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Thursday, August 16, 2018

After You've Covered the Basics of Effective Strengths Training, What's Next? (Part 3) -- Gallup Called to Coach: Dean Jones -- S6E30


On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with the Principal Architect of Gallup's Global Learning Strategy, Dean Jones, as a follow-up to several 2016 Called to Coach sessions he led on leading strengths trainings. This is part 3 of that discussion. 






Below is a summary of the conversation. Full audio and video are posted above.

What has changed since 2016? A lot of the focus on basic strengths education is naming, claiming, and aiming. Coaches are discovering that basic strengths education is necessary in order to inject strengths into organizations; a way of inviting them into the world of strengths. 


Gallup is making CliftonStrengths 34 and enhancements more widely available, and people need to understand how to name, claim and aim their strengths. An e-learning module on the basics will be available in the fall to provide some introductory material, to help people get started. (This module doesn't replace a half-day or daylong coaching course.)

Futuristic -- Making Sense of What Is Through A Lens of What Will Be -- Theme Thursday Season 4

On this Theme Thursday Season Four webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Futuristic. 





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Futuristic can be described by every step taken today gets you closer to the very clear future you live in. Futuristic is making sense of what is through a lens of what will be. Futuristic is not just creativity. It’s not just “what if” but it’s “when.”  Individuals with high Futuristic are energized and energizing to others by what can be. Other themes will influence the exact picture of the future, but it’s always with an element of improvement. It’s improvement for a better team, a better product, a better life, a better world.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Being Resourceful: Introducing Strengths to Young (Technology) Workers -- Gallup Called to Coach: Vivasvan Shastri -- S6E29


On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Vivasvan Shastri, Senior Manager at Cisco, who has been a technology executive for 19 years. His experience spans products/services and managing business development across the globe. He is a Gallup-certified Strengths Coach, an author, avid reader and blogger. Our conversation was hosted by Gallup’s own Pooja Luthra from Gallup’s Gurugram (Gurgaon), India, office. 






Below is a summary of the conversation. Full audio and video are posted above.

Guest host Pooja Luthra: Tell me a little about your journey in terms of (CliftonStrengths).

Vivasvan Shastri: It’s been amazing. It’s been a quest of my life to discover who I am. I had no way to figure it out -- you do everything to find out who you are. And when I looked at my (Top 5) strengths, I realized this is who I am. My journey of self-awareness that started 18 months ago continues -- I look at my life from the prism of my strengths. It gives me the ability to explain who I am, how I treat others, and provides a roadmap for how to progress ahead. I look forward to continuing this journey for a long time.  

Focus -- Powerful Investment Toward Achievable Goals -- Theme Thursday Season 4

On this Theme Thursday Season Four webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Focus. 






Focus is the great intensity toward a single target. It’s the head down, hyper-attentive ability to be fully present with the challenge until it’s done. Individuals high in Focus are persistent, passionate, and focused on the end goal. Focus is the efficient, effective, single-minded prioritization that speeds up and improves quality. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Mastery Monday: Productive Aiming -- Futuristic (2018)

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min


On a recent series of plane trips, I watched the six-part documentary miniseries, “Year Million.” The title alone piqued my interest -- Futuristic is second among my Signature Themes. And the series itself -- which was not about literally the year 1 million but about imagining the changes awaiting humankind in the deep future -- well, let’s just say it was more than satisfying! Futuristic loves to dream about, imagine, explore and visualize the future. Sometimes it’s the deep future -- the 100-year view and beyond. At other times it’s the more immediate future -- next year, or in five years or 10 years. But it’s a constant consideration of what may be, what can be and what will be. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Pursuing an Extraordinary Life: Coaching With Intentionality and Courage -- Gallup Called to Coach: Michael Dauphinee -- S6E28

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach Michael Dauphinee, who operates his own consulting company and travels the world to do that. Our conversation was hosted by Gallup's Jeremy Pietrocini. During almost two decades, Michael has been a Strengths Coach in a variety of corporate and nonprofit settings, nationally and internationally.  




Below is a summary of the conversation. Full audio and video are posted above.

