Strengths Coaching Blog

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Building Compassion Through Strengths

by Brian Brim Ed.D.

In our first blog, we introduced you to the four needs of followers based on Gallup’s bestselling book, Strengths Based Leadership. In this series we will take a look at each of the four needs of followers, which include trust, compassion, stability and hope. We will also explore how leaders should be thinking about these needs with their own strengths in mind. In the second blog of the series, we explored trust, the first of the four needs. In this blog, we will focus on the second area, compassion.

What do followers mean when they talk about compassionate leaders? The research for Strengths Based Leadership found that the words employees used most frequently in relation to their leaders’ compassion were “caring,” “friendship,” “happiness” and even “love.” This may surprise some, but not those clients who have worked with Gallup to build stronger employee engagement. Gallup’s research shows significant correlations to better business outcomes -- including productivity, profitability, customer scores, retention, attendance and even safety -- when employees feel cared about and have best friends in the work environment. So, compassion, simply put, converts to performance.

As leaders what does this mean? What does it mean to show compassion? Essentially, it means treating employees as the human beings they are. People want to matter, on the job and beyond the job. Treating someone like a cog in a machine is far from a compassionate act. Henry Ford is often tied to the quote, “Why is it every time I ask for a pair of hands, they come with a brain attached?” What people often neglect to mention is that Ford’s thinking shifted over time; Ford also said, “Coming together is the beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

Leaders need to consider where their talents point them with compassion. These questions can help leaders to understand and, if need be, alter their approach.

• How can I leverage my strengths to make sure that I help people know that they matter?
• How can I leverage my strengths to ensure that I collaborate more than I command?
• How can I use my strengths to ask more and tell less?
• How can I leverage my strengths to stay curious in order to learn about employees beyond the work environment?

It seems that compassion is more than just helping people feel cared about as a person. Another way to help people feel like they matter is to help them understand why they matter and what they contribute. People want to matter, and when you make them matter they will make your organization matter. As leaders we need to pay attention to how we are applying our strengths in order to build compassion through caring about what people contribute.

We need to avoid getting caught in the trap of thinking that having all of the answers somehow makes us a stronger leader. Strength in leadership is not about needing to have all of the answers yourself, but in knowing how to involve your team in order to find the answers together. This shows that you care. You care about their thoughts and ideas. You care about involving them in making the work environment better. You care about the talents and insights they bring to the job.

Leverage your strengths to show employees that they are more than a cog in the machine. Help them see that they matter both at work and beyond. Help them see why they matter and what they contribute and send them home feeling better at night. That is compassionate leadership.


Brian J. Brim, Ed.D., is a Senior Practice Consultant for Gallup. Since 1989, Brim has worked as a consultant and adviser to some of the world’s leading organizations in healthcare, finance, hospitality, technology, manufacturing and distribution, automotive, and retail fields, as well as with government agencies. His insights have supported many organizations to increase performance by maximizing their talent and human capital systems. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

[Recap] EP10 Quarterly Update

On a recent EP10 Quarterly Update, we spoke with Gallup Global Channel Leader, Entrepreneurship and Job Creation, Todd Johnson.  








On November 20, 2015, the EP10 assessment was updated,  so it is more comparable to the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment. It is slightly shorter -- the number of questions was scaled down from over 140 to 111 items.  The remaining questions are thought-provoking and provide ample information for coaches and their clients to dissect. Eventually, this revised assessment will be translated into a number of different languages. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

[Developer] Creating Challenging Goals and Cultivating Growth

On a recent Theme Thursday live webcast, we discussed the Developer theme with Ronny Miller, President of the Gallup Credit Union. Ronny's top five strengths are Positivity, Individualization, Maximizer, Arranger and Developer.







