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.

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