Guest host Jeremy Pietrocini: In your own words, tell us about your journey of being called to coach and what you do in your day-to-day business.

Michael Dauphinee: I worked at Hewlett-Packard as an international negotiator for 6 years. I got into a bit of a 9-to-5 rut, was involved with a nonprofit in San Diego when CliftonStrengths had launched. It was around 2000, and no one really knew what “StrengthsFinder” was. We started using StrengthsFinder with our volunteers, it became the language we spoke.

When I turned 30, I had a moment (it’s in my new book, Extraordinary, comes out Sept. 4) that made me realize that what I was doing wasn’t my life, I needed to do something different. I realized that StrengthsFinder showed me my strengths, but they were what I had been spending the majority of my life trying to “scoop out of me.” A year later, I walked away from HP and spent a year traveling the U.S. and Western Europe talking about strengths with nonprofits and community leaders. My hope was that someday I could do workshops and make a full-time living out of strengths.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Empathy -- Connecting by Sensing -- Theme Thursday Season 4

On this Theme Thursday Season Four webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Empathy. 





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Empathy is experiencing the emotion of others, feeling what others feel, and connecting by sensing.  People with high Empathy are emotionally intuitive. Empathy is knowing through being present and paying attention to other people. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Coaching Individuals and Teams in the "Faster Future" -- Gallup Called to Coach: Andrew Sloan -- S6E27

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Andrew Sloan, human futurist, Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, therapist and technologist. Our conversation was hosted by Gallup's own Claire DeCarteret from Gallup's Sydney, Australia, office. Andrew has a passion to use technology to benefit humans in what he calls the "faster future," and in his strengths coaching practice he combines strengths and therapy as he works with individuals and teams.







Below is a summary of the conversation. Full audio and video are posted above.

Guest host Claire DeCarteret: Tell us about yourself, your back story.

Andrew Sloan: My Top 5 come into the room as soon I enter it, when I meet you. But it’s my “Back 5” (the next 5) are the engine room that allow me to offer my gifts to people. Those Back 5 are Belief, Connectedness, Responsibility, Empathy, and Arranger. Arranger really influences a lot of my Top 10.

My journey with strengths started about 4 years ago. I was angry and frustrated with life; my Top 5 weren’t being served, even though I didn’t know them yet. I found a strengths-based coach and therapist who I still work with today and we started to explore what my frustration might mean in light of my top capabilities.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Discipline -- Creating Structure -- Theme Thursday Season 4

On this Theme Thursday Season Four webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Discipline. 





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People exceptionally talented in Discipline enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create. Individuals with Discipline are detail-oriented and architects of structure. They don’t just follow the rules that are in front of them but they think in a way that creates rules. People with Discipline are quite planned, they’re exact and exacting.  

Mastery Monday: Productive Aiming -- Empathy (2018)

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min

In the first “Star Wars” film (Episode IV A New Hope), Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi instructs his young protege, Luke Skywalker, in his Jedi training, saying, “Trust your feelings, Luke.” Individuals with Empathy among their Signature Themes resonate with that scene because each and every day they trust their feelings. They see and experience the power of the emotional side of life, and not only are in tune with their own feelings but also have an uncanny ability to physically feel the emotions of others. When those around them are sad, they sense the sadness. When those around them are joyful, they experience their joy. They intuitively pick up on the nonverbal, subtle emotional cues that others give out. Individuals strong in Empathy talents bring emotional intelligence to a team, and because they are emotional people, they need the freedom to cry, laugh and vent. People with high Empathy often can tell you how you are feeling -- in an eerily accurate way -- even before you yourself know.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

After You've Covered the Basics of Effective Strengths Training, What's Next? (Part 2) -- Gallup Called to Coach: Dean Jones -- S6E26

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with the Principal Architect of Gallup's Global Learning Strategy, Dean Jones, as a follow-up to several 2016 Called to Coach sessions he led on leading strengths trainings. This is part 2 of that discussion. 




