Strengths Coaching Blog

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Delegator: Mastering the Art of Inspiration and Delegation-Builder Talent Tuesday Season 1

On this episode of Builder Talent Tuesday Season One, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, discuss the Delegator talent with guest Doris Lux.

People who are especially talented in the Delegator talent can trust and empower others to help grow their business. They know what their employees do best and position them to take responsibility for tasks at which they are most likely to excel. They can relinquish control and focus on growing the business.

They recognize that a growing business requires a shift from a do-it-yourself style, which is helpful in the early stages, to a handing-it-over-to-others style as the business starts to grow. They are willing to relinquish control and hand over authority for certain tasks to others who are better equipped to handle them.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Developer

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min

Individuals with strong Developer talents not only see the potential in others, they want to invest in that potential and help it grow. Every individual is a work in progress, and Developers are driven to further that work along. No growth is too small – all growth is recognized and celebrated. Those high in Developer like to teach, coach, mentor, invest. Small increments add up to huge growth. Developers are fascinated with devising the best way to bring out the best in others and help them achieve their full potential. Developers tend to be patient, and make a commitment to human growth. A friend of mine is fond of saying, “by the yard, it’s hard; but inch by inch it’s a cinch!” That saying can aptly apply to the perspective of those with Developer in their Top Five. Incremental progress is the best and most effective way to realize potential.

In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I look at the similarities and differences between Developer and Maximizer, Restorative, and Empathy.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Why Use CliftonStrengths in Higher Education? - Called to Coach S5E21

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Tom Matson, Senior Executive Leadership Strategist at Gallup.

Tom Matson, Gallup Senior Executive Leadership Strategist, is an executive coach, author and leadership expert. Tom works with higher education institutions to strategically plan and chart the right course for students. Before his current role, he served on Gallup’s executive leadership practice team, developing leadership programs for Fortune 500 companies.  

Thursday, June 22, 2017

WOO: Authentic Social Courage- Theme Thursday Season 3

On this Theme Thursday Season Three webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about WOO with guest Rhonda Knight Boyle.

WOO stands for winning others over. You enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like you. Strangers are rarely intimidating to you. On the contrary, strangers can be energizing. You are drawn to them. You want to learn their names, ask them questions and find some area of common interest so that you can strike up a conversation and build rapport. 

Some people shy away from starting up conversations because they worry about running out of things to say. You don’t. Not only are you rarely at a loss for words, you actually enjoy initiating with strangers because you derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection. Once that connection is made, you are quite happy to wrap it up and move on. There are new people to meet, new rooms to work, new crowds to mingle in. In your world there are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met yet — lots of them.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Every Hero Needs a Mentor

By Chad Ellsworth

Can you imagine what it would be like to live somebody else’s life? I don’t mean some sort of body-switching scenario, but rather to spend your years doing everything that everybody else expects of you — even if their expectations don’t match your desires and needs. 

What would it be like to invest all of your time and energy becoming somebody you’re not?

In fact, what if as soon as your talents began to reveal themselves, the people around you started to label those talents with negative and judgmental terms? Then, whenever you would get a glimpse of those talents, you’d quickly stifle them to fit the mold of what others wanted you to be.

If this were an actual storyline, would it be the truth of fictional heroes like Harry Potter, Spider-Man or Katniss Everdeen? Or could it be the very real experience of our own lives based on our socialization and internalized expectations? 

The answer is yes to both — and that has powerful implications for our work as coaches.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Adaptability

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min

It is said that Abraham Lincoln once stated, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” People with strong Adaptability talents resonate with the truth of that statement, and find it to be particularly helpful in navigating the vicissitudes of daily life. Adaptability is a “now” theme that finds deep satisfaction in living in the moment. Individuals with Adaptability in their Top Five tend to live by the motto, “If you’re handed it, you can handle it” –  because that is exactly what they do. They are not often fazed or upset with momentary change, but have a sense of calm assurance that whatever may come, they are equipped to handle it. In fact, individuals high in Adaptability view the interruptions of the day as the most exciting part of the day – because you never know what is going to happen. They often are extremely adept at “going with the flow.”

In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I will examine the similarities and differences between Adaptability and Empathy, Focus, and Connectedness.

Friday, June 16, 2017

How to Apply Your Strengths in Daily Decision Making - Called to Coach S5E20

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Victor Seet.

