skip to main content
Restorative: Highlights From Your CliftonStrengths 34

Restorative: Highlights From Your CliftonStrengths 34

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Theme Thursday Webcast Series
  • Season 5, Restorative
  • The CliftonStrengths themes at the top of your profile are the most powerful and give you the greatest chance for success. Join us as we discuss Restorative.

Join Jim Collison and Maika Leibbrandt as they talk about your Restorative 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.

Below is a full transcript of the conversation, including time stamps. Full audio and video are posted above.

Jim Collison 0:00

I am Jim Collison and live from the Gallup Studios here in Omaha, Nebraska, this is Gallup's Theme Thursday, Season 5, recorded on October 24, 2019. Theme Thursday's a Gallup webcast series that dives deep into the CliftonStrengths themes, one theme at a time, and today's theme is Restorative. If you're listening live, join us in the chat room. There's a link right above the video window on our live page. That will take you to the YouTube page that has the chat room. If you're listening after the fact to the recorded version, you can send your questions to us: Maika Leibbrandt is our host today. She's a workplace consultant here at Gallup. Maika, always great to have you for these Theme Thursday doubleheaders. Welcome back.

Maika Leibbrandt 0:47

Thanks, Jim. Gosh, it's great to be here. Those CliftonStrengths at the top of your profile are the most powerful. That can be -- it can be distracting to get a list of 34 themes and even know where to start. But those themes at the top really represent your unique makeup of potential. It's not just whether you're talented, but how you're talented, and your greatest chance of making the most of this, this journey of discovery -- the greatest chance of truly improving your performance, at work or anywhere, lies in strengthening what you naturally do best and doing more of it. So if you possess a great deal of Restorative talent, or care about someone who does, today's podcast is for you.

Jim Collison 1:26

So what does it mean to have Restorative as a top talent theme?

Maika Leibbrandt 1:29

You're great at facing a problem and dealing with it. You can untangle a mess; you can fix what's broken; you can find what's wrong and solve it.

Jim Collison 1:39

Seems pretty intuitive, Maika, but how do people with this dominant theme notice it in their lives?

Maika Leibbrandt 1:45

You might realize that you lean into problems where other people tend to lean out. If others are intimidated by the messiness of something, think about times in your life when you were energized by it. You might be attracted to "fixer-upper" situations. Maybe that means the kind of entertainment you choose; maybe it's the kind of projects that you work on you. You like the process of taking something broken along the journey to bringing it back to working order.

Maika Leibbrandt 2:13

You might be more patient than others; you know that things can improve. And in many ways, you can clearly see how they can improve. It might be true that you enjoy puzzles, especially those with an obvious state of "solved." You determine progress by noticing milestones of improvement. Nothing is ever black or white or that binary of working or not working; it's always somewhere in between. And you can sense a potential breakdown of a project, a plan or maybe even a relationship, depending on other themes. You are well-versed in what goes wrong, because you're so close to helping find solutions.

Jim Collison 2:52

Maika, I really appreciate that forward-facing look of Restorative. We often think of it as a problem-solver; in other words, I have to have a problem first, in order to get to it. But to sense potential breakdown in a project, I mean can be really, really important. As we think of these areas, though, in this season, we've been doing a little bit of looking back at that 34 report has a new section on blind spots. Where are some areas that may cause us or hold us back from excellence?

Maika Leibbrandt 3:17

Sure. So, and again, these blind spots are not a diagnosis, not a scientific guarantee. But it is our responsibility to understand how the theme might be perceived by others. So these blind spots answer that question of, How could you get in the way of your own Restorative? One is that you are attracted to and energized by a problem, usually more than anyone else who's involved. Your solutions might be kind of half-baked if you don't make enough room for potential human user error. So learn all that you can about how your client is using your product -- no matter how you describe "client" and "product" -- and have some go-to intake questions when -- that you can ask when you're presented with a problem. Make sure that they involve people, not just the plan, not just the strategy and not just the process. Ask questions like, Hi, what makes this solution important? Or why is it that we're trying to fix it right now? That's going to make you a lot more agile with the way that you solve.

