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Thursday, September 12, 2019

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



Join Jim Collison and Maika Leibbrandt as they talk about your Discipline 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 29, 2019. Theme Thursday is a Gallup webcast series that dives deep into the CliftonStrengths themes, one at a time, and today's theme is Discipline. If you're listening live, we'd love to have you join us in our chat room. And if you're listening after the fact to the recorded version on the podcast, whatever, you can send us your questions via email: coaching@gallup.com. Maika Leibbrandt is our host today. She's a workplace consultant here at Gallup. Maika, always great to see you on Thursday. Welcome back.


Maika Leibbrandt  0:42 
Thanks, Jim. Great to be here. You know, those CliftonStrengths at the top of your profile are where you have the greatest potential, the greatest power, the greatest ability to truly be your best, whether you're thinking about being your best at home, at work, at school, it really comes from understanding and then investing purposefully on those themes that always describe you. We call those your dominant themes. If you look at your CliftonStrengths profile, and you find Discipline as one of those top themes, this podcast is for you. It's also for you if you care about someone who has high Discipline. So I think, regardless of whether you have this high, you will find something in today's session.

Jim Collison  1:19 
What does it mean to have Discipline as a top talent team, then?

Maika Leibbrandt  1:21 
it means that you enjoy routine and structure. You create order; you also admire order.

Jim Collison  1:28 
Let's break that down a little bit more. How might people with this dominant theme notice it in their life?

Maika Leibbrandt  1:33 
Yeah, if you've got high dominant Discipline, you probably learn new things by first organizing your notes. You might have been called out as being neat or tidy, but it doesn't necessarily have to be in all aspects of your life. You might feel and sense when things are in order. And when they're sort of out of out of alignment. And when they feel like they're out of order, you probably sense a longing for structure when there isn't one. You can break down the steps of an active into a process that will get that activity done. Maybe you're the the person that others look to for rules and expectations.

Jim Collison  2:08 
And that's what I look for when I find somebody with Discipline because I have none of it. I'm always looking for them to provide that structure. What potential blind spots might somebody with Discipline -- you know, we would talk a lot about this new in the in the new 34 report. Right? And so how what what blind spots might hold them back from excellence?

Maika Leibbrandt  2:24 
Sure. And I love the way that you that you phrase even just that question, Jim, It's important for us to understand that there's no, the all the research that goes into strengths is not on how you might fail; it really is on getting incredibly curious and actually measuring those patterns of talent that lead people to success. Now, when we're coaching around it, it is important for us to take responsibility for how our themes show up in the eyes of others. So we do include those blind spots in this CliftonStrengths 34 report. But remember, we're not giving you a read on a scientific diagnosis of -- Oh, and by the way, if you fail, this is going to be why. That being said, most people find these incredibly helpful; they are from more of an artistic take than a scientific one. Two blind spots that might hold Discipline back from being its very best. One is that you love predictability, and you love control, which could be perceived as being inflexible or being resistant to new ideas. Having high Discipline does not equal having low acceptance of creativity; it doesn't mean that you're a "stick in the mud." But the truth is, you're likely better able to flex if you've first done the planning, because that act of planning will expose you to other options and help you get to those options in what -- from you from your side, from that Discipline side -- might feel like a very organized manner, and to other people, might look like flexibility. So I think it's important for folks with high Discipline to understand what your best processes are for adjusting course. When plans change in the past, how have you adapted? Figure out what you need in order to feel like you're changing course, in a structured, predictable way, and ask for it. It might mean that you say out loud when somebody throws a wrench in your plans that you say, Hey, let's talk about what this change might mean, instead of saying No, I can't do that. Maybe it means that you ask more questions -- How quickly do we need to respond? If I can, if we go this direction, it will cost XYZ -- thinking about that cost might be time, it might be scope, it might be opportunity.

Maika Leibbrandt  4:24 
The other blind spot around Discipline that that I can see, and again, these aren't factual blind spots, but certainly things to consider, is just the fact that Discipline is a pretty rare theme. If you think about the 5 themes of our 34 that show up in people's Top 5 the least often, Discipline is one of those. It's likely that you will work with people who thrive with more ambiguity or with more mental space or more freedom, just simply because it's likely that you work with people who do not have Discipline. So don't expect other people to treat rules and structure with the same reverence that you do. Build strong partnerships by voicing what your non-negotiables are. If there are rules or, or routines or habits that truly enable your performance and that you can't imagine your world without, share those. And, while you're at it, maybe ask other people what their non-negotiables are as well.

Jim Collison  5:16 
I like that word "non-negotiables." I think that's a great way of phrasing it. What role does it play on a team? This is a question we've been asking all season. I think it's a really important one for our coaches to kind of listen to these clues as they're working with teams, but kind of what role does it play on a team?

