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Frustration vs. Fascination: Staying Engaged With Your Kids

Frustration vs. Fascination: Staying Engaged With Your Kids

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series
  • Season 7, Episode 27
  • Listen as parents (of 7), authors and businesspeople Brandon and Analyn Miller share what they've learned about parenting through all stages of kids' lives.

On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Brandon and Analyn Miller, business owners, parents of 7 children and coauthors of the book Play to Their Strengths: A New Approach to Parenting Your Kids as God Made Them. Brandon is CEO of 34 Strong, a strengths-based-development consultancy, and has been a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach for over 15 years. Brandon and Analyn talked about the challenges of parenting kids through all stages of life, including adulthood, using a CliftonStrengths-based approach to parenting, and what they've learned about their children and themselves in the process.

NEW: 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 campus here in Omaha, Nebraska, this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on June 28, 2019.

Jim Collison 0:18

Called to Coach is a resource for those who want to help others discover and use their strengths. We have Gallup experts and independent strengths coaches share tactics, insights and strategies to help coaches maximize the talent of individuals, teams and organizations around the world. If you have questions during this webcast, we do have a chat room that's available for you. It's actually on the YouTube page for this program. You can just log in and ask us questions live. We'll be posting those as we go. If you're listening to the recorded version, or have any questions at all, you can send us an email: Of course, don't forget to visit the Gallup Strengths Center -- for all your CliftonStrengths coaching resources and training needs. You can also catch the video in both streaming and now downloadable audio, we call it podcasting. All the cool kids are doing it; you might want to try it as well. All the links to get that done are on our Coaches Blog,, or just search Gallup webcasts in any podcast player.

Jim Collison 1:07

Analyn and Brandon Miller are successful business owners and parents of seven children. I thought five was a lot, but they have seven spanning two generations. They're passionate about seeing families engage in strengths-based parenting approach that unearths the uniqueness in every child and empowers positive parent-children relationships through every stage of life. Brandon's a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach and has been coaching and training strengths for over 15 years. He's also the CEO of 34 Strong, a strengths-based-development consultancy, whose purpose is to build destination workplaces. That sounds pretty cool, Brandon. Welcome, Analyn and Brandon. Welcome to Called to Coach.

Analyn Miller 1:41

Thank you. Thank you for having us.

Brandon Miller 1:42

Thank you, Jim.

Jim Collison 1:43

Good to have you guys. And let's just start a little bit. Why don't we just do a quick Focus on You, since we have both of you. Analyn, we'll start with you -- kind of Top 5, and maybe your as a mom, your favorite thing about being a mom.

Analyn Miller 1:57

OK, so my top five, I'm Woo, Communication, Strategic, Activator, Maximizer. And the favorite -- my favorite thing about being a mom, I would say that, and I've had a lot of time to think about this being my oldest is almost 26. I feel like there is a great retirement plan that I've put in place, just kidding, because somebody's gonna take care of me. OK, on a real note, I do actually love spending time with my kids. And I feel like they're just my tribe. Like, I love pouring into them, knowing them, and watching them become who God made them to be in just their unique talents and strengths blossom. I just love being a part of that process.

Jim Collison 2:53

Yeah, that's going to be important as we kind of get into this interview here. Typically on a Called to Coach, I wouldn't ask the guest what's the best part about being a mom? But as we really, really talk about kind of this strengths-based parenting idea today, that's going to become important. By the way, if I had known you and I share four or five (talent themes in the top 5), I'd have spent more time with you and less time with Brandon during the summit.

Analyn Miller 3:12

We share four or five?

Jim Collison 3:13

We do. No, no.

Analyn Miller 3:17

That's why, you know, I was gonna say laundry was my favorite thing about parenting, but that would be a lie.

Jim Collison 3:22

Super good. Next time we're together, I'll spend more time with you and less time with Brandon. Brandon, your turn -- your Top 5, best part of being a dad.

Brandon Miller 3:29

Maximizer, Achiever, Activator, Strategic, Arranger. Best part of being a dad, I love coaching my kids at every stage in age, whether that's formally in their athletics or extracurricular, or coaching them just through life, you know, ideas they have, things that they're passionate about, I find so much joy in being able to be a voice that can still be listened to and do my, you know, the older ones in their adult years. But even with our little nine-year-old and his athletics or my 12-year-old in academics, just love being that person that has that unique position to be their biggest fan, but also mentor, coach, guide along the way.

Jim Collison 4:10

And it's easy, right? Being a parent is easy. I mean, if you just do the right things, everything, everything just it's sunshine and rainbows and …

Analyn Miller 4:19

Absolutely, unicorns.

Jim Collison 4:22

I'm excited as we dig into your book

Brandon Miller 4:23

Teenagers never act out, teenagers never …

Jim Collison 4:25

No, they never, they never do. They never do. Your new book Play to Their Strengths is out. And we're going to spend some time talking about it. Before we do, Brandon, I want to get a little update from you on 34 Strong. You've been on before; you've been a part of the strengths movement and have been, I think you were on some of the maybe an early podcast, I think we talked to you before. So just give us a quick little update on 34 Strong, maybe mostly, uh, where do you see yourself having the most impact right now?

Brandon Miller 4:52

We have really enjoyed two sectors in particular that we spend a lot of time with -- being in Sacramento, we get to spend time with the State of California. So we do quite a bit in the government space, we really enjoy helping them build those destination workplaces, places where people want to be, want to engage. We love to watch that Q12 meter move within, within workplaces that otherwise, you know, it looks pretty gloomy walking in, but you start to watch that transition as leaders and managers take hold of a new approach to how they develop people. And then the second one, which is a really fun niche for us, is family-owned businesses. Particularly second, third, fourth, even one in a fifth generation, helping with that succession, thinking about the legacy of the of the organization, and we've just had a ball. I mean, those are small demands, as far as size, and you know, sit in a nice little niche where we just seem to have found a good fit and have really enjoyed those relationships and again, watching, watching the impact that strengths can have within an organization.

Jim Collison 5:54

Yeah, no, super great. Analyn, you do real estate as well -- am I right in that?

Analyn Miller 5:59

You are correct.