People talented in the Developer theme recognize and cultivate the potential of others. They can quickly recognize the talent of others and derive satisfaction from others' growth. Developer has the vision to see the potential in others. When people grow in their talents and strengths, it gives Developers fuel. Developers are patient, growth-oriented, encouraging, effective, self-sacrificing and helpful. Developer acts as an advisor, stimulator, investor, coach, mentor, teacher, encourager and "stretcher" -- they help people stretch their talents. Developers rejoice in helping others grow and cultivate their talents.
 

Friday, December 18, 2015

[Recap] Strengths Coaching Managers: Get. Give. Belong.

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup Performance Manager for Outbound Recruiting and Engagement, Mike McDonald, PhD.










Mike is fascinated by successful sports coaches. He recognizes that players with the rarest talent can, sometimes, fall short on the field or the court without proper coaching. For example, some all-star baseball teams are outplayed by less talented teams. How is that possible? They didn't have the right coach -- someone who, as Mike explained, "...fits the edges of people together." 


Thursday, December 17, 2015

[Recap] Strengths at Accenture in India

On a recent Called to Coach: India Edition, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach and Accenture Vice-President of Capability Development, Deepika Bhattacharya.








Long before encountering the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment, Deepika was a "true believer in strengths." Deepika explained that Gallup put "the science behind my beliefs." In her long and distinguished career, Deepika felt the years she was most successful were the years she used her strengths to be productive and innovative. During the years Deepika tried to improve her weaknesses, she felt her career stagnate.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Strengths at Kansas State University

Kansas State University took its first steps toward becoming a strengths-based campus when Mike Finnegan, Assistant Professor in the Staley School of Leadership Studies, piloted strengths in a 40-student section of an Introduction to Leadership Concepts course. Strengths created a “wonderful learning environment,” Mike says. “Students wanted to know more about their strengths. But beyond the Signature Theme report, we didn’t really know what else to do.”



Mike asked the Gallup StrengthsQuest team to visit K-State to help the leadership studies faculty learn more about applying strengths in the classroom, and he extended an invitation to faculty and staff from other areas. He discovered that there were other “strengths champions” on campus -- in Housing and Dining, in Student Life and among the faculty, for example -- who were using strengths to create an engaging learning environment.

Friday, December 11, 2015

[Recap] Claiming Your Strengths -- Even the Ones You Don't Like at First

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Sarah Robinson.








After completing multiple interviews with Gallup, but ultimately deciding that she could not relocate her family for work, Sarah knew she had to be a part of the strengths movement. She loved its emphasis on the positive aspects of people's lives and maximizing day-to-day experiences through unique personal strengths. Because of her enthusiasm for strengths, Sarah was tapped to be one of the first seven Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

[Consistency] Balance and Fairness Every Day

On a recent Theme Thursday live webcast, we discussed the Consistency theme with Audra Pace, a Gallup Outbound Engagement Specialist Manager. Audra's top five strengths are Competition, Strategic, Consistency, Woo and Achiever.







Consistency is a keen awareness about the need to treat people the same by setting clear rules and applying them evenhandedly. Words that best represent the Consistency theme are: uniformity, rules, efficiency, balance and fairness. Someone with Consistency often acts as the conscience of a group or team. They are egalitarian, even-handed and selfless. People with Consistency focus on the group, not on individuals.  They accomplish tasks in a fair and consistent manner.  Consistency believe that the rules are the same for everyone, so individuals with high Consistency are great at giving credit where credit is due. Consistency believes, "It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, it is what we do every day."

Thursday, December 3, 2015

[Recap] Stryker: Strengths Deeply Embedded in Organizational Culture

On a recent Called to Coach: Australia Edition, we spoke with Nicki Luther, HR Business Partner at Stryker Australia.







Since the 1980s, Stryker has worked with Gallup to improve its employee engagement and develop a strengths-based culture. As host Anne Lingafelter explained, "Stryker is Gallup royalty and has won the Gallup Great Workplace Award seven times." The company’s dedication to its employees’ engagement and strengths has helped it become one of the most respected companies in Australia.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

[Recap] Strengths on Campus and at Work

On a recent Called to Coach: Singapore Edition, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Kenneth Tan.