What has changed since 2016? A lot of the focus on basic strengths education is naming, claiming, and aiming. Coaches are discovering that basic strengths education is necessary in order to inject strengths into organizations; a way of inviting them into the world of strengths. 

Gallup is making CliftonStrengths 34 and enhancements more widely available, and people need to understand how to name, claim and aim their strengths. An e-learning module on the basics will be available in the fall to provide some introductory material, to help people get started. (This module doesn't replace a half-day or daylong coaching course.)

Developer -- Spotting Signs of Progress in Others -- Theme Thursday Season 4

On this Theme Thursday Season Four webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Developer. 





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The essence of Developer is noticing potential, spotting signs of progress in others, and deriving satisfaction from evidence of growth. It is being drawn to people based on what they can become. Individuals with Developer help curate experiences that lead to improvement. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Taking It to Extremes: Doing Your Best at Work -- Driving Employee Engagement (Q03) -- Gallup Called to Coach: Mike McDonald -- S6E25

On this special edition of Called to Coach, we will spend time investigating the experiential, emotional and empirical aspects of each element of Gallup's Q12 engagement instrument and learning how it increases the power of our coaching as a primary driver of success. This series will be hosted by Dr. Mike McDonald, Senior Workplace Consultant at Gallup, who started at Gallup in 1990 as a manager/team leader and has had a variety of roles but has always led a team. One of his primary concerns for managers is one that he’s experienced himself: How many well-intentioned team leaders are there who are working really hard but don’t have any coaching or context about engagement and how do they lead to engagement through their strengths?







In this session, Mike talks about Q03 -- "At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day." Below is a summary of the conversation. Full audio and video are posted above. 


Host Jim Collison: Mike, welcome back to Called to Coach.

Guest host Mike McDonald: Yeah, Jim, it’s been a whole week!

JC: We’re talking Q03 today, so let’s dig in to that. What’s the question, and give us an overview.

MM: The question itself is, “At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.” So you can hear already the strengths overtones in that question.

We want to refer to the resources that integrate with this discussion. First, Break All the Rules is the seminal study of engagement that contains a CliftonStrengths code and a Q12 code (for administering the 12 engagement items to a group of up to 10 people). We want to help this audience put these resources to work. I’ll also be referring to the book 12: The Elements of Great Managing, plus our State of the American Workplace report, our Millennials report and our Re-Engineering Performance Management report.

We want through these resources to add power to our coaching and consulting to get our clients closer to performance.

Mastery Monday: Productive Aiming -- Focus (2018)

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min


I remember when my older daughter first got her glasses when she was about eight years old. We were driving home from the optometrist’s office and she looked out the car window at a stop light and said, “Wow, Dad, I can see the individual leaves on the trees!” The world had come into focus for her -- illustrating the need for and the power of focus. Clarity of vision, prioritization and the elimination of distractions produce a clear, compelling picture of goals that those with Focus naturally create and then continue to work to achieve. There is an inherent concentration in Focus that blocks out all the noise -- both literally and figuratively. It is not uncommon for students with strong Focus talents to be able to study anywhere, anytime, tuning out all the noise and distractions that would impede the concentration of most others. Focus sees the end goal and then sets out to achieve it. Those high in Focus like to get a lot accomplished, but make conscious decisions about which tasks to undertake; only tasks that get them closer to the goal are worth completing.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Are You Equipped to Do Your Job? Driving Employee Engagement (Q02) -- Gallup Called to Coach: Mike McDonald -- S6E24

On this special edition of Called to Coach, we will spend time investigating the experiential, emotional and empirical aspects of each element of Gallup's Q12 engagement instrument and learning how it increases the power of our coaching as a primary driver of success. This series will be hosted by Dr. Mike McDonald, Senior Workplace Consultant at Gallup, who started at Gallup in 1990 as a manager/team leader and has had a variety of roles but has always led a team. One of his primary concerns for managers is one that he’s experienced himself: How many well-intentioned team leaders are there who are working really hard but don’t have any coaching or context about engagement and how do they lead to engagement through their strengths?







In this session, Mike talks about Q02 -- "I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right." Below is a summary of the conversation. Full audio and video are posted above. 