Jim Collison 6:00

And had you bring -- are you able to kind of bring a strengths approach to what you're doing with real estate?

Analyn Miller 6:05

Absolutely. Well, I am a strengths-based team. So you know, currently the team I have right now I've been doing real estate 15 years, and I've had my team together for 5. And I get asked pretty often because realtors can be nomadic, kind of, and people have asked, you know how, what is the -- what is the glue that holds your team together? You're all happy, you seem like you know, there's so much synergy. And I tell them that strengths was probably the biggest glue in our team. They're everyone's vulnerable with each other. If if we're having difficulty with something, we don't mind asking someone who's better at it to help and come alongside them. And so there's this synergy between the four of us that happens and we have all of our strengths posted on our wall. And so I would say that's that's probably been the biggest win for us is to be strengths-based.

Jim Collison 7:05

Yeah, you mentioned teams and I really think strengths in the context of teams is really where it accelerates, right? It's a --

Analyn Miller 7:12


Jim Collison 7:12

You can put these things together, people understand. We here at Gallup, oftentimes, almost every conversation has some kind of strengths twist to it. Oh, that's my -- or Hey, I need your -- like, we say that a lot. Like, oh, you know what, right now I need your -- and you just start pulling that in. Do you find yourself having those kinds of conversations?

Analyn Miller 7:33

Oh, absolutely. So my assistant's No. 1 strength is Empathy, I'm pretty sure where's where's Empathy on my list? He knows he's really good, I have my 34. It's low. So she really helps me stop and consider the feelings of all parties involved, where I could be very direct, and want to just look at, you know, everything on paper, and not look at the emotions, you know, surrounding the situation. And so she comes in a lot when I'm brainstorming on things, just to give me that outlook, because I, I tend to lack, you know, having that perspective.

Jim Collison 8:18

Do you, Brandon, you work a lot with the Q12. Have you influenced them to begin to ask maybe some of those questions in their team as well?

Brandon Miller 8:27

Absolutely. The Big 3, right? So expectations and materials and equipment, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? I mean, and just getting to recycle those or recirculate those questions, because, as you you know, we all know, circumstances change, you know, conditions change, market-driven businesses certainly have those realities. And so circling back and asking those and reconsidering it, you know, is what you're doing today, still a fit? Can we advance you in your strengths? Are we doing a good job of managing your weaknesses? Or are we making the mistake of trying to turn one into a strength? So I think those questions do come around as and you know, because Analyn has our daughter-in-law on her team. So even the delicate balance of having family now as part of her team, and within her business adds, you know, another dynamic that makes it all the more fun, interesting.

Jim Collison 9:19

Analyn, do you find managing that family relationships easier knowing the strengths, because you're not guessing and things start to break down a little bit where you're like, no, this is the person and we're managing to the person, not the relationship. Do you find that helps at all?

Analyn Miller 9:34

Absolutely. Yes. And I feel that, especially when it's family, you know, that it gives you another way to discuss things. And it's not confrontive, or you know, it just it gives you another language to have conversations about things. And it's very helpful.

Jim Collison 9:57

Brandon, I never thought of this until you just said it a minute ago, but the Big 3 that you just talked about, right? I know what's expected of me, right materials and equipment, am I doing what I get to do best every day -- not bad parenting questions, right? To kind of …

Brandon Miller 10:10


Jim Collison 10:11

All of a sudden to kind of start rolling through, just kind of think, like, you know, hey, maybe I should be checking in with my children. And asking -- well, my interns are here, you know, they're high schoolers. Some of them are college, we ask those questions all the time. And I and I thought, even as a parent, I probably have that in the back of my mind. But I may move it that a little more intentionally, you know, thinking -- well, OK, parents, those are three great questions to kind of have on the forefront, right?

Brandon Miller 10:39

I mean, we No. 1 alone, right? Because the the genesis of a lot of our frustration is implied versus explicit expectations. Why didn't you know to do that? How can you? Why did you make that decision and the child can look back going I, I didn't know. And as a parent, I can either become frustrated by that reality or become clear with -- Did I communicate in a way that fit for who you are? Not how I would understand it, but for who you are, and that and becoming very clear and explicit in a way they understand. So I couldn't agree more. I mean, that had such a heavy influence, as we thought about our strategy and approach to applying strengths within the home and with our kids.

Analyn Miller 11:19

Yeah, I think that was probably what -- it kind of was the turning point for us, because we realized, well, we're being so proactive, and we have all these strategies with our teams. Why don't we do this with our kids, it's like, we were just living a reactive parenting lifestyle, rather than a very proactive environment, you know, implementing the strengths in our -- with our kids, and extended children that we now have

Jim Collison 11:51

Well, so seven, seven of your own, and then a million extended, let's just say because I it just right, you guys, just the circle can just get bigger, kind of and bigger and bigger around you. Let's talk a little bit about the book. So everybody writes books for different reasons. When you guys -- because certainly you're probably you weren't, maybe I would say maybe you weren't busy enough. So you're OK, let's write a book, right?

Analyn Miller 12:14

Well, I do have a story how it all started.

Jim Collison 12:16

Yeah, go ahead. Let's, let's hear it.

Analyn Miller 12:18

OK. So about 2 1/2 years ago, Brandon and I, we were in a place where we were, we were busy. We were kind of running in our own lanes, per se. And then we found that all of our conversations just surrounded around, you know, the things we were doing separately. And so we decided, hey, what if we did a project together? And that's, that was the the, I would say the first ignite of the idea of what would that be? And so we both decided, writing a book was something we both had in our heart to do, why not make this, I'm going to put it in quotations, a "hobby" that we did together, you know, some people golf, some people -- let's write a book. So that was really what spurred it on. And then as we had our weekend huddle to decide, what are we going to do? In regards to the ideas surrounding a book, we decided parenting was something that we were both passionate about, we had already started implementing strengths in our culture. And we thought, more parents need to know about this. And so we started mapping it out. And it literally that's, that's how it started.

Brandon Miller 13:28

It did.

Jim Collison 13:29

Brandon, would you add anything, anything to that? And when -- were you thinking the same thing? Or is she, is she telling you what to think at this point?

