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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Analytical: Highlights From Your CliftonStrengths 34 -- Theme Thursday Season 5




Join Jim Collison and Maika Leibbrandt as they talk about your Analytical talent theme -- helping you unlock the power of truly understanding yourself through how you get things done, influence others, connect with people and think critically -- on this Theme Thursday Season 5 webcast.




NEW for Season 5: Below is a full transcript of the conversation, including time stamps. Full audio and video are posted above. 

Jim Collison  0:00 
Hi, I'm Jim Collison and live from the Gallup Studios here in Omaha, Nebraska, this is Gallup's Theme Thursday, Season 5, recorded on July 11, 2019. Theme Thursday's a Gallup webcast series that dives deep into the CliftonStrengths themes one at a time. And today's theme is Analytical. If you are listening live, you can join us in the chat room, love to have you do that and we'll be taking your questions there. Or you can email us your questions after the fact if you're listening to the recorded version coaching@gallup.com. Maika Leibbrandt is our host today. She's a workplace consultant here at Gallup. Maika, always great to see you. And welcome back to Theme Thursday!

Maika Leibbrandt  0:43 
Thanks, gosh, it's great to be here. These fun, Season 5 shorter snippets are really great to do. You know, Jim, we released recently a full 34 CliftonStrengths 34 report. And so a lot of people for the first time might be looking beyond their Top 5. It's important to remember that the themes at the top of your profile are the have the heaviest concentration of of talent in them. They're where you're going to -- think about them as perhaps 5 or maybe even 10 doors that you want to walk through in order to live your best life. They don't describe whether or not you're talented, but how you are talented. And your greatest chances of succeeding, whether you're thinking about success at work or in relationships or at life really lies in understanding those dominant themes, strengthening those and and leaning into them on purpose. So if you possess a lot of Analytical talent or care about someone who does, today's podcast is for you.

Jim Collison  1:35 
And there's a few in the chat room that do today. So be excited to see your comments as well. What does it mean to have Analytical as my top talent theme?

Maika Leibbrandt  1:41 
it means you probably trust data more than feelings; that you can push for proof and think outside your own head by looking for examples, looking for facts. It also means that you can take big, complex ideas and distill them down to the smallest provable piece of evidence.

Jim Collison  1:59 
How might people with dominant Analytical notice this in their life, if they're kind of really starting to look inward?

Maika Leibbrandt  2:05 
They might feel that they're naturally a little bit skeptical or maybe more curious. When other people are ready to jump in they, they feel curiosity rather than jump. You might feel if you have high Analytical that there's more questions in your head than there are answers. You might also have this great ability that perhaps you've noticed -- your ability to break things down, your tendency to consider the world through components that build upon each other. I think about the image of Legos. And it's not just because I have a preschooler, but this idea of, you know, together they create something huge, somebody with Analytical can see every single piece and really think about how do we understand those components?

Jim Collison  2:49 
What's in -- well, let me say this. In the 34, the new 34 report that we have that we have this area of blind spots, which I think is great, great new piece in there we went, we explore it. So when we think about Analytical, what would we what we gain from that area of blind spots?

Maika Leibbrandt  3:03 
Yeah. And I think it's our responsibility to understand our natural talents, to understand them and spend a long time really diving into that curiosity around what they look like when they're successful, right? Thinking about how can this talent help me be better? What does it look like when I do more of it? What's the superhero element of this? It's also our responsibility to understand how can I go through this talent kind of break through maybe some pieces that I'm holding myself back. And so those blind spots might help us understand that. They might also understand how perhaps they could be perceived by others who don't have those filters. That might be something we need to overcome or, or or just acknowledge. Blind spots are not a scientific guarantee, they're not a diagnosis, they're just something to consider. So I think with an Analytical, remember that emotions can be facts too. So if you boil things down too far, or try to strip every idea of all feeling, you might miss components that can help you understand or help you solve a problem. So include qualitative research in your process, whether that's a formalized process or more just a reminder. Ask people how they feel, find ways to embrace ambiguity as a factual experience. Maybe that means saying the answer to this question is people don't know. Don't dismiss that as a nonanswer.

Maika Leibbrandt  4:29 
I also think it's important not to let people misunderstand or perhaps to understand that people may misunderstand your skepticism as disagreement. So feed yourself, I think, by spending times in environments where curious banter is the norm. Make sure that you get a good amount of time with partners, with teams, with cultures who invite questions and who work through things together. The place where that furrowed brow is something everybody has, give yourself even if it's just one great thought partner, that practice of, Hey, I'm gonna ask you a question, I'm gonna ask you another one. And it doesn't mean I disagree with you. It gives you that practice and that experience to build that expectation in areas where it might not exist. I have been recently reading a book by Brene Brown, and I picked up a piece of something she wrote on Instagram around feedback, where she said, clear is kind; unclear is unkind. You might need to use some of that wording to say -- to introduce your intention when you're asking questions. So rather than just diving into, What did you mean by that? What's driving that? Why did you ask that? Maybe you say, it's my desire to give you some really clear feedback. Or this is how I show compassion: I care enough to ask you these questions. So then maybe you just use the coaching technique of asking for permission. Can I ask you about a little bit more about this?