Jim Collison: Mike, welcome to another Called to Coach.

Guest host Mike McDonald: Here we are again, Jim, Q02.

Resource Overview for Born to Build -- Gallup Called to Coach



Gallup Chairman Jim Clifton and Sangeeta Badal, Ph.D., have written the world's first step-by-step guide to discovering builder talents and using them to change the world. Born to Build, released May 2018, will change the global discussion on what it means to build something great -- a thriving startup, a winning team, new customers, the best life imaginable. Featuring an access code to complete the Builder Profile 10 assessment, Born to Build allows readers to discover their builder talents and learn how to use those talents to start building. Check out gallup.com/builder to order the book, learn more about the assessment and join the powerful builder movement

In this first Webcast, we covered the following tools for Gallup's Builder Profile 10 Assessment.  Click on any of the links to go to the exact spot in the video:



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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Cultivating Good Soil: Developing Fruitful Leaders, Parishioners, Employees via Strengths -- Gallup Called to Coach: Father James Mallon -- S6E23

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Father James Mallon, Episcopal Vicar for the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth in Nova Scotia, Canada. 









Below is a summary of the conversation. Full audio and video are posted above. 

Jim Collison: Introduce our guest to us.

Guest host Mike McDonald: Father James Mallon is joining us today. Father James joins us from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has a broad role within the diocese there and locally with St. Benedict’s, and has been one of the most predominant practitioners of strengths and engagement that we have on record, and has used that within the church and other organizations. Great to have you with us, Father James.

Father James Mallon: It’s great to be with you and with everyone else watching.

Competition -- Comparison Driven Performance -- Theme Thursday Season 4

On this Theme Thursday Season Four webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Competition. 





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The essence of Competition is comparison driven performance. Those high in Competition are really driven to win. They do not just want to play, they want to be the best. It is an awareness of your competitors. Those high in Competition get energy just from the act of competing. They embrace the fact that they are performing, and their performance can get better when they are comparing it to other performers.

When Competition is at its best they can keep the team or product relevant in the market. Competition is not just about getting lost on a goal that they thought was important. Because of that ability to look left and right, Competition keeps you relevant to your customers. It is about focusing not just what goes in, but also what comes out. You may be more willing to change your strategy if it is not working, because you are not only paying attention to the effort you are putting in, but what that is translating to. There is a finish line with Competition. It is not good enough to just give good effort, you have to be the best.
Look for tasks and projects that are measured against others. Look for it where it already exists. Even if you are doing something new and creative, think about who you are going to compete with. Think about looking for categories around Competition that will be relevant to your performance. Pay attention to specialization. Take on challenges that really require the skills, expertise, and experience that you have. Ask yourself what your niche is.


Monday, July 23, 2018

Great Coaches Know When to Get Out of the Way

By Linda Moorman



As a longtime Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, one of my favorite joys of working with the CliftonStrengths tool is discovering the nuances of how the strengths play out differently with each person. I could probably spend hours discussing what I’ve learned about each of the 34 themes, not to mention all the possible theme combinations. It can, however, be challenging to truly coach through CliftonStrengths. Covering the 34 themes extensively with my clients comes naturally to me and it is a temptation I regularly indulge in. And while that may be interesting to some, my role as a coach is help them experience it and use it, not to convince them about how good this tool is.. Sometimes, the best way to do that is to simply get out of their way. 

For me, that means making sure that my focus is on what’s important and relevant to them. I find that the questions I ask at the start of the conversation really set the tone for our time together and I remind them that while I am sitting in the passenger seat helping to navigate, they are in the driver’s seat.

Friday, July 20, 2018

What Do You Expect? Driving Employee Engagement (Q01) -- Gallup Called to Coach: Mike McDonald -- S6E22

On this special edition of Called to Coach, we will spend time investigating the experiential, emotional and empirical aspects of each element of Gallup's Q12 engagement instrument and learning how it increases the power of our coaching as a primary driver of success. This series will be hosted by Dr. Mike McDonald, Senior Workplace Consultant at Gallup, who started at Gallup in 1990 as a manager/team leader and has had a variety of roles but has always led a team. One of his primary concerns for managers is one that he’s experienced himself: How many well-intentioned team leaders are there who are working really hard but don’t have any coaching or context about engagement and how do they lead to engagement through their strengths?