Brandon Miller 13:37

That's a great question. Woo No. 1, this is how you will think …

Jim Collison 13:44

I know her pretty well. And I might do the same thing to my wife.

Analyn Miller 13:48

I have someone reading my mail.

Brandon Miller 13:50

So going out and doing talks within organizations, or I have the privilege to speak to rooms of key executives, or CEOs quite a bit. As part of the talk, the the anecdotes that I would use pretty regularly were examples from my family. You know, here's how my son and I related when I learned his strengths or my daughter and the challenges there. This is what happened when a report card came home. And this, this shift, because almost everyone in the room can relate to this idea of well, how are you raising your kids? Leadership in the home is an extension of, or your leadership in the businesses is an extension of what you're doing at home anyway. So as those stories came up, we just found again, and again and again, that the No. 1 takeaway from a workshop or a conference or some type of, you know, coaching session would come back to you -- so how do we do this with my spouse? What do I do with my family? So as we begin to consider, you know, you know, we've been at this about 10 years now. And we love that the work that's out there on the on the science side that talks about strengths-based parenting and what we can do. But we have a pretty good field, you know, experiment going on here. And it might be fun and interesting to talk about and share with others, you know, where we started, what we've learned because of the unique dynamics of our kids having, you know, three that are in their 20s, and then about a 7 1/2-year space, and four that are young and still at home. So I think she's right. And I'll add this, Jim, it gave us a great excuse to do retreat weekends to go write our book. So that wasn't hard to buy into.

Analyn Miller 15:22

It wasn't a hard sell. I made that happen.

Jim Collison 15:25

No, it's a good idea. And I think, you know, a lot of couples our age, I'm a little bit older than you guys, but, but not too far. As you get older, kids get older, it's tough to find those things to do together. And what a great idea, again, using some excuses to get away. And it seemed like it works so well for you guys. The book is laid out in a structure of kind of stories, advice, and then this idea of a playbook at the end. So when you think about it, for someone who bought this, and if you were to give them some advice on since you're the authors, the the way to maximize this, like what, how do I maximize the experience with the book? What kind of advice would you give?

Analyn Miller 16:06

OK, so my, I'll start here, we wrote this book to be very interactive, put into practice, you could literally read the chapter, go back to the playbook, and you know, do the things in it and really see progression in your family life and see results. Because I feel like for us, one of the big things is we did a lot of reading, you know, but we found that there was nothing that was super-practical, which is going to, you know, something you can implement in your family today and see a difference. So one of the things I think for maximizing it is, if there's a if there's a section or a chapter you feel really resonates with you, there's no time limit on how long it takes to get that done. So I've mentioned to some families, it might take 2 to 3 months where you are marinating in a section. And I feel like that that's where you're going to maximize this book the most. There's no there's no timelines, you could jump to chapter 10, if you said, Man, I really need this right now. And then you go to the 10 playbook, and it's going to give you things that you can do to implement today. So I think that's -- for me, that would be my answer.

Brandon Miller 17:18

Add to that the so the last two chapters are more age-, stage-specific. So some folks like to go there. We actually like the way the Audible book ended up playing out. Yeah, because you're actually hearing the chapter and then the playbook chapter right after. So for the purposes of a paper book, it made more sense to segment you know, the the gray scale in the back. So you could go back to that chapter and then stay continuity with the book. So it is very helpful in the way that, for example, we we have a field trip in there. And we talk about a "pebble in the pond" analogy about teaching our kids about the impact of their decisions and the ripple effect and the visual that throwing a pebble in a pond and how it creates the ripple out, and talking about how they influence in the home and with their friends and their sphere, their schools. And you know, so they're they're very practical things that we encourage families to do with this. Because this shift, though, we like to even say, you know, as a company, it's easy to understand the shift: Think more about strength, think more about what right -- what is right what people instead of what's wrong, but it's very difficult to implement and hold. Because that's not our that's not our experience. And so I think I think very practically, establishing family rituals, things that can become just part of how we engage with each other on a regular basis to reinforce are things that we hope people take away.

Analyn Miller 18:39

OK, I just want to add one more thing -- is we wrote this to the person who's never heard of this concept before. So that was the other thing that we really thought about is if nobody had heard about a strengths-based culture concept, thinking about what's right instead of what's wrong and focusing on that, it's for you too, and and I feel like this could speak to the family who, you know, strengths-based is part of their work culture, whatnot, it's going to speak to you. And for the person where this is the first time you've heard of this concept, we explain it, everything is I would say, you know, layman's terms that that -- we call it a field guide. You know.

Jim Collison 19:18

One of the things I appreciated as I was reading, as I was reading through it is you didn't try to re-create all the Gallup material that's already out there. Right? You really kind of focused and spent the time on your material, I think what's unique and different to it. And so for for folks who may be hearing this and have not done strengths, we have a lot of opportunities for you to be able to get that done. I think you talk about how to do that in the book. And to get it done, you can visit the Gallup Strengths Center or for the future, where the Strengths Center will land here pretty quick. But yeah, I thought it was super smart to kind of keep it really focused on your story and keep it focused on the things that you learned. You mentioned the difficulties in this -- what what after you wrote the book, what's the thing you learned the most about yourself through writing the book? I mean, what was helpful to you, I hear this from authors all the time, like, oh, I learned as I was writing this, I learned this about myself, what was that Aha! or were that was there a moment when you're like, man, I really got to work on this thing?

Brandon Miller 20:18

I'm laughing because we were just about a month ago, recording the Audible version. And I remember after the first day, we went back to the hotel, I go, Man, that's a really good book. Like we should read this more often. Because it just returned our thinking to, you know, that's a great principle. And it's so natural and easy to slip back into what we just call frustration versus fascination. It's so easy to to measure a child's relationship with you or how they're doing performance-wise, based on are they are they operating in a way that I'm pleased with? Or is what they're doing frustrating me to the point that I'm losing sight of this child's strengths, their identity, the value that they bring, and I'm just getting caught in, you know, what I don't like about whatever they're saying or doing? So we we have two teens at home right now. So almost 16, almost 15-year-old. And I don't know about other parents out there with teens, but our kids pick around 15 to lose their minds. That's pretty standard. Now we're four for four, and we're hoping No. 5 chooses, maybe to delay or do something different. And and that reality that, Oh, that's right, teenage years are hard, you have to stay engaged. So for me, I think that was a really helpful reminder to my own self around how to look at our daughters, how to think about what's best for parenting them, what am I what am I trying to nurture and develop them as as they grow?

