Strengths Coaching Blog

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.





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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.





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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 YourQuestCoach.com, a coaching practice focused on millennials
He is also a millennial himself

Bryant

  • 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 YourQuestCoach.com, 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.





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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.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Preparing to Coach - Called to Coach S5E15

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





Mission
Price change - increasing the price of Top 5 on May 12, protect pricing for certified coaches
Codes are benefit of certification
Why - haven’t changed prices in 2 year, making future investments
Special price for certified coaches on digital kits
Thinking about the future, and how we continually support coaches
One angle: best place in the world to understand talent and strengths, world-class coaching

Facebook posts - combo of strengths, how to approach, insights to share, helping people accept talent themes
Jim Collison

Overview:
Be prepared 
Listen 
Ask great questions
Reserve judgment
Let the conversation unfold

How to prepare:
Read definitions
Unpack definitions - make lists
Read insight cards
Lay out cards in front of you
Preparing to listen - not speak
Preparing for recognition - seeing talents arise in that person

Listen and Ask Great Questions:
Your job is not to be a psychic - not about parlor tricks
You want people left with how great they are, not how insightful you are
Think about questions you will ask - write them down
Ask open-ended questions 
Be present
Establish the relationship, and know what the person wants to accomplish in the call
Find out where they are
Your job is to meet them where they are
Trust and relatedness are the foundation for the work you will do together. 
Doesn't take time - can happen in an instant. 

Think about clues to talent:
Listen for where you hear the expression of their talent
What comes naturally and intuitively? 
What is deeply satisfying? 
What are they drawn to - like a yearning - again and again?  
Where are the glimpses of excellence?
Where does fast learning happen?  In other words, they just get it. 

Those are the things to poke at. Help them become aware. Help them appreciate their own talent. 

Remember that we mostly take for granted what we are good at. 
And value what we are not good at. 
We assume that everyone can do what we do. 
And that everyone sees the world in the same way. 

Reserve Judgment:
Really listen - and avoid directing the conversation in a way that "makes sense" to you. Or fits your picture of them. 
If you assert something, make sure it really fits for them. 
Don't leave them stuck with anything. 

Let the Conversation Unfold:
It's all a process of self-awareness. The person you are coaching always needs to be at choice. They are choosing to participate - and moving at a pace that is comfortable for 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!


    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, May 11, 2017

    Communication: How to Translate an Idea into a Story - 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 Communication with Gallup's Sara Vander Helm, L&D and Engagement Performance Manager.





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    You like to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public and to write. This is your Communication theme at work. Ideas are a dry beginning. Events are static. You feel a need to bring them to life, to energize them, to make them exciting and vivid. And so you turn events into stories and practice telling them. You take the dry idea and enliven it with images and examples and metaphors. You believe that most people have a very short attention span. They are bombarded by information, but very little of it survives.

    You want your information — whether an idea, an event, a product’s features and benefits, a discovery, or a lesson — to survive. You want to divert their attention toward you and then capture it, lock it in. This is what drives your hunt for the perfect phrase. This is what draws you toward dramatic words and powerful word combinations. This is why people like to listen to you. Your word pictures pique their interest, sharpen their world and inspire them to act.

    Wednesday, May 10, 2017

    A 4-Step Family Strengths Session: Talking Strengths With Those Closest To You

    By Austin Suellentrop



    I married into a family that is big into birthday presents. There is a bit of a tradition for everyone (adults and children alike) to share a birthday list of potential gifts to celebrate the occasion. This past year, my mother-in-law called me to ask for some clarification around the one item on the list that I gave to her:

    “A family strengths session”

    As an experienced strengths coach, I have helped hundreds of individuals and dozens of teams discover how their unique talents show in their everyday behavior and affect how they achieve their goals. What I really wanted was the opportunity to do the same thing for my most important team — my family.

    Monday, May 8, 2017

    Mastery Monday: Understanding Competition

    By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min


    Joe Namath once said, “When you win, nothing hurts.” Those high in Competition understand the truth of that statement, because to them there is nothing like winning. Competition measures performance: “What are the numbers I have to beat? What is the time I need to win? Who is ahead me – of us? Who is our closest competitor in our market? Are we more productive this month than last month? What are our year over year numbers – and who do we need to beat?” For those with Competition in their Top Five, measuring and competing drive their performance. Competition runs faster when there is someone in the next lane – ideally someone as good as or better than me. Those high in Competition choose their “games” wisely; if they can’t see a path to winning, then what is the point of competing? Competition needs metrics, because metrics spur comparison. “If you can compare, you can compete, and if you can compete, you can win.”

    In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I examine the similarities and differences between Competition and Achiever, Command, and Activator.

    Wednesday, May 3, 2017

    3 Ways Don Clifton Taught Me to Measure Performance

    By Tim Simon


    There is a strong connection between who people are and what they do best, and the more people actively think about their talents, the more they notice how their talents contribute to their success. That’s why the CliftonStrengths Assessment is such an important tool in improving people’s lives. 

    It is reliable, credible and practical. The science behind the assessment is solid, and the tool’s usefulness is substantial. 

    Many self-assessments simply are not useful. Individuals might feel good about the results of a self-assessment but then are unsure how to apply what they learned and measure the outcomes of the changes they made. 

    My years at Gallup have instilled in me that “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

    As coaches trained in using the CliftonStrengths Assessment, we should encourage clients to apply the assessment’s usefulness to their lives by measuring their improvements. 

    Tuesday, May 2, 2017

    Profitability: Speaking the Language of Profit - 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 Profitability talent with guest Tim McCabe.





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    People who are especially talented in the Profitability talent couple sharp business instincts and a fascination with making money. They have an uncanny ability to look at data from which they can form unique insights. Ultimately, they evaluate decisions through the prism of profitability. They establish clear financial goals and use data to measure progress. They formulate unique insights from the data that others may miss.

    Individuals possessing this talent have a constant strategic nature of weighing business decisions, relationships and opportunities against the potential to make money. It is keeping their return on investment at the very front of how they run their business. They weigh decisions in the terms of the connection between their inputs, and the profitability of their outputs.

    Monday, May 1, 2017

    Mastery Monday: Understanding Communication

    By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min




    “That reminds me of a story….” So begins many conversations with those high in Communication. The Communication theme likes to talk, describe, explain, host, tell stories, speak in public. Individuals with Communication in their top five are verbally influential, and rarely have trouble coming up with just the right word or the perfect metaphor to illustrate and animate their point. Those with strong Communication talents paint the picture with words so that others can vividly see what they are describing. They are good conversationalists, and can strike up a conversation with just about anyone.As this theme matures, Communication is not only a good talker, but a good listener as well – true communication is a two-way street and the give and take of genuine conversation is essential to both understanding and being understood.

    In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I look at the differences and similarities between Communication and Woo, Intellection, and Positivity.

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