Strengths Coaching Blog

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

[Recap] Paul Allen on CliftonStrengths Coaching Organizations, Individuals and Groups

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup's Strengths Evangelist, Paul Allen.







For Paul, his day-by-day and even hour-by-hour work is enhanced by strengths. Paul derives joy and fulfillment from using his strengths both at work and at home -- it drives him to bring strengths to people all over the world. 

Recently, Paul attended a breakfast briefing on Gallup's Accelerated Strengths Coaching Course in Boston. This briefing was lead by Jamie Librot, a Gallup Senior Learning Solutions Consultant and Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach. Jamie has been with Gallup for over 10 years and she reaches thousands of people in her role. Jamie has spoken to over 5,000 people in the last three years about strengths. Further, she spends half of her time supporting existing strengths coaches with whatever resources and tools they may need. Jamie has a lot of practical advice for strengths coaches because she has worked in nearly all of the potential coaching scenarios: large organizations, small businesses, individuals and teams. Jamie is emotionally engaging. She makes people hungry to learn about the greatness within them. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

[GWSW] Individualization: Appreciating the Uniqueness of Others

People with strong Individualization talents notice and appreciate the unique characteristics of each person and can customize their approach accordingly. Like a casting director, they use their intelligence about people to position them to do what they do best. This creates a type of team synergy that leads to a more enjoyable experience and increased effectiveness. Individualization falls into the Relationship Building domain, giving those who possess the strength a clear perception of human uniqueness. That perception allows people to treat and approach others in a relevant way, making it easier to make connections. People with strong Individualization talents have a great sense of and appreciation for diversity by getting to know others on an individual level. The Individualization theme creates an awareness of unique qualities in not only oneself, but in others as well.

Please register for our Individualization Webcast on Thursday, June 30, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. EST. Download the Theme Thursday Companion Guide on Individualization here to follow along with the show!






Friday, June 24, 2016

[S2 Ideation] Are All Ideas Good?

On this Theme Thursday Season Two webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Gallup Advanced Learning and Development Consultant discussed the theme of Ideation.




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People with Ideation are fascinated with ideas. Their creativity can generate brand new, original notions. They can also see the connection between two existing things, when no one else can see it. It is a spontaneous creativity with a natural sense of innovation that defies conventional thinking.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

It's Time to Lay Performance Reviews to Rest

by John Vincent

Traditional performance reviews need to be laid to rest. Active performance management is the way of the future, something we must understand and embrace. A shift from focusing on what is wrong to focusing on what is strong has the potential to radically change how we talk about development. But how do we put it into practice?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

[Recap] How Strengths Engage Students Online and in the Classroom

On a recent Called to Coach: Australia/Singapore Edition, we spoke with Jock Boyd and Jack Iveson of Your Edge/Think Education.








Your Edge began as a gamble in the education realm. In fact, Jack -- who normally agrees to any challenge without much thought -- had to consider whether the pilot program of Your Edge would be worth his time in the short three weeks he and Jock had to launch it. Together, Jack and Jock plunged in and had three hectic weeks: setting up a dynamic website, recruiting their cohort of students for the pilot and getting three people through Gallup strengths coaching courses. They didn't know if they would make it, but as they explained, "They told us we could fail and that was important." The idea that they could fail at launching this pilot program gave Jack and Jock permission to be creative in designing and launching Your Edge. 

But, they didn't fail. Your Edge was a hit with its first two cohorts during the pilot phase. One thing that bound students to the program was the Clifton StrengthsFinder. Jack explained, "It gave them a shared language and coaching on their strengths allowed the students to form a community." CliftonStrengths were particularly successful for students participating in Your Edge online. Jack and Jock explained that because those students don't congregate in a physical space, the need to engage them with their peers is imperative. CliftonStrengths gave those online students the tools to discuss "...who they are and what made them tick and they started to open up to one another." 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

[GWSW] Includer: Bringing Others In

Includers are sensitive to those who are excluded and have an innate desire and capacity to bring them into the group. Their thoughtful approach to others not only increases participation and communication as they ensure everyone is considered, but it also brings a level of tolerance and acceptance of diversity.

Please register for our Includer webcast on Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. EST. Download the Theme Thursday Companion Guide on Includer here to follow along with the show!




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Thursday, June 16, 2016

[S2 Futuristic] A Catalyst to New Heights

On this Theme Thursday Season Two webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Gallup Advanced Learning and Development Consultant discussed the theme of Futuristic.




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Futuristic inspires today by seeing tomorrow. It is a strategic thinking theme and it’s imaginative, but not like Ideation. It’s imagining what the future can be with a timeline. It drives you past today and creates excitement about the future. It avoids the paralysis of the analysis of the now, to inspire with visions of the future. When the present fills like quick sand to some people, those with Futuristic don’t get sucked in because they know where they are going.

Futuristic has the power and edge to lead others to new heights. Their emotional anticipation and visualization of what the future can be can inspires themselves or others to make their plan a reality. People with futuristic can be a catalyst in conversation and in groups, helping groups see farther than what they would normally think.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

[Recap] Coaching Clients Through the Levels of the Strengths Journey

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Liz Ramos.