Analyn Miller 21:43

Yeah, I think well, I'll speak for myself, there were several things that we have in the book, for instance, that we've actually referred back to as a family. And so you know, the fascination section about just really that moment when you take a baby home, and you're just -- you're infatuated with them. And the reality that somewhere between probably 2 and 4, you lose that, you know, when they when your child really asserts themselves into who they are. And so I have found myself going back to that space, often of just, you know, going, who is this child? You know, I'm going to look past the outburst or whatnot, and look farther, you know, look, look farther on the horizon and who they are and who they're created to be, and what what awesome things there are brewing inside of them. So that I would say I learned a lot from that. From the standpoint of just writing a book, it's really hard. I mean, the research and the so many people involved,

Jim Collison 22:56

Revision after revision.

Analyn Miller 22:58

Yes, it was like … you know …

Brandon Miller 23:00

You think you're done.

Analyn Miller 23:01

It wasn't too -- Was it a year-and-a half process?

Jim Collison 23:04

Yeah. And that's actually, that's actually pretty good. I mean, I think for a lot if you're …

Brandon Miller 23:10

Two years to get …

Analyn Miller 23:10

It was two years, but a year and a half solid with the publisher? So it took a long time. I try to tell people like we didn't just like wake up and write a book, like this has been years, 2 1/2 years in the process.

Jim Collison 23:25

Well, I've got some chat room questions here. But before before I go to those I do I kind of want to ask you guys that, or make a statement and you guys can respond to it is that -- the strength-based parenting concept is not a weekend, like it's not a read the book and in, even in its in six months have, you know, where you're going to change things. Like, I think you guys have figured out and it's just been the same in our family, that this is a lifelong journey, and we're still doing this thing, right? And you have to apply these principles and change yourself before you can change your kids. You guys want to respond to that at all? Anything in there that rings a bell?

Analyn Miller 24:01

Sure. I mean, we have a chapter, it's chapter 7. And it's, Seek Your Super. And the whole basis of that chapter is how how can you expect your kids' eyes to shine if your eyes are not shining? And the idea of how do you see yourself? What is your self-talk? You know, are you negative about yourself? Well, it's it's going to show, so, you know, the idea of living authentically is super key, you know, of seeing the strengths in yourself, and acknowledging those and celebrating those and as a parent, seeing the strengths as of who you are as a parent, and then, you know, then it gets passed down to our kids. Well, I would say you do it more authentically, even, you know, the the book it, it does, it talks about that like, well, you can implement these things. However, if you don't deal with you, you know, there's going to be that there's still going to be a little bit of a barrier there. Because they're, they're going to see through it.

Brandon Miller 25:00

So the the idea of asking yourself the question, am I playing to my strengths. So a ritual now that we have in our home, is we consistently try to ask our kids, whether we're picking them up from school or an activity, and these are really the four that are at home: What did you do today that made you feel strong? And we're really listening for that answer to not what did you do that you were good at? What not what you did that, you know, you got an A on the test, but what made you feel strong, and listening and learning? Well, what's great now is they turn the question on us.

Analyn Miller 25:34

Yes, I was just gonna say that they've asked us, Well what made you feel strong?

Brandon Miller 25:37

so playing to your strengths as a parent and being authentic to yourself is what is what your kids want, they want a mom or a dad that are consistent, right? So they have the same mom and dad, for better or worse, you know, the challenges that we all face and the growth that we're all hopefully committed to. But this this idea is something that it takes root in you, but it requires attention, it requires growth, because you're you're learning right along with your family. So I appreciate that -- that it's not a weekend. It's not six months. I think it's a it's a it's a wonderful life journey.

Analyn Miller 26:09


Jim Collison 26:09

My kids really like that, knowing who I am as well, they often will recite back to me, we like this about you, or they'll make fun of something that you know, one of those things that I do. But I think it's really important to them. That means they're watching, right? I'm sure you guys know you're on trial every single day. Right? And your authenticness. I always tell people, when they meet me, they're like, Oh, you know, you're no different in the podcast than you are in life, in real life. And I like that, because you can't fake it for 7 years, right? You can't you -- eventually it comes through, I think parenting is the same way, right? You can't fake it for for their their entire childhood; eventually, you have to be authentic, why not be the best version, right?

Brandon Miller 26:53

They get sophisticated. This, they will sort you out. And they know, you know, as your kids become teens, especially young adults, we're hoping to leave a legacy of of authenticity, of genuine approach to life, because we talk about this in Chapter 7 about just reality of imposter syndrome. And just trying to be someone that I don't think I have what it takes to pull off. And what that does, and the stress it induces versus, you know, your your best bet -- and this is, you know, where we love Dr. Clifton's work, and we love you know, where Gallup has taken this and now, you know, globally, these conversations around positive psychology and thinking more about what's right. It's because you're, you're actually allowed to and have permission to be the best version of who you are. And oh, by the way, it's OK to be who you're not also, and to accept those things, and then build around you that that team or that group, or in our case, we're talking about a family that supports you and brings those other strengths to the table.

Jim Collison 27:50

Yeah, that's a great point. Andrea has a question. She says how relevant is this book for couples without children?

Analyn Miller 27:57

Well, so we are, we have had some feedback, because we've had people who are like married, no children, or even grandparents. So grandparents who are purchasing the book, I think it is relevant from a standpoint of interacting with family environments. So for instance, for the grandparent who has grandchildren that maybe they visit often, or just want to know more deeply who you know how to connect with them. And for the people who, for instance, might be looking into adoption, or foster care or guardianship, we actually feel like this book is fabulous, because there isn't anything about genealogy, you know, in here, it's about you seeking out how to know and learn about somebody else. And then, of course, learning about yourself. So we think it can be very relevant.