In this session, Mike talks about Q01 -- "I know what is expected of me at work." Below is a summary of the conversation. Full audio and video are posted above. 


Jim Collison: We are going to cover Q01 today, which is “I know what is expected of me at work,” and we have some standard expectations to cover. Where are we going to go and what are we going to do?

Mike McDonald: Well, Jim, as we’ve established in the first call, we want to continue this outline of empirical -- emotional -- experiential. Empirical involves helping you stand on Gallup research so you know what is true. We want to make sure we don’t miss the heart and soul of engagement, which is the emotional. And the experiential -- we want to share stories and case studies and examples that give us a personal connection. We want to keep those three in front of us.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Maximizing Your Coaching Reach -- Gallup Called to Coach: C A Venkatrgahavan -- S6E21

On a recent Called to Coach, we talked with Gallup-certified Strengths Coach C A Venkatrgahavan, Director, Employee Relations and Policies at Accenture India.









During the interview, Venkat shares his coaching insights. The following is a summary of the conversation between host Pooja Luthra and Venkat. 


Pooja Luthra: Tell us a little about your journey so far with Gallup and others in the work that you do.

Venkat: I was a novice when we started and still feel like a novice. And I think the reason is with every passing day that I use (CliftonStrengths) and the tools we have access to, my discovery of what we can do with it and the opportunities that unfold every day are limitless in the last 36 months of being a coach. It’s been three years of intense application, and I’m feeling very much at peace with myself.

PL: Tell me a little bit about what you’ve been doing. What has been your focus?

V: I coach for the joy of coaching, and draw inspiration from coaching. I coach one-on-ones, I coach teams and I coach groups. My intent has been: 1) How can I maximize my "reach"? 2) How can I use this skill and these tools to get to know many people? I’m also now using this to see how I the “reach” I have can meet my objectives in what I do.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Deliberative -- Bringing Confidence Through Diligence -- Theme Thursday Season 4

On this Theme Thursday Season Four webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Deliberative. 





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Deliberative takes great care in making decisions that avoid foreseeable risks. They are thoughtful, considerate, aware, and really tuned in to what’s going on. It is about minimizing risk at all costs. It’s wanting to jump, and knowing that when you’re jumping that nobody is going to fall. When somebody with high Deliberative is at their best their diligence and decision making brings confidence. They are up for making choices, especially choices that matter. Individuals with high Deliberative enjoy the process of sorting through options to move things forward. When they are at their best they are anticipating obstacles and preventing mistakes. 

If you are high in Deliberative get involved in big decisions. Raise your hand for being involved in sorting through options. Sort through the existing evidence to make the best decision moving forward. Ask early and often for as many details as are currently available. Ask for the agenda. Ask for the enrollment data for students. Ask what expectations are expected of you early and often. Slowing things down is a by-product for the amount of time and consideration Deliberative puts into things. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Employees, Leaders and Engagement: An Introduction to the Q12 -- Gallup Called to Coach: Mike McDonald -- S6E20

On this special edition of Called to Coach, we will spend time investigating the experiential, emotional and empirical aspects of each element of Gallup's Q12 engagement instrument and learning how it increases the power of our coaching as a primary driver of success. This series will be hosted by Dr. Mike McDonald, Senior Workplace Consultant at Gallup, who started at Gallup in 1990 as a manager/team leader and has had a variety of roles but has always led a team. One of his primary concerns for managers is one that he’s experienced himself: How many well-intentioned team leaders are there who are working really hard but don’t have any coaching or context about engagement and how do they lead to engagement through their strengths?



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Below is a summary of the conversation. Full audio and video are posted above. 

Jim: Strengths are infinitely more powerful in the context of a measurement called Q12 (which has 12 questions). What are you hoping to accomplish through the next 12 sessions (each of which is devoted to one of the 12 questions?

