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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Strengths in the IT Industry and Education -- Gallup Called to Coach: Sandeep Guatam

On a recent Called to Coach we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Sandeep Guatam.

Sandeep is an early adopter of the positive psychology movement and enjoys blogging on Psychology Today and Times of India about strengths and positive psychology. Although he did not have a background in psychology, his passion to learn is what led him to strengths. Indeed, Sandeep's number one strength is Learner. As his knowledge about strengths deepened, Sandeep felt a calling to use strengths in his day-to-day life.

As someone who has been managing teams in the IT industry for over 16 years, Sandeep has found the use of strengths invaluable in managing his teams. For instance, Sandeep had two team members who had a strong executing strength -- Achiever -- but their other top five strengths were very different. This made it hard for them to collaborate on projects. One individual had a lot of strategic thinking themes, while the other had a lot of relationship building themes. Sandeep devised a plan to help both individuals understand and appreciate the other's strengths. In doing so, these colleagues were able to increase their productivity while decreasing their frustration at work.  

Sandeep has also used strengths to help individuals fit within their larger workplace teams. For example, he encountered an individual who often became "aggressive" toward his fellow team members when they did not immediately understand his well reasoned ideas. Sandeep intervened by holding a one-on-one coaching session with this individual and explained that he was not having an aggressive reaction, but a frustrated one. Sandeep asked this team member to own his frustration and own his strength -- his dominant Intellection theme meant he was a deep thinker. He explained that his frustration would dissipate if he was less concerned about others not reaching his deep level of thinking quickly. Sandeep also asked him to manage around his poorer communication skills by relying on the relationship building themes of his colleagues. He explained that a successful team understands that complementary strengths are needed in order for a team to perform well. A team that only has one prominent strengths domain will fail.

In addition to using strengths in the workplace, Sandeep also hosts strengths workshops at two local universities. College students take the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment, and then Sandeep leads them as a group to explore the philosophy behind strengths. Sandeep appreciates how strengths can significantly impact a student's success in a university learning environment. He says that students who learn their strengths are more confident, they understand how to achieve their goals in a more productive way and it provides some insight into their character. He frequently reminds students that they do not need to be good at everything, despite what they had always been told. Rather, they should focus on growing from their strengths.

To hear more about Sandeep 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!

Register for future webcasts.
As a passionate early adopter of positive psychology movement, Sandeep Gautam, brings more than 16 years of management and leadership experience, in which he has applied the strengths based approach for individual and organizational excellence. He loves to coach, groom, mentor, and shape people and touches their lives to make a meaningful difference. 

Sandeep's top five strengths: Learner | Relator | Maximizer | Arranger | Individualization.

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