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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Exploring the Idea of Strengths-Based Problem Solving

By Maureen Monte

“We always hope for the easy fix: the one simple change that will erase a problem in a stroke. But few things in life work this way. Instead, success requires making a hundred small steps go right — one after another … everyone pitching in.” – Atul Gawande

It is human nature to “hope for the easy fix.” But what happens when things just do not go as planned? Though it can be difficult, these times can be viewed not as hurdles, but as opportunities to use our strengths.

On a recent Theme Thursday webcast, I spoke about the power of Ideation and how I use it to productively solve problems. The more I understand about Ideation, the more I “connect the dots” and realize I use this theme to problem-solve in three distinct ways: through the proactive power of Ideation; the reactive power of Ideation; and the lifesaving power of Ideation. Don’t have Ideation in your top five? Top 10? Good news! The process of using these “powers” is not theme-specific. Your strengths can help you solve problems just as effectively as mine do. Let’s dive in. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

What About Weaknesses? -- Gallup Called to Coach: Dean Jones -- S5E37

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with the Principal Architect of Gallup's Global Learning Strategy, Dean Jones.

Weaknesses – we all have a lot of them!

What about weaknesses?

  • Gallup often gets accused of not caring about weaknesses and telling people to ignore their weaknesses – that somehow weaknesses don’t matter.  
  • Nothing could be further from the truth.
  • No discussion of strengths is complete without a discussion of weaknesses. You can begin to accurately identify and gauge your strengths without knowing and identifying those areas where you are weak.  
  • Strengths occur against a backdrop of weaknesses. It’s like light and darkness – you can’t distinguish one without the other.  
  • So, ironically, weaknesses are a really important for strengths development. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

3 Reasons Self-Discovery Just Isn’t Enough

By Bob Van Baren

A few years ago, I discovered that I had very high cholesterol. I remember learning this news and thinking, “That is really interesting, I now have a greater understanding of my health. I can move on now.” Okay, that is not what I thought. What I did think, after I was done freaking out, was that I needed to make some major changes to my diet and exercise routine. Discovery of this issue was a springboard for real change. If discovery is just the starting point in dealing with a health issue, why is self-discovery treated as the beginning and end of someone growing their talents into strengths? 

When it comes to making the most of your talents, simply discovering them is not enough.

Friday, December 8, 2017

More Than a Learning Intervention, A Movement - Called to Coach: Abhishek Joshi - S5E35

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Abhishek Joshi.

Guest: Abhishek Joshi — "Employee Turned Entrepreneur”

  • 14 years of experience in OD, talent management and learning and development functions
  • Formerly L&D at IndiaMART / Max Life Insurance Company Ltd
  • Currently, the co-founder and practice head of Inpingoo - an experiential learning, behavioral science, and technology company that delivers learning and development.
  • Bridging the gap so that technology doesn’t hamper learning but instead develops/supports it

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Restorative - Bringing Things Back to Life - 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 Restorative with guest Mike Hafner

You love to solve problems. Whereas some are dismayed when they encounter yet another breakdown, you can be energized by it. You enjoy the challenge of analyzing the symptoms, identifying what is wrong and finding the solution. You may prefer practical problems or conceptual ones or personal ones. You may seek out specific kinds of problems that you have met many times before and that you are confident you can fix. Or you may feel the greatest push when faced with complex and unfamiliar problems. Your exact preferences are determined by your other themes and experiences. But what is certain is that you enjoy bringing things back to life. It is a wonderful feeling to identify the undermining factor(s), eradicate them and restore something to its true glory. Intuitively, you know that without your intervention, this thing — this machine, this technique, this person, this company — might have ceased to function. You fixed it, resuscitated it, rekindled its vitality. Phrasing it the way you might, you saved it.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Strengths-Based Development: Identifying Areas of Improvement

By Maika Leibbrant

Manage your areas of non-talent, so they don’t become weaknesses. 

Focus on your greatest talent to develop near-perfect performance. 

The concept of a strengths-based development approach is catchy. It’s provocative. It’s fun to talk about and makes for excellent classroom or team-building fodder. But do you practice it? 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Using Strengths in Hennepin County, Minnesota - Called to Coach: Steve Sweere - S5E36

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Steve Sweere.

Tell us about your background and the job that you do

  • I am the internal communications guy for the county
  • My Top 5 are Intellection, Strategic, Ideation, Input, Learner
  • They are all in thinking themes, so I was skeptical when I took the assessment; then I dug deeper and learned to love it
  • Started with Hennepin about 5 years ago
  • Was a professional actor for 20 years mostly in regional theater
  • When my daughter was born, I looked for more of a day job and happened to come across Hennepin county
  • They were looking to improve things, change things up, improve their internal communications
  • I came in with a little bit different way of thinking
  • Top 5 seemed like a single facet of who I was as a person, that’s why I was initially skeptical
  • Then I found out Individualization and Empathy were 6 & 7 when I took my training and got my 34 theme sequence
  • Even when I was an actor, the way I went about things was that a lot was up here in my head first before it found its way into my body, I was known to do a lot of research for a role
  • Empathy illuminates everything else for me as long as I do the research first
  • And that’s a lot of what I do here when it comes to communication; I research what it is we really need to say, then I look to my heart to figure out how to say it
  • I’m a fan of humor, of conversational conversation; a lot gets lost in formality; say it like its one person talking to another person
  • I’ve also introduced a lot of video to the county; doesn’t have to be super high-end quality; people care more about the content and message
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