Kenneth is the Director of the Office of Student Life at Singapore Management University (SMU). The Office of Student Life "encourages meaningful [student] participation in co-curricular activities for an active and balanced life, complementing the educational mission of the university." In his role, Kenneth has used his dominant relationship-building themes and strengths coaching practice to transform his work with students.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

StrengthsExplorer: Children's Weaknesses may be Undeveloped Strengths

By: Jamie Librot

My mother was a strengths coach long before the Clifton StrengthsFinder even existed. Throughout her decades-long career as a teacher and school psychologist in New York City, she made it her mission to help troubled children find their strengths. Although she didn’t use the strengths terminology at the time, she believed that what others perceived as a child’s weaknesses were often strengths that had yet to be discovered or properly applied.

When I gave my mother’s eulogy at her funeral, I shared a particular story about a time I was able to witness her gift for helping children find their strengths. My mother would occasionally take my younger sister and me to school with her when we were children, and these trips to her school became an important part of my life education. One day when I was sitting in her office, a young boy named Jose walked in. The school had labeled Jose as a problem child, and his teacher had sent him to see my mother, the school psychologist, in hopes that she would “fix” him.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Strengths: Different Paths to the Same Destination

Strengths allow us to understand the way others contribute to the world.

Toward the center of our galaxy -- about 2 billion light years away -- is a supermassive black hole named PDS 456. It’s something so huge it can barely be quantified.

So, how big is it? 

Every second, the winds that swirl around PDS 456 conduct more energy than a trillion suns.
Impressive as that fact is -- and as small as it might make us feel in comparison -- what we do with our lives still matters. We make a difference. We live and interact with others every day. So, what we do, say and think impacts those we interact with –- and the world at large around us.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

[Recap] Best Practice Branding, Strengths and Strengths Coaches

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup's Global Practice Leader, Ed O'Boyle.








Ed has been with Gallup for 10 years and currently leads the marketplace and world practice teams. In doing so, he helps organizations implement two primary strategies to improve their business outcomes:

• Hire, develop and engage the right people
• Point that engaged workforce at the right goals

Friday, November 13, 2015

[Strategic] Answering, "What if?" and the Science of Strengths

On a recent Theme Thursday live webcast, we discussed the Strategic theme with Seth Schuchman, a Channel Manager for Gallup Press and Procurement. Seth's top five strengths are Relator, Achiever, Ideation, Strategic and Analytical.






Over 12.5 million people have taken Clifton StrengthsFinder. According to Gallup's database, Strategic is fifth most likely to appear in a person's top 5 strengths. People with Strategic love to answer the question, "What if?" They easily recognize patterns and create order out of the complex. Strategic is spontaneous -- it changes direction easily in response to new developments. It has an innate flexibility to determine a different way forward. Strategic is like a talented chess player -- it is always thinking several moves ahead. People with Strategic often challenge the status quo because they can see a different and better way to work.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

[Ideation] Creativity, Complexity, Connectivity

On a recent Theme Thursday live webcast, we discussed the Ideation theme with Todd Johnson, Gallup Global Channel Leader, Entrepreneurship and Job Creation. Todd's top five strengths are Self-Assurance, Competition, Ideation, Woo and Maximizer.







Ideation is all about ideas. People with Ideation are fascinated by ideas and a new idea makes their day. Ideation revels in taking the world as we know it and turning it around so it can be viewed in a strange, but strangely enlightening, way. Ideation generates excitement and energy for those who possess it. Creativity, Complexity and Connectivity are the "Three Cs" of Ideation. Creativity drives those with Ideation to ask, "What if?" and explore new ideas. Ideation loves complexity for complexity's sake, but Ideation is also keen on complexity because people with Ideation want to make the complex simple. People with Ideation are adept at connecting seemingly disparate ideas -- this is their love of Connectivity in action.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Celebrating and Developing the Strengths of 'The Greatest Lil' State on Earth'

By Becky McCarville  

Nearly 1,000 leaders from across the state of Rhode Island recently attended an event billed as “the first statewide strengths-based event ever,” the next step in Leadership Rhode Island’s strategy to improve life for Rhode Islanders by building on individual, community and statewide strengths.