Mike McDonald: The first thing I want to do is to bring the importance of coaching to the leaders of teams if they want to be effective at driving engagement and performance in their teams. Leader self-awareness is critical, and that’s backed up by empirical research. The leader has to be in tune with the people they lead and the culture they’re creating and the performance that’s expected, nothing happens. And to have a coach for the leader is a game changer.

The other thing is to add aspects of coaching acumen to what we already know about great coaching. There are three points I’d like to land on:
  1. The empirical matters -- this is truth, not just someone’s good idea.
  2. Engagement is predominantly emotional. We never want to get rid of the emotional. We want to capture and create the power of emotion.
  3. The experiential -- we have all been in the three engagement categories, engaged, not engaged and actively disengaged.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Mastery Monday: Productive Aiming -- Discipline (2018)

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min



Precision. Detail. Routine. Structure. These are the hallmarks of those with Discipline among their Top Five Signature Themes of talent. Only 7% of the 18+ million individuals who have taken the CliftonStrengths assessment have it in their Top Five, which means it is one of the rarer Signature Themes -- coming in at No. 31 out of 34 in frequency. Discipline sticks to the schedule, has a predictable routine, plans the work and then works the plan. Discipline comes in two varieties: Spatial Discipline and Thought-Process Discipline. Spatial Discipline lives by the rule, “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” The desks of those with a dominant Discipline strength are impeccably tidy, their homes are spotless, and they love to organize, categorize and straighten things up. As such, they never have to waste time hunting for an object, tool or important paper -- because those items are exactly where they are supposed to be. Thought-Process Discipline is a structured, organized, systematic way of thinking. Those whose Discipline tends to be more Thought-Process oriented tend to have an internal calendar in which they mentally log their appointments and to-dos, and easily and quickly create color-coded spreadsheets to give visual organization to their thinking. Many with strong Discipline talents are both Spatial and Thought-Process in their manifestation of their talents, but some are more one than the other. In any case, structure, precision, routine and detail make for a predictable world and drive efficiency and productivity -- which gives Discipline a great deal of satisfaction.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Become a Better Partner Using the “Hula Hoop” Theory, an Effective New Coaching Tool

By Dana Williams


During a business trip last week, I encountered a woman who was traveling with three hula hoops crossed very strategically across her body. She had a joy in her step as she glided through the chaotic San Diego airport. With her huge suitcase and hula hoops in tow, she was a sight to see among the crowds. I wish I had more time to spend with this wonderful “hula hoop” lady, but we were both on the move so instead, I snapped quick photo. She was confident and did not worry about what those around her thought. It appeared to me that her mind was positively focused on making a difference in the world using her talents. 

She may not have known it, but this woman and her hula hoops illustrated an effective coaching strategy I find many of my clients desperately need. Great moments and effective partnerships don’t come from focusing on anyone but yourself. Science tells us that we can rewire our brain to be focused on positive performance and experience. Yet we continue to listen to the toxic voices in our head that tell us otherwise throughout the day. We worry about what people think, we make up stories about situations that are not even true and we form habits that we do not even realize we have. We tend to react to activities in our day instead being curious about what we are thinking and why.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Armed With Strengths: Using Your Talents in Life's Crises -- Gallup Called to Coach: Traci McCausland -- S6E19

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Certified Strengths Coach and Founder of Follow Your Strengths, Traci McCausland. Traci is a Strengths Trainer, Engagement Consultant, and Career Coach who lives in Iowa. 








During the interview,  Traci shares how she has been putting her strengths to work amid a life crisis -- in her case, a cancer diagnosis. The following is a summary of the conversation between Jim Collison and Traci. 


Jim: Let’s talk about your journey to coaching.

Traci: I’m based in Waterloo, in eastern Iowa, and my background is in HR and I have a master’s in counseling/psych from the University of Kansas. I focused on career and vocation in my grad school work. Back then, I wanted people to be happy at work, but now I know that engagement is more than just being happy. In those days of reading and studying what that looks like, all things pointed to Gallup. So I finished my master’s degree, did a little recruiting and then spent four years at Accenture in talent and organization performance in Kansas City. 