Victor Seet is a co-founder of Strengths School in Singapore. Victor also created “The Game of Life” – which helps people learn how to integrate strengths into decision-making. He is all about the application of strengths: how to bring them from the discovery stage to the development stage, and then into daily life. 

Victor's Strengths School

  • The vision for Strengths School is for every generation to fulfill their potential
  • To have strengths dialog in every part of your life
  •  We have a Team of 8, all are Gallup-certified coaches, different teams focus on different sectors
  • A new development is a course for the public to use strengths exclusively in their workshops and coaching
  • We work with a broad variety of sectors – each workshop has specific outcomes
  • We want to work with every possible sector and not stop at just discovery, but move into application
  • “I feel very uncomfortable when somebody tells me ‘I just got my profile and I”m just happy about that’. To which my next question is ‘But what are you doing about that?’”
  • You have your Top 5 – what are you doing about that?  How are you applying it in your life?
  • At the end of the day what do you hope to take away?  Which area of application is most important to you?
  • We conduct one day workshops
  • Debrief helps them think how they might like to move forward
  • We have a lot of repeat customers – ask for coaching, how can I grow?
  • Could be a couple of months or a year later
  • Depends on the budget, build in coaching after the workshop, help the team understand how to take it forward day-to-day
  • Education sector
  • Singapore schools; time is a limiting factor; talk to teachers and find some specific areas they want to work on; it’s not a standard offer; every school has a different area
    • Modules
    • Study Genius
    • Leadership Genius
    • Team Genius
  • Descriptions of the Genius modules can be found on the Strengths School web site 

About the Game of Life

  • I thought - how can I bring a board game to life?
  • Sat down with someone with Ideation
  • We have many different life stations – home, school, work
  • The game brings people through stages of life at the stations
  • They will come back to a stage and think about how they used their strengths to finish something
  • Learner – the way I play the game is I observe, how do other people play?
  • Harmony – playing the game alone is not exciting for me
  •  The entire game of life is a picture
  • Throughout life you have decision points, choices you make
  • The game moves talent teams from discovery right into application; am I conscious about using my strengths? Do I watch others or do I focus on what I have?
  • Do you have other innovations or creative solutions?
  • Showed colorful tags that he gives everyone and uses during team sessions
  • Pick a partner, talk about a current, real-life situation
  • How can we work on that together with our 10 themes?
  • People keep their tags, they bring them to project meetings, it makes them conscious of their themes
  • Self-awareness helps them understand how they can work with others
  • Respect, understanding, learning how to leverage each other’s themes
  • Public Speaking Module
  • Example of Restorative.
  • What topic do you want to speak about?
  • What information can you give to help the audience solve a problem at home?

Skills Future: A learning and development government grant offered in Singapore

  • Victor’s program is aligned with the requirements to become Skills Future approved which allows his courses to be covered by that government grant
  • Had to design a lot of brochures, course outline, course objectives, wasn’t easy
  • First session was yesterday; group of 12 people; set a limit; lots of time for questions and interactivity
Lessons from millennials
  • These questions come up a lot with this group
    • Do I have the opportunity to do what I do best at work?
    • When I do what I do am I engaged?  Am I using my strengths?
  • Conversations need to be constant, not quarterly or annual
  • Catch your team doing the right thing and recognize it
  • Do you focus on ROI?  Have ways to measure impact?
  • This is currently in development
  • We broaden the concept of productivity; it includes better team communication, relationships, etc
  • Every client has different performance indicators
  • Focus on behaviors that affect team behavior
  • Build collaboration and positive energy
  • Think about behaviors to manage or to keep doing well
  • How do you bring strengths into your personal life? (family, church)
  • At church it is about using strengths for character building; use them to stop behaviors, addictions
  • Also couple coaching – use strengths with newlyweds to strengthen their marriage


  • What age students do you work with?
    • Work with students as young as 9 (use StrengthsExplorer)
    • Bring in teachers and parents in session with younger students
    • Above 15 we use StrengthsFinder

Don't miss out on the 2017 CliftonStrengths Summit in Omaha, Nebraska on July 17-19. Register today!

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!

