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Thursday, August 15, 2019

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



Join Jim Collison and Maika Leibbrandt as they talk about your Connectedness 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 August 1, 2019. Theme Thursday is a webcast series that dives deep into the CliftonStrengths themes, one at a time. And today's theme is Connectedness. If you're listening live, we'd love to have you join us in the chat room. If you're listening to the recorded version of this, you can send us an email with your questions: coaching@gallup.com. Maika Leibbrandt is our host today. She's a workplace consultant here at Gallup with me and Maika, always great to see you. Welcome back to Theme Thursday.


Maika Leibbrandt  0:40 
Hey, thanks, Jim. Great to be here. I'm excited about Connectedness. But even if you don't have Connectedness, this is a podcast for you. Today, what we'll do is really explore this theme through the highlights of the CliftonStrengths 34 report. That's the report where you get your entire profile, your entire recipe of how are you talented. Now the themes toward the top your profile are really where your power lies. And if you're going to be stronger at work, at home, at play -- right now, in this moment, it comes from understanding those top themes and in leaning into investing them on purpose. But today, if you possess a great deal of Connectedness or care about someone who does, you'll get a lot out of it.


Jim Collison  1:18 
So let's just start -- What does it mean to have Connectedness as your top talent theme?


Maika Leibbrandt  1:23 
Yeah, if you've got high Connectedness, it means that you trust the fact that all things, all people, and all events in the universe are somehow linked. This trust translates as perhaps a calmness without having to make total sense of everything.


Jim Collison  1:38 
This is a very magical theme for me, and I don't completely get it. So I'm excited to be at this webcast today. But how do how might this dominant theme be noticed for people who have it?


Maika Leibbrandt  1:48 
As you might notice that there's a limit in how much logic you need. You can genuinely accept at some point that the answer cannot be figured out. And that in itself is the answer. It's -- for people with high Connectedness, mystery tells them something, it helps them understand. Your concept of people's role, or people's timelines might feel more like a web with a lot of links than specific single trails. You might feel yourself saying or maybe you've even said out loud, I don't know how I know, but I just know. It might mean that you know something's going to happen or that something is happening. It's really about being in touch or tuned in to what is being unsaid. It might be easier for you to listen at a deeper level. In the world of coaching, we actually talk about levels of listening. And I think people with higher Connectedness might be naturally a little bit better at hearing what's not being said and tapping into some of those pieces. You might also know this, that you rarely ask for why -- that, that the reason why something has happened does not help you figure it out. And so I think that's unique to Connectedness.


Jim Collison  3:02  In our new All 34 report, we have this kind of section, a brand new section, where we kind of talk about blind spots. And so what potential blind spots might Connectedness have that is holding you back from excellence?

Maika Leibbrandt  3:12 
So these are not a diagnosis, they're not part of our technical report, they're not a guarantee that you're ever going to experience these blind spots. But it is our responsibility to understand how the theme might be perceived by others. And maybe even think about how could our own Connectedness get in the way of our own Connectedness. So you tend to lead -- for people with high Connectedness, you tend to lead with acceptance. This could mean you don't push the status quo when it genuinely does need to be pushed. So I would advise getting very clear on the values that Connectedness translates to for you. What is unchanging to you, even if the universe spins you completely out of control, or in a different direction? I've met with people who have high Connectedness who say, I understand that everything is linked, because economics drives everything. And so it's almost a pretty logical take on mystery. But it might also be other people with Connectedness who believe that maybe it's about a value set, like you need to treat people in a certain way. Or maybe it's just this idea that, hey, hard work connects everything. Maybe it is a faith piece. And very often I'll meet people who have some sort of spirituality or religious element to this, that's not prescribed with Connectedness, although it is really easy to read that into it. So you can see how it could be part of it. But I think in order to avoid that blind spot, do the hard work of of asking yourself what gives you that clarity. I would also say you likely see life on a different plane than other people do. Understand there are a lot of people in the world who need to conceptualize ideas more directly, who might need more evidence, than you do, and your ability to dance with mystery might come across as naivete or, or just that you don't care. So find the best ways to share your insights with others. Get to know how other people understand things that are challenging, and spend time with folks who can handle the unknown or the mystical, find ways to speak the language of those who are less tolerant of it. That might mean knowing -- on your team, who on your team needs a solution or an update? Who is OK sitting in complexity? Who can you know, tolerate, to varying degrees, ambiguity? And being able to -- even if you can't give somebody the answer, tell them that you can't


Jim Collison  5:36 
Maika, that's a great segue into this idea of what role does Connectedness play on a team?