Brandon Miller 28:54

I would add, you know, for for strengths professionals, those of us that are coaching and out there talking, you know, getting our hands on, on relevant stories around strengths-based development, are very helpful, you know, wherever you're applying it. And so any of us that are coaching in the marketplace, or in schools or education, you know, or schools or nonprofit, or what have you, government, you're going to run into parents, and you're going to be working with them. So there is some relevance in that regard. We did recently have a couple come to a workshop that we, we delivered on this topic, and they were newly married, and they came because they wanted to prepare in advance for kids.

Analyn Miller 29:32

Which is awesome.

Brandon Miller 29:32

So we thought, that's very cool. We didn't expect you to be here. But thank you. So I think there's some relevance there. But certainly, you do want to go in knowing it is a story about family and it's parenting.

Jim Collison 29:43

It's also it's also important, your faith is important to you. And it's kind of written from a faith perspective. But do I necessarily, do I have to hold those same values to benefit from this book? Is this something I could pick up or would that get in the way?

Analyn Miller 29:58

Absolutely not. I think this, what is unique is this book, it does express in some spaces, our faith perspective on it. But I think in the entirety of what our message is, it's that each person is uniquely crafted. And it doesn't matter what faith you are to believe that. Every person has a fingerprint, that is theirs. And that's our point, like, there's no child that is the same. There's no person that is the same. So I think when we bring in our faith, that is the perspective we bring, and so I think anyone of any faith could overlook that, insert their own.

Brandon Miller 30:38

You know, and I think because when we think about a transition like this, I'm a No. 6 Belief so so decisions are going to be rooted in value. And as we started to write the book, and think about what our philosophy that led to our methodology, so I think if it's viewed through the filter of this is one family's journey through this process and this is how it worked for them. And that's some of the feedback we've gotten from people who don't share our faith and may have different, you know, systems of belief or otherwise. And we found that they could give us really great feedback -- in some cases that we've had people say that, hey, you know, the the faith perspective didn't fit for me, and to that we say, totally understand. There's some other great resources out there that may not, you know, lend this way. And so we're, we're very open to hear, you know, both sides of that. We we felt very strongly and especially with the publisher that we ended up going with it, it really fit for us to tie this into just who we are authentically and that that comes through with our faith.

Jim Collison 31:32

Yeah, yeah. And I would say don't miss out on that, you know, inserts where maybe the faith structure lives, insert your values. And I don't think Pete, I don't think that's too far away, as I was reading through that, thinking through that a lot of what I do, has to go across both faith and nonfaith sectors, although I think both of them when we think about, you know, we're inserting parenting. And we talked about using Q12 questions for parenting, guys, the work, workplace and the homeplace and the faith place, they're all the same places, they all have humans in them, right.

Brandon Miller 32:06

People are people are everywhere you go.

Analyn Miller 32:09

And to, it would have been probably unauthentic for us not to have at least mention it. You know?

Jim Collison 32:14

No, I agree with you there. Nate's looking for some free counseling. So he says he has an eight-year-old daughter, who I've had no luck figuring her out yet. She's a button-pusher who consistently stirs the pot. I'm sure you never had any of those!

Analyn Miller 32:26

We have one.

Jim Collison 32:27

Any suggestions?

Analyn Miller 32:29

Yeah, I'm thinking of Sierra. Who are you thinking of?

Brandon Miller 32:35

So I think I think the reality Nate is you are on a journey of discovery. And I think being OK with the fact that it may take a couple more years to really gain clarity on a child. But the but the curiosity, the fascination, we'd encourage parents -- journal, start a journal about your daughter. Write -- write things down. See if you can't notice and spot things that make you go, Wow, look at that shining moment. And we talk about this in Chapter 1. It's this, this search for shining eyes. There is a conductor, founder of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra that uses the standard of evaluation of his own performance as a leader of do their eyes shine. And what he's really meaning is, does their countenance reflect that my leadership is having a positive impact? And he carried it over to parenting to say, Who am I being as a parent that my kids are, his eyes are not shining? So we found that a great place to start for us as mom and dad to Analyn's point earlier, where are my eyes shining? Where are they not? And then, who is this child? And where do I notice that and ask those questions? But from our own experience, sometimes it takes a little longer to get your handle there. I mean, she's going to reference our 22-year-old daughter when she was young, we had the darndest time trying to figure out …

Analyn Miller 33:48

So what are her Top 5?

Brandon Miller 33:49

So we'll just Top 3, she was Command, Communication, Competition. And we found that out when she was 13. See, you might imagine how that went as …

Analyn Miller 33:58

Well, she was -- Nate mentioned a button-pusher. What we learned was with her Communication and Command and this this desire to be heard. But then also she just wanted to have answers. And so we she was the one that just man, she wanted to know why, she wanted to know questions. And at first, I think we we had received it as maybe being disrespectful, you know, "because we said so" -- we were used to saying that. And then we realized, I think she really just wants to know. And so I think as we began learning about because she was junior highish, 12, when we started strengths with Sierra, we just shifted how we perceived her and received her and then realized her strengths were just raw, and it was our job to really help form them. And so we didn't want to squelch it, because actually, it's one of her biggest awesome traits. I mean, is it what it's what makes her awesome today. And we feel like if we had tempered that, she probably wouldn't be the person she is today. So man, celebrate it.

Brandon Miller 35:10

Yeah, those button-pushers, though I tell you that …

Analyn Miller 35:13

They're they they they do awesome things in life, though.

Brandon Miller 35:16

But I mean, they get older, they get better at pushing buttons. So you do have to gain some resilience as a parent, you just have to recognize that command-and-control discipline does not work effectively. Collaboration, inspiration, understanding, motivation, and kinetic toll has a place we're not saying to eliminate it. We're not for just permissive parenting. However, there is a place where I'm, I'm, you know, while I'm driving, I really need to understand how and where I'm supposed to take you as mom or dad because we we thoroughly believe that our kids' strengths, and their identity, is not meant to be a mystery to us. We're meant to know it, and to find it out. And so hang in there. Hang in there. It's it's a it's a great journey. And part of that what you'll get to look back on is that in that struggle, you'll just form such rich memories and places that you can build from.