Victor is the Founder of Strengths School™ and a Gallup Certified Coach. A former Corporate Real Estate CRM (Client Relationship Manager) whose clients include Microsoft, Procter and Gamble and EMC, Victor brings with him an ability to understand clients' needs and challenges while he does coaching.

From Singapore to across Asia in Hong Kong, China, India, Victor has successfully conducted StrengthsFinder® Leadership workshops, coaching sessions and team building programs for organizations including Visa, Adobe Systems, Johnson & Johnson, Uber, Economic Development Board of Singapore, Singapore Tourism Board, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and for popular brands such as Vans, Lee Jeans and Timberland. Victor is also very passionate to impact the Singapore education sector. He has conducted Strengths workshops for many of the school leaders in the education institutions in Singapore as well as for the Ministry of Education. He was also the Keynote Speaker for the 1st ASEAN Strengths Education Summit held in Singapore. Victor is effectively bilingual and does workshops and coaching both in English and Mandarin.

Victor’s top five strengths: Activator | Communication | Strategic | Self-Assurance | Command

Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Cheryl S. Pace, contributed to this post.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Significance: Building a Legacy of Distinction- Theme Thursday Season 3

On this Theme Thursday Season Three webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Significance with guest Lela Meinke.

You want to be very significant in the eyes of other people. In the truest sense of the word, you want to be recognized. You want to be heard. You want to stand out. You want to be known. In particular, you want to be known and appreciated for the unique strengths you bring. You feel a need to be admired as credible, professional and successful. Likewise, you want to associate with others who are credible, professional and successful. And if they aren’t, you will push them to achieve until they are. Or you will move on. 

An independent spirit, you want your work to be a way of life rather than a job, and in that work, you want to be given free rein, the leeway to do things your way. Your yearnings feel intense to you, and you honor those yearnings. And so your life is filled with goals, achievements or qualifications that you crave. Whatever your focus — and each person is distinct — your Significance theme will keep pulling you upward, away from the mediocre toward the exceptional. It is the theme that keeps you reaching.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

To Be the Best, Surround Yourself With the Best

by Jessica Buono

When I first started working at Gallup as a creative writer, I had little experience in a corporate writing role. I spent the first few months looking over the shoulder of a senior co-worker as he explained new concepts and let me watch his writing process. 

Now, almost two years in, I still look daily to see when his door is open. How long will I continue? 

As long as he'll let me. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Relationship: Cultivate a Diverse Network of Opportunity-Builder Talent Tuesday Season 1

On this episode of Builder Talent Tuesday Season One, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, discuss the Relationship talent with guest Torin Perez.

People who are especially talented in the Relationship talent have strong interpersonal skills that allow them to build a robust and diverse personal network. They rely on relationships to access resources and information essential to the success of their business.

They have a high social awareness. They share experiences, exchange ideas and make new contacts with people inside and outside the industry. They have a robust and diversified network that they use effectively for the survival and success of the business.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Great Questions to Help Clients “Aim” Their Strengths - Called to Coach S5E19

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup Subject Matter Expert, Ella Washington, Ph.D.

Ella Washington, Ph.D., is an organizational psychologist providing subject matter expertise to Gallup’s clients in leadership, diversity and inclusion. Ella’s research and client work focuses on women in the workplace, barriers to inclusion for diverse groups, and working with organizations to build inclusive cultures. 

Today's topic is coaching strategies for aiming your CliftonStrengths themes. Ella has a “secret sauce” to the “aim it” part of coaching.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Determination: How to See Possibilities When Others See Barriers-Builder Talent Tuesday Season 1

On this episode of Builder Talent Tuesday Season One, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, discuss the Determination talent with guest Alexis Taylor.

People who are especially talented in the Determination talent pursue their goals with tenacity. They are intensely committed to success and are eager to take quick action. They rely on high motivation to turn adversity into opportunity. They can see beyond roadblocks and visualize a better future.

Determination is the stick to it no matter what theme. It can be stubborn at times when it exercises its perseverance and grit. There is a great combination between creativity and work ethic. Individuals with this theme are persistent and tenacious in pursuing their goals. They have a tremendous work ethic and unique ability to overcome obstacles and setbacks. They do whatever it takes to achieve the desired business outcomes. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Woo

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min

The Clifton Strengths theme Woo is actually an acronym that stand for Winning Others Over.  Individuals with strong Woo talents are natural networkers, love meeting new people, and easily break the ice and make connections.  Woo is socially fast, easily and quickly making personal connections.  Those high in Woo tend to love social situations where they can meet new people – they are energized by the opportunity to find about someone they don’t know. Once the connection is made, those with Woo in their Top Five tend to be ready to wrap up the conversation and move on and meet someone new. In the world of Woo, there are no strangers – just friends that haven’t yet been met.