Maika Leibbrandt 4:18

Another blind spot around Restorative might be your excitement for solving, getting in the way of people needing to feel uncomfortable. Sometimes solving their own problems leads people to meaningful learning. So know when you are owning the fix and when you are supporting someone who might need to work through some things on their own. And if you can't figure that out, if it's not clear, ask -- always ask. It's, it might even just be as clear as saying, Hey, what support do you need from me? And how will we both know if you're getting it?

Jim Collison 4:54

We often, and we've said during the Ideation episode, ofttimes I ask for permission when I'm going to go into an ideation session when somebody's having a problem. And I'm like, Hey, I could think of some solutions, you want to just roll through these. I think on the Restorative side, it also, especially when we think about it on a team, it may also be one of those themes that wants to ask for permission before it starts getting involved. In other words, Are you interested in me in helping you fix this? type, kind of question. So as we think about the role it plays on a team, how else might fit into that team structure?

Maika Leibbrandt 5:25

I love that idea of permission for teams in general, being able to say with with real conviction and kind of hospitality, here's what I can offer. Are we ready for it? With Restorative specifically, it's an Executing theme. In that big CliftonStrengths 34 report, you'll find a lot more information on what that means starting on page 21. But essentially, Executing themes describe people who when they're faced with a problem, they break it down into ways of moving forward. It's about timelines, deliverables, really understanding what needs to happen. For Restorative, if the team was a bunch of trapeze artists, Restorative is the safety net below them.

Maika Leibbrandt 6:06

Fewer tasks get completely dropped or lost when someone with Restorative is there to offer patience, stamina, advice on new ways of tackling something when the current approach isn't working. Emotionally, they can offer the reset that a team needs when something's falling short. So invite someone with high Restorative to analyze what's going on and offer their take on how we could approach things differently. Again, they're going to notice some of those tweaks that make things run more smoothly -- specifically, if they're noticing tweaks that that fix a problem. Restorative can be the person on the team who keeps us moving forward. They may not get the accolades for having new ideas or big flashy wins, but they're always there when something broken needs attention.

Maika Leibbrandt 6:53

So to compare it to other Executing themes, I think it's probably going to help us understand not just bucketing Executing together, but how does Restorative play with those other ones? The first pair I want to look at here is Restorative and Belief. Restorative says -- is the action that brings the pieces back together. Belief is action on values. So bringing those values to the forefront. So thinking about how they decide what to do. Deliberative will evaluate potential risk and proceed to the pathway that minimizes that risk. Restorative, every pathway is a mess. They can they can see that there is no situation that won't have risk. But Restorative can stop alongside the highway and fix it.

Maika Leibbrandt 7:42

So whereas Deliberative will prob -- they might end up doing the exact same outcome. Deliberative does a lot more the evaluation ahead of time; Restorative is sort of that in-the-moment fixing. Discipline creates order, follows order and uses structure to help prevent failure or to prevent deviance from the expectation. Restorative says -- is -- just brings what is out of bounds into a structure. Restorative will make room within the expectation for what needs attention.

Maika Leibbrandt 8:15

In a partnership, Restorative can settle down the drama of something being broken; nothing cannot be fixed. Now it might take different investment. But Restorative can, I think, calm down the idea that we're just all on fire. They can calm the storm and the anxiety of, What happens if this doesn't work? Because Restorative can say, Well, if it doesn't work, we will sort it out. They can offer new takes on current project plans that are not getting you to the solution you want, and they cannot get -- they cannot "get married" to one way of working. Let me say that a different way. Restorative can avoid commitment to just one way of executing. They have the patience and the confidence to tinker with other options.

Jim Collison 9:00

Something very calming about being in a storm with somebody with Restorative, in the sense, I think you can just see it in their body language. They're always kind of approaching this from a from a direction of we -- we can get through this, we can get it done. We can fix this problem, right? When we think about other advice on communicating well with Restorative, how else may that manifest?

