Strengths Coaching Blog

Sunday, October 30, 2016

[GWSW] Self-Assurance Leads the Way

People with strong Self-Assurance talents can lead the way. Because they deeply trust their own instincts, they can forge ahead confidently, even on risky paths. They can instill confidence in others and show initiative in the midst of turbulence and uncertainty.

Please regi
ster for our Self-Assurance Webcast on Thursday, November 3,
 2016 at 12:00 p.m. EST. Download the Companion Guide for our Self-Assurance webcast here to follow along with the show!






Friday, October 28, 2016

Part 1: A Roadmap for Implementing Strengths in Higher Education

By Vanessa Camilleri

Successful strengths initiatives exist on hundreds of campuses across the United States and internationally. These initiatives vary in purpose, approach, size and tactics for measuring success. 

Many strengths initiatives in higher education exist as grassroots programs, showing up in small groups on campus. Others are more widely embraced as an existing campus-wide priority that strongly influences campus culture. Regardless of whether the initiative is a bottom-up effort or a top-down mandate, strengths initiatives in higher education must start with a mindset that EVERY student has potential, talents and strengths. Gallup recommends that leaders of strengths initiatives on campus remember some foundational best practices to kick start their initiatives to success.

Defining Your Purpose

Higher education institutions have many reasons for launching strengths initiatives. Sometimes they are a reaction to a problem such as low student engagement or retention rates. Sometimes they are a proactive attempt to develop leadership competencies in students or to enhance career readiness skills. Many strengths initiatives are aimed at improving student outcomes such as well-being, persistence or graduation rates. Others are designed to improve staff/faculty performance and engagement.

Schools that are considering launching a strengths initiative first must be clear about its purpose. A best practice is to commit to a comprehensive, well-structured strengths-development process in which both adults and students on campus are involved.

When considering implementing a strengths initiative, it is crucial that leaders can answer these questions:

  • Why are you launching a strengths initiative?
  • What outcomes are you trying to impact?
  • How will you know if it is working?
  • How will you implement?

When defining your purpose for bringing strengths to campus, consider how the strengths initiative will integrate with existing campus priorities. Rather than presenting the strengths initiative as separate, new and different from current initiatives, think about how a focus on strengths can move the campus toward outcomes that you already are trying to achieve and are held accountable for. To do that, look at foundational documents such as the strategic plan, the mission or vision, or a goal planning document. Figure out how strengths can thrive within an existing framework -- one that is known by all and has familiar language that people on campus can relate to.

Defining your purpose will lay the foundation for your entire strengths initiative because thinking ahead about what you want to accomplish will set you up for success. Further, this approach will help you to gain buy-in for your initiative on campus and to refine your message and market it accordingly.

Gathering Your Team

In addition to defining the “why” around your strengths initiative, consider “who” will be involved. Develop a strengths team with strong advocates to help your initiative increase in visibility throughout campus. To gain momentum for your initiative, build partnerships with different stakeholders across your campus community. Reach out to academic departments, as well as residential life, athletics, fraternities and sororities, career services, advising, and student activities. Also consider reaching out to faculty, alumnae, parents, students, human resources and your office of institutional research. Set clear expectations around purpose and commitment to the team and then invite members to join. The first step for the team is to take CliftonStrengths and to start building a strengths-based team. It will be important for this team to regularly talk about their own strengths and celebrate one another’s strengths as a good model of how to apply strengths in teams.


Additional strengths team responsibilities may include:

  • programming and implementation
  • coaching, workshops and training
  • communications and marketing
  • research and assessment

Once you have established the purpose of your strengths initiative and built a team to help you implement your programming, you are ready to take action. In next week’s blog, we’ll explore how to take action, measure the impact of your initiative and communicate effectively to drive your engagement with strengths across campus.

Interested in creating an engaged and thriving campus? Check out Gallup's StrengthsQuest solutions.


Vanessa Camilleri, Gallup Learning and Design Consultant, is an experienced educator who supports higher education and K-12 leaders in their pursuit of positive organizational change through curriculum design, coaching, classroom instruction and strategic consulting. As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, she is passionate about developing strengths implementation plans for diverse educational settings.