In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I look at the similarities and differences between Woo and Self-Assurance, Competition, and Futuristic.

Friday, June 2, 2017

3 Reasons Why 1000+ People Want to Attend the CliftonStrengths Summit

by Jessica Buono

You have a mission, and you have passion — but how can you really separate yourself as an outstanding coach or a workplace leader? Where do you start? 

Where should you start?

An essential component to your success is immersing yourself in environments with like-minded people who “get it” and collaborating with people who’ve “been there.”

Enter: the CliftonStrengths Summit

The summit provides an immediate opportunity — found nowhere else — for you to connect with around a thousand strengths-minded coaches, professionals, industry leaders and potential business partners. 

There’s simply nothing like it.

In fact, last year’s summit experience was so valuable that eight out of 10 attendees in 2016 said they want to return this year. Watch this video to hear what attendees loved about the summit: 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Self-Assurance: The Keel of a Ship to Keep You on Course- Theme Thursday Season 3

On this Theme Thursday Season Three webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Self-Assurance with guest Sam Meek.

Self-Assurance is similar to self-confidence. In the deepest part of you, you have faith in your strengths. You know that you are able — able to take risks, able to meet new challenges, able to stake claims and, most important, able to deliver. But Self-Assurance is more than just self-confidence. Blessed with the theme of Self-Assurance, you have confidence not only in your abilities but in your judgment. When you look at the world, you know that your perspective is unique and distinct. And because no one sees exactly what you see, you know that no one can make your decisions for you. No one can tell you what to think. They can guide. They can suggest. But you alone have the authority to form conclusions, make decisions and act. 

This authority, this final accountability for the living of your life, does not intimidate you. On the contrary, it feels natural to you. No matter what the situation, you seem to know what the right decision is. This theme lends you an aura of certainty. Unlike many, you are not easily swayed by someone else’s arguments, no matter how persuasive they may be. This Self-Assurance may be quiet or loud, depending on your other themes, but it is solid. It is strong. Like the keel of a ship, it withstands many different pressures and keeps you on your course.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Coaching Case Study of Strengths and Well-Being: Regaining Balance Through Major Life Transitions

By Sue Bath

I’ve noticed a trend. More and more, it seems major change is at the heart of my clients’ current experiences. 

Some are facing significant career change. Others are going to college or facing the empty-nest environment after sending children away for the first time. Divorce, death in the family, retirement, you name it. Change is all around us, and in a hyper-connected society, we are constantly reminded of shifts in our foundation.  

Most of my clients long for something more solid to cling to as they struggle to find stability through big transitional times. Integrating strengths with concepts from the book Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, by bestselling authors Tom Rath and Jim Harter, Ph.D., seems to help them find balance as they work through the challenges in their life. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Significance

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min

According to a recent Washington Post article, the top three fears of US citizens are:

3.   Bugs, snakes, and other animals
2.   Heights
1.   Public Speaking

Given that the number fear is public speaking, it is little wonder that Significance is one of the least likely Clifton Strengths themes to appear in someone’s Top Five.  People high in Significance want to be public, to be seen, to be heard, to be noticed. Those with Significance in their Top Five are concerned with the influence they have now and the legacy they will leave to future generations. Their Significance theme drives them to do important work, take on projects that will make a difference, to step to the front when others shrink back. Seeking to be credible, professional, and successful drive those with Significance to work hard and make an impact on the world.  If we use the image of a race, a competitor with strong Significance talents will run faster when there are fans in the stand watching.  Significance craves feedback as a means to improve performance – being watched and evaluated are keys to success for Significance.  When he was in his 90s, Bob Hope was asked why he didn’t retire and go fishing. His response: “Simple. The fish don’t applaud.” That is Significance in a nutshell.

In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I explore the differences and similarities between Significance and Command, Self-Assurance, and Competition.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Accenture's Employee Development with CliftonStrengths - Called to Coach S5E17

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Dhanya Rajeswaran.

