Strengths Coaching Blog

Friday, December 30, 2016

Best of 2016: A Year in Review


With 2017 fastly approaching, we wanted to give everyone the chance to look back on the tremendous successes we have had in 2016. We can welcome in the new year knowing that our authors have given us some ground-breaking insights into strengths, coaching and hope to inspire us throughout the year. 

We want to take a moment to thank not only our readers, you are who make our journey a success, but also to our writers, coaches and to everyone that has helped make this year such a brimming triumph. 

Gallup has some amazing things in store for 2017. Be sure to checkout the blog for a schedule of our webcast events. The new season of Theme Thursday is kicking back off in January, and we have some incredible guests lined up for this season's Called to Coach. Also be sure to check out the information regarding our second annual CliftonStrengths Summit in July. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Impact of Strengths and Coaching in Schools

By Tim Hodges, Ph.D.



“In Grow Strong schools we focus on what is strong and not what is wrong. This requires a change of mindset for most teachers because as educators we are thinking in the deficit model in which we look at what a student does not have and try to make up the difference through interventions. In Grow Strong schools, we seek to change the conversation from what students are lacking to what students already have.” 

These thoughts, shared by Rachel Edoho-Eket at the inaugural CliftonStrengths Summit in July 2016, wonderfully frame up the potential for impact of strengths and coaching in schools. Edoho-Eket, an assistant principal in Howard County, Maryland, has firsthand experience in a school and in a district that is committed to building on the strengths of the entire school community. Edoho-Eket’s school, and many others like it around the country, have a core belief that we should focus on what is strong rather than only paying attention to what is wrong. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

How to Unlock Students’ Entrepreneurial Potential

by Becky McCarville

From high school to college, student of all ages are hyper-aware that they need a good job after graduating from college. With student debt at an all-time high in 2016 and employment prospects lower than expected, the job outlook for new grads doesn’t paint a rosy picture.

Due to these factors, economic and otherwise, fewer young people are starting their own businesses.

How can students -- and the world -- dig out of this economic quagmire? Job creation relies on new business startups and scaling up existing businesses -- identifying and unlocking students’ entrepreneurial potential is the key.

Across the nation and worldwide, entrepreneurial classes and programs are buzzing, and many are turning to Gallup’s Entrepreneurship Profile 10 (EP10) assessment to jumpstart the discussion around entrepreneurial talent. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

[Recap] From Startup to Success: How to Build a Business Based on Strengths



On a recent Called to Coach: CliftonStrengths Summit 2016 Edition, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Brandon Miller. These webcasts will highlight some of the best and most popular sessions from the CliftonStrengths Summit.

Brandon Miller is the CEO of 34 Strong, a company focused on Strengths-Based Organizational Development. He led the “From Startup to Success” breakout session at the 2016 CliftonStrengths Summit. Brandon says when he started his business his biggest questions were around growth and defining what the business had to offer to the market. He recommends the books Learn Startup, Leaders Eat Last, Destination Unstoppable, and Profit First as great starting points for anyone considering starting their own business.


Friday, December 16, 2016

Coaching With Insight: When Telling Works

By Jacque Merritt


I have a coaching confession: When CliftonStrengths was first released back at the end of the ’90s, I spent more years than I can count using it to “tell” people who they are. It was how we rolled back then, and there was a certain magic to the tool that made my insights deadly accurate. My clients would often say, “Wow, that’s really spooky! How did you know that about me?” Or, “You know me better than my spouse!” And the classic, “If this tool can tell you this much about me, I want to do it with my entire team so you can sit down and tell me about them!” 

With the more recent focus on powerful questions, inquiry versus advocacy and neuroscientific research on using questions as a means to spark transformational change, the magic of the “tell” has been relegated to the role of the ugly stepsister. While I fully agree with leaning toward asking versus telling in coaching, I’d like us also to appreciate the power of the information our clients have already provided through the instrument itself. With such valuable and valid information at our fingertips in the form of a CliftonStrengths profile, it is a shame to shy away from moments when us choosing to tell instead of inquire may lead our clients to great discoveries.



Thursday, December 15, 2016

[Recap] Finding the Right Talent With CliftonStrengths






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

Annadurai is a finance professional with 33 years of experience. He currently handles talent mobility from India to the Middle East, as well as coaching and mentoring for Sodexo. When he became head of HR in 2003 his mentor gave him the book “First, Break All the Rules” and “Now, Discover Your Strengths”. He took the StrengthsFinder assessment in 2005. He coached hundreds of people before becoming a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, but he still had lots of questions which were answered in his Gallup coaching course. In his course, he gained more confidence in his coaching abilities and learned deeper insights into strengths and the raw vs. mature.