Liz believes there are "levels" to each person's strengths journey and she tries to help her clients move along the path of their strengths journey. According to Liz, the "below the line" level on this strengths journey is where people experience shame and disappointment in their strengths.  The next level is ignorance about their strengths, and the level above that is knowing their strengths but using them for entertainment only. Liz said, "The final level is strengths mastery where people embrace their strengths and who they are." Pushing her clients to strengths mastery is rewarding for Liz. She explained that some barriers to moving along the strengths journey are: trying to be like other people and living in the basement of one's themes. Liz said her clients sometimes strive to be like others instead of becoming the best version of themselves. In doing so, they fail to rely on and embrace their natural themes, skills and talents. Also, in living in the basement of their strengths, some people may not understand how strengths can enhance their lives, instead of inhibiting their growth.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

[GWSW] Ideation: Energy from Creativity and Connectivity

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.

Please register for our Ideation Webcast on Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. EST. Download the Theme Thursday Companion Guide on Ideation here to follow along with the show!






Friday, June 10, 2016

[Harmony S2] Harmony Wants Progress, Harmony Gets Progress

On this Theme Thursday Season Two webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Gallup Advanced Learning and Development Consultant discussed the theme of Harmony.




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The word harmony can denote flowers and “kumbaya”. People with high Harmony worry, “Do I have no weight or influence with Harmony?”. People with low Harmony worry, “Do I not care about collaboration?”. Neither are true. Instead, Harmony is more aware of conflict than others and brings fighting groups together to make them function better. 

What harmony wants, more than anything, is efficient, forward progress. And Harmony gets that progress by understanding the opinions, the needs and the abilities of people around them. They look for consensus and areas of agreement to find the best way for people to work together.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

What Does a Coach Really Do?

 By Adam Hickman

Doing something wrong? Need help improving? Oftentimes, coaching or mentoring is the go-to solution, whether the need is a disciplinary action, or just to help someone adapt to “how things are done around here.” So, when I was invited to Strengths-Based Coaching, I assumed it was just another way to right what was wrong with me. Instead, I learned about the practice and value of coaching from a talent-focused perspective. Coaching is performance based. Strengths-based coaching is not about fixing a person, but unlocking their powerful potential.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

[Recap] Rituals and Routines Enhance Strengths

On a recent Called to Coach: India Edition, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Mick Todd.








The first question Mick encourages his clients to consider every morning is, how am I going to leverage my strengths today? By asking this question, Mick says the "awareness element rises to the level" where clients can talk about how their strengths effect and enhance their lives. Mick also likes to concentrate on the rituals -- or, "the things you do consistently in order to be successful" -- to find a path for strengths to shape his client's lives. Mick finds the four or five rituals that make each person better and asks them to maximize those rituals. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

[Recap] Pathway to Strengths Mastery: Part Two

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup Talent Development Architect, Dean Jones.








Strengths Mastery is where a person’s strengths are fully integrated into who they are as a person. Gallup-Certified strengths coaches have a vested interest in understanding the pathway to strengths mastery. Understanding this path enables coaches to successfully coach their clients in a profoundly meaningful and transformative way. This type of coaching goes beyond knowledge-based coaching and skills-building coaching to transcendent coaching, where clients have insights and epiphanies that change the way they see the world. There are likely more than nine stages for strengths mastery and those stages are not necessarily linear. It is a qualitative assessment of students and learners of Gallup strengths. Part one of Strengths Mastery, here, discussed the first three: Understanding, Awareness and Appreciation. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Resistance Is Futile: True Strength Resonates in All Directions

By Maureen Electa Monte, Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach

I was thinking about the incredible power of a friend’s Context theme when it hit me: Our Signature Themes operate in our hearts and minds like a magnetic force field. We are inexorably drawn toward these, our most natural spontaneous response to stimuli. Like someone trapped in a floodlight of energy being pulled toward a spaceship, resistance is futile! Regardless of the goal you are trying to accomplish, working toward something while using your strengths changes you. Like the old time movie depiction of an alien abduction -- upon return, you are never the same again. I’ve been there. It’s the strengths discovery experience.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

[Focus S2] A Laser Beam to What Matters

On this Theme Thursday Season Two webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Gallup Advanced Learning and Development Consultant discussed the theme of Focus.




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People exceptionally talented in the Focus theme can take a direction, follow through and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act. While others start to wander down divergent avenues, people with Focus stay on the main road. They have laser focus and can help others avoid time consuming distractions. Focus is an Executing theme, it gets things done by doing one thing at a time.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

[Empathy S2] The X-ray of Other People's Feelings

On this Theme Thursday Season Two webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Gallup Advanced Learning and Development Consultant discussed the theme of Empathy.




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People talented in the Empathy theme can sense other people's feelings by imagining themselves in others' lives and circumstances. Simply put, Empathy is feeling with other people. Empathy has a sixth sense of how other people feel and it can perceive and understand complex emotions.  Empathy is not a cerebral understanding of others' emotions, but rather a gut level relationship to other's emotions. People with strong Empathy can build and form relationships that have great emotional depth. Others seek them out and feel emotionally connected to them. Compassion is one of the four pillars of being an effective leader -- and people with Empathy have a head start on being an excellent leader in this way.  

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