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Monday, August 26, 2019

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



Join Jim Collison and Maika Leibbrandt as they talk about your Consistency 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 
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 8, 2019.

Jim Collison  0:07 
Theme Thursday is a Gallup webcast series that dives deep into the CliftonStrengths themes, one theme at a time, and today's theme is Consistency. If you're listening live, you can join us in the chat room, love to have you there. Or if you're listening to the recorded version, send us an email: 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 to another Theme Thursday.

Maika Leibbrandt  0:41 
Thanks, Jim. Gosh, Thursdays are my favorite day of the week. It's great to be here. You know, the CliftonStrengths at the top of your profile are where your greatest power lies. If you have our great 25-page report, your full 34, you know that there's a lot to digest. What we really want to help you do is navigate toward those areas where you have the greatest repository of talent. These are the themes that represent not just whether you're talented, but how your potential really comes to life; the greatest chance that you have of succeeding anywhere, whether that's at work, in your relationships, maybe at home, it comes from understanding and strengthening what you naturally do best and doing more of it on purpose. So today, if you possess a great deal of Consistency talent, or care about someone who does, this podcast is for you.

Jim Collison  1:26 
And I think that's key -- "or care about someone who does" -- I think you probably know someone who has it. So what does it mean to have Consistency as my top talent?

Maika Leibbrandt  1:33 
If you have Consistency, it means that you aim for efficiency through uniformity. That you notice how people are being treated and naturally gravitate toward fairness or sameness for that treatment for everyone. It probably means that you appreciate rules and clearly set expectations.

Jim Collison  1:50 
I think it's one of those as we've talked about this in previous seasons, I've always emphasized the fact that this theme really is important as we think about how we treat people. And oftentimes in the community, Maika, it gets set as I do things consistent, consistently. Like it becomes a personal thing like me being consistent. Can you separate those two -- do both exist? Or how does that work?

Maika Leibbrandt  2:11 
Well, it's certainly both, you know, it is an Executing theme. And we will talk about that. So a lot of the ways I think that Consistency can be understood is by realizing what is it that you do over and over again, because that creates a process that works sort of like well-worn grooves that you know work. So that is certainly an element of it. It did used to be called Fairness. And so it is about that desire to treat people the same. And -- but I think it's also about realizing that that desire is rooted in the efficiency that you gain when people are being treated the same or when they have the same sort of starting point or expectations, that that helps us all achieve what we want to achieve that much faster, that much better. You might notice Consistency in your life a couple different ways. It might mean that you before you dive into something you're curious about what are the rules? Or what are we all agreeing to? You can see how and of course, those those lines between the domains of leadership are more like curtains and less like brick walls. So you can probably see that there is perhaps a more relationship element to this. But but it's also about realizing, gosh, how do I connect to this whole? And how do we move together as one unit?

Maika Leibbrandt  3:26 
That's a great explanation, Maika. When we think about potential blind spots in the new 34 report we've been talking about all season, we have a new section called blind spots. And so how does this hold people back from excellence?

Maika Leibbrandt  3:26 
So Consistency is about noticing the whole. You might be curious about what are the rules? You'd probably when you get asked to do a project aren't only focusing on the end result. But you're also curious pretty quickly about what are the expectations of how we get there? And what's the relational part of that expectation? Interestingly enough, when we talk about expectations in our engagement work, you know, Question 01 of our Q12 is I know what's expected of me at work. And when you unpack that, one element is the relational element of expectations. How does what I get paid, do at work connect to what my colleagues are paid to do? And how do we do that together? I think Consistency can really dance in that space of understanding expectations and how it connects to others. It's that desire for group efficiency. You probably notice in your gut and your brain when something feels unbalanced. Or when things tend to change based on a human factor. You probably notice that pretty quickly. You might also be a bit of an efficiency Ninja, able to minimize errors, whether those errors are emotional or practical by setting and following an agreed-upon set of standards. Consistency is about paying attention to the whole rather than individual parts. I think about Consistency when you think about -- I have a mug here that I want to my friend Kalby gave me the supermom mug. If you think about Consistency in the role of a parent or a mom, it's more about setting expectations to protect the whole family than it is championing individual children. So and that that honestly made me think about it, because my mother in law has Consistency. And I look at how she shows compassion on the whole, making sure that everybody is treated the exact same way that just -- it translates to this -- translates to love and care, but it's for the whole more than it is for the individuals.

