup’s Curt Liesveld and special guest Tyler McCarty of Napkin -- a startup that helps companies tell the story of their brand, idea, or business through simple animated videos. Naturally, Tyler leads with Activator.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Recap -- Called to Coach: Southeast Asia Edition
(March 9, 2014)

Last week on Called to Coach: Southeast Asia Edition, we featured Gallup Senior Practice Consultant Dr. Ehssan Abdallah. Ehssan’s mission is to build capacity within client organizations to improve bottom- and top-line performance.





Ehssan began his career at Gallup’s Dubai office where he quickly found that many organizations in the region focused primarily on people’s weaknesses, instead of putting them in positions to maximize their strengths. Recognizing this issue, Ehssan knew that the quickest way to turn this around would be to conduct individual coaching sessions.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Strengths Meetup in Sacramento!

Brandon Miller, Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach and co-founder of 34 Strong, will be hosting a Meetup for Strengths Enthusiasts in the Sacramento, California area on Monday, March 31, 2014, at 6:00 p.m. at the Courtyard Marriot, 1782 Tribute Road, Sacramento, CA.

This event will feature a distinguished guest speaker, Gallup Senior consultant Jeremie Brecheisen.

 Due to the popularity of the Sacramento Meetup events, early registration is encouraged. Visit the event Meetup webpage for more information.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Called to Coach Recap: Larry Broughton
(March 7, 2014)

Last week on Called to Coach we hosted Larry Broughton of Broughton Hotels.

During his time as a Green Beret in the U.S. Army, Larry learned that members of a team can be incredibly powerful when they are put in positions to do what they do best. It wasn’t until he entered the hotel industry, however, that he became familiar with strengths-based development.





Larry discussed the detrimental effect that disliking a job can have on one’s emotional state and personal life. He says that managers need to know their employees’ strengths in order to place them in the right roles. For example, he explained that someone with Woo should be out talking to people and making sales instead of sitting behind a computer all day. On the other hand, someone with high Strategic Thinking themes like Analytical and Context should be working with numbers. When the right people are aligned with the right jobs, managers will see a noticeable improvement in employee morale and output.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Strengths Meetup in Indianapolis!

Sarah Robinson, a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, will be hosting a Meetup for Strengths Enthusiasts in the Indianapolis, Indiana, area on March 27, 2014, at the communal table at Petite Chou in Clay Terrace. Visit the event Meetup webpage for more information.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Dreaded Report Card

By Gagandeep Anand, Learning and Development Consultant, Gallup

If we reach someone’s heart, we have an opportunity to change their thinking. If we can change someone’s thinking, we can change their actions. If we can positively change actions, we can impact the world. This chain reaction sounds intuitive, but for some reason, 70% of our workforce remains not engaged or actively disengaged. My gut tells me this is because people don’t have an opportunity to play to their strengths every day, which can be traced back to our childhood. Instead of sharing research, I want to engage in nostalgia. Think about when you were a kid for a moment. Let’s imagine that you brought home a report card that looked like this:

Physical Education A+
Science   A
Creative Art  C
Mathematics  D
Humanities  B+
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