Strengths Coaching Blog

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

[Achiever] To Do Lists and Getting Things Done Right

On a recent Theme Thursday live webcast, we discussed the Achiever theme with Scot Caldwell, a Gallup Learning Design Consultant. Scot's top five strengths are Maximizer, Achiever, Strategic, Self-Assurance and Focus.






People with Achiever get things done. Of all 34 talent themes, Achiever shows up in 35% of the population that has taken the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment. People who possess Achiever are notable for their hard work, stamina and energy. It is a Theme of intense "doing."  

Scot's personal brand at Gallup is defined by his Achiever theme. He is known for being a dedicated, hard worker,  and he is proud of that reputation. He often works nights and weekends to accomplish his work. Scot has an intense internal drive to take on a lot of projects and get them done -- and done well. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

[Recap] Strengths Coaching Leads to Passion and Profit

On a recent Called to Coach: Singapore Edition we spoke with Gallup-certified Strengths Coach, Zai Miztiq.






Zai Miztiq is an accomplished entrepreneur. Over the past decade, she has developed successful sales ventures, written and published a book and spoken to audiences in many countries about their passions and dreams. She has even become a mentor to women through the Sisterhood Mentorship Program that she founded to improve the lives of girls and women in Southeast Asia and beyond.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

[Recap] Strengths at the Leadership and C-Suite Level

On a recent Called to Coach we spoke with Gallup-certified Strengths Coach, Rajendra Dhandhukia.






Rajendra has over 34 years of experience in leadership roles at sales and marketing companies, mostly in the pharmaceutical industry of India.

Rajendra first took the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment in 2011, but he didn’t really study his strengths until 2012. He discovered that while each strength has a balcony, it also has a corresponding basement. Rajendra's goal was to stay in each of his strengths’ balconies and to help his team members do the same.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Compare and Contrast: Deliberative

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

by Al Winseman

Of the more than 12 million people who have taken the Clifton StrengthsFinder worldwide, 11% have Deliberative among their top five Signature Themes of talent. This makes it one of the rarer Signature Themes and, as such, it can often be misunderstood or mistaken for other themes. In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I look at the similarities and differences between Deliberative and Analytical, Context and Responsibility. All four of these themes tend to be serious (depending on the other themes that surround them) -- but what drives the serious nature of each of these themes is different and unique to each theme.

Deliberative and Analytical:

Deliberative naturally and instinctively sees everything that could possibly go wrong, and then pursues the safest route to ensure mistakes are not made. Analytical examines the data, and asks questions in order to determine if there is something that could go wrong, but doesn’t necessarily need to take action. Deliberative is cautious, Analytical is probing. Deliberative can intuit why we shouldn’t; Analytical wants to find out why we should. Analytical is skeptical until given proof; Deliberative discovers and displays proof that everyone else misses. Deliberative Is a way of cautiously moving through obstacles; Analytical is a way of thoroughly considering evidence.

Deliberative and Context:

Deliberative is cautious about the future, while Context is reflective about the past. Context wants to know how we got here, Deliberative wants to find the safest way forward. Context wants to know about the mistakes and successes of the past, Deliberative wants to determine the mistakes to be avoided in order to be successful in the future. Deliberative is the brake that is essential for safe driving; Context is the rearview mirror that is essential for safe driving. Deliberative is a way of taking the most appropriate and safest course of action; Context is a way of sifting through past evidence to learn what worked and what didn’t.

Deliberative and Responsibility:

Deliberative is serious about avoiding mistakes, whereas Responsibility is serious about keeping commitments. Deliberative wants to do things right, and Responsibility wants to do right by others. Deliberative slows things down to ensure the right path -- with the least amount of risk -- is taken. Responsibility forges ahead to meet the deadline when a commitment is at stake. Deliberative is trusted because it can be relied upon to consistently see potential obstacles and mitigate risk; Responsibility is trusted because it can be relied upon to consistently keep its commitments no matter the cost. Deliberative takes action once a safe way forward is determined; Responsibility takes action once a commitment is made.

This is the second blog in a series of "compare and contrast" blogs. Which themes would you most like to see compared and contrasted? Keep watching -- more are on the way!

