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Friday, December 18, 2015

Strengths Coaching Managers: Get. Give. Belong. -- Gallup Called to Coach: Mike McDonald -- S3E18

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." 

Mike coaches managers. He lights a fire for strengths inside his engagement team, and he sees himself as an "agent" for all-star managers. Mike and his department onboard new managers by focusing on three questions in succession:

1. What do I get?
2. What do I give?
3. How do I belong?

For the first question, Mike and his onboarding team intentionally explain how a manager's career at Gallup will give them the opportunity to grow their top five strengths. The second phase, "What do I give?" begins after the manager has settled into their role -- approximately two-six months after their hire date. During this phase, the manager hones in on how much their output and influence in their role has grown over time. The final phase, "How do I belong?" helps managers craft relationships with their teams and colleagues. It intentionally forges "best friend at work" relationships.

Mike also helps managers avoid a common strengths trap -- trying to get everyone to see the world the way you see the world through your strengths. He asks managers to concentrate on two questions, "What strengths do you most often project onto others?" and "The absence of what strength in another person angers you the most?" Mike tells managers to keep their answers to these questions top of mind -- particularly when they are working with new team members or colleagues.

To hear more about Mike and his coaching experiences, please watch the video or listen to the audio above.

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Mike McDonald is a performance manager for outbound recruiting and engagement for Gallup's consumer outbound interviewing centers. He joined Gallup as an interviewing manager in February 1990 and assumed his current responsibilities in 1998. In his role, Mike leads and consults on interviewer recruiting, engagement and well-being strategies with Gallup's call centers.

Mike's top five strengths are Ideation, Input, Learner, Achiever and Focus.

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