Maika Leibbrandt 9:20

Sure, if you're communicating with someone with high Restorative, know what your non-negotiables are. If there's a certain element of a project, a partnership, a product or even a goal that does have to be done a certain way, let them know so that they don't rewrite that code in an attempt to fix the whole. Don't try to solve too far without including them. They are more ready to offer a solution when they have access to all the details. Sometimes, that's going to mean asking questions before you've narrowed down to what you think are the most important parts.

Maika Leibbrandt 9:55

It's sort of like the danger of Googling a medical condition. Sometimes, your doctor is still going to need to ask you about all your symptoms more than they need to hear your own diagnosis of what you think they need from you. So, similar with with somebody with high Restorative, let them do the exploration alongside you. Involve them at more than just the handoff stage anytime you can; know when you're wanting them to own it and to solve something without you, and when what you really need is just a boost of that sort of Restorative consulting.

Jim Collison 10:28

Yeah. And that's just a, I think, an important section when we think about inspiring or motivating how, how is someone -- you just don't be you're just not going to break things to break them? From that sake. So how might we motivate someone with Restorative?

Maika Leibbrandt 10:41

I broke this toaster for you.

Jim Collison 10:45

I'm such a great friend.

Maika Leibbrandt 10:46

Yeah. That's great. I think some things that might really inspire people with high Restorative involve access to stakeholders, access to information, really that ability to have firsthand exploration of problems and solutions. An obvious turnaround situation, problems with measurable evidence that they've been solved. Think about if you -- if you have the luxury of really assigning projects, think about putting somebody with Restorative on a project that will have visible change and a glimpse of who that change has affected. We were talking about this in the mid-show, just that opportunity to say, wow, there was an end-user on that solve, and what does that mean and how you can drive a mission moment that way.

Maika Leibbrandt 11:30

Opportunities to keep fixing without having to own more of the project. So, and again, this is always something you want to sort through with somebody; don't just assume that because I said it, it's, it's going to be prescriptive for everyone. But it might really work well for someone with high Restorative to just be asked to tinker with one element of something and then hand it back without having to own the entire thing. Think about helping them seek out tough turnaround situations that other people would be intimidated by. Sometimes these sticky situations have quick, easy wins that really gain credibility for the person with high Restorative. And that credibility can translate into autonomy to keep solving the harder pieces.

Jim Collison 12:14

So with people high in Restorative, what can they do to practice or really aim this talent theme every day?

Maika Leibbrandt 12:20

Get to know more about a project or an industry that you're spending time on. Find one additional angle that you didn't have before. Just like when you're putting together a puzzle and somebody turns the table 90 degrees or turns on a light in the room and all of a sudden you see a solution differently. I challenge you if you've got high Restorative, go find one more channel of information. Maybe it's a personal conversation, a video blog, a social community, shadowing another expert. That's going to open up your problem-solving ideas and make you that much more effective.

Maika Leibbrandt 12:58

Also, find one more way to invite problems. Let people know that they can come to you and that you enjoy it. Maybe even talk specifically about what you enjoy about a certain type of problem. It might be as simple as just tinkering with how you define what you're paid to do. Maybe it's reaching out this week and asking what you can take off someone's plate.

Jim Collison 13:23

Such a great, that's such a great idea and I think a really underutilized method of making friends. You know, just, Hey, what can I help you with this week? It's the No. 1 advice I give to new people when they show up here Gallup. I'm like, You'll be successful if you're just helping people. And so it is -- I think it is one of those you can use in practice. Speaking of practice, we've been going through some talent-mindfulness exercises this season. If this is the very first webcast you've come to,

Maika Leibbrandt 13:50


Jim Collison 13:50

We have a whole sea -- yeah, welcome. We have a whole season of these available for you as well at the end of each one of these here in Season 5. But Maika, walk us through -- what do you have for us today?

Maika Leibbrandt 13:59

So talent-mindfulness is an opportunity to break away from your day to day and focus on your own self-awareness. It's not designed to be coupled overtly with Restorative, although you might hear hints of that showing up. This is your time, no matter what kind of talents you have. So let's make the most of this. Just take, push all the air in your body completely out, exhale. And then take a deep breath in through your nose. Hold it at the top. And exhale when you're ready. Let it all go. Let's face it, not everything works all the time. It takes courage and patience to really slow down and fix things. Many of us would rather move on to an alternative rather than focus on what truly needs improving. It's usually faster to move on, typically requires a lot less vulnerability. But it's not always less expensive.

