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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Deliberative - Outstanding Decision Maker - 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 Deliberative with guest Aaron Opfell.

You are careful. You are vigilant. You are a private person. You know that the world is an unpredictable place. Everything may seem in order, but beneath the surface you sense many risks. Rather than denying these risks, you draw each one out into the open. Then each risk can be identified, assessed and ultimately reduced. Thus, you are a fairly serious person who approaches life with a certain reserve. For example, you like to plan ahead so as to anticipate what might go wrong. You select your friends cautiously and keep your own counsel when the conversation turns to personal matters. You are careful not to give too much praise and recognition, lest it be misconstrued. If some people don’t like you because you are not as effusive as others, then so be it. For you, life is not a popularity contest. Life is something of a minefield. Others can run through it recklessly if they so choose, but you take a different approach. You identify the dangers, weigh their relative impact and then place your feet deliberately. You walk with care.

Deliberative is an executing theme. Deliberative wants to get things done taking care of the task in the best way possible. Leaders with Deliberative raise the standard of quality in their organization by ensuring actions are vetted and thoughtful. They increase productivity by limiting wasteful action; they streamline, process and caution.  They are care-full.  As a leader with Deliberative, you create, support and maintain systems that will limit waste and mistakes. It takes a lot of courage to be the person that speaks up about possible roadblocks even when it’s not the popular thing. But, with your Deliberative you want to do things right, do them well and do them with limited risk, which is better than diving in and having to re-do things five or six times.

What are ways to expand the reach of your Deliberative as a leader? How can you polish this natural talent? Find your best system and then trust that system. I don’t say “trust your gut” to anyone with Deliberative. I say, “trust the judgement that your gut has told your brain to have.” Create and trust your system. If your system is to speak with a subject matter expert when you need to make a decision, do that. Find a way to have subject matter experts at your disposal. Or, if it’s looking up data or comparing yourself to competitors, create a system where you do that. Fine-tune your system, so it can be predictable, and then allow yourself to trust it. Even if it will be unpopular to slow things down. Also, get excellent at asking great questions in order to bring your Deliberative outward to other people. Come up with a line of questioning and coaching that helps people see the risks you see. 

How do you feel about the Deliberative Theme in a leadership role? Share your thoughts and experiences on the Called to Coach Facebook page.

Pressed for time? We now have all of our Theme Thursday videos in short, easy-to-digest snippets and other Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches break down the nuances of each theme.

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Aaron Opfell is the Founder of, a digital direct marketing agency retained by coaching, consulting, and professional services companies to generate internet sales and inbound leads. Propelled by early success as a self-taught mortgage marketing manager, Aaron entered the lead generation space as the mortgage boom busted in 2008. In 2015, he was introduced to CliftonStrengths through Darren Virassamy, COO at 34 Strong, who then helped him become one of the first to tap the Gallup API as well as expand from a local practice to global reach.

Aaron's top 5 strengths are: Command | Context | Futuristic | Self-Assurance | Deliberative

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