The event, titled “The Greatest Lil’ State on Earth,” served as a reflecting point during what Leadership Rhode Island (LRI) considers a long-term effort to help Rhode Islanders discover and use their strengths to create better communities.

“What if we look at what’s right about Rhode Island instead of what’s wrong,” Mike Ritz, executive director of LRI said, using a quote  inspired by the late Donald O. Clifton, creator of the Clifton StrengthsFinder. “In Rhode Island, that’s a really significant thing to say, because it’s not really how we tend to approach things here.”

Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO of Gallup, was the keynote speaker at the event. In his opening remarks, he said that he has seen strengths change the “very fabric” of organizations and universities, but never an entire state.

“I don’t think Washington can fix America. We’ve got to do it ourselves,” Clifton said. “If you make a difference here, it changes America.”

Gallup tracks employee engagement levels in all 50 states, and a Gallup poll in 2012 revealed that Rhode Island ranks at or near the bottom. In another poll from 2013, Rhode Island residents were the least likely to praise their state, ranking it among the worst places to live.

“It’s very fixable,” Clifton said. “If you go to work on it, you can change it.”

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Leaders Build Trust Through Strengths

by Brian Brim Ed.D.

In our first blog, we introduced you to the four needs of followers based on Gallup’s bestselling book, Strengths Based Leadership. In this series we will be taking a look at each of the four needs of followers and how leaders should be thinking about these needs based on their own strengths. The four areas we will explore are trust, compassion, stability and hope. For this blog, we will focus specifically on trust.

Trust has many layers. In the book The Trusted Advisor, the authors David H. Maister and Charles H. Green put forth the “trusted advisor formula”: the numerator of credibility + reliability + intimacy divided by the denominator of self-orientation, which Maister and Green define as a too-narrow focus on your own interests. Leaders have to have some self-orientation because, without a strong point of view, they bring no value. But too much self-orientation can seem highly self-serving. When coaching leaders to build trust through strengths, I find this formula to be rather helpful.

Monday, November 2, 2015

[Recap] Partnership in Strengths with Colleagues and Clients

On a recent Called to Coach: Australia edition, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Charlotte Blair.







After completing her coaching course and certification in early 2014, Charlotte began meeting regularly with some of the colleagues from her class cohort. They discussed strengths coaching and training, and in particular they wanted strengths to be a bigger part of their lives. Charlotte explained that she had been using strengths coaching intermittently, but it was not part of her day-to-day work.
 

Friday, October 30, 2015

[Recap] Strengths in Higher Ed, the Clifton Strengths Institute and StrengthsQuest

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with the Executive Director of the Clifton Strengths Institute at the University of Nebraska College of Business Administration, Mark Pogue.








Mark was one of the creators of StrengthsQuest -- an initiative to transform students' lives through strengths. Today, StrengthsQuest has grown into a development and engagement program to help students and educators use strengths to achieve academic and career success. This program has been invaluable in introducing strengths to educational organizations across the U.S.  

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

[Recap] Strengths Transformations for Youth and Entrepreneurs

On a recent Called to Coach: Singapore Edition, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Yeang Cherng Poh.








Since discovering the Clifton StrengthsFinder, Yeang Cherng has focused on leading his clients from strengths discovery to a strengths transformation. He pushes them beyond the moment of wonder and surprise at finding out their strengths to a point where strengths can change their lives. The goal of strengths for Yeang Cherng is not just self-discovery, but to be the vehicle to propel them forward personally and professionally.