Follow her on twitter @vacamilleri


Vanessa's top 5 strengths are: Learner, Achiever, Responsiblity, Relator and Intellection. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

[Recap] People, Process, Technology -- Elements of a Successful Dispersed Team

On a recent Called to Coach: Australia Edition we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Deon Rademeyer. Deon’s coaching focus is on using a strengths-based approach to improve team collaboration and development. 






Deon has worked in the field of technology and project management for most of his career. A few years back he left his corporate life to focus on his passion for people and coaching with CliftonStrengths, primarily working with groups and teams. After attending the 2016 CliftonStrengths Summit, Deon’s strengths coaching took on a new shape. He realized lots of people were coaching teams, and he was asked if there was more of a niche where he saw a need. When he reflected on his time coaching teams, he realized dispersed teams could really use strengths to be more successful. He was so pleased with the CliftonStrengths Summit that he booked and paid for the 2017 Summit as soon as the invite came out!

Deon knows how important understanding people is in order to achieve better processes. With teams, Deon uses Gallup’s Q12 as the baseline, then introduces CliftonStrengths. This helps him understand how people on the team operate, and knowing the “how” of performance helps teams answer the question of “who” to use for processes.


Interested in leading a session at the 2017 CliftonStrengths Summit? Apply here before November 15, 2016. Interested in attending? Register now to get the early bird pricing!


T
o hear more about how Deon uses strengths to improve teams, please watch the video or listen to the audio above.

Visit 
Gallup Strengths Center to browse our myriad of products and learning opportunities for strengths-based development.


Continue the coaching conversation on Facebook and Twitter. It’s a great way to network with others who share a passion for strengths!


Deon spent 25 Years in Banking, Finance and Technology in both South Africa and Australia, mainly in the field of Project Management. He became a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach in 2014. He currently runs a consulting company called Team Diagnostics, which focuses on helping large, complex project teams setup for success using Gallup’s Q12 and CliftonStrengths. He has a keen interest in using Strengths to improve cross-border team collaboration between teams based in Australia and India.


Deon’s top five strengths: Responsibility | Connectedness | Relator | Maximizer | Developer

Friday, October 21, 2016

[Recap] How CliftonStrengths Can Help With Deathbed Regrets

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Doug Wilks. 






Here is how Doug got started with CliftonStrengths in his own words: As a dominant Input and Maximizer, I read StrengthsFinder 2.0 years ago. I immediately began applying Tom Rath's insights in my own professional and personal life. To say it was a personal Rosetta Stone is an understatement. I began incorporating strengths-based training and development in various leadership roles for sales representatives, managers and sales teams at work. Strengths-focused coaching never failed to produce improved results. I’ll never forget the response from a tenured sales representative years ago after my first "official" internal half-day workshop. She said, “That’s the first time in my life I feel like anyone’s ever gotten me…” Definitely fuel to my coaching fire!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

[Significance S2] A Comfort in the Spotlight


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 Significance.




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People exceptionally talented in the Significance theme want to be very important in others’ eyes. They are independent and want to be recognized. Significance is not a common theme; thus it is often misunderstood. At one point, the Significance theme was called desire, desire to have a positive effect on people. The genius of people with strong Significance begins and ends with the difference that they are determined to make. They want the world to be a better place because they are in it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Is Your Team Ready for the Team Strengths Grid?

By Tiffany Saulnier

The Team Strengths Grid, a snapshot of a team’s collective strengths in a single place, is a powerful tool to explore individual and collective talents to achieve team success. But oftentimes, the Team Strengths Grid is introduced before a team has the opportunity to fully absorb the tool’s value.