Jim Collison  5:55 
Yeah, we talked when we were spending some time talking about Adaptability, we talked about this idea permission, and I love that. I want -- Can I, can I think through this with you? idea of, Do you want that? Are you interested in that? There are times for that, and there's not times for that. And so I love that idea of giving permission. One of my favorite sections that we've been covering in here and what this role or what Analytical does on a team, its role on the team. Can you talk a little bit about that, Maika?

Maika Leibbrandt  6:24 
Yeah, so this comes from I'm, I'm paging through my own PDF of my own 34 here, just so I can make sure I'm getting my page number right, because with Analytical, you want to get all your details right. Starting on page 21, within the all 34 report, you'll notice that there's this beautiful graph of your top 10 themes. They're colored in, in a chart that has the four domains of leadership. Really what this helps us understand is what role do your dominant talents play on a on a team? Analytical lives in the strategic thinking domain. And as a strategic thinking theme, Analytical basically describes somebody who makes sense of their world by studying it. So specifically to Analytical, it's about testing whether the decisions the team wants to make are worthy. They bring, I think, certainty to that to the decisions that a team makes through examination. So to contrast that with a couple of the other strategic thinking themes. I've got an image here in mind for Analytical, thinking is the train and simplification and understanding is the destination. For Intellection, thinking is the train and I might take several other trains on my my train rail journey, I might just be riding the rails and and I might even end up back on the same train. The perspective that I gain from being on the train is more important than the destination.

Maika Leibbrandt  7:53 
If you want to think about Analytical versus Input, Analytical is going to explore the components within the problem. And Input is going to look for additional information outside the problem. Analytical might ask, What does the evidence suggest? Where Context would ask, What does previous experience suggest? You can see that these might overlap, they might show up together and just create some beautiful theme dynamics. And you can listen to Season 2 of Theme Thursday to learn more about theme dynamics. But there is some specificity to Analytical. In partnership, what Analytical brings to a partnership is the ability to defuse emotion with fact. Sometimes that looks like saying, Hey, we're getting really worked up about this; let's figure out what actually happened. Or I think Analytical can also drive toward relevant solutions based on evidence rather than assumption. So it's not just saying, you know, I want to push out these new products to my client, because they're hot and trendy, but being able to say, Let's figure out what our clients are actually spending their money on and and push something out that's going to match that. I think Analytical can also be protective. It can protect the resources that it has for their highest use. That might mean a partner at work who's asking you, Hey, how many hours will this take? What's the return on investment? How do we know if this is what we really should be doing? That kind of testing and looking for evidence and really wanting to do something that has some proof and truth behind it can be beautiful and compassionate. And in many ways, it can be glue that holds a team together.

Jim Collison  9:30 
Really like that. Any clues or advice on communicating well with active with Analytical?

Maika Leibbrandt  9:35 
Well, I've gotten this wrong before -- I have Analytical 36 out of 34! But so from somebody who's gotten this wrong working with Analytical partners, if they share data with you, read it. They're sharing something precious. So acknowledge it, say thank you, maybe even ask them what they see in it. Ask for their impressions on a problem, especially one you know that they've been thinking about. Give them that space to share their thoughts. And what you're asking for is, is to share something very important to them. Also be prepared for inquiry. Something that you might think looks like doubt is really just a sign that they're truly interested.

Jim Collison  10:16 
And what might inspire or motivate someone with Analytical?

Maika Leibbrandt  10:20 
I think the opportunity to solve a problem that can be researched, measured or investigated. People with Analytical would probably kind of come back at me and say, Every problem could be researched, measured or investigated. But also perhaps the permission or autonomy to direct that investigating -- the time to do it, the resources to do it. More time spent on projects that they find especially important. I think there's a certain amount of selectiveness to Analytical -- that drive for proof, that drive for truth. There's a phrase that we have here in the U.S. that might be a global phrase, but that "They don't suffer fools lightly." So because you're constantly looking for what's credible, what's provable, I think it makes you a little bit more selective. So an opportunity to self-select are to sort to what they want to really spend their their brainpower on. I think you can also motivate and inspire someone with Analytical by asking them to prove something or to simplify something. And give them some thoughtful partners to ask deeper questions. Analytical is about finding patterns. And sometimes that can be something that collaboratively gets really exciting. So somebody who can help you find some patterns.

Jim Collison  11:30 
I do. It's an area I need to partner better with my Analytical friends on the "simplify it" area, that's an area that would work -- that'd fit really well with me. In working on those things, I sometimes overcomplicate it or put it together to make it work, but I could use some help. In that area of simplifying it. What can Analytical do to practice this talent every day?

