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Woo: Highlights From Your CliftonStrengths 34

Woo: Highlights From Your CliftonStrengths 34

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Theme Thursday Webcast Series
  • Season 5, Woo
  • 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 Woo.

Join Jim Collison and Maika Leibbrandt as they talk about your Woo 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 November 7, 2019.

Jim Collison 0:19

Theme Thursday is a Gallup webcast series that dives deep into the CliftonStrengths themes, one theme at a time, and today's theme is Woo. If you're listening live, join -- I went kind of fast on that. It's Woo! Right. If you're listening live, join us in chat or email us your questions: Maika Leibbrandt is our host today. She's a workplace consultant here at Gallup, and Maika, always great to see you, and welcome to the best theme ever!

Maika Leibbrandt 0:42

You could almost use Woo just to punctuate our sentences in this one, like, it's a short word. It's probably why you went fast. But Woo! Here we are.

Jim Collison 0:50

And if you're new to this, I'm joking, but I'm not joking about Woo.

Maika Leibbrandt 0:54

Oh, we're joking.

Jim Collison 0:54

So just hang tight. But not joking.

Maika Leibbrandt 0:56

All the themes have led people to success. That's why they exist. I feel compelled to say that because no one's gonna believe you if you say it.

Jim Collison 1:02

That's correct. You're correct.

Maika Leibbrandt 1:04

The themes are neutral. You make yourself good or bad, or successful or not successful. Your themes don't do it for you. That being said, welcome to the best theme! It is, honestly, the themes that you have at the top are the best. Just so happens that Jim and I both have Woo at the top. But I mean that when I say it, you -- we've been going through your CliftonStrengths 34, this big 25-page document, in this season. And there's so much to learn from it. But the most important thing you can understand is that the themes that drift to the top of your profile, usually 1 through 5, sometimes 1 through 10, maybe even 1 through 12. But those themes that always describe how you think and feel and behave -- that's where your most power lies. And the idea of strengths is to develop them and in order to do that, if you've got Woo as a dominant talent or you care about somebody who does, this podcast is for you.

Jim Collison 1:55

All right enough goof-around-ery. Let's get right into it. What does it mean to have Woo as a top talent theme?

Maika Leibbrandt 2:00

It means that you love the challenge of turning strangers into friends. Meeting new people and causing that initial spark of connection is fun and energizing for you.

Jim Collison 2:09

And how might people with this dominant theme kind of notice this in their life?

Maika Leibbrandt 2:13

For the most part, you find it energizing, life-giving to be around people. You do better work when you're interacting with others. You can tell when someone likes you. You might have had a hard time letting go of a pursuit. Whether it's a formal or informal pursuit, there's some part of you that's always aware of whether you've won someone over. You give social credit to strangers. Maybe even, you know, as you're driving down the highway, merging lanes of traffic, you think about the other people on the road -- not as cars but as people who are driving with you who are affected by your choices and you might want even those strangers to have a good experience!

Maika Leibbrandt 2:54

You might have a special go-to style or a unique touch when it comes to hospitality; a way that you can make people feel comfortable. You acknowledge others at all times. Even just a knowing glance when someone is struggling is -- might be a sign of Woo; that that antenna that's always up. You see them. I think sometimes we label this as "talking to strangers" or just "talking everywhere." And talking is really a symptom of Woo's ever-present social spark. You're rarely disconnected from the people around you.

Jim Collison 3:29

Throughout the season, we've been talking about this idea of potential blind spots with Woo. We also talked a little story about me and you running a half-marathon together, