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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Strengths on Campus and at Work -- Gallup Called to Coach: Kenneth Tan

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

Best Practice Branding, Strengths and Strengths Coaches -- Gallup Called to Coach: Ed O'Boyle -- S3E16

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 -- Theme Thursday Season 1

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 -- Theme Thursday Season 1

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

Partnership in Strengths with Colleagues and Clients -- Gallup Called to Coach: Charlotte Blair

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.

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