We decided to move to Iowa and that led me to find my way locally and piece together a few things. I’ve taught for John Deere for about seven years as a contractor and then when I saw Gallup open the doors to becoming certified in Strengths and go deliver this, I thought, “Well, that seems like what I’ve been on this track to do for 15 years without knowing it.” I went through the training in March 2014 and was so blessed to have learned from Curt Liesveld and Heather Wright, and there were people in the room who were doing this full-time and I thought, “I want to do this full-time.” So today my focus is on Strengths workshops and training sessions, and using Q12 around engagement. 90% of my work comes from leading team sessions and workshops, and about 10% from coaching, mostly about career and transition, including college students.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Manager as Coach: Start With Trust

By Maika Leibbrandt


Employees today are not looking for a boss; they are looking for a coach. It sounds dreamy, but what does it mean for leaders who have spent their careers learning how to be a great boss? If you’re going to stay in the game and change the game into something better, it might be time to stretch your understanding of what you are paid to do as a manager.

I don’t see a lot of people raising their hands, saying they want to work for someone who puts out fires. But when I ask managers what they are paid to do, often their list of tasks boils down to fixing problems, chasing projects and herding groups of people in a direction in which they want them to go. Yet what team members increasingly desire is in-the-moment feedback, guidance based on their talents, and freedom to work hard in ways that lead them to better outcomes. They want meaningful work that unifies their strengths, their values and their mission. While there are specific distinctions between boss and coach, I believe one difference sets the great coaches -- those who create truly engaging environments -- apart from all other managers: They start with trust.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Context -- Comprehend the Present by Knowing the Past -- Theme Thursday Season 4

On this Theme Thursday Season Four webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Context. 





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Context is about comprehending the present by knowing the past. There is a value in being able to not miss things that have been relevant and important in the past, especially as you are thinking about how to move through the present and into the future. 

If you are high in Context you create safety by ensuring that mistakes are not repeated. You can promote inclusivity by understanding individual and group histories. When Context is at its best those high in it are well informed. They are prepared for anything. They can calmly reference what they know when faced with a problem. It is helpful to show the path that lead to where you are today, and explore the steps on how you got there. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Subtle Approach to Building a Strengths Culture -- Gallup Called to Coach: Zachary Lohrisch -- S6E18

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Zac Lohrisch, the Learning Content Manager of The Good Guys, an Australian appliances, electronics and health products retailer.








Introduction
  • Zac works at The Good Guys, one of Australia’s most respected retailers.
  • He is on a mission to help people live their best lives.
  • He is the Learning Content Manager at The Good Guys.
  • He is building strong individuals and teams with an innovative approach to leadership development.
  • He’s implemented strengths in a national leadership development program that has been delivered to more than 300 retail leaders.
  • His passion is developing impactful learning solutions that get top results.
  • Zac’s Top 5 are Learner, Individualization, Ideation, Woo and Communication.
  • He has worked for The Good Guys for 10 years in multiple roles in HR and Learning & Development.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Mastery Monday: Productive Aiming: Developer (2018)

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 move that work further 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 to 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 aptly applies to the perspective of those with Developer in their Top Five. Incremental progress is the best and most effective way to realize potential.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Consistency -- Establishing Stability Through Predictability -- Theme Thursday Season 4

On this Theme Thursday Season Four webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Consistency. 





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Consistency can be described as fairness, equity and equality. It is the ability to see where things are not equal, and bring them into balance. People with high Consistency are good at setting up clear rules based on what works, and then following them. It is about getting things done not just for efficiency’s sake, but also in a fair way that understands that there are reasons we follow rules. 

If you have high Consistency the value you bring is establishing stability through predictability. It is about following rules that make sense, not just creating rules. You really understand what promotes equality, and are able to translate that into something you do all the time. Consistency at its best is going beyond that awareness of when things are unfair and unbalanced, but following through with an internal nudge to take this outside of yourself. You are able to steer your organization and your family towards a more justified approach. Consistency does what works because it works over and over again. Consistency is about giving everyone the same starting point.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Gallup Called to Coach: Scott Mackes -- Entrepreneurship and Strengths -- Building a Successful Coaching Business -- S6E17

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with the Founder of the Service Academy Business Mastermind and of StrengthsMugs, Scott Mackes.