Dhanya has been an HR professional for 17+ years and currently the Director of Talent Strategy, Human Capital, and Diversity at Accenture. Developing talent strategies for Accenture in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka by partnering with senior team management. Recognized as one of the 50 most influential HR leaders in Tech in 2016.  

Dhanya’s experience with StrengthsFinder:

  • Individualization, Responsibility, Relator, Maximizer, Arranger
  • Accelerated Coaching Session in 2015
  • Provided a framework to better understand herself
  • Provided a personal aha moment because there were things she thoroughly loved in life that the CSF results allowed her to make peace with or reconcile.  For example, with Relator as #3, she always knew she valued deep relationships and preferred to not engage in large groups or networking opportunities that only offered broad, surface-level relationships. While her role demands strong relationship building and networking, CSF made her realize why she resisted the broad-based networking and that she needed to make it work for her natural preferences.  Another example is how she uses her Maximizer. The status quo has never worked for Dhanya as she was always looking for the next big thing or make something even larger and better. CSF helped her to understand why her motivations were different from others and helped her to better lead her team. 

 Accenture, Performance Achievement ratings, and incorporating Strengths:

  • A profound shift from performance management to performance achievement
  • Performance management does have its benefits, but it has a lot of pitfalls. Something that should motivate and energy people was used, instead, to look backward at what didn’t go well and what could’ve happened rather than what could happen in the future.
  • We’ve been on a journey to put the employee back in the center and redefine our approach to support their development.  
  • Performance Achievement stems from the belief that great performance happens when you do what you love, having the strengths/abilities to do what you love, and working with a variety of people in complementary ways that facilitate collective achievement. 
  • A framework (like CSF) was necessary for people to look at their strengths and identify what they love.  This also required a shift away from managing to developing in order to achieve performance for the organization.
  • Our journey is not complete as we still need ongoing training and development to use this framework, but it’s been an amazing journey thus far. 

 Gaining buy-in for CSF:

  • People were relieved and happy they no longer had to conduct performance management and, instead, focus on the uniqueness of individuals and forward-looking approach. Thus, the buy-in was easy due to the logical nature of focusing on future improvement, development, and achievement. Accenture already had a core belief that diversity is critical to the way we succeed with our clients. Thus, to value the individual nature of our employees was already part of our culture and philosophy. Anchoring CSF to a core or cultural belief within an organization assists with the buy-in of a framework.
  • Helping people understand the term of “strength” in the Gallup context is essential.  

Managers and Team Leaders using CSF on daily basis:

  • We split the journey over three years.  Year 1 was dedicated to knowing yourself, priorities, and strengths. Investment in helping individuals embrace their strengths by one-to-one coaching and group coaching opportunities.  Due to the large size of Accenture, one-to-one coaching was not always scalable. These sessions helped them read/review results and focused on “name it, claim it, and aim it” approach.  Shift towards priorities that were agile (less time/not over a year) and how can your strengths help you meet those priorities. 
  • Leaders have a multiplier effect when it comes to large-scale change. In the beginning, there were large investments made in helping our leaders one-to-one to support the coaching and strengths philosophies. 
  • Year 2 is “the year of the team”. Understanding team strengths grid and leveraging strengths to accomplish team goals (not just individual priorities). Team experiments included 100 teams in India over the course of 6-8 week period in which teams were assigned a strengths coach, given the tools/templates, and expected to accomplish certain priorities/objectives. They were expected to understanding the various contributions of team strengths and how to deploy team strengths to best accomplish team goals. One team identified their deficiencies in “relationship building” were causing them setbacks in getting people on board with projects or ideas.  As a result, they leveraged their individual team members who did have relationship-building strengths and positioned them with the team’s most difficult stakeholders.  This helped to shift employee mindset that just because you are responsible for the project doesn’t necessarily mean you have to the face of the project when others have strong strengths for particular tasks.

How do you address people’s resistance to a strengths-based approach?

  • The tendency of individuals to look at the bottom of their results stems from our desire to fix rather than identifying what we can do more of. 
  • Business leaders can better embrace and understand CSF when they realize the current approach of performance management/review within fast changing world will not guide you to the future.  If you continue to anchor your organization and your people’s performance in the past (and about what happened vs. didn’t happen), it stops being relevant for the future development and performance of your organization. Business leaders are very forward looking and the language of business has changed.  Thus, from an HR lens, a strengths-based approach has a lot of relevance when you anchor it to the landscape of the future of business. 