Yeang Cherng spent 12 years in the non-profit sector of Singapore. He worked for an organization that promoted cyber wellness for youth -- teaching them the benefits and perils of the Internet and video games. He would often hold interventions for young people who spent so much time on the Internet or playing video games that it harmed their scholastic and social lives. He found that knowing the strengths of these young people was key to successful intervention. He could help them diversify their activities by finding pursuits they would enjoy, and that fit their strengths. This helped to end their addiction to the Internet and video games and set these young people up for long term success.

Yeang Cherng is also one of a select group of international coaches who has completed Gallup’s Coaching Entrepreneurial Talents course, which focuses on using the EP10 assessment to identify entrepreneurial talents. He has partnered with two people in Singapore to build a large entrepreneurial coaching business, and they often use the EP10 assessment as an initial "quick look" tool for their clients. Then, they use the Clifton StrengthsFinder to help their clients understand more about themselves and their teams. As he does with all his clients, Yeang Cherng tries to push these entrepreneurial clients to experience a strengths transformation.

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!

Yeang Cherng Poh is the Director and Principal Consultant at Kingmaker Consultancy Pte. Ltd. He holds a Masters of Mass Communication and is both a Gallup-Certified Strengths as well as a member of the pioneering group of Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder coaches in the world. Yeang is a leading practitioner-researcher of evidence-based programmes for risky online behaviour. He pioneered the Cyber Wellness Movement in Singapore and served on the advisory committees for the Media Development Authority (MDA) from 2002 to 2007.
  
Yeang Cherng's top five strengths: Achiever | Relator | Strategic | Ideation | Analytical.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Compare and Contrast: Strategic

How Your Least Favorite English Composition Essay Question can Build Your Coaching Knowledge-base

by Al Winseman

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 overdefined that it has lost almost all its meaning.

Yet in the taxonomy of the 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 Strengthsfinder.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

[Recap] Fixing the Square Peg in a Round Hole with Strengths

On a recent Called to Coach: India Edition, we spoke with Gallup-certified Strengths Coach, Anand Pillai.









During his career, Anand has held many high-powered management and human capital positions, including Chief Learning Officer of one of India's largest employers. Well before he knew about the Clifton StrengthsFinder, Anand saw the value in focusing on what was right with people when trying to manage and coach them to be more productive and engaged in their work.

Friday, October 16, 2015

[Competition] Dispelling Myths About Competition

On a recent Theme Thursday live webcast, we discussed the Competition theme with Jamie Librot Gallup Senior Learning Solutions Consultant. Jamie's top five strengths are Achiever, Woo, Focus, Arranger and Competition.








The essence of the Competition theme is comparison. People with Competition are instinctively aware of other people's performance. They have a deep aspiration for first place. Competition drives them to outwork, outshine and outperform anyone else. They will invest in teaching, research, training and study to win. People with Competition have grit and determination, but also a boundless energy and enthusiasm to chase their goals. They are at their best when they can measure their performance against others.

People with Competition need tangible metrics like scorecards and other performance indicators. They love to measure goals in any way possible. Competition is a strong, external motivator that provides people with clarity through comparison. Those with Competition love to seek out challenges and push themselves to do better. It is not enough for them to do their best, they must be the best. And on top of that, they want to compete with the best -- they can lose energy when surrounded by mediocrity.

There is a persistent belief in our culture that it is in poor taste to compare yourself to others, leading some to believe competition is a negative quality. Yet our society constantly compares people, products and services in many areas of life. We laud comparison shopping -- finding the best deal, the perfect college or the top team. Clearly, competition is valued in our society and used in daily decision making for many people.

