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Understanding and Investing in Your Focus Talent

Understanding and Investing in Your Focus Talent

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Theme Thursday Webcast Series
  • Season 4, Focus
  • Gain insight into the CliftonStrengths talent theme of Focus: how to invest in it, if it's one of your dominant talents, and how to develop it in others.

On this Theme Thursday Season 4 webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Focus.

Focus is the great intensity toward a single target. It's the head down, hyper-attentive ability to be fully present with the challenge until it's done. Individuals high in Focus are persistent, passionate, and focused on the end goal. Focus is the efficient, effective, single-minded prioritization that speeds up and improves quality.

When Focus is at its best, it keeps the team on track to achieve the most important priority. Focus helps others avoid distraction that may not provide value or relevance. At its best, Focus is increasing your own productivity and that of others, through powerful investment toward achievable goals.

Do more by getting involved in helping set the goal. Your ability to prioritize before acting can help others not get lost in the process. Additionally, having some voice in why things are being done in the way that they are, will help you make the most of your energy and help guide the energy of others. Also think about how you can help make the track more visible. Remind people where they are going and how success is measured and checked.

Ask for the end goal, not just the milestones. If you get stuck working towards milestones maybe it's because of the way you're being managed or the way you are used to determine your achievements. Focus begins with 'the end in mind' so the chances are, you'll get so in the zone of reaching the end goal and you may not even notice the checkpoints others set out.

Worry less about other people having Focus. Worry less about intuitively understanding the feelings of others. You speak the language and see indicators of progress, and unless you have other themes changing this, you'll see people through a lens of goals. This is okay and can be compassionate, but Focus won't be a natural sensitivity to emotion. Worry less about starting and more about finishing.

Expect impatience with frivolous detours. Individuals with Focus will listen, but they'll want to bring the conversation back to the task at hand. Expect excellence when they're functioning independently, they'll be good as part of a team by bringing the ability to move the whole group forward but also expect them to be really great when you give them the opportunity to work on their own. Expect high ownership and a desire to make decisions.

Recognize not just the quality of the outcome, but also the speed and efficiency of input. Look for ways that someone with Focus as saved the team time, money, resources, or headaches because of their diligence. Recognize them by thinking of short and mid-term goals. Call these situations out and point out how much closer they've moved towards a goal.

Stretch their goal-setting beyond work. You can connect with them and develop trust by speaking the language of goals and progress in more ways than just project-focus. Ask them what's important to them in their personal life and ask them what they're accomplishing and focused on in their personal, family, or community life. Give them the space at work to confirm what was decided, acted upon, and what to expect. This can be a great role for them at the end of a meeting to voice.

When partnering with someone high in Focus, get goals out into the open. Make sure there is some agreement by asking what their priorities are, where you share priorities, and where you differ so that you know what you're pursuing and how you are differently pursuing it. Do not take the difference personally, honor it. Differences can be advantages. Here is an opportunity to talk about what each person brings to the table and how it's valued and how more can be achieved because these are different. Also be a great partner by asking them about timelines and allow them to help you set some.

If Focus is one of your Dominant Themes, invest in it this week through the following challenge items:

  • Try setting a "power hour" every day this week. Turn off all social media alerts, get away from your email, sit in a committed space and work toward 1 important goal for an hour. (Put this on your calendar in advance!)
  • Take time to write down your goals. Try daily, weekly, monthly. This will help you feel more in control.
  • List your most valuable collaborators for each important goal. Tell them how they help and why the goal matters.

If Focus is not one of your Dominant Themes, invest in it this week through the following challenge items:

  • Build an intentional "energy break" into your day. If you spend a long time at a computer, find an app or support tool that makes you get up and move and refocus every few hours.
  • Identify and remove 3 distractions from your work environment this week.

Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:

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