Jim Collison 36:07

Brandon, you said something that that I that I really react very strongly to in the sense of strength-based parenting is really more engaged parenting, not saying Well, OK, that's the way they are. Right, it's more engaging. Analyn, as you were talking, talk about letting your light shine like as you're talking about your girl, you can see in your eyes, the engagement, as you were saying, as you were talking about her, because you know her and, and I think when you want to really represent what's best in them, and you start finding ways to take that Command and Communication, right and Competition, and say, How can I guide them into areas where they can talk, win and be in charge.

Analyn Miller 36:50

And that's what we did. That's actually what we did is we helped her find avenues as she started high school, directing her into specific areas where she went into leadership, she went into poetry contests, you know, so she was speaking, competing at the same time, and mock trial. So she she would do live, you know, trials, or debating pretty much as an attorney. And it was just like, she would just come alive. And it was her as an outlet.

Brandon Miller 37:20

And what became really cool is that she wanted to know what we had to say about her. Because when you're shifting to I'm going to talk more about what's right with you right now I might talk about what's right with you in that it's it's developing, correct, but I see it here that here's the brilliant side of you, and we're going to help you get there. That child, especially into their teen years become so receptive to that, that it's okay, you know, a mom or dad bringing it for a conversation, this isn't just going to be about all the ways that I did what I should never said what I should never would have you it's let's talk about where we can take this and constructively help you grow. Yeah, we believe you know, the relationship we have with Sierra To this day, she's actually traveled with us and done some speaking with us on this topic. Because now she's as passionate about it as we are. And she loves to say, you know, gosh, right now, as a young adult, who's married and sort of her career life, she doesn't know another way to think she doesn't know how to be a strength based person. And I think that's our wish for every parent that goes here is can we raise a generation that this is what they know? Yeah. Can we start when they're formative? Can we begin to build this in to the cycle and and just watch that transformation, as they as they become adults in their launched successfully?

Analyn Miller 38:32

That is our passion, changing one, one family at a time, in a strange culture.

Jim Collison 38:37

So to that Holly asked this question, she says, what you guys are saying is so true, would have helped me with my youngest that I would have recognized his strengths sooner and how to work with them. What if I am a parent of a team? And they're 15? And I haven't been parenting this way? Is it too late?

Analyn Miller 38:56

It's never too late.

Brandon Miller 38:59

That's our favorite, our favorite. Almost every interview. ever too late for a do-over. I was sitting in a in a in a training and there was a mom there. And we were just talking about something as simple as the report card and shifting your focus on the report card and thinking differently about where we put time and energy because time is the equalizer. So as a parent, you have to choose wisely. When extracurricular, where am I going to emphasize your developmental opportunities. And at the end of the session, the mom slumps down I mean, hey, you know, face, face and hands and just says, Oh, my gosh, and I'm a young adult daughter, we feel the separation. I wish I had known this earlier. And we were able to encourage her with, it's never too late for your daughter's waiting for you to have these conversations to shift this focus. And if she believes it's true, and it's genuine, and you're heading here with her to really get to know her, we watch amazing responses. And we get to hear back stories like that, whether it is in teen years, or even in adult or what's interesting leader in life where hairs are made and bridges are rebuilt. Because now it's you know, what I want to understand and appreciate you for who you are. And we think that really is the core and the beauty. Okay,

Analyn Miller 40:10

I'm putting in that Who wouldn't? Who wouldn't want a conversation that started with you know, I just want to tell you what I appreciate about you and what I think is awesome about you, especially that's how it starts, especially from your parents. I mean, that's where you have to go that you can't do this wrong.

Brandon Miller 40:27

Right? Yeah. Because and I think that's the beauty of this is we become the loudest voices in our child's ears and whether we

Analyn Miller 40:35

want to hear it whether we want to be or not.

Brandon Miller 40:37

Yeah, and and what's awesome about the position of a parent is you get to do it for their life. Yeah, it's not just when they're young, those are that's a great time to instill some some messages early. But later in life, you can you can reinstall it, it's it's pretty amazing to see in here, when we have grandparents will comment on this with their grandkids and, and what you'll watch them as I can go back to even my adult child and compliment or comment on or think about them differently. Yeah, that's really what's exceptional.

Jim Collison 41:06

Yeah, that may take some time to I want to encourage parents, you know, if you've if it didn't go well in their teens or whatever, in their 20s, and that that bridge needs to be rebuilt. Give it some time. Don't three, you change your mind. That doesn't mean there are just going to come running back. Right off a

Brandon Miller 41:24

long game.

Jim Collison 41:25

Yeah, yeah, no, for sure. I think of my my middle child, typical middle child, high, high, high adaptability, like his top five are adaptability, adaptability, adaptability. And I took it as lazy. When he was in high school, I thought, being lazy. And so it'd be like, Hey, what do you wanna do is I don't really care. I mean, what do you like, and I was no make a decision, like, I need you just to make a decision. Right? And he wouldn't. And even in college, he was kind of floaty, and you know, and here was a kid who really could do many things and needed a job where it was different every day. And I also needed to change my mind and stop calling that lazy, and start calling that his superpower. And once we started to realize that I started saying, Hey, have you thought about jobs where like, every day is different, and you don't have to have a pattern. And he's, he's now working in a place where they fill orders in, you know, they got to pack trucks and fill orders. Well, every day is different. Right? And, and, and he's loving it. And it's, it's taken us a while, it's probably taken us three or four or five years to repair that relationship. I just sat on the deck with him and enjoyed a beverage, or maybe two weeks ago, where it was him and I. And he said, you know, said something about other people coming out? And I said, No, no, let's just spend this time to get like, we have you and I let's not, let's not invite the family. It's cool. And when we were done, he said to me, I'm really glad you did that, like thanks for just spending that time with me. So I think sometimes it can take a while. Right? This This thing is the long way.