Monday, December 12, 2016

[Recap] Embedding Engagement, High-Performance and a Strengths-Based Culture Into Your Organization





On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Stephanie Carman.

Stephanie Carman, Head of People and Performance at Karrikins Group, was a part of the very first group that went through Gallup’s strengths coaching course in Australia in 2014. Stephanie has embedded strengths and engagement as a performance strategy in her company during a large time of growth. The mission of Karrikins Group is to create positive change within the community. They are a consulting firm, predominately around social responsibility. They teach kids about social issues and how to address social changes in their communities. CliftonStrengths and Gallup’s engagement tools have become a common language at their company and pivotal to their culture.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Don’t Be a Man-Ager, Be a Coach

By Benjamin Erikson-Farr

Managers hold the engagement and well-being of their team members in their hands. Bad managers are toxic. Not only do they undermine the positive culture and performance of an organization, but they also negatively affect the engagement and personal well-being of the individuals who report to them. 

Gallup research shows that managers account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement, so organizational efforts to increase engagement are wasted on employees with bad managers. Worse still, low engagement is linked to higher levels of stress. This stress extends beyond the walls of the office, affecting employees on the drive into and home from the office during their commute. According to medical research, stress exacerbates many health conditions. Scientists believe many of these negative health conditions actually accelerate the aging process. In sum, a bad manager can literally be a man-ager. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

That’s a Wrap! Theme Thursday S2 Wrap Party

On this Theme Thursday Season Two webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Gallup Advanced Learning and Development Consultant celebrate all of our accomplishments for Season 2.




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Thank you for joining us on our wrap party for Theme Thursday Season 2 today. With season 2 we started out with a new concept and idea. We delved deep into the love and intricacy of the theme, and we made you think very specifically about Theme Dynamics for all 34 themes. We talked a little bit more on how to invest in these themes. You are never done. There is so much more growth to happen within your own themes. Real strengths-based development opens up doors. It gives you the ability to talk about what those themes are in your sleep. Be willing to take a risk. Think about the insights available as you are coaching, or even working through these on your own. It is a perfect way to create great questions. Make time every week to connect with somebody consistent who can help you delve deeper into your themes. Everybody needs a coach. They need someone with a connection and confidence to help you really dig in. If you need a coach, or if you are interested in coaching we would be happy to connect you to one at Gallup Exchange.

Monday, December 5, 2016

[Recap] Business Consulting Using Strengths

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





Aseem is a co-founder and principal consultant at SKOPE Business Consulting. He says becoming a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach changed the course of his business. During consulting engagements, he used to look for areas of improvement in a company. He would focus on a weaker area and try to build on it. Now, his approach is strengths-based, he finds what people and companies are doing good and builds on that.

Friday, December 2, 2016

To Innovate, Think Like an Entrepreneur

by Becky McCarville

The backbone of the economy rests on the creation of new businesses, and yet, not enough of them are starting or surviving. But a model of innovation and entrepreneurialism isn’t limited to just startups. Existing companies are scrambling to find new growth platforms. How can existing companies increase profits and find new customers?

Entrepreneurial talents are playing an increasing role in these existing and well-established firms to find new avenues of growth. Identifying the inherent talents of a company’s employees -- and maximizing those who possess entrepreneurial qualities -- can help businesses push past the status quo.


Companies need to invest in the natural talents of their people to create new ideas, find new customers and discover new energy to grow. They also need to develop the qualities of resourcefulness, teamwork, creativity, relationship-building and resilience.


To develop these entrepreneurial talents and generate ideas, Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches, startups and existing businesses are using Gallup’s Entrepreneurial Profile 10 (EP10)  assessment to help entrepreneurs build, grow and succeed in their ventures. 


Thursday, December 1, 2016

[Recap] EP10 Becomes the "Builder Profile 10"





On a recent
EP10 Quarterly Update, we spoke with Gallup Global Channel Leader, Entrepreneurship and Job Creation, Todd Johnson.  


The EP10 will be renamed and rebranded to the Builder Profile 10 (BP10) in mid-December this year. Gallup decided to issue a name change largely due to how society views the concept of entrepreneurship. A lot of people now associate the word entrepreneur with someone creating a start-up on the coast in the technology field. While Gallup cherishes and celebrates that type of entrepreneurship, starting a company is only one manifestation of what EP10 is about. The talents in EP10 are really about building, whether building new companies or new services and products within existing companies. Gallup heard from enterprise clients who need innovators and intrepreneurs, they need all types of people with the talent to build. The word builder includes a broader range of people with these talents. Gallup plans to create a new brand and image around the word builders.
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