Maika Leibbrandt  5:29 
So these blind spots are super popular. When we beta tested this, it was one of the things that we found people clicked on the quickest. It is important to realize blind spots are not a scientific diagnosis of Oh, by the way, we've also noticed that this is wrong with you. What these are is, they're meant to help you take responsibility for how your themes show up to other people and help you stay out of your own way. So it's completely possible that you would never actually experience these blind spots, but it's just a conceptual framework that should help you invest even more mindfully in your talents. So with Consistency, you really do thrive when people are being treated the same. But even with the same expectations, people will respond differently. So there might be times when you need to make adjustments for individuals. I think it's important to learn when those times are. Name the starting point or that trigger point when you notice that somebody, somebody is going to need some individual care. And or maybe we're going to need a change in our operating procedure. Typically, it's a time when emotion is involved. And then instead of saying I'm going to put my Consistency on hold, look for ways that you can lean into your Consistency, by having a rule that you can follow about making exceptions for others. Maybe it's something like every time I need to motivate my team, I'm going to make sure I ask what they individually are turned on by. Or every time I need to recognize somebody, I'm going to make an effort to do it in a personalized, individualized way. You can see how you're still making those allowances for the beauty and diversity of humanity in a set operating procedure.

Maika Leibbrandt  7:09 
Another blind spot or or or I think callout for Consistency is you might define the greater good differently than others. You look toward equal treatment and uniform expectations to achieve group efficiency. Other people might never even notice that. They might look somewhere else or they might even just reject that need to have balance as a group at all. So help people know your motivation. When you are sensing that something is out of balance, know that you might be the only person sensing that. Look for a way to to bring it to light instead of just say, you know, "blow the lifeguard whistle" and say "Get back in line." When you have something that you notice that's creating a lack of balance, have a procedure that you that you offer what it is that you're noticing. One thing -- I don't want to trivialize this or make it seem kind of childish, but one thing I love about my kids' school right now is they in their preschool classroom, they talk about this notion of a bug and a wish. And I thought it was cute. I thought there's no way my kids are ever actually going to do it. And then I heard him tell his little sister in the car yesterday, Hey, it really bugs me when you do this. And I wish you would do that instead. And it was this really great way of just getting his experience out there in the in the open. And so I think it's about having that procedure that helps people share your motivation, your desire for consistency, and your expected next step. Maybe instead of a bug and a wish you say, I noticed this and I'm sensing here's the effect it might have. So again, remember that Consistency lives in that space of wanting to do things more efficiently, wanting the whole to to stay intact, and that there's a lot of great value and motivation in that that some people might need to be open to and might need to get the opportunity to hear from you.

Jim Collison  8:53 
We get this all the time. Steve brings it up in the chat room: Consistency and Individualization both in his Top 5. And we think about teams, we think we need to have both of those in there. So how does Consistency play out in a team setting?

Maika Leibbrandt  9:09 
Well, it is it does live in that Executing framework. Consistency is about uniformity among the group helping us get the job done quicker, safer, better. In a team, I think consistency can be the referee or the lifeguard, making sure that everyone adheres to the same expectations, follows the same rules. And that, in turn, can create space for each other. Steve, if you want to type a little bit more in the chat, we'd love to know how that plays out for you with Individualization right there alongside it. I have worked and coached people who have both. Now conceptually, those two themes might seem like they're on opposite ends of the spectrum. Consistency says, you know, the best way to treat people is make sure everybody gets the same treatment. Whereas Individualization might reject that and say the best way to treat people is treat them all as, you know, for what they need in the moment that they need it. However, when you have them both, it's that ability to to always individualize or to always anticipate differences. I think Consistency has that "always" element to it. In a team, it can feel relational, maybe even influential. The ability to really round the edges, blend the highs and lows to something more normalized. I think that's what Consistency can bring to a group -- bringing more balance, less opportunity for sort of outliers, or less worry and stress about outliers and more about how do I bring this back into the whole? I think about Consistency maybe sitting at a soundboard in a radio station, being able to say, All right, here's how we bring everybody to that normalized place or being directing an orchestra. If Consistency was an orchestra or a band director, they might really thrive in those moments when everybody is playing a chord together more than those moments where somebody's taking a solo. Does that makes sense?

Jim Collison  10:57 
Yeah, I think so. It's -- it is an important, you know, like when we see Adaptability and Deliberative -- like those those, you know, we spent a whole bunch of time in Season 2, breaking these down and talking about that. So if you have more questions on, on Consistency and Individualization, go back to Season 2 for either one of those, when we talked quite a bit about it. Maika, when you think about comparing these to other Executing themes, how do we do that?