Brandon Miller 42:58

Yeah, because, you know, our kids want to hear from us at any stage or age and those validation conversations. And the power of strength is when you know, behind the curtain you you have some insights into what I'm seeing and where I can grow with this. And I think that's such a powerful reminder. Also gentle just the power of time, right? So the investment we make in our family, you know, people say, you can't take the time back like that, that's one resource that you spend it, it's gone. And and so times like that, we love to hear that. Because those are memories. those are those are markers moments in life where it's okay, I'll remember that time that dad sat me down and appreciated me and focused on me. That's just that that's exactly what we think about we're talking about playing to this idea of a positive parenting relationship.

Jim Collison 43:48

What I love is I can talk about my kids on the podcast, and they never listened. So I can say great things about him. That's pretty awesome. Let's look to the future for you guys. Certainly, the book is one way interact with you so they can pick up today. Again, it's available for IM play to their strengths that's available, what but what kind of stuff? Are you looking towards here in the futures events? or How can people interact with the book?

Analyn Miller 44:12

All right, you want to?

Brandon Miller 44:12

Yeah, so so the as I mentioned earlier, the book is now available on Audible. So you can, whether it's at, it's on Amazon, it's in your Barnes and Noble, we just found out it's in the airport on those little choice, book, circular things so that I can't wait to see that. haven't found it in an airport yet. But we're told

Jim Collison 44:29

you're gonna have to take a trip just so you can see it on the turntable. Maybe Mexico or maybe.

Brandon Miller 44:39

But But we, we designed a workshop to go on with play. And we have coaches that have said, Hey, you know, what do you think about us leveraging? And we've said, Absolutely, we're happy to provide resources to folks that may want to have another tool in their belt, you know, whether it's faith family, somebody even think of this in terms of education. So that's kind of cool. And then I would say, as we round out, you know, book launch month. So the book came out June 4, yeah, we're very excited to start thinking about new concepts and places where we can, you know, take these ideas and add more value. So I think our website animal in Brandon calm is where we have put our resources there for parents. We're working on some really cool stuff where you can you can gain some resources and learn about your kids and productive and interactive way. So those are some fun ways that we've started to think through how this could grow.

Analyn Miller 45:33

Yeah, we all do. And, yeah, I think one thing that we have on our website that's helpful, is we actually have a 14 part video series where Brandon night, it's about eight to 10 minutes per chapter, that we're dialoguing about that specific chapter. And you can actually purchase those and download those online. So if you wanted something to accompany the book, for instance, small group, maybe you're with a group of parents or moms or it could be anything of that nature, and you want to, you know, kind of sometimes it's easier to go through something with others, you know, to kind of Route each other on, that's available to which I think is a great resource, which

Brandon Miller 46:16

is really cool. It has a leader guide my brothers,

Analyn Miller 46:19

and we have a leader guide

Brandon Miller 46:20

brothers, a 20 plus year educator, who also leads small groups in his church setting. So he's a family life pastor. So he's constantly doing studies with family. So I, you know, he said, he

Analyn Miller 46:30

leaned on hand in exchange for like,

Brandon Miller 46:32

an evening out, maybe, would you consider so he is a really cool leader guide. So whether it's something you do with your own family, or you might want to do the small group, really cool way to I what I like what you said it or interact with the book.

Jim Collison 46:45

Yeah, we mentioned faith a little bit earlier. And that's but I do think this is where it's really, really powerful. Oftentimes, those those gatherings those institutions are kind of built and designed around families. That's right. And so you know, it can kind of amplify that the family effect on that. And, and, but, but again, can be a situation if you're not in one of those circles, you could create that around you.

Analyn Miller 47:09

That's how we designed it, we designed it for anybody to use, there's no prerequisites, you know, anything of that nature. It's really a good someone want to do a book club. I mean, it's really encouraged. I mean, our goal is that it's easily accessible, easy to implement. And, you know, that's why our videos are 10 minutes, you know, we were thinking, what would we use? You know, we're busy parents

Brandon Miller 47:33

was our attention

Analyn Miller 47:35

when attention span,

Brandon Miller 47:37

you know, I understand.

Analyn Miller 47:38

It's like, Can we do this in 30 minutes? Yes, you can.

Analyn Miller 47:43

It is, it's helpful. And, yeah, so we're, obviously you know, we're passionate about it.

Jim Collison 47:48

I'm a podcaster. So I have to ask this question, Is there going to be a podcast coming around this where you guys start anything? Where have you thought about that?

Brandon Miller 47:56

We have, yeah, we have visited podcasters. Just to look, you know how the approach goes. And I think for us, because of just the way life goes with seven kids and businesses were running, we had to ask ourselves, could we be consistent enough?

Analyn Miller 48:10

That that's the thing is, I mean, we would love it. I don't know. What do you think? I mean, do you think we could do it?

Jim Collison 48:15

I think you could do it in seasons? For sure. Where you season six at a time? Yeah, then take six weeks off with six more, which is

Brandon Miller 48:22

a good idea. We love those brilliant, you know, Becca Hammond, for example. just brilliant. I mean, she just does such great work. So we you know, we have conversation with her Lisa Cummings, that just another brilliant podcaster. And so just getting to hear from them and idea so that that could be a turn we take, I think, I think with our teams and are very active and sober boys. That's what we're trying to pace right now is all right, how would we fold that in?

Jim Collison 48:50

Now right on And don't forget, like you can batch him you knew all in one day, and then spread them out over the course of six weeks, right? You could take a retreat and in batch process, and I think, you know, the style we do, of course is live to the hard drive. Right? So we're recording this live, kind of on the day we're gathering a live audience. But that's just one style. You could you could continue to do that and talk to people and influence that way, catch people up on what's going on. Some of those kinds of things, all kind of asked this as a final question and give the chat room one more second to put any questions they might have. But anything I didn't ask that I should have, and that you want to highlight before we go. Love this question.

Analyn Miller 49:33

You have anything on the top?

Analyn Miller 49:34

You know, I think for us one of the questions that comes up quite a bit as it pertains to, you know, how do you how do you maintain this in a consistent way? You know, in the home? How do you how do you how do you turn the tide? If we're very entrenched in a traditional way of just thinking about development? Where does it start? And so we we like to really recommend going back to that idea of start with you, as a parent, just think through, you know, how would I approach my kids if this if this was the way I thought about them? And how would I start those conversations? Because I think for us as we as we looked at and pondered ways that families might interface with this idea, it really starts with a core decision of, I'll try it, I'll give it some room, and I'll start to move down this path. And so that's where we really like to see that move and or give us some feedback.