Jamie wants to dispel a number of myths about Competition. First, that Competition is a bad thing -- it is not, as discussed above. Second, that Competition doesn't have a gender. While Competition is more common in men, women like Jamie identify strongly with it and find it to be a critical component of who they are. Third, Competition does not make you a bad leader. Prior to joining Gallup, Jamie was a manager with direct reports at an education company. In just two years, she was able to manage and coach the most poorly performing center to become the most productive center. Jamie credits that management win, in part, to her Competition because it made her into her teams' best cheerleader and supporter.
To hear more about Competition and how Jamie uses it in her everyday life, watch the full video above or the short theme video below.




How do you use Focus in your everyday life? Share your thoughts on the Called to Coach Facebook page.
 
Pressed for time? We now have all of our Theme Thursday videos in short, easy-to-digest snippets in which Curt and other Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches break down the nuances of each theme.

You can register for the next Theme Thursday and all upcoming Gallup Strengths Center webcasts at gallup.eventbrite.com.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

[Strengths Spotlight] Expanding Your Strengths Book Launch

On a recent Strengths Spotlight, we spoke with two Gallup associates about Gallup's latest publication, Expanding Your Strengths.  






 


Written by former Gallup Learning and Development Senior Consultant Curt Liesveld, Expanding Your Strengths explores theme dynamics. While each talent theme expresses itself alone in predictable ways, when combined, themes influence each other in myriad ways. The more you know about your themes in relation to each other, the more you will understand them and use them in your day-to-day life.

Gallup Senior Learning and Development Consultant Heather Wright explained that Curt loved to talk about strengths as elements on the periodic table. Each strength has its own inherent and unique qualities, but amazing things happen when you observe strengths in combination with each other. Like oxygen and hydrogen, both elements are interesting on their own. But in combination as water, these elements allow life to flourish around the world and become a source of endless study.

That is why in Expanding Your Strengths, Curt explores themes in combination to study how they work together. In the book, Curt explains his fascination with these combinations of strengths, saying, "Compatibility is crucial in both personal and professional success. It is the core of great partnerships, great teams, great marriages and great families. As a result, the people we coach are often interested in finding a magic formula for compatibility."

In studying theme dynamics, Gallup coaches understand that all 34 themes are compatible with each other, but some themes are more likely to pair together than others. For example, Heather recently coached two Gallup call center managers on their strengths. One manager, Laura, had Positivity and Achiever in her top 5; while John, her colleague, had Analytical as his number one strength. Laura loves to be the cheerleader of the call center -- she is always encouraging interviewers to focus on the end goal. John enjoys diving deeply into call center stats, often trying to determine who is the most successful interviewer of each survey or which interviewer is the most efficient and has the best quality. On their own, Laura and John are good managers because they know how to motivate people -- one with positivity and the other with hard data. But together, Laura and John are a management juggernaut. They can encourage any person to work harder, smarter and faster -- and stay engaged. In this way, studying theme dynamics through Expanding Your Strengths can have a dramatic impact on teams as well as individuals.

When you purchase Expanding Your Strengths you also receive access to an interactive Web app that allows you to explore theme dynamics. Use it to examine your own theme pairings as well as those of others. Expanding Your Strengths is sold exclusively through Amazon and, at this time, is only available in the U.S..

To hear more about Expanding Your Strengths, watch the video above.
You can purchase Expanding Your Strengths immediately here. Visit Gallup Strengths Center to browse our myriad of products and learning opportunities for strengths-based development.

Continue the Expanding Your Strengths conversation on Facebook and Twitter. It’s a great way to network with others who share a passion for strengths!
 
 

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Four Things Followers Need – and How Leaders Can Use Their Strengths to Provide Them

by Brian Brim, Ed.D.
 
