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Friday, July 31, 2015

Compare and Contrast: Input

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

By Al Winseman

Some of the most meaningful moments I’ve had in the last three years came while I had the extreme privilege of co-leading strengths coaching courses with Gallup’s strengths guru, the late Curt Liesveld. I always learned so much from Curt -- about strengths, about coaching and about life. One of the many things I learned from Curt was the value of comparing and contrasting. Curt would often say that one of the best ways to gain clarity on themes was to do what your English teacher asked you to do in essays: compare and contrast. Just as this process helped students better understand what were oftentimes complex concepts, it can also help coaches better understand the intricacies of different themes.

Any theme, when paired with another, takes on the power and edge of its partner. So the beauty in understanding how two themes work together lies in the opportunity it provides us as coaches. We can help people understand they are not either one theme or another, but the combination of several themes taken altogether. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

How to Write a Great Blog Post


The Gallup Strengths Coaching Blog is written for coaches, strengths enthusiasts, educators and business partners, with the purpose of generating new insights, unifying a community, and sharing Gallup’s point of view. It is a place for Gallup associates to share research, offer bold ideas, and announce new innovations and partnerships to help people and organizations and the world.  Guest bloggers, including certified Gallup Strengths Coaches are welcome to contribute in addition to Gallup experts. The best posts are usually short (fewer than 700 words), newsworthy and offer bold ideas from the clear voice of an individual.  Ideal contributions shed light on important pieces of at least one of these two categories: Clifton StrengthsFinder as a tool; Coaching as a practice. 

Please submit your ideas or content to for consideration. Please put "Guest Blogger" in the subject line.
  • Be bold and have a strong point of view. Take strong positions on issues that are important to your clients and share Gallup’s perspective. Don’t shy away from providing recommendations as long as they are grounded in Gallup’s data and research.

  • Share breakthroughs. The Gallup Strengths Coaching Blog is the perfect place to announce new ways of understanding Strengths, innovations, and research and findings. Be sure to explain how these breakthroughs make significant impact on the lives of users.

Aha! Moments in Strengths Coaching -- Gallup Called to Coach: C. A. Venkatraghavan

On a recent Called to Coach: India Edition we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, C. A. Venkatraghavan.

C. A. has always felt that three of his top 5 strengths "lead" his life: Learner, Relator and Self- assurance. These two strengths are supported by C. A.'s remaining top 5 strengths, Strategic and Maximizer. Understanding his strengths and how they resonate in his life has lead C.A. to a number of Aha! moments -- where C. A.'s comprehension of his strengths resonated in his life. First, C. A. now understands how Strategic works for him. It is the ability to spot issues and challenges immediately and quickly. He can identify patterns, find the core issue and see the process that will lead to the end goal. Also, C. A. is a trainer for Accenture in India. His strengths coaching certification process helped him understand why he teaches -- because he loves to learn. Indeed, C. A. was searching for a way to channel his fascination with how people make choices into helping people make those choices. Then, he found Clifton StrengthsFinder. It gave C. A. a common, powerful language that resonated with his colleagues and friends.  

Friday, July 24, 2015

Speaking with the Founder of Godfather's Pizza -- Gallup Called to Coach: Willy Theisen -- S3E11

On a recent Called to Coach we spoke with the founder of Godfather's pizza and a world-renowned entrepreneur, Willy Theisen.

Gallup's goal is to have one billion people take the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment so they  know and understand their Strengths. That goal will only be reached by partnering with successful businessmen like Willy Theisen. Willy is first and foremost an entrepreneur. He began working in frontline jobs -- like being a fry cook -- with an astounding work ethic. He was willing to work weekends at a real estate job when no one else would. Willy said all good entrepreneurs pay attention to the "small stuff" and make sure that all details of a business are perfect.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Maximize Strengths, Minimize Weaknesses -- Gallup Called to Coach: Jill Rowe

On a recent Called to Coach: Australia Edition we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach Jill Rowe.

Jill sees her own top five strengths as working in groups of two: Responsibility and Belief, and Harmony and Individualization. Jill's Responsibility and Belief drive her to serve others. Still, she has to keep these strengths top-of-mind so she does not help other who don't request help. With her Harmony and Individualization, Jill is able to confront conflict in a calm and collaborative fashion because she understands each person's needs and desires. She is able to build a strong consensus among divided groups in a calm manner. Finally, Jill's Connectedness allows her to draw many people and ideas together so they form a cohesive team or thought, as long as she is armed with enough information to draw those groups together.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

StrengthsFinder and EP10: A Tale of Two Startups

By Maureen Electa Monte, Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach

As strengths coaches, we know we get more by focusing on what is already within someone than on what is lacking. There is no dream sequence of themes or combination of talents that magically predicts success. This notion is true no matter the challenge. As a coach of entrepreneurs, I have discovered this reality first-hand. It is not our specific talents that make us successful, but how we use those talents in our business ventures. I work closely with two entrepreneurs, April McCrumb and John McDonald. Both have experienced phenomenal growth, received multiple awards and are highly regarded in their home states. To better understand how their talents led them to success, let’s take a closer look at their unique profiles.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Strengths, Emotional Intelligence and "Appreciation Rooms" -- Gallup Called to Coach: Dallis Fontenot -- S3E10

 On a recent episode of Called to Coach, we hosted Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach Dallis Fontenot.

Dallis is a Corporate Development Manager with a medium-sized construction firm in Idaho that employs approximately 270 people. Dallis likes to say, "I build the people at my company, who then build things." Dallis always felt a yearning to counsel others and began to feed that need by fastidiously studying Strengths through Gallup books and videos. She took the leap in January of 2014 and became a Gallup-Certified Strengths coach. Dallis uses her coaching skills at work, at home and in her community. She has conducted over 15 Discover Your Strengths workshops in her area.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Can I Use StrengthsFinder to Make Hiring Decisions?

By Louisa Warren, Senior Practice Consultant, Gallup

Wouldn’t life be simple if we could just treat the Clifton StrengthsFinder as a wonderful menu, from which to pick and choose our new recruits -- to work with, to be our friends or even our life partners? Surely it would be better to have a “reading” of someone’s strengths before we take a risk on getting to know them? Well, yes, it would -- but there are serious and dangerous pitfalls if we mistakenly use the Clifton StrengthsFinder as a selection tool. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Context -- Uncovering Background Information Through Context -- Theme Thursday Season 1

On a previous Theme Thursday live webcast, we discussed the Context theme with Gallup Learning Solutions Consultant Jerry Hansen. Jerry’s top five strengths are Maximizer, Context, Input, Learner and Achiever.

Perspective and background are important for people with strong Context talents. They value the retrospective viewpoint because they believe that is where the answers lie. They look back to understand the present. From the past, they can discern blueprints for direction. And, counterintuitively, they become wiser about the future because they can see its seeds sown in the past. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Singapore Edition -- Maximizing Your Strengths at Work -- Gallup Called to Coach: Alex Wong

A recap of Called to Coach: Singapore Edition with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach Alex Wong.

After discovering his strengths in 2009, Alex said he quickly forgot about them, putting them aside as he went on with his life. It wasn’t until a few years later that he reunited with his strengths when his church began embracing strengths-based development.
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