Analyn Miller 50:29

I would say one thing that's come up, as we've had more conversations is, how do I do this? If the other partner, for instance, does not believe in it or want to implement it? So we've actually had that question brought up to us several times now about, you know, the the reality of how much can really get done if, if it's just one sided, and are in answer to that, it dovetails off what Brandon said, in terms of open Well, for the individual that's choosing to, you know, really rooting that in themselves, and then being the voice to their children. And the other thing that I encouraged was, you know, and you look at your partner, and really begin speaking those positive words, and essentially, like using what you're learning in an authentic way, you know, not lying, or, you know, making things up, but authentically begin looking at your partner like that, you know, even if they never, never grab hold of it, if anything, they're going to be more filled up. Right. And, and, you know, I think over time, and we've mentioned that today, this isn't an overnight process at all, you know, we have a hallway that has everybody strings on it. So, you know, for us, it's an everyday reminder, there are times I've literally gotten off the phone with one of my kids, and I've walked into the hallway, and I went, Okay, let me look at their things. You know, because I'm, I'm beaming. Yeah, you know, totally authentic here. But there, there are days where, you know, we have to be just very real and realize it's, it's a process, and we're all growing. We, you know, growing, we're growing and strength together. And if parents realize that, too, like you're growing as much as your kids are growing, it's a process.

Jim Collison 52:19

We have a family spreadsheet that we keep a Google Docs that we're a Google spreadsheet that we keep everybody's themes, and so I can quickly, it's two pushes away, boom, boom, right? Go in there. Oh, yeah. Okay, that makes sense. Or, if I need a reminder, I think that's that is an important you know, you guys say write it, you haven't written on the walls. And I think, you know,

Brandon Miller 52:41

I would add to that having in love kids now. And this is something that comes up as well that I felt trailer called I didn't bring you know, it's it's really helpful. When you're approaching your in law kids from let's let's think about what's right with you. Let me understand who you are. My daughter tells the story pretty often of showing down for free new year of college, she lets me know, she's got a boyfriend, I make the trek down to where her school is in Southern California, we're in northern Cal, and I meet the young man and I set up a laptop and I said, Hey, nice to meet, you have this 45 minute assessment, I'm going to have you take so I can get to know you, and they'll share and my daughter, you know, versus like, oh, Dad, you're doing it again. So I I just want to get to know. So we go out to dinner, and we just get to talk through, you know, his strengths. And that's an advantage of being a strength coach. And and knowing you know, what we know about Clifton strengths. However, if I didn't have that assessment, and I and I am a parent, just thinking about what to focus on this, you know, aspect of, of who my kids are dating and choosing to spend time, right? What an amazing way to start the relationship off on a great foot.

Analyn Miller 53:48

And it's created great relationships. And my children. I mean, we, if I if I were just to rate them, I would say man, I haven't seen nine or 10. And they were there's an action and they feel comfortable coming to us with things like it's a very

Analyn Miller 54:05

interactive relationship. Yeah,

Jim Collison 54:07

no, I recommend it. It's a little bit of a it's a little bit of you know, we talked about putting teams together and we say strengths is an accelerant for Team formations. Yeah, it's no, it's no different in the workplace than it is at home there. You're just different kinds of workers. Right. And so why would you not want to have a team grid? so to speak for your

Analyn Miller 54:26

do right? away?

Jim Collison 54:29

No, right on. And so I want to say thank you to both of you for taking the hour the time congratulations. On the book. It is we have Gallup has one two called strengths based parenting. And I think those two are locked locked in on when we think about two great manuals when we think about parenting, on on kind of how to do it. Your book comes from a very practical, this was our experience. And in it you can really sense it in its warmness in a genuineness in the book on these experiences. That gives us this warm feeling. But knowing that that's not all of parenting, like those were moments, those were special moments. It took a lot of hard work to get those moments, right. And it took a lot of consistency in that as well. Atlanta, Brandon, thank you for doing this. And appreciate you guys coming on. And I hope it's been a fun month to to launch your book and to get that done. Has it been you feel? Do you feel famous at this point?

Brandon Miller 55:32

No, no, no, they tell you when you're when you're tired, you're scared and you're you're you know, relatively unknown to the world. And so your first book, you put it out there and you're hoping for great feedback. So we've been really blessed by the Amazon reviews. So that was read the book would be kind enough to offer your honest feedback. Love that good. really wonderful. That's been so nice. And just just to be able to encourage you know, when you when you're going to offer a contribution to the world in this regard, and but we've learned a lot and the other resource we've been to people is how do you how do you go about this process and we're always happy and willing to share

Analyn Miller 56:07

Thank you for having us.

Jim Collison 56:09

Good. You guys hang tight for just one second. With that, I'll remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available. Many that we talked about are available at the Gallup Strengths Center, just Send us your questions or comments, anything you need further explanation on, you can send us an email: You can also catch the recorded audio and video of this program, even the edited one that we're going to edit and publish in a couple weeks. It'll be available on our Coaches Blog, If Brandon mentioned being a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, if you want to see a list of all the courses that lead to that -- they're available all around the world, and you too could take partake in that, but we have some other classes as well that don't necessarily have a certification or require a certification to have. You can also get access to those at our courses page. Go to If you liked this webcast, the first time you came out or the first time you're catching it, you're like, man, I would love to join these live or how do I know? We have a page for that as well:, click "Follow" on there and we'll -- I'll send you an email every time I schedule a new one of these, how cool is that? And then don't forget to join us on our Facebook page If that was too much to write down, that's OK, stop it and just go back. You can write that down as well when you do that. We'll look forward to the next Called to Coach -- with that we'll say goodbye, everybody.

Brandon Miller's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Maximizer, Achiever, Activator, Strategic and Arranger.

Analyn Miller's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Woo, Communication, Strategic, Activator and Maximizer.

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

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