Albert L. Winseman, D.Min., is a Senior Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup. Al brings deep expertise in employee and customer engagement, executive leadership and organizational dynamics to his consulting work with Gallup’s clients. He consults with senior leaders, executives and front-line managers to improve employee and customer engagement and to implement strategic initiatives that drive business growth. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Flipping the Paradigm: When Strengths are Underappreciated

By Sarah Robinson

The job of a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach is the most rewarding and fulfilling job I’ve ever had. But that doesn’t mean that challenges don’t arise. One such challenge occurs when my client only sees weakness where there is clear talent. More specifically, my clients do not always view all of their Signature Themes as positive. Below are some of the comments I have heard when coaching.
  • Oh, so you mean there’s something good that can come from having Responsibility?” This comment came from a manager who felt she had been dumped on again and again by higher-ups who took advantage of her dedication and willingness to see challenging projects through to completion. “No one around here likes me because I have Deliberative as a strength. They think I cannot make a decision.” This sentiment was expressed by an individual who had known since she was a child that she had trouble making decisions quickly. When I helped her reframe how the talents she used when she was being Deliberative helped her colleagues think through various possibilities and most likely protected the company from jumping into new endeavors too quickly (something that frequently occurs with the Activators on her team), she started to view her Deliberative characteristics in a more positive light.“I’ll never succeed in the corporate business world because I have too much Empathy.” One of my most gratifying individual coaching opportunities was with Kim, the individual quoted above, who believed all of her strengths -- and especially her Empathy -- made her weak. She could not see how her insight into others’ emotions could help her in business.
Kim had taken the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment more than a year before she started working with me, and after we first met it quickly became clear to me that she did not fully understand her results. She was desperately searching for a new job after a succession of short-lived positions that only reinforced her notion that she had little to offer the kind of organization she aspired to join.

Kim was like a wilted flower. She was beautiful -- inside and out -- but she desperately lacked the confidence and pride in her natural talents that are fundamental to a successful job search. Discussing the practical ways that her strengths of Empathy, Harmony, Developer, Consistency and Restorative could be used to sell herself in an interview was like putting a wilted hydrangea stem in a cool bucket of water. Kim blossomed immediately once we honed in on her love for organized workspaces, checklists, problem solving and people. Armed with the new awareness that her top five strengths made her a strong candidate for the office manager position she fiercely wanted, Kim returned for a second interview.

Immediately after the interview, Kim gave me a full report of how things went. She was almost giddy. Kim knew the interview had gone well and said it was a sharp contrast from her first interview that had taken place prior to our coaching sessions, back when she was unsure of her strengths. Kim was hired immediately. The position paid $10,000 more annually than her prior position, but infinitely more important than Kim’s fantastic compensation package was the shift in Kim’s understanding of herself and her talents.

In three one-hour coaching sessions, Kim discovered how to explain what she does best and how her skills could be put to good use. After less than eight months in her new position as office manager, Kim was promoted. Kim had been organized, timely and easygoing in her past jobs. However, in the other positions she had not articulated to her employer how she could put her natural talents to use. Her greatest assets were going unused and underappreciated by Kim and by her past employers. Once Kim gained confidence in herself and acknowledged her own abilities, she found a position that was well-suited for her and an employer who valued her skills.

 Since receiving her first promotion, Kim has been singled out by the directors of her organization to receive leadership training. This elite, city-wide training program has allowed Kim to build relationships with up and coming leaders in her city and flex her talents in the Relationship Building domain into real strengths. Although it has only been two years since our first coaching session, it seems like it was eons ago. Kim is thrilled with her position, her company and her life. She is fulfilled at work and at home. She credits this internal and external transformation to her ability to recognize and harness her true, authentic gifts. Kim was able to flip the internal paradigm in her head that told her that Empathy, Harmony and Developer were weaknesses and undesirable traits in a hard-nosed business world. Today, Kim recognizes that her talents bring her power and success. Those talents allow her to flourish at work because she values them and nurtures their development.

Kim’s ability to embrace a new way of thinking about her strengths was a critical step to unlocking her full potential. The job of every Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach is to shine a bright light on the importance and value of all strengths found in a client. It is what makes our days both challenging and remarkably inspiring.
 
Sarah is a business owner, Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, associate faculty member, and community volunteer.  Since 1993, she has performed organizational development training for hospitals, law firms, restaurants, manufacturing industries, and non-profit organizations.  In August 2012, Sarah became the first of seven consultants to be certified by Gallup as an individual and team strengths coach. Unstuck at Last was written by Sarah to provide new insight and tools for anyone who has felt stuck in a life situation. Inspired by her own journey and the significant difference that discovering her Strengths made in her own life, Sarah is uniquely qualified to provide guidance and motivation to others, no matter their circumstances. Identifying  

Sarah's top 5 strengths are: Competition, Maximizer, Achiever, Activator and Significance.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

[Recap] Kitchen Strengths Discoveries and Star Stretches

On a recent Called to Coach we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Becky Hammond.





Becky is the founder of ISOGO, a company that specializes in helping people identify who they are, recognizing strengths in others and integrating those skills into work and life. The company helps others discover those energizing things that lead to ultimate success in life, work, relationships and teams. Isogo is the name of the town in Japan where Becky and her family lived for three years. While there, Becky was forced to draw upon her strengths to adapt to and learn to love her new home.
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