Do my CSF results support me approaching my manager about a career change, job change, task reassignment, etc?

  • Should we use strengths when I hire?  Can I look at their strengths report before I consider hiring? That is not how the philosophy of strengths was intended.  There are countless ways to arrive at the same outcome and individuals choose different methods to solve problems. Strengths allow for a common language on how we operate, understand each other, and help bring out the best in each other.  If it is used as a filter to determine whether someone is qualified for a job, we are not taking the right approach. 
  • Dhanya doesn’t have Strategic in her top 5 which made her question whether she could perform in such a forward-thinking HR division. Instead, she was able to identify how Maximizer and Individualization. 

Institutionalizing CSF: How have you ensured CSF is a part of the daily operations

  • For an individual to use CSF on a daily basis, managers need to use their team members’ strengths to create action or make them actionable by providing senior leadership with insights. Just like learning another language, it is essential to practice day to day to build familiarity and find benefit in its use. 

What is next for the CSF journey in Accenture?

  • Ensuring the work environment remains focused on the human element of our organization, especially within the Digital Age. CSF helps us to align with this philosophy. We have started exploring how to value the whole person in the workplace.  For example, we started incorporating “personal priorities” rather than just focusing on professional or work priorities. In order to do this, we need to show that we value their aspirations both personally and professionally. The forward-looking journey is exploring how we become “truly human” and encourage individuals to bring their full self to work.  If everyone individual is able to thrive and be their best self, then the organization will also be its best self. 

With such a high geographic seperation within Accenture, what are some strategies making sure the human touch and teams are supported?

  • CSF is able to bring people together despite the distance. Accenture is highly virtual already in 60+ countries. Having the language of strengths allows you to intimately connect with individuals even if you may never see them physically.  CSF is an enabler.  We put our Top 5 in our company email signatures.  The use of CSF has connected us on a level that would never have been possible with video conference and emails. This common language helps us build relationships much easily and with less time.  As long as the organization has the tools and equipment to connect people across borders, organizations can leverage CSF.

What is your advice for organizations moving towards CSF or performance achievement?

  • This is a heavy investment.  You need to be absolutely certain you are willing to stay the course.  Just like Warren Buffet, when he invests, he is not going to remove his investment if he doesn’t see return within the next quarter. He is an investor for the long term.  Your organization must be invested in the journey (long term) because you will not see results overnight.  This is human behavior and improving performance.  This doesn’t happen overnight.  As you enter this journey, organizations need to recognize that it is a long-term journey.  The belief needs to come from the top and be anchored in the core philosophy of the organization...that people are essential.  
  • CSF must be integrated more than just a tool that is used in certain situations.  Organizations must integrate CSF as a language, framework, and tool that is used in as many parts of the operation as appropriate/necessary (on a day to day basis). 

Don't miss out on the 2017 CliftonStrengths Summit in Omaha, Nebraska on July 17-19. Register today!

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!

Dhanya Rajeswaran is Director – Talent Strategy / Human Capital & Diversity at Accenture. In a career spanning 17+ years, she has held HR leadership roles across businesses. In her current role, she is focused on enabling Talent Strategies for Accenture’s largest geography (India, Bangladesh & Srilanka). 

Dhanya partners with CXOs on developing tailored Talent Strategies to drive profitability and growth. She focuses on enabling Accenture to become an Employer of choice. This includes leading in the change through Human Capital strategies, Culture, Performance Achievement, Leadership, Inclusion and Diversity etc. She is deeply passionate about building inclusive workplaces and has led Inclusion and Diversity Strategy for Accenture globally for several years. She is the Convener for Vaahini, Accenture Women’s network in India with 90000+ members, both internal and external; Convener for Accenture Persons with Disabilities Champions Network and LGBT Ally’s network at India. 

Dhanya's top five strengths are Individualization, Responsibility, Relator, Maximizer and Arranger. 

Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Rachel Carpenter, contributed to this post.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Maximizer: Seeing Improvement in Greatness- Theme Thursday Season 3

On this Theme Thursday Season Three webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Maximizer with Gallup's Jim Asplund, Chief Scientist, Strengths-Based Development and Performance Impact Consulting.