Maika Leibbrandt  5:40 
Yeah, it's in the Relationship Building domain. And so that means that Connectedness works best through people. It's about picking up how people fall into a grander plan or into a web, even if you can't see that full plan; being there with the people and trusting that we are all part of something. Sorry, I wanted to make sure -- I heard something weird on my sound, and I wanted to make sure it wasn't me. Thanks. I also think with Connectedness on on a team, it can offer a calming nature in chaos, because that ability to honor intuition for yourself or maybe even honoring the intuition of others, trusting that there is more to the picture than what is being seen right in front of us. That can help people during times when oftentimes the unknown freaks people out. Chances are, for people with Connectedness, the unknown is simply part of this bigger piece. And so in a team, I think Connectedness offers a different "ear to the ground." They're listening for things that other people might miss, like the meaning behind events, or like the connection between this event and something else. They can draw linkages, where other people might not notice them. It's similar to Ideation in that way. But it's more about the sensing and the feeling in your gut than the the idea generation and the cerebral work that might happen in your brain for for Ideation.


Maika Leibbrandt  7:01 
To talk about Connectedness and a couple other Relationship Building themes, that might help you understand it in relationship to other themes. First, I look at Connectedness and Adaptability because they both have this Elsa element to them, the "let it go." So Connectedness might say there are forces outside my control and getting in touch with something bigger helps navigate what I can control. Whereas Adaptability says, I'm probably stronger when I'm responding to the present rather than controlling it. But you can see that they both really hit their stride when they let it go, when they let go of control, or they control something a little bit more closer to themselves. Connectedness and Empathy might sound incredibly similar, especially as I'm describing it today, I'm even hearing part of this that you might borrow some of the same words, the sensing is the same, the "in your gut" is the same. The difference is, Empathy is feeling the emotions of other people. And Connectedness is in tune to what other people contribute to the whole. In team conflict, I want to compare Harmony and Connectedness. So Harmony might say, Hey, this conflict that we're in right now is keeping us from moving forward. So here's where we can agree instead. And Connectedness might say, This conflict is leading us to something meaning meaningful, so let's give it it's due -- both can be helpful. Both could exist within one human, and they would look very different. But I think it's about, again, any of these themes as they relate to a team, asking people for their perspective, giving a safe place for them to share it and then honoring what they need in order to be their best. So in a partnership, Connectedness can refocus somebody else who might be stuck on one thing that feels like it's right in front of them. Connectedness can kind of breathe life into that and help people zoom out and take a look at that bigger picture. Connectedness can offer -- in a trusted situation, Connectedness can offer their intuition and notice more emotional evidence than some other themes might. Connectedness can tolerate ambiguity for the most part, not all the time, it doesn't mean that they're tolerating indecision. But I think they don't need quite so much evidence and proof in order to trust. And that can be helpful in a partnership.


Jim Collison  9:17 
That's a great section. If you're listening to that, you might want to go back and listen to that again. There's some just great stuff in there that, Maika, is helping me out a bunch as I'm thinking through this with you. Any clues on communicating well with Connectedness?


Maika Leibbrandt  9:31 
You know, it's important to connect at a relationship level. Share that space, the space between you and the person with Connectedness -- really be there, share something that's important to you, or ask how they're doing. I would also say, give them space to share what it is they're wondering about. Invite them by asking, What are you noticing? Ask what they're seeing. Give them the opportunity to be almost a counselor on on their insight. Similar to -- we talked about Communication being honored when you say, Hey, I need to just borrow some of your words. Can I spit out some babble and see what you what you can wordsmith? With Connectedness, you might be able to say, Hey, here's the situation, can you just help me see it from a different perspective? Now that perspective is going to be, What's the bigger plan? Or perhaps, What's the mystery that I need to just forget about solving?