Maika Leibbrandt  11:50 
Get to know your favorite credible sources. So if you have Analytical right now, go out today and find a podcast or an author or a subscription that feeds your curiosity and helps you find and follow those those patterns of credibility, or those credible patterns. Also, develop more questions that invite others to think with you. In my in our coaching practice, I've actually learned that when you ask somebody a "why" question, it can put them on the defensive and kind of shut down their brain. And if instead, you can open it up with with other ways of wording those questions, you can invite them in a little bit more. So I challenge you to find two more ways to say, There's more we need to know. Or, There's more to discover. Maybe it's, What do we already know to be true? What's driving the desire? What do we already -- Why is this -- or What what is important to this about you? What is important to you about this? Either way, the assignment is for you, not for me. So find a couple ways just to have some great questions in your hip pocket that invite people to think alongside you, and share your ideas with other curious Analytical people. Think Tank it, if it's something that's important to you'll find a, a thought partner who will help you poke holes in it.

Jim Collison  13:03 
We've been spending some time exercising a little bit of talent-mindfulness this season, which is at the end of each of these podcasts that we do, Maika kind of, let's let's dive into that.

Maika Leibbrandt  13:13 
Yeah, so our last five minutes will be dedicated to the practice of just being more mindful of your own talent. This is for anyone, regardless of where Analytical falls in your profile. You might hear whispers of Analytical, but the investment in being more aware of your own talent is important, even if it's not a dominant theme of yours. It's also not meant to be specific for Analytical; it's just meant to be regular. So something that we practice, we come back to over and over again, I'll also say if you're listening live, it's kind of hard to do two of these within an hour. So, if you need to come back to this later, feel free to. Let's do this, let's just take a deep breath in and really fill your lungs. ... Maybe hold that at the top. ... Exhale all desire to be taking notes or thinking too hard -- just let it all out and be here in the moment. ... I want you to think about all the things you've done in the past day, There's likely a lot. Get it all in your head, really let it kind of swirl and cluster around in your brain. Think of all the people you helped, all the work you accomplished, anything you pushed just a little bit further. ... Think about all the thinking you did, all the questions you asked, all the the ideas that you had either out loud or just in your head, let all of this storm of of activity that you did in the last 24 hours, circle and kind of swarm around in your brain right now.

Maika Leibbrandt  14:51 
You might think about it forming a really great storm cloud created by the different droplets of your day. As that cloud builds, and you start to remember all the things you've done in the last day, might feel like that clouds getting really heavy, really dark, really saturated, like it could burst at any moment. It's not going to just yet -- just kind of keep building. Soon, I will ask you to imagine that that cloud is about to release just a few raindrops. What is going to escape from that cloud, that that swarm of everything you've done in the past day is only the very, very best. So before it starts to rain, I want you to think of squeezing out the moments of your yesterday that demonstrated your most highly concentrated talent. ... Out of everything that you did or thought or felt, what was slightly better than you've done or thought or felt it before? What was slightly better than someone else could have done it? What was easy and excellent for you? Right now, it's going to rain but it's not going to storm. From that giant, heavy cloud of yesterday, there are only three raindrops that are going to fall from that huge, that huge cloud. Imagine those drops to be drops of your best talent. ... ease ... excellence ... enjoyment ... edge.

Maika Leibbrandt  16:42 
And the beautiful thing about clouds is they keep on moving. So the rest of that day is now dissipating. It's going away. It was yesterday and now it's it's moving on. You're left with only your very best. ...

Jim Collison  17:05 
Maika, I love this part of what we're doing here during this season, an opportunity to interact. And don't don't just listen to it through like you would a regular podcast -- spend some time interacting with it, and kind of based on who you are, write these things down. Spend some time getting away in meditation, whatever whatever works for you. And there's some great questions that Maika is coming up with here --this is some really golden slowing things down, working this through, thinking it through, write it down, speak it into a microphone if that's what you need to do. Whatever you need to do to get there. let me encourage you to get that done. Maika, any other thoughts here on Analytical before we drop this?

Maika Leibbrandt  17:44 
You know, I -- I will be super honest. It took me a long time to love analytical. The problem is I don't have it. It's like it's really low. It's not 36, but it's really low -- low enough that I don't even know where it is because I don't have Analytical, right? Ironic there. But I think there's a real beauty in it; there is a huge compassion and ability to connect with others in Analytical, and I encourage you to find some beauty in it.

Jim Collison  18:10 
Well, with that we'll remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available at the Gallup Strengths Center, just gallupstrengthscenter.com. Send us your questions or comments. If you want to do that, put them in an email after the fact, we'll do a little post-show here for the live show. But coaching@gallup.com. You can also catch the recorded audio and video of this program as well as all the past ones. We call that podcasting, available for you in any player, but if you need some help with the links, coaching.gallup.com. If you're interested in becoming a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach or really to get access to any of the courses that we have, we have a whole bunch of them, you can get registered for them courses.gallup.com or you can fill out the contact form there on the page. Someone will get back with you. If you have questions, if you want to get signed up for future webcasts, you can send us or you can follow us over on Eventbrite: gallup.eventbrite.com, and if you want to join us in the Facebook group facebook.com/groups/calledtocoach. We want to thank you for joining us today and listening to this as well. Look forward to the next one. And with that we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.


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