Maika Leibbrandt 15:08

Some things we don't have the choice of moving around or moving beyond. And as it says in one of my son's favorite books, parts of you will grow back -- you'll get more hair and more fingernails, but you only get one body, so take care of it. Don't worry -- this talent-mindfulness is not about your anatomy. Today, I want you to think about a relationship that is important to you right now. This could be in your personal or professional experience. Think about someone you have relied upon in the past who has also relied upon you. Please don't think too hard. You can always replay this and do it with a different person in mind. But get someone in mind who you have an established relationship with that you would say that relationship is important to you today. See their face. Hear them say your name. What's important to you about that relationship? ...

Maika Leibbrandt 16:27

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is the best possible partnership, and 1 is a total stranger, where would you currently rank your relationship? Give yourself a number. ... Now in your mind, name something this person does well that benefits your relationship with them. ... Now again, in your mind, Name something you do well that benefits this relationship. ... Let's go back to that number you gave yourself when I asked you to rank the relationship. Your challenge is to increase that number by one. What ideas do you have right now on how to do that? ...

Maika Leibbrandt 17:49

What courage is it going to take to make that improvement? ... What's the easiest first step you could take to make the improvement? ... What's something your partner could do that they would be excited about doing? ... We're never really alone here. There's a few billion of us on this planet and our impact is so much stronger when we aren't just thinking about giving something out but also focusing on the connections that we have with others. Even if a relationship isn't something that's broken, tinkering can improve it, can restore it. There's something refreshing about that kind of purposeful renewal of the connections that you have side by side with with the other people that you're doing life with.

Maika Leibbrandt 19:14

So let's breathe in. And I challenge you, if you're in a place that this is safe -- so probably not driving a car -- as you breathe in, stretch your arms as high out to the side, think about all those people that you're on the planet with. And then all the way up over your head. Really, just give yourself a little stretch. Hold everything up there that you have discovered and thought about today. And as you exhale, bring it down and keep those discoveries, that energy with you. Be brave enough to share what you thought about today with someone else that matters. That's your talent-mindfulness.

Jim Collison 19:57

That's a good one. I hope as you're listening to these, you're enjoying them as much -- we're getting some great feedback on them. And like Maika said, I think, take an opportunity -- maybe you're listening to this in the car or maybe you need to get some time away in a safe spot where you can do this and and participate in it. Don't let them pass (you) by. Even if you don't think you're gonna like it, give it a try. That would, that would be my, that would be my acknowledgement to you.

Jim Collison 20:25

With that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available at the -- at Gallup Access. It's tough, Maika, sometimes change is hard. It's hard for me just using different words! You can get to Gallup Access, just You can send us your questions or comments. Send those to -- this didn't change -- You can also catch the recorded audio and video of this program as well as all the past ones that are available on our YouTube channel. Just go to CliftonStrengths on YouTube or search that. You can also -- actually we have a live channel on YouTube as well: Gallup Webcasts LIVE. You can see all these in their "liveness." So maybe you're thinking, Oh, wait a minute, I can only do the recorded ones -- well, we have all the live ones out there as well; you can find that on YouTube. Interested in becoming a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach or to see a list of all of our courses that lead to certification (some that don't). They're available for you; head out to our courses page, just You can use the contact form right there on the page if you want to get in touch with us. Future webcasts are always available, the live ones particular: -- B-R-I-T-E. And of course join us in our Facebook group: Thanks for joining us today. Look forward to -- we're getting close to the end, Maika.

Maika Leibbrandt 21:37

I know!

Jim Collison 21:37

We're coming up here towards the end of Season 5. As soon as you get to "R," it just rockets out of there. But -- so don't miss the live ones through the end of the year. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody!

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

Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A
+1 202.715.3030