Maika Leibbrandt  5:32 
Yeah, and if you want to learn more about what role any of your team, your talent themes play on a team, start on page 21 of the CliftonStrengths 34 report. That's where you'll start to see your Top 10 highlighted across the Four Domains of Leadership that we know exist within all 34 themes. Within those domains, Discipline falls into the one we call Executing. And that means people with dominant Executing talent can -- or excuse me, dominant Discipline, tends to default toward how do we move a process forward? So people with Discipline on your team will keep keep an eye out for order, for structure, maybe for even opportunities to create order and structure, if it feels like it's lacking. They're able to take what's currently happening and put it into a machine or put it into a process that moves that project or moves the team closer to their goals of where they want to go. Discipline craves order. And that can create predictability; it can create safety; it can create stability within a team if you let it. I also think anytime you're working with Executing themes, it's typically a good bet -- one that you'd want to confirm with these people through through questions -- but it's typically a good bet that those people are really going to thrive if there's a clear goal or something to progress toward.

Maika Leibbrandt  6:45 
Let's compare it to a couple other Executing themes. This first one I noticed Janice in the chat even asked this in our pre-show. So I had this comparison in my notes already, but I wanted to compare Discipline and Consistency. They're 2 executing themes. They can show up together, or they could show up, you know, individually and look slightly different. Consistency is even-handed fair, equitable. Consistency reaches stability through uniformity. Discipline is orderly, clean and structured, and reaches stability through that order. Now, you might misunderstand one for the other. And that's OK. I think what's important is that you're helping your client lean farther into their talents. That might not mean you have to spend a ton of time differentiating, whether you're talking about Consistency or you're talking about Discipline. What's more important is that you're talking about how do they invest in it? But again, the difference there is, I think Discipline might repeat the same routine over and over again, because it's efficient, and because it's working and because it's it's structured, whereas Consistency might repeat the same routine over and over again because they really thrive in the repetitive sort of nature there and that uniform fairness that that brings. So again, could look the same on an outcome, just comes from slightly different motivations.

Maika Leibbrandt  8:06 
Also want to look at the difference between Discipline and Deliberative. So Deliberative carefully navigates forward through potential risk. Discipline carefully adheres to order and rules that help us move forward. Again, maybe Deliberative might say, This is the safest route forward because I've done the risk analysis. And if if Discipline was saying the same thing, it would sound like, This is the most efficient process to follow because I've created some structure. In partnership, Discipline can bring you quite a bit. Discipline can offer pathways of proven process to partnership. Discipline, I think a partner with Discipline can help relieve anxiety that comes from the unknown by grounding the partnership in the known, in a pattern, in a rule and a routine. Discipline can keep the team on track with checkpoints and milestones. And really, I think similar to a couple of the other Executing themes, Discipline can take your head off of the track and look around and say, how does this compare to where we are on the big process? They can, they can create structure for how to do what we need to do. And in many ways, Discipline can "herd the cats" -- so it's about tapping the edges, really giving people just gentle nudges back toward what our process needs to be. And think about, for the most part, making sure that we're progressing on our commitments the way that we promised, not for the same reasons or in the same way that perhaps someone with Responsibility might do that. Again, that's because the the weight of Responsibility lies on the promise; with Discipline, the weight, or the the excitement, or the motivation lies on adhering to the process.

Jim Collison  9:48 
Kevin in the chat room says he, as -- speaking of his Discipline, he says, "I'm a calendar freak." And that's a great way to when we think about communicating how that plays out for you, where it plays out for you. So as we think about clues or advice on communicating well with Discipline, this is one I think that necessarily doesn't have a clear path from a communication standpoint. But Maika, you have some clues. Let's talk a little bit about it.

Maika Leibbrandt  10:11 
Yeah, just some ideas for when you're communicating with someone with high Discipline. First is to ask what they're focusing on. Again, ask how they think it's going. That's probably where their -- the bulk of their, you know, brain is spending its time is thinking about What kind of process? Where are we in that process? I would also say get in touch with what they find to be the most important step that we need to take. When you make a change, tell them why and discuss potential side effects. Even ask them to help you understand any potential side effects. Ask them to share the rules or the proven tactics that they find most helpful. And really honor that and even challenge it by asking them why. What is it about that that's important to you? That you're expanding upon that Discipline by adding sort of a little bit of an opportunity to influence through Discipline, which is just a way to, to invest in it. I would also say get curious: Do they prefer creating order from chaos? Or do they prefer following order that already exists? There's no definite prescription for Discipline that way. So don't assume that you know the ins and outs of the theme better than the person who lives with it every day.

Jim Collison  11:19 
I feel like there's a little marriage counseling in this, my wife: Belief, Responsibility, Discipline -- that little triplet in there. Imagine that with me. We've talked about that a lot on the show. So Maika, when we think about inspiring, this has been -- understanding this 15 years ago, when I had her take CliftonStrengths and understanding how to work through that, when we think about inspiring or motivating someone with Discipline, what are what are some clues to that?