Scott has been a coach for five years, but the first few years were spent trying to figure out coaching, especially who he’d like to work with. He found he enjoyed working with servicepeople and U.S. service academy graduates (West Point, the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, and the Coast Guard Academy), especially those who are building a business. He understood their background because he has a similar background and because they are dependable. There are probably about 150,000 of them worldwide and about 10% are entrepreneurs, so a target market of 15,000 people.

He launched his current coaching business about a year ago via a podcast of successful entrepreneurs who were also service academy graduates and built an email list of service academy grads and let them know about the podcasts. After five months, he started his coaching program. He now has four coaches in his group and has six programs online (two of which are new this summer) and has signed up 30 clients during the past four months.
So he focused on a “super-tight niche,” which helped him build his business and then teaming up with others who have different skill sets that complement his. His coaching website is https://sabmgroup.com. He also sells mugs, t-shirts and other CliftonStrengths-related goods at his website, https://strengthsmugs.com

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

BP10 + CliftonStrengths = Unlimited Potential Aimed at Excellence

By Adam Hickman and Steve Allen


You’re familiar with the power of CliftonStrengths and how you can use it to maximize your client’s potential. With the BP10 assessment, you can identify how someone is uniquely wired and what kind of a builder they are. In this blog, we discuss how you can utilize both assessments, to create a more rounded, holistic approach to helping your clients to think about their journey, build a path to success and ultimately, live their best lives. 

Do you know someone like Salma? 

As a financial auditor, Salma has come to a crossroad where her career is stalling, and she knows that she can offer the world more.  After completing a business degree, she went right to work. She took a few different personality assessments to help her foresee the future of her work. But she is still looking for a job that meets her expectations and fulfill her purpose. She completes her daily tasks at her desk, but they do not fill her bucket. She is often bored and closes her eyes to dream about the business she should have started. Her dream is filled with vivid images of how her business contributes to society.

Have you met Salma before? Of course not, because we made her up, but let's keep this discussion going. Her story aligns with what coaches face daily in coaching conversations and presents an opportunity to leverage the results of both BP10 and CliftonStrengths. With this in mind, let's discover more about Salma to reflect further on how these results can be applied to daily life.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Connectedness -- Moving Forward Through the Mystery -- Theme Thursday Season 4

On this Theme Thursday Season Four webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Connectedness. 





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Connectedness is about anticipating and embracing the seen and unseen connection between all things. It is about being in-tuned to something beyond the immediate. There is an aspect of timelessness to this theme. People with Connectedness can be quite curious, but also quite aware. They have no problem accepting mysteries. They have a calm when things don’t make sense. They can move forward through that mystery.

The value that Connectedness brings is a calming emotion about the current moment. It does this by expanding our awareness of something bigger. Connectedness is unrestrained by time and practicality. It is about creativity and offering an enhanced perspective. It is valuable because you can help others see the effects that their actions have. There is an awareness that everything that you do has a ripple effect. It is not just a linear process. Connectedness can be about zooming out and seeing the whole picture. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

After You've Covered the Basics of Effective Strengths Training, What's Next? (Part 1) -- Gallup Called to Coach: Dean Jones -- S6E16

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







Led two C2Cs back in September and November 2016 on “Leading Effective Strengths Trainings” -- one was on content and another on delivery.
  • Have gotten lots of positive feedback from coaches and trainers, saying that it helped them focus on what would make the biggest difference
  • Want to take the next step -- what to cover next when you have covered the basics
Start with a review of the “basics.” Here are the topics that we suggested you cover, in that first C2C from 2016:
  • Strengths is rooted in a study of excellence.
  • Define Talent, Strengths, Theme.
  • Introduce CliftonStrengths.
  • Help people to Name, Claim, and Aim their talents, so they can develop strengths.
  •  Address how to handle weaknesses.