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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. 

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.

  • 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. 

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 He also sells mugs, t-shirts and other CliftonStrengths-related goods at his website,

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. 

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.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Mastery Monday: Productive Aiming: Deliberative

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min

Careful. Vigilant. Cautious. Risk-assessor – and risk-reducer. Any or all of these descriptions may resonate with you if you have Deliberative among your Signature Themes. Deliberative is an anticipatory theme – Deliberative anticipates obstacles in order to avoid them and find the most efficient way forward. Individuals with strong Deliberative talents seem to have an uncanny ability to spot everything that could possibly go wrong; and while there is truth to the adage “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing,” Deliberative would rather not make those mistakes at all. If we just take our time, we can avoid the majority of mistakes waiting to be made by those who would rush in. The perspective of Deliberative is “if we have to make time to fix it when something goes wrong after we start a project, then we can make time on the front end to ensure it won’t break in the first place.” As a result, people high in Deliberative tend to make good decisions that benefit not only themselves, but those around them as well.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Communication -- The Desire to be Understood -- 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 Communication. 

Communication is the ability to put ideas into words. It is about clarity, and the promotion of understanding. Communication gets the point across. Individuals high in Communication can move from concept to story. They can take pieces and bits of ideas and put them into form. Communication is an external theme. It is the desire to bring things to light. It is not so much what happens in your head, but what effect it has on other people. Communication takes something internal, and puts it into a space that can be absorbed that is external. 

At its best it can attract and hold others’ attention. Individuals high in Communication have the ability to cut through noise. They have the ability to illustrate life through stories and words. They can bridge any gaps in understanding. They have a desire to be understood. There is a drive to make something stick in the minds of other people. 

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