Strengths Coaching Blog

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Input: The Art of Adding Information to Your Archives - 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 Input with Gallup's Mike McDonald. 





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You are inquisitive. You collect things. You might collect information — words, facts, books and quotations — or you might collect tangible objects such as butterflies, baseball cards, porcelain dolls or sepia photographs. Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting. The world is exciting precisely because of its infinite variety and complexity. If you read a great deal, it is not necessarily to refine your theories, but rather to add more information to your archives. 

If you like to travel, it is because each new location offers novel artifacts and facts. These can be acquired and then stored away. Why are they worth storing? At the time of storing, it is often hard to say exactly when or why you might need them, but who knows when they might become useful? With all those possible uses in mind, you really don’t feel comfortable throwing anything away. So you keep acquiring and compiling and filing stuff away. It’s interesting. It keeps your mind fresh. And perhaps one day, some of it will prove valuable

There is an element of utility to Input. It is not necessarily a need to take it all in, it is not necessarily hoarding, but you are collecting things with the motivation that this could lead you to a discovery someday. The act of absorbing can help you sort through decisions in your mind.  It is an openness to complexity and variety. Input can never really be full. There is always more that you can take in.

If as an individual Input means you gather information that might have use, as a leader it is your role to target that information a little more. Encourage through information, find sources, come up with angles that haven’t been thought of before and think of more stories. Input has the ability to never be satiated. You have a certain credibility when you are able to cite your sources. Those looking to you for direction know they can rely upon your thought process. Feed your Input by hunting and gathering information that is relevant to the problem in front of you. Take this natural talent and be intentional in the way you can use it as a strength. 

Think about where you are getting your best information. Where are you getting information that inspires people? How are you capturing time that others may consider down time? How are you using that in a way that is actually spent doing work? Hone this talent by experimenting with the best way you can recall information. What is the best way that you can express what you know that offers support to individuals?

A leader with Input can build compassion by gathering stories of people, not just gathering information. Be intentional when considering the story of the people on your team. This can be a quick way to build relationships and communicate love. You can build stability by not just collecting, but collecting information that your team can benefit from. Create a sense of focus. Create a sense of support. Input can build trust by validating your sources. Your followers will know that you aren’t going to just bring any information, but you are going to bring information that is credible. Input can build hope through a leader by sharing openings in information when others seem stuck. What do you have access to that can help others think beyond their current situation? Input can open our brains to other possibilities by sharing ideas and information. 

How do you feel about the Input 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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Mike McDonald's Bio Below


Mike McDonald, Gallup Workplace Consultant, works with Gallup clients and the company’s internal managers to align strategies and initiatives to produce high levels of employee engagement and well-being. Mike has helped Gallup clients — from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the healthcare, hospitality and financial sectors — improve engagement and well-being. He ensures that managers, associates and teams have opportunities to use their talents every day in ways that benefit and develop them personally and professionally.

Mike's top 5 strengths are: Ideation | Input | Learner | Achiever | Focus.

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