In their bestselling book Strengths Based Leadership, coauthors Tom Rath and Barry Conchie explore the topic of leadership through the lens of strengths. In addition to discussing how different leaders can create success through the application of their own strengths, Rath and Conchie’s research also examined the specific emotional needs people have to experience with their leaders in order to feel engaged and connected to the organization and their day-to-day work.
Through this research, the authors brought forth four key areas of focus: trust, compassion, stability and hope. When people feel those things, they feel more involved in their companies.
The Impact of Trust, Compassion, Stability and Hope
Gallup studied 10,000 people in “follower” job roles between 2005 and 2008. We found that leaders who are perceived to be trustworthy and compassionate and who offer stability and hope have a significant impact on their employees. For example:

Thursday, October 8, 2015

[Recap] Coaching, Sabbaticals and the STOP Method

On a recent Called to Coach: Australia Edition, we spoke with Gallup-certified Strengths Coach, Richard Burton.








Richard started his professional career in property investment and sales. But after being in the industry for almost ten years, he wasn't feeling fulfilled. He needed to really think about what he wanted out of his career and his life, so he took an eight month sabbatical to reflect on what to do. Richard had always been fascinated with helping others, so he started to meet friends and acquaintances over coffee to discuss what issues plagued them. It was then that he started informally coaching others.

Richard expanded his coaching practice and began accepting clients. Two years ago, he discovered the Clifton StrengthsFinder and incorporated it into his coaching repertoire. Richard explained that StrengthsFinder helped him become a better leader, coach and "talent spotter." Specifically, it helped him and others from getting mired in trying to fix weaknesses. Instead, he honed in on improving his strengths and using them every day.

Richard also believes that coaches need to help their clients curb their hectic schedules by taking mini-sabbaticals and using the acronym STOP. STOP means to Step back, Think, and Organize your thoughts before you Proceed. This method helps clients evaluate their careers -- do they enjoy their work, or are there activities outside of work that they "get lost in?" STOP helps Richard's clients focus on the latter activities and turn those into the basis of a career.
  
To hear more about Richard and his coaching experiences and expertise, watch the video above.

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!
 
Richard is a living, breathing example of living on purpose, through leveraging his own strengths. At the age of 37, despite holding a senior profile in the Australian property market, and with a young family to provide for, he made the huge decision to pause and transform his career. He took time off – long enough to identify his own strengths, passions, talents, core values and identity to find his InnerZone.  
 
 
Richard's top five strengths: Connectedness | Ideation | Empathy | Maximizer | Learner.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

[Recap] Infusing Strengths into U.S. Education

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup's Executive Director of Education and Workforce Development, Brandon Busteed.





 
Brandon explained that fundamentally, Gallup is an education company -- it provides education and advice on engagement, strengths and well-being to business leaders and companies throughout the world. Brandon wants to bring that education to U.S. schools. His goal is to turn all universities and schools into strengths-based organizations. Brandon explained that students who know their strengths, receive one-on-one strengths coaching and participate in a curriculum infused with strengths are more engaged students with a better chance at having higher engagement in their future careers and having higher lifelong well-being.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

[Achiever] To Do Lists and Getting Things Done Right

On a recent Theme Thursday live webcast, we discussed the Achiever theme with Scot Caldwell, a Gallup Learning Design Consultant. Scot's top five strengths are Maximizer, Achiever, Strategic, Self-Assurance and Focus.






People with Achiever get things done. Of all 34 talent themes, Achiever shows up in 35% of the population that has taken the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment. People who possess Achiever are notable for their hard work, stamina and energy. It is a Theme of intense "doing."  

Scot's personal brand at Gallup is defined by his Achiever theme. He is known for being a dedicated, hard worker,  and he is proud of that reputation. He often works nights and weekends to accomplish his work. Scot has an intense internal drive to take on a lot of projects and get them done -- and done well. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

[Recap] Strengths Coaching Leads to Passion and Profit

On a recent Called to Coach: Singapore Edition we spoke with Gallup-certified Strengths Coach, Zai Miztiq.






Zai Miztiq is an accomplished entrepreneur. Over the past decade, she has developed successful sales ventures, written and published a book and spoken to audiences in many countries about their passions and dreams. She has even become a mentor to women through the Sisterhood Mentorship Program that she founded to improve the lives of girls and women in Southeast Asia and beyond.
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