Maika Leibbrandt  11:43 
I alluded to this before, and I said it was because it's an Executing theme. But I do think specifically with Discipline, they really thrive when there's clearly defined metrics of success. So even if you're thinking about marriage counseling, even if you're going to take a weekend road trip, talk about, you know, what do we want? How quickly do we want to get there? Why does it matter if we get there in that time? You know, when should we stop? At the end of this road trip, how do we want to feel? How are we going to know that we felt that way? What you're doing is you're turning something that you might move through without purpose into a plan that somebody with Discipline can add structure to. I would also say, you know, give them the chance to have a voice in the process, have some ownership of how the group executes. Roles and responsibilities that are structured and predictable tend to work really well. Maybe even things that are going to happen, according to a season or a time frame. Something that might repeat, again, not because of the repetitiveness but because it gives them that opportunity to really polish the process. Not just lead a fundraiser but maybe participate in an annual fundraiser or not just write a song but release a hit every quarter. So really, again, adding the machine piece to what you otherwise would want to do.

Jim Collison  13:02 
I have found providing a stable environment was really, really helpful for her in what we were doing. It's -- if, because I can kind of be flexible, or I can kind of be rigid in that. I can go, you know, I can do that. And so it's really, really important to to come at that. And I think about managing someone with high Discipline, I think it's a really important question to ask to say, What do you need? Like, I think we miss this sometimes. We try to guess it, we try to figure it out. And we often like, What environments are best for you? When I gave her the budget, you would think that would have been an awesome opportunity to take something over and make -- but she hated it; just it killed her. Part of that was a little bit of a little bit of Harmony in there that was just driving her crazy. But the asking those questions and then taking it over, and when I provided it to be stable and consistent all the time, she thrived in it, right? And so I think asking that question -- doesn't that become really important?

Maika Leibbrandt  13:58 
It's so important. I find -- and I think I've learned this as I've coached over the years that it's it's not just as simple as asking people what they need; it's also helping them answer that question. And hopefully, that's what Theme Thursday does for people is it helps you think about what do you need? And then that's why we ask all the questions we do here is it should help you start to think about how do I study those times that I've really been in the zone? And how do I name what it was that got me there so that then I can be the best educator to other people about how to get the best of me because no one's going to teach people how to treat you like you will. But you can't do that teaching unless you've first done the studying. So yeah, it's important for Discipline; it's also important for everybody,

Jim Collison  14:42 
Chris says in the chat room, I found sometimes people with Discipline sometimes just need me to get out of the way. And so it's another -- good. You don't know unless you ask, right? You don't know unless you work through it.

Maika Leibbrandt  14:52 
Exactly. I think about some of the partners that I love who have high Discipline. Sometimes I've had to tell them because I'm rich in Influencing teams, and I've had to tell them, I promise you will not hurt my feelings if you tell me I need to do something, because I don't have my eye on the ball in terms of process like you probably do. So maybe what they need, or at least what I need is permission to "stab" me. Not literally, but permission to say, I'm not going to upset her, I'm not gonna -- she's gonna bounce back, this isn't going to be emotional. It's my job. And I have full runway just to say, I need you to respond to this, or I need you to adhere to this. And that kind of acceptance just of the value of what each of us can bring. It was a powerful conversation.

Jim Collison  15:35 
I often say to folks with high Discipline, I'm actually going to lean into this with you. And so I'm going to depend on it.

Maika Leibbrandt  15:41 
I love that.

Jim Collison  15:41 
And kind of asking a little bit of permission, like can I use this in you and maybe have that kind of discussion. Because practice practicing this every day or finding ways to practice every day is super important. So as we think about people with Discipline and practicing, how, what can they do to for this talent?

Maika Leibbrandt  15:58 
if you've got high Discipline, I want to encourage you to notice your habits and rituals. Rank those that are most important to you. And then share them with other people. It's about, it's a little bit like your non-negotiables, but it's more about how you operate, you know, throughout your day. I would also say focus on one weekly practice that you have, and challenge yourself to improve the efficiency or the effectiveness of that practice. So if you're someone who makes your bed every day, find a way to make it more quickly. Or if you're a manager who has a quick-connect conversation with each of your direct reports, find a way to spend time investing more intentionally in their engagement by rotating an engagement-focused set of questions throughout that. It's it's a little bit like continuous improvement on that Discipline piece. But it starts with just noticing what are those routines that work for you?

Jim Collison  16:49 
We have been spending the season here at the end of the program talking about some some talent-mindfulness. And so, Maika, this has gotten real popular. And let's walk through that exercise together that we have today.