When you introduce the Team Strengths Grid at the right time, you spark meaningful conversations. Using the grid helps you discuss the collective talents of a group in a way that honors individuals. It also enables you to break down communication barriers by prompting productive, open dialogue about behaviors and tendencies, team dynamics, partnerships, and team bonds. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

[GWSW] WOO: Not Afraid to Start Conversations With Strangers

People with strong Woo talents bring energy to social situations. They can connect with others and act as catalysts in helping people connect with one another. They have an exceptional ability to draw others out of their shell. Woo is an acronym for Winning Others Over. People who have high Woo are not afraid to start conversations with strangers. They typically have a large network of friends and acquaintances, as they thrive on getting to know as many people as possible. About 13% of individuals who have completed the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment have Woo as one of their top five strengths.

Please regi
ster for our WOO Webcast on Thursday, October 20,
 2016 at 12:00 p.m. EST. Download the Companion Guide for our WOO webcast here to follow along with the show!






Thursday, October 13, 2016

[Recap] Leading Effective Strengths Trainings

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





This edition of Called to Coach kicks off a two-part series on leading effective strengths trainings. In this first episode, Dean Jones, the principal architect of Gallup's global client learning strategy, discusses what kind of content to cover in a group session. The first core area to focus on is the understanding that CliftonStrengths are rooted in a study of excellence – that weakness fixing might prevent failure, but doesn’t lead to excellence. Next, as session leader, you should define talent, strengths and themes properly, as well as how the CliftonStrengths assessment works. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

[Recap] 2016 CliftonStrengths Summit Series -- Changing Organizational Culture With Strengths


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






Murray Guest develops effective leaders, engaged teams and sustainable cultural change through strengths-based solutions. Murray’s top five CliftonStrengths are Relator, Futuristic, Individualization, Communication and Responsibility. He says an organizations’ culture is defined by what leaders do and say, and what they encourage others to do and say within the company. A company’s culture is what’s left when you take out all of the policies and procedures. It’s about the interactions between colleagues, as well as with customers and suppliers.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

[GWSW] Strategic: A Distinct Way of Thinking

People with strong Strategic talents have the ability to sort through the clutter and find the best route. This is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking — a special perspective on the world at large. This outlook allows them to see patterns where others simply see complexity. Mindful of these patterns, they are able to envision alternative scenarios, always asking, “What if this happened?” This recurring question helps them see, plan, and prepare for future situations. They see a way when others assume there is no way. Armed with this strategy, they strike forward.

Please register for our Strategic Webcast on Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. EST. Download the Companion Guide for our Strategic webcast here to follow along with the show!






Saturday, October 8, 2016

[Recap] Following a Passion for Strengths

On a recent Called to Coach: India Edition, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, G S Rajesh.








G S Rajesh recently left his corporate career to follow his passion for strengths-based development. He is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach who focuses on strengths-based leadership programs for teams, leaders and organizations. In his experience, coaching is about creating trust and transparency with the coachee. He’s discovered that people don’t realize their potential because they are always focused on their weaknesses and what’s wrong with them.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Strengths-Based Parenting When Others See Weakness

 By Adam Hickman

I am a father who leads with Ideation, Command, Analytical, Competition and Individualization. These themes bring a high level of intensity, expectation and energy to the challenge of raising children. My wife leads with Belief, Strategic, Developer, Empathy and Relator. Her lens on parenting is colored by caring, nurturing and meeting our children where they are day by day. Our combined themes create a home life where our children are seen as individuals, appreciated for their strengths. Don Clifton’s notion that we should focus on what is right with people is how my wife and I have parented our children since birth, and this approach profoundly changed our daughter’s life.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

[Recap] Successful Strengths Implementation at Stryker

On a recent Called to Coach: Australia/Singapore Edition, we spoke with Ryan McCarthy, a Commercial Sales Director for Stryker South Pacific.








Ryan McCarthy, a Commercial Sales Director for Stryker South Pacific, knows how to use strengths successfully in an organization. He was recently recognized as a top performing manager at the Gallup Great Workplace Awards. Ryan’s top 5 strengths are: Activator, Maximizer, Responsibility, Ideation, Belief. Ryan was first introduced to CliftonStrengths when he took the assessment as a new employee at Stryker. Ryan uses CliftonStrengths to help him truly treat people as individuals and to find the best in them. He uses strengths to help his team discover what they do best and to help them grow into their natural talents.