Maika Leibbrandt  11:19 
Yeah, so within those Executing themes, and again, if you've got the CliftonStrengths 34 report, page 21 is a beautiful graphic representation of your Top 10 as they compare across those four elements of leadership. But let's go specifically into Executing. I'm going to compare Consistency and Arranger. So Consistency might say, What makes us similar makes us efficient. Whereas Arranger would say Hey, differences work as long as they're organized well. Consistency and Deliberative: Consistency needs to know the rules and the standards and will encourage other people to follow them; Deliberative needs to know the risks and the obstacles and will encourage other people to avoid them. Consistency and Restorative: Consistency can spot the differences and the inequalities and work to bring us toward fairness; Restorative can spot what's broken and work to bring toward working order. In practice, you might have two people doing something that looks incredibly similar, but they might come from different lenses, different motivations, different pieces that they would notice. In partnership, I think Consistency, regardless of what other themes you're partnering with, what it brings to that partnership is the ability to assess a risk for customization. Being able to say, hey, what is the cost if we make allowances for individuals here? Consistency can keep an open eye to how fair are we being? Being able to say, you know, how, how is this going to be perceived by all parties? And can bring attention to the whole -- being able to say, Hey, we are one ecosystem, we are not just individual players.

Jim Collison  13:00 
Steve in the chat room also says it all depends on the situation -- you had asked, How's that working for you, Steve? Well, it depends on the situation. I'd expect that. Each person needs to know the balance of the team and their role as a whole. I think if you go back into Expanding Your Strengths, the book, and Curt's statement, that's very Curt-esque, right, knowing the balance of the team and their role for the whole.

Maika Leibbrandt  13:23 
And their role for the whole -- love that.

Jim Collison  13:24 
I think sometimes when we compare these two and you did -- you do a beautiful job of this every week, as we think about how we compare these, it's it's never a it's never a conflict, it's how do they work together? And I think the best way to figure that out is -- you did it right here, Maika, you said, Hey, Steve, how does this work? And I think sometimes we want to superimpose our own thoughts on people and say, Oh, it should be this way for you. And you should be saying, How does this work for you and get that understanding back from them, right?

Maika Leibbrandt  13:51 
And realize that Steve can do that because he's done a great job of investing in these themes and understanding what they mean -- understanding what the starting point is of, you know, how do you define a theme sort of in this static, isolated science place, but then, with that understanding with that ability to name it, then he can say, OK, here's how it works for me. I taught a session this morning, we've got this really fun Getting Started With CliftonStrengths webinar. And I got to teach it for a small group of people who were five states away from me, but it was like we were all together. And one of the things that one of our participants said, I tried to call out, Hey, which one of your themes really stands out to you the most? And he said, You know, I can't isolate them. They're all within me, I bounce in between all of them in order to move through my day. And so that's true. You know, when you're coaching people, when you're working with people, it's important to realize that for them, you're describing your entire lens on how you see the world, how you make sense of your of your life -- that sometimes it's difficult just to say, OK, well, this is one talent, and here's my next talent. But do the hard work of naming those and then allow the client or the person you're coaching or even your partner, to describe, Hey, here's how it really works in my life. It's an incredibly individualized assessment that we're using here. So we're probably on the wrong track if we think we've got the right answers for everybody.

Jim Collison  15:09 
No, no. Right on. OK, advice for communicating.

Maika Leibbrandt  15:12 
Yeah, be as clear as possible with people with Consistency about what are the expectations? What are the rules? And how do they apply to everyone? If there are exceptions to standard rules, make the exception part of that expectation. You might say, you know, we always accommodate this, or we always make an exception for maybe this this list of standards here. I would also say, Be aware of your "always," your "sometimes," and your "most of the time." Are you communicating a rule? Are you communicating an exception to the rule? And are you bringing back the clarity of what those things are?

Jim Collison  15:49 
How might I inspire or motivate someone with Consistency?

Maika Leibbrandt  15:53 
Use them as a sounding board when change is happening. Understand that what you might get from somebody with Consistency is an ability to help them for them to help you really assess how this is going to be perceived for everybody. I would say also, if you're going to use them as a sounding board, go to them first before you've made your decision and ask what they notice. Understand the rules as well as what defines success. So not just being able to say you can and cannot. But being able to say here's really what we're looking for. Talk to them about what a win looks like, what social or practical contracts are we agreeing to with with our behaviors? I would also say give them the opportunity to serve as the lifeguard or the referee. Offer a platform where they can get where they get to alert the team of any unnecessary customization and perhaps the implications of that.

Jim Collison  16:45 
I think that last one, some great advice in a team setting in particular, where they're feeling frustrated, because it's not being consistent and give them that opportunity, or that permission to come to you and say, Hey, tell me when you're feeling this way. This would be a good thing for me to know. So as we think about people with Consistency, what kind of practices can we put into place to use this talent every day?