Maika Leibbrandt  17:01 
Yeah, this is going to take us to the end of our podcast today. So I encourage you to give it a try. But also realize that we're moving into something slightly different. This is no longer about unpacking Discipline, this is now just for you, as a listener, as a participant. I invite you just to take a deep breath. ... Let it out, let it all go. ... There is no need to figure anything out for the next 3 minutes. Today's talent-mindfulness exercise is about detail -- something people with dominant Discipline talents might get excited about hearing, and something, if you don't have high Discipline, you might shy away from. You probably have some relationship with detail that's slightly different than your colleagues who have Discipline. But building upon our talents requires each of us to really understand our own perspective and invest in our own patterns. So with or without strong Discipline, again, this mindfulness exercise is for you. Let's take one more deep breath -- in through the nose, hold it at the top really feel that breath filling your lungs -- and out through the mouth.

Maika Leibbrandt  18:12 
I want you to keep your eyes open for the start of this. Today we're building awareness of your surroundings. From where you are, we're going to take a physical stretch. Turn your head to the left side as far as you can to where your body naturally stops. Don't push it any farther. Look at everything you can see from this point. Now slowly bring your gaze back to the center, I'm going to invite you to turn your head over toward your right shoulder. Turn as far as you can until your body naturally tells you to stop. And take in everything you can see. ... As you continue to breathe and continue to look around, bring your head back to that neutral spine forward-facing position. And still observing everything that you can see, just look at what's in your current field of vision. I'd like you to find one detail; something you can see from where you are right now. What's one specific detail that makes the space you're in that space? One thing in your space that if it wasn't there, you would notice that it was gone. I'm not just talking about the couch because it's huge. What's one specific thing in that space that truly makes it?

Maika Leibbrandt  19:53 
Now we're going to go a little bit deeper and take this mindfulness exercise away from what we can see into an observation of how we get things done. So now I'm going to invite you to close your eyes. If you're not comfortable closing your eyes, just bring your gaze down so you're not distracted by anything that you can, you can see. I'd like you to consider a goal that you have achieved; something you're proud of accomplishing. This doesn't have to be monumental. It doesn't have to impress anyone else. But get a specific goal in mind. Now think about the process you followed to reach that goal. What was one thing, one detail, if you will, that enabled your success? Be as specific as you can in your mind, just like picking that detail that makes your space -- makes makes or breaks the space that you're in, what part of your process do you think you would notice if you failed to repeat it the next time you pursue a goal? Maybe it's a partnership, an expectation, a way of working, a habit, a ritual or routine. What we're discussing here is the concept of practice. And that's worth naming. Talent multiplied by investment equals strength. And sometimes that investment is in the form of practice. So it's worth studying, especially when goals are achieved. We know that areas of nontalent can get to mediocrity at best, but in in places where you truly have talent, you can grow those infinitely. You have to be committed to being curious about what works when it works, in order to grow them. So it's worth studying these practices, it's worth naming.

Maika Leibbrandt  21:49 
You can bring your gaze back up, sort of come back into consciousness. I invite you to write down the discovery that you made throughout that exercise. Maybe it's naming the practice that works for you. Write it down somewhere; bring it with you; maybe incorporate it into your next partnership. That is your talent-mindfulness for today. And Jim, with that, I'll hand it back to you.

Jim Collison  22:13 
Is it OK if I come back in now, can I ... ?

Maika Leibbrandt  22:16 
You left -- ah, you're back, thank you!

Jim Collison  22:18 
Want to ease, want to ease people back in to that as well. 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. That will be changing here. It'll get redirected to the new Gallup Access account. You can go to gallup.com/access will get you there, or my.gallup.com, because we can't have enough ways for you to get in there and find those things. If you've got any questions, you can send us an email: coaching@gallup.com. Don't forget the recorded audio and video of the program is available on all our social media platforms. Easiest way to probably find it is just to search "Gallup webcasts" wherever you're at and you'll probably find the way to get connected. If you're interested in becoming a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach or you want to see a list of courses that lead to any of our certifications or just we've got some great training available for you, head out to our courses page: courses.gallup.com. You can also sign up to be a part of these live webcasts, and I don't know why you wouldn't. You could come for an hour and get two of these if you join us live. Head out to our Eventbrite page: gallup.eventbrite.com -- b-r-i-t-e. By the way, we have full transcripts now -- thanks, Mark, for doing those. He'll listen to this part because he fixes all these website links, by the way. He goes in -- the transcriber doesn't do a very good job, so Mark goes through and fixes those for us. So you can always, if you're missing something, you can't find it, head out to the show notes for this show and they will be listed there as well. Mark, thanks for your work. Join us on our Facebook page: facebook.com/groups/calledtocoach. We got another one coming up, so come join us live sometime. If you're listening to the recorded version, listen to the next one. With that, we'll say, Goodbye everybody.

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