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What's After Basics of Effective Strengths Training? (Part 2)

What's After Basics of Effective Strengths Training? (Part 2)

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series
  • Season 6, Episode 26
  • Dean Jones shares insights on advanced strengths education -- expanding the breadth and depth of it -- in Part 2 of his discussion of recent changes in strengths education.

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with the Principal Architect of Gallup's Global Learning Strategy, Dean Jones, as a follow-up to several 2016 Called to Coach sessions he led on leading strengths trainings. This is Part 2 of that discussion. Here you can access Part 1 of "What's After Basics of Effective Strengths Training?" and Part 3 of "What's After Basics of Effective Strengths Training?"

What has changed since 2016? A lot of the focus on basic strengths education is naming, claiming, and aiming. Coaches are discovering that basic strengths education is necessary in order to inject strengths into organizations; a way of inviting them into the world of strengths.

Gallup is making CliftonStrengths 34 and enhancements more widely available, and people need to understand how to name, claim and aim their strengths. An e-learning module on the basics will be available in the fall to provide some introductory material, to help people get started. (This module doesn't replace a half-day or daylong coaching course.)

Gallup recommends that people take the (CliftonStrengths) assessment, then have some basic strengths education, then have a feedback call, and then move into coaching sessions. People are interested in anything that has "team" in it (everyone wants teams to function better, and strengths helps with that), but people aren't ready to talk in a team about their strengths until they understand their own profile and can articulate their contribution to the team based on their strengths. So that is key.

In Part 1, we talked about how strengths is rooted in a study of excellence and is designed to help people build peak performance. (CliftonStrengths is not a weakness-finding tool.) Basic strengths education needs to define what talent is, what strengths are, what talent themes are. It needs to introduce the 34 themes and naming, claiming, and aiming -- but not the four domains initially. And it needs to help people be aware of what weaknesses are.

Now we'll think more specifically about advanced strengths education.


Understanding all of the themes and how they contribute

  • Strengths spotting
  • Five clues to talent (what Don Clifton called the characteristics of strengths) -- yearnings, satisfaction, glimpses of excellence, rapid learning, flow
  • Correct appropriation of each theme
  • Useful for coaches -- important for managers


  • Highlighting and sharing
  • Work with CliftonStrengths Discovery cards
  • Many paths to success -- sharing how you produced results
  • Team grid work
  • Introducing your partner and explaining their themes


  • Unpacking all the traits in a theme
  • Thinking deeper with regard to themes -- how does that impact the way you think, feel, do
  • Knowing: what does this theme contribute, what does this theme need, how does this theme often express itself, what motivates this theme, what happens when this theme is under duress, etc.


  • Reading theme descriptions in a group
  • Sharing: "Here are the things that I think my [theme] contributes"
  • Sharing: "People see this about my [theme], but they often miss this"
  • What am I known for, where am I misunderstood

Dean Jones' Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Activator, Focus, Woo, Strategic and Relator.

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

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