Strengths Coaching Blog

Friday, June 30, 2017

How Strengths Shape How We See the World - Called to Coach S5E22

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





Strengths are a filter – we say this in the Accelerated Course, and do the “Stand Up” exercise.

  • Some things get through, and some don't
  • We don't realize that it is just our perception - we think the world is that way (Competition example).  It’s not like “I have this perspective” – I think that the world is that way, and I don’t really understand why others don’t see it that way.  
  • Self-awareness is our access to transforming our view of the world
  • I become aware of the filter and can realize that there is something beyond it 
  • Still trapped by the filter - but I realize that something is missing 
  • The paradox is that we are always “trapped” by who we are – we can never escape it.  We can only fully love and accept ourselves.  And that allows us to transcend our own humanity.  We are not just given by who we are – we can then see our identity at work (of which our talents and strengths are a part) and extend beyond it.  
  • Get interested in how something/someone else might complement me.  Understand the limits of my own abilities, talents, strengths and humanity.  
  • Coaching is a process of building self-awareness.  
  • Do I see how my own mechanism works?  
  • Can I step outside of myself and watch it work?  
  • Can I communicate who I am and how I work?  
  • Can I be responsible for it?  
  • Can I be responsible for the impact of it?  
  • That’s fundamentally what distinguishes coaching from advice.  Some coaches have difficulty with that – they end up providing advice or guidance, and call it coaching.  
  • Coaching is more about empowering that person to see, understand and own their own “mechanism” – so they can fully be responsible for themselves and their impact.  
  • Advice makes people dependent, and is about the coach.  Coaching makes people powerful and independent, and is about the person’s self-awareness and self-actualization.  

Strengths are different from the inside out.

  • We know the characteristics of a particular talent theme, and the unique contribution that it is and can be. 
  • How that theme looks from the outside is not how the world occurs for that person - in some ways, it's almost the opposite. 
  • While what we notice about the person from the outside is their impact or contribution, what the person experiences may be very different
  • It may occur to them more like a deficit or a problem to be solved or an eternal question we ask ourselves
  • Someone with Achiever always feeling like there is more work to do, more lists to make, more things to be crossed off
  • Someone with Significance concerned with the question, “Am I important enough? Am I center stage?”
  • Someone with Includer constantly scanning to make sure that no one is left out
  • Someone with Ideation who constantly share an endless stream of ideas and wonders why they don’t take hold
  • In many cases, the talent shows up initially as a concern – and part of the value and contribution of understanding your talent profile is seeing that concern as a unique and powerful contribution
  • Frees the person up from being burdened with that – or wondering why others don’t share that concern – and seeing that talent as a gift and a contribution
  • Part of being responsible for our talents is owning our unique perspective – our unique concerns – loosening their grip, and being able to see and own the contribution they are
  • Coaches help with that process. 

    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, June 29, 2017

    Adaptability: Calmness and Clarity During Change - 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 Adaptability with Gallup associate, Jamie McCarville.





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    You live in the moment. You don’t see the future as a fixed destination. Instead, you see it as a place that you create out of the choices that you make right now. And so you discover your future one choice at a time. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have plans. You probably do. But this theme of Adaptability does enable you to respond willingly to the demands of the moment even if they pull you away from your plans. Unlike some, you don’t resent sudden requests or unforeseen detours. You expect them. They are inevitable. Indeed, on some level you actually look forward to them. You are, at heart, a very flexible person who can stay productive when the demands of work are pulling you in many different directions at once.

    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.





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    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.





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    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

    Questions

    • 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.





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    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.





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    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.





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    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.





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    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.

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