Strengths Coaching Blog

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

10 Talking Points to Refocus Annual Reviews

By Jan Peters

Sometimes our internal people management systems don’t align. Maybe your organization has introduced strengths locally but still operates a competency-based system. And here you are, trying to work with strengths and what’s right with people while filling out forms identifying areas for development.
One of the most telling times for alignment between your practice and your organization is the formal review, often happening annually. In most organizations, the intent to take a strengths perspective in the review might be there, but the slope toward ”areas for development” and ”what went wrong” can be slippery. Here are a few ideas to help you prepare, stay focused and be purposeful about continuing to embed strengths into your workplace, especially through the performance review cycle. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Arranger

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min

When I was very young, I used to watch the Ed Sullivan Show with my parents and grandparents. Other than Topo Gigio, the Italian mouse puppet, the recurring act that fascinated me most was the man who spun the plates on the tall sticks while the music of Khachaturian’s “Russian Sabre Dance” played in the back ground. How many could he spin? Would any of them drop? The drama and the tension just kept building! That's the image I have for Arranger – an image that stresses out most people, but energizes and excites those with strong Arranger talents. Arrangers like complexity, intricacy, motion, and configuring people and systems for optimum results. Arranger is a way of getting things done – a flexible organizational mind-set, if you will, that maximizes productivity.

In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I examine the similarities and differences between Arranger and Adaptability, Connectedness, and Includer.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Season Premier with Jacque Merritt - 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. Kick off Season Three with guest Jacque Merritt, Senior Practice Consultant.

In Season 3 of Theme Thursday we will be exploring all 34 themes in a leadership capacity. We want to make sure as a coaching community that we are all speaking the same language. There is value in that shared honesty. We are focusing this season on Strengths Based Leadership. We want to make sure we are all aligned in our approach, so that we can be confident we are coming from the best place possible in terms of CliftonStrengths as a lense on top of leadership. 

What is Gallup’s understanding around leadership? What do we already know? What are the tools we already have access to? 

It is a real interesting time to be in leadership. Everything is changing so rapidly that it can be very difficult to be a leader today. The workplace is drastically changing, and leaders are just scrambling to keep up. A lot of leaders are working with a more matrixed team dynamic. On top of that around 43% of employees now work remotely. Millennials are putting more demand on their leaders, and are asking for more coaching. Structure has changed as well. The system today in a lot of companies is not as much of a hierarchy. They have removed a lot of the structure, and have more self-governing teams. This creates a greater need for more leaders, as well as making the demand on them far more complex. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Student Coaching at the Clifton Strengths Institute: University of Nebraska-Lincoln - Called to Coach S5E1

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Mark Pogue, the Executive Director of the Clifton Strengths Institute at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration.

In this Called to Coach, Mark Pogue discusses what’s going on at the Clifton Strengths Institute at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration. Currently, they are working on a model that trains upper classman to coach incoming freshman business-college students around their CliftonStrengths. They recruited 80 students from all over campus, from all different departments to be student coaches. They went around campus and talked to classes in person to ask them to apply to be a coach. Mark presented the opportunity as good preparation for management careers.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Achiever

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min

Get it done. Get it off my plate. Check it off my list. If you have strong Achiever talents, these phrases very likely not only resonate with you, they energize you. Achiever is the number one occurring theme in our Clifton Strengths database of over 15 million individuals worldwide – both among men and women. People high in Achiever not only possess the stamina to work hard and be productive, they are driven to work hard and be productive—it’s a need that must be fulfilled every day. Achiever is a productivity theme, and Achievers are restless until something – anything – is accomplished each and every day.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Humble Art of Coaching

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Adam Seaman.

Adam is the creator of Talent2Strength, a framework to help people leverage the life-changing potential of CliftonStrengths. He has implemented Talent2Strength with over 100 organizations and thousands of individuals. And, now, he is training others in his methodology and making his tools available in order to broaden the impact of the CliftonStrengths movement.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Creating Strengths-Based Goals

By Carol Anne McGuire

Whether it’s a new year, new quarter or just a new week, we tend to see transitions as an opportunity to “fix” what is wrong with us. We vow to lose weight, spend less/save more, exercise, quit smoking or get a new job. Typically, the first two weeks of new goals are fantastic! But soon, most people are back where they started. Why? Are we just lazy? No! We are just trying to motivate ourselves in the wrong way! 

There is room for infinite growth within our areas of greatest potential -- areas in which we use our strengths. If you’re truly ready to make a change, create one that honors your most natural self. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

10 Tips for Leading an Effective Strengths Training

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

This webcast is part two of a two-part series on leading effective strengths training. In part one, Dean discussed five basic things you need to cover about strengths during a training session. 1. Strengths are rooted in the study of excellence, it’s not a typology. 2. Define the difference between a strength, a talent and a theme and be sure you know them by heart. 3. Introduce the CliftonStrengths assessment and be able to talk about the validation of the assessment. 4. Help people name, claim and aim their talents. 5. Address how to handle weaknesses. In this webcast, Dean dives deeper into how to lead an effective training.