Jim Collison  10:22 
What might inspire or motivate someone with Connectedness?


Maika Leibbrandt  10:26 
Maybe freedom from absolutes -- release that requirement to prove everything. It might mean a little bit of forgiveness, from how we typically behave, where there has to be an answer. I also think there's there's a lot of Connectedness that feels invisible and feels perhaps more strongly affected by the other themes around it, and by the person's values, the person's experience, the person's beliefs. So I always want to hesitate from saying, Well, it depends on your other themes, or it depends, because that doesn't help us understand the theme. But with Connectedness, there is likely something that they place faith in. Again, it doesn't have to be spirituality, it doesn't have to be religious. But there, there's probably something that they tap into to explain cause and effect that really speaks to them. So get curious about what that is.


Jim Collison  11:22 
Cat in the chat room, brand new to the show, by the way, for her first live show, says it's important to respect someone who has high Connectedness. Sometimes it's misinterpreted in society. And I think -- I hear a little bit of what you're saying there. Maika, when we think about how people can practice this every day, what kind of things could they be doing, to continue to grow this strength?


Maika Leibbrandt  11:43 
If you've got high Connectedness, pay attention to when you feel most tuned in, and turn that into a practice. It might mean studying, it might mean meditating, it might mean time that you spend with specific partners, or maybe it's physical work. You might figure this out by just asking yourself, when do you feel certain? When does your sense of something get strongest or get loudest? Practice, also practice asking questions that help open other people up for discoveries. Get better, this is a skill that you can get better at, you can ask shorter, more open-ended questions, you can practice the art of not stacking a question, which is when you ask like 5 or 6 questions to get to the one you really mean. That's something you can get better at that will amplify the effect that your Connectedness has on your team. I would also say get to know the people around you. It was hard for me to write these notes and not reference fantasy or sci fi TV shows that I really like. Because I didn't want to do that. Because I know Connectedness is something real -- it's not a fantasy, it's an actual talent. But I do think about this idea of if you've seen Season 3 of Stranger Things, they've got this great way of communicating. And it's a radio transmitter, and it's at the top of a hill. And I think about Connectedness being able to tune in to signals from from cause or effect or signals from other people or signals that they're always sort of open to with receptors. And the closer they get to the people around them, it's like adding aluminum foil to the end of that radio receiver. So the stronger your -- your signal gets stronger the closer you get to people. The more authentic relationships that you can have, the better you can understand the people around you, the better you can understand cause and effect in the universe. And again, Connectedness is not pursuing ultimate understanding. It's not pursuing absolute or proof or evidence. But it is better able to tune in to ideas about why things are connected, about meaning, about sort of what we should worry about and what we should not. And that ability to give and understand direction, the closer you get to people because it is that Relationship Building theme.


Jim Collison  13:59 
Right? So speaking of practice, we've been working through this talent-mindfulness idea that we spend at the end of each show. If you're -- this is the first one you've listened to in this season, you'll want to go back and listen to some of the other themes. We've got these available for all -- that you don't have to have this theme. But Maika, talk a little bit about this practice, this exercise we can go through today.