Maika Leibbrandt  17:04 
Yeah. So if you have Consistency, I want to challenge you to pay attention to your own "always" practices. What do you do daily that makes your own life runs smoothly? How can you deliberately improve upon that habit? Is it time to rewrite it? Are you doing it because that groove has gotten so worn? It's just how you've always done it? Or is there a more efficient way that you could think about making making any sort of improvement? I would also say, here's a way to practice Consistency: Be the recognition referee of a group that you belong to. Look for opportunities to make sure people are getting the praise that they deserve based on the job that they've done. Very often, the people who get the praise are the ones who take that guitar solo, even if it wasn't planned. But I think Consistency has an eye for realizing who is adhering to the agreement that we made originally. And so go out of your way -- be the conscience; be the person who reaches out and recognizes those people. Offer praise to someone on a regular basis; make it part of your habits.

Jim Collison  18:09 
Maika, we've been working through this exercise, which I've really grown to appreciate. This talent-mindfulness exercise. So how can we -- how can we apply, so whether we have it or not, how can we apply this and do some actual practical thoughts around this?

Maika Leibbrandt  18:21 
Yeah, if you're new, this season, we have we spend our last 3 to 5 minutes just in some mindfulness for yourself -- as your gift for showing up and learning about one specific theme, we leave you with an opportunity to think about your own talent. So for the next 3 to 5 minutes, I'm going to offer this this guided practice for you, whether or not you have Consistency. Let's start just with a deep breath in. ... And exhale, anything else that might be cluttering your brain. ... Today, we are going to think about strengths as they relate to your experience as part of a group. You could say this is an exercise in understanding perhaps what might lead to greater group engagement. I'd like you to consider a group that you identify as part of, maybe it's your team, a neighborhood, an organization, an industry, your family. Get that group in your mind. Now I'd like you to think, What is that group known for doing well? Sort through all those ideas you have and pick one word to describe what's great about that group. If you're joining us live, add that word in the chat. Now let's focus on that word, see the word in your brain. Imagine what it would sound like if you were going to say it out loud. Again, this is one word to describe something that the group you're thinking of does really well. Now let's get curious about how this group does that so well. What is one "always" that people in this group agree to? Maybe you could think of it as, you know, in this group, we always ... or anytime this group is together, we always ...

Maika Leibbrandt  20:31 
Now think of the role that you specifically play within that group. ... I'm going to ask you three sentences that I'd like you to finish in your brain. As part of this group, here's something I enjoy doing. ... As part of this group, others look to me for ... In this group, I always ...

Maika Leibbrandt  21:09 
Take some notes if you need to. I think this is important to be able to really dive into the ingredients of an engaged team and your role within a group. There is consistency to our talents, whether or not you lead with a Consistency theme. They are recurring patterns of how we make sense of the world. And we can learn a lot by being mindful about what we always do, how we always partner, or expectations that we always have. As you continue through the rest of your day, I want to encourage you to notice how you're contributing, not just to yourself, but as part of a whole. And that's your talent-mindfulness for today.

Jim Collison  22:01 
It's pretty great, Maika. With that, I think we'll remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available at the Gallup Strengths Center -- depending on when you're listening to this, that may redirect you to our new Gallup Access site that's coming up -- my.gallup.com is the easy way to get to that. We got a lot of new resources coming with that as well. That goes live September 20th of 2019. So if you're listening after the fact, that may be out there, go check it out. If you have questions, send us an email: coaching@gallup.com. Of course, you want to check out our Coaches Blog: coaching.gallup.com. If you're interested in any training available, maybe -- we have a whole Strengths Discovery Course going on here on campus today. You can take advantage of every all of our courses are laid out on our courses site, go to courses.gallup.com. See if there's one maybe near you that you can take advantage of. If you want to sign up to get registered for these events, to join us live, it's a lot of fun. Well, you get the pre- and the post- and the mid-show; you don't get that on the recorded versions, or the edited version of this. Sign up at our Eventbrite site, go to gallup.eventbrite.com. And of course, join on our Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/calledtocoach. When we say consistency, our editor, Mark, I was just meeting with him this morning and he listens to all of these and consistently makes sure the transcriptions are done correctly. We don't get everything right, but we get pretty close. Mark, thanks for doing that as well. And one of his talents is just making sure everything we do is right so Mark, thanks for doing that. With that we'll say thanks for listening. Stay around for the next show if you're listening live; with that, we'll say Goodbye, everybody.

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