Here are the 10 new tips Dean covers in this webcast:

1. Prepare based on five perspectives:
  • Understand the design of the course, get inside the integrity of the design and get the connection points, learn how it pieces together, the narrative and the flow.
  • Think about the participant experience and what you want the outcome for them to be.
  • How will you deliver the course as a leader?
  • Consider the logistics and the materials you will use. Remember not to give people materials until they need it, otherwise it is distracting.
  • What is the intended impact? Participants need something they can take away and apply immediately.
2. Practice, practice, practice; great course leaders practice all the time.
3. Be present.
  • Be authentic, transparent and vulnerable.
  • You don’t have to be funny or entertaining.
  • Create a space of authenticity and connection; your attention is fully on the participants.
4. How you start the course is everything; it sets your trajectory and how the course will land.
  • You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
  • You want to create credibility and accessibility.
5. The course doesn’t begin for people until they hear their own voice in the room
  • Give people a couple of questions – your name, what do you do, share three words that describe you.
  • Give them something good about themselves that they can share; share authentically, not just talk.
6. Great courses work on three levels/dimensions - Bloom’s Taxonomy - cognitive, psychomotor, affective.
  • What do we want people to know as a result of this course? Do (skills)? Feel?
7. Reduce the risk of participating.
  • Participation is always a choice for people, they are calibrating their risk, even extroverted people.
  • Is this a safe place? Will my contribution be honored?
  • Are you creating an environment where people will choose to engage/participate?
8. What participants say in the room is worth twice what you say.
  • Don’t talk too much.
  • If they say what you say it means even more.
  • Training is helping people to discover something and integrate it; not just telling.
9. Great trainings are practical.
  • Help people translate what they learn into action.
  • Great courses can provoke insights in people; need to set them up to translate their insights into action.
10. Close strong.
  • The most important thing for people to do at the end is to be able to synthesize what they’ve learned.
  • Assimilate it into our thinking and behavior.
  • Great learning shifts our behavior, it becomes a part of us.
  • Make sure they review what they learned; what did you cover today?
  • Have people make commitments for what they are going to do next.

To hear more about coaching strengths for organizations, individuals and coaches, please watch the full video or listen to the audio above.

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!

Dean Jones is the principal architect of Gallup's global client learning strategy. Dean consults with clients on strategic solutions to address key business issues, including organizational development, performance management, learning and development, productivity and workforce effectiveness. he oversees the direction of Gallup's client learning offerings, the development of the organization's learning consultants, and the growth of Gallup's learning business worldwide, including its public course offerings and learning products.

Dean Jones's top five strengths are Activator, Focus, WOO, Strategic and Relator.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Learn the 18 Books Paul Allen Wants You to Read (And Meet His Wife, Too!)

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

In this called to coach, Paul Allen interviews his very own wife, Christy Allen. He also goes through a list of Gallup publications about strengths that a lot of coaches aren’t aware of or haven’t read – and why coaches should read them.

Christy recently completed Gallup’s Accelerated Strengths Coaching course. Christy’s top five strengths are Empathy, Restorative, Relator, Context and Consistency. She and Paul are developing a couple’s retreat centered around CliftonStrengths. Tune in to hear more about their new idea!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Everybody Needs a Coach: A Look Back at the Historic CliftonStrengths Summit

By Adam Hickman

“What will happen when we think about what is right with people rather than fixating on what is wrong with them?” – Don Clifton

It was this notion that brought 900 eager professionals to the inaugural CliftonStrengths Summit in July 2016. The movement of coaching had already started, but bringing individuals from all over the world to one location amplified the coaches’ momentum as they sought to empower people to change the world through their talents.

Over three days of intensive learning and collaboration, coaches learned how to develop themselves, deploy strengths effectively in organizations, and build and grow their coaching business. They also had an opportunity to learn more about CliftonStrengths alongside Gallup’s most senior coaches.

Friday, January 6, 2017

How to Become a Power of Two in Marriage

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

After making a New Year’s Resolution in 2012, Judy and Joe followed through on their commitment to pursue a professional development opportunity together. Based on their backgrounds they chose to work on the Gallup Certification and became the first married couple in the world to be Gallup Certified Strengths Coaches.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Strengths Based Tweens: Creating an Empowered Adolescence

By Megan W. Gerhardt, Ph.D. & Sue Bath, Ed.D.

“How we navigate the adolescent years has a direct impact on how we’ll live the rest of our lives.”

—Brainstorm: The Power and the Purpose of the Teenage Brain

MB, age 14, recently took Gallup’s StrengthsExplorer and shared the results -- Caring, Organizer, Dependability -- with her parents.

"Knowing our daughter's top talents has helped me know how to support her better,” says MB’s mother Nancy. “Because she has dependability as one of her talents, I know that I don’t have to push her in this area because she inherently wants to be responsible. Instead, I am trying to help her manage her expectations of herself in that area.” 

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