Maika Leibbrandt  14:15 
Yeah, so this is going to close out our program. But if you're scared of this, give it a go. It only takes 3 minutes. So I would say, don't just shut off the show right now and go to the next one. Knowing that, though, you could -- because this is very different than the show up until now. Your next 3 to 5 minutes are for you. They're not for you to learn more about Connectedness, they're not for you to think about, you know, other people. They're for you to say let's just invest some awareness in our own talent by being more mindful of it. It's that idea that we talk all the time about telling people to study success. Well, here, we're going to do it. We're gonna do it right now. This is going to take, like I said, about 3 to 5 minutes. I invite you to do it. So if you're driving, you might hit pause and come back to this later. But if you're doing anything other than driving, just take 3 minutes away from what you're doing, and and do this with us. We're going to start with a deep breath. So breathe in. ... And breathe out. And just be present. Just be here. Want to talk a little about calmness, certainty, power. We've talked about Connectedness today. And Connectedness does bring with it a certain amount of knowing. You have this within you somewhere, even if you don't have Connectedness, but it probably comes from somewhere very unique to you. So I want you to think about the last week. When did you feel confident? ... Just be in that moment. Remember what that felt like, what you were doing, what you were feeling, maybe who you were with. And then we're going to dig a little bit deeper into how you got there. When you're hungry for confidence, what do your talents crave specifically? What do you look for or do when you're confused? What makes you feel ready to proceed most powerfully? In that moment in the last week, when you felt confident, how did you get there? You are at your most powerful when you're feeding your talents what they crave. And today it's that idea of you know, knowing. Do you need time? Do you need ideas? Do you need to talk? Do you need to draw? Do you need to listen? Do you need to research? Do you need to listen to a great podcast? I want you to commit in your brain right now to doing something that will feed your confidence by feeding your talents. Imagine what that something might be.


Maika Leibbrandt  16:56 
Now I want you to give you a -- give yourself a score. How likely are you to actually do that in the next 7 days? A "10" is I will absolutely do it; a "1" is I've already forgotten it. Give yourself a score in your head from 1 to 10. How likely are you to really do that? And then edit your plan so that it goes 1 point higher. So now the question is, what are you going to do to feed your confidence by feeding your talents? And for today's exercise, because it's about Connectedness, I want to close with something that I found in one of my children's books. It's called You're Here for a Reason. It's by Nancy Tillman, and Nancy Tillman doesn't know this, but she has gotten me through a lot in her children's books. It rhymes -- the whole book, I'm not going to read you the whole book, but it rhymes -- it's almost a lullaby in how poetic this book is. But the message in it is simple and incredibly powerful. If you decide to take a look at this book, this is not an endorsement, but well, it is from me, it's not an endorsement from Gallup. The beauty of this is if you truly want to understand Connectedness, read this children's book. It's got -- the images are gorgeous. And there is one kite tail, there's like a thread of a kite tail that follows all these animals all over the planet. And the pictures are all animals and how this kite tail travels across the whole planet. But I just want to read you a specific piece toward the end. And then we'll close our Connectedness. "You're here for a reason, it's totally true. You're part of a world that is counting on you. So don't be too worried, if some days fall flat. Good things can happen even from that. Life can be tricky, there isn't a doubt. You'll skin your knees trying to figure it out. But life works together, the good and the bad. The silly and awful, the happy and sad. To paint a big picture we can't always see; a picture that needs you most definitely." It keeps going and it just gets better, but that's all I want to read right now. Thanks for participating in talent-mindfulness an Season 5 Connectedness.


Jim Collison  19:08 
Well with that we'll remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available at the -- hey, don't turn this off. I know you heard me say this. Don't do that because it may be connected to something. gallupstrengthscenter.com. Send us your questions or comments. If you'd like to send us those questions, send us an email coaching@gallup.com. That'll get routed to us as well. You can catch the recorded audio and video of this program as well as all the others. All the instructions, everything you need is off our Coaches Blog -- coaching.gallup.com. If you're interested in becoming a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach or anything, any of our training that leads to certification. There are some that don't that you should probably take anyways -- available on our courses page, courses.gallup.com will get you there as well. If you want to sign up for these in advance and join us live, by the way, tremendous live crew today. So appreciate you guys coming out, joining us live today. You can sign up in advance, they're free -- just, that way we send you a reminder -- gallup.eventbrite.com (BRITE). Join us on our Facebook group facebook.com/groups/calledtocoach. You can follow Maika @strengthstalk on Instagram, and I'm now @therealoldjc on Instagram. You can follow me there as well -- I think that's just super funny. Want to thank you guys for joining us today. We'll be back next week with a couple more -- with that, we'll say, Goodbye everybody.



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