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Thursday, July 30, 2015

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.  

C. A. has been working extensively with teams at Accenture to cultivate and foster their knowledge about their own strengths and their team members strengths. He begins by helping them understand their top 5 strengths individually. Then, they discuss how these strengths are categorized into dominant, supporting and lesser themes.  C. A. also explains how strengths fall into four domains: relationship-building, strategic thinking, influencing and executing. These conversations usually lead Accenture employees to their own Aha! moments on how strengths work for them. They "name" and "claim" their strengths. After introducing strengths to his colleagues, many of them are having conversations that link a strengths-based culture to positive business outcomes.

C. A. also works with individuals outside of Accenture on their strengths. For instance, C. A. intervened at a small start-up company with two CEOs. These CEOs were constantly disagreeing, so C.A. had them take the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment. After finding out their strengths, internalizing them and understanding them, the CEOs were able to work together in a cohesive manner. They finally understood how to use their strengths collaboratively and to amplify one another's productivity.

C. A. has many tools that he uses to instill the importance and understanding of strengths in others. First, he believes the Clifton StrengthsFinder report is the most useful tool because it provides a person with immediate insight into their strengths. He also likes to categorize strengths into the four domains for people, while not allowing them to get lost in the broader definitions of domains. Finally, he challenges people to name a personal goal and a professional objective. Then, he asks them to outline how their strengths will help them accomplish those goals.

To hear more about C. A. 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!

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C. A. Venkatraghavan is an HR Professional with a deep passion for coaching, teaching, training and learning. He has experiences in working with students, leaders and executives and Start-Ups. As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, C. A. is deeply passionate about working with clients to bring their strengths to bare, convert talents into strengths and achieve performance outcomes.
C. A.'s top five strengths: Strategic | Self-Assurance | Maximizer | Relator | Learner

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