Excellence, not average, is your measure. Taking something from below average to slightly above average takes a great deal of effort and in your opinion is not very rewarding. Transforming something strong into something superb takes just as much effort but is much more thrilling. Strengths, whether yours or someone else’s, fascinate you. Like a diver after pearls, you search them out, watching for the telltale signs of a strength. A glimpse of untutored excellence, rapid learning, a skill mastered without recourse to steps — all these are clues that a strength may be in play. And having found a strength, you feel compelled to nurture it, refine it and stretch it toward excellence.

You polish the pearl until it shines. This natural sorting of strengths means that others see you as discriminating. You choose to spend time with people who appreciate your particular strengths. Likewise, you are attracted to others who seem to have found and cultivated their own strengths. You tend to avoid those who want to fix you and make you well-rounded. You don’t want to spend your life bemoaning what you lack. Rather, you want to capitalize on the gifts with which you are blessed. It’s more fun. It’s more productive. And, counterintuitively, it is more demanding.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Disruptor: Creating What Customers Are Going to Want -- Builder Talent Tuesday Season 1

On this episode of Builder Talent Tuesday Season One, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, discuss the Disruptor talent with guest Jason Walker.

The Disruptor theme is all about asking “what if” and dealing with possibility. Disruptors push beyond boundaries in ways that others would never imagine. People who are especially talented in the Disruptor talent have a curious intellect that helps them constantly imagine new products, services and solutions. They are quick learners who explore various options and consider novel solutions as they anticipate the future needs of their customers.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Self-Assurance

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min

The theme of Self-Assurance is characterized by a strong internal compass: those high in Self-Assurance are confident in their own ability to lead their own lives, make the right decisions, and successfully reach goals without much advice or help from others. There is a self-reliance to the Self-Assurance theme that is particularly influential; people tend to follow those who know where they are going. But Self-Assurance is not swayed by the size of the crowd that is following – or if anyone is following at all. Those with strong Self-Assurance talents will go it alone if necessary, because this is the path they are supposed to follow. Individuals with Self-Assurance in their Top Five don’t tend to ask for a lot of advice, and when they do it is typically to confirm what they are already thinking. Those high in Self-Assurance tend to be seen by others as risk-takers. But the reality is from the perspective of Self-Assurance, if I feel like this action is the right one to take, it isn’t risky at all. Those with high Self-Assurance need to be in control of their own destiny, and they take steps to ensure that they are.  They are confident in what they do well, and not threatened by others who are talented in areas where they are not. They will recruit and recognize talented individuals, secure in their own abilities.

In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I explore the similarities and differences between Self-Assurance and Belief, Strategic, and Discipline.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Coaching Millennials - Called to Coach S5E18

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Bryant Ramirez.

Intro from host Saurav Atri

Bryant’s Top 5 = Ideation, Woo, Communication, Strategic, Activator
He has coached in North America, Asia, Europe and Africa
Gallup-Certified coach currently based in the Philippines
Founded, a coaching practice focused on millennials
He is also a millennial himself


  • Coaching has been an integral part of my own development
  • I always asked my own coached - How can I bring my true self to the workplace?
  • StrengthsFinder has help me do this
  • I see all of my Top 5 working together especially when I travel
  • My secret sauce is Communication
  • As a coach I can now help individuals the way I’ve been helping businesses
  • SF gave me a new language and I want to bring it to millennials
  • Have you heard of Quarter-life crisis – it’s a challenge that millennials are facing, what do they want to do with their life after school?
  • We are in an age where information is much easier to get, you can get answers immediately, but are these answers solutions?
  • I faced my QLC recently; what is the next step for me - continue as a consultant or get a new job or start my own company or go to grad school? I went to grad school
  • My business school experience gave me the opportunity to learn more about myself
  • My call to action is to convert what I’ve learned in the consulting world into coaching
  • I am a millennial and identify closely with them; I want to dig into the science about millennials
  • Gallup’s report on millennials gave me a lot of insight
  • 87% rate that professional development/career growth opportunities as important to their job
  • There is the image that they “hop around” - this isn’t really from lack of commitment but from wanting to learn more
  • 55% are not engaged at work
  • I want to coach not just millennials but people who work with millennials so they can understand each other better
  • Reframe the way millennials look at work; they want a coach to guide them; but they want to do their own thing; they want to be held accountable more frequently and focus on strengths rather than improvement areas/weaknesses
  • How can strengths-based development be geared and framed for millennials?
  • I do it in 3 ways: use trends from Gallup; strengths innovation; and our own strengths as coaches and how to integrate them.

Don't miss out on the 2017 CliftonStrengths Summit in Omaha, Nebraska on July 17-19. Register today!

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!

Bryant Ramirez, Your Quest Coach, is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach based in New York City. He founded, a coaching practice focused on helping millennial build life direction. Strengths-based development is a core pillar of his coaching methods. Bryant has a decade of experience in the business world and has worked as a management consultant for a global ‘Big 4' firm. His coaching style mirrors his approach to business: assertive, solutions-oriented, and driven by action. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Bryant’s signature themes of Ideation, Woo, Communication, Strategic, and Activator have guided both his approach business strategy and a life-direction coaching. By evangelizing StrengthsFinder to Millennials, Bryant aims to bring greater self-awareness about their innate talents and enable the next generation of our society’s decision makers to maximize their full potential.

Bryant’s top five CliftonStrengths are: Ideation | Woo | Communication | Strategic | Activator

Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Cheryl S. Pace, contributed to this post.

Competition: Living for the Victory of the Game - Theme Thursday Season 3

On this Theme Thursday Season Three webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Competition with guest Eric Gillis.

Competition is rooted in comparison. When you look at the world, you are instinctively aware of other people’s performance. Their performance is the ultimate yardstick. No matter how hard you tried, no matter how worthy your intentions, if you reached your goal but did not outperform your peers, the achievement feels hollow. Like all competitors, you need other people. You need to compare. If you can compare, you can compete, and if you can compete, you can win. And when you win, there is no feeling quite like it. 

You like measurement because it facilitates comparisons. You like other competitors because they invigorate you. You like contests because they must produce a winner. You particularly like contests where you know you have the inside track to be the winner. Although you are gracious to your fellow competitors and even stoic in defeat, you don’t compete for the fun of competing. You compete to win. Over time, you will come to avoid contests where winning seems unlikely.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

5 Questions to Produce Better Performance in Your Partnerships

By Tim Simon

Understanding the unique talents of your partner is the first step in improving your work together. But to grow a partnership and produce even greater results, we need to do more than just know each other’s strengths. 

People are different, and people need one another to achieve greatness, but simply naming and appreciating differences doesn’t always set you on the path to productivity. Years ago, Don Clifton introduced me to the concept of measurement, and this applies to partnerships as much as it does individual success. Counting, rating and ranking progress can help you grow your partnership. I know. It worked for me. 

A number of years ago I co-chaired a committee. From the beginning, I could see that my partner and I did not appreciate what each of us brought to this particular committee. I would ask him for a quick response. Rather than respond as I would, he would just sit and think about it. From his facial expression, I could tell he did not appreciate my approach.

On the other hand, when he would suggest to the committee that we approach an agenda item with some caution, I immediately broke in and said, “We have an agenda to complete, and we should move on.” He could tell from my facial expression that I was not pleased. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Maximizer

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min

The title of Jim Collin’s bestseller, Good to Great, is not particularly inspiring to those with Maximizer in their Top Five. Now a book entitled, Great to Excellent – that would be motivating to a Maximizer! Maximizer is driven to take what is already great and make it superb. Excellence is the standard, and nothing less will do. Maximizer seeks a maximum return on investment, and is choosy in whom and in what to invest. Those high in Maximizer love to take A performers and turn them into A+ All Stars. Maximizers focus on quality over quantity, and would rather do a few things with excellence than be average at a lot of things. Maximizer also sees focusing on building strengths – rather than fixing weaknesses – as the most effective and efficient route to success. Individuals high in Maximizer raise the bar for their teams and drive them to pursue outstanding performance. “Good enough” is never good enough, and is a concept most Maximizers eschew with gusto. Taking the easy route is not the road taken when the more difficult path will yield superior results.  Those with strong Maximizer talents tend to evaluate rather than celebrate; after all it could always be better, and improvement is always an option to be followed.

In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I look at the differences and similarities between Maximizer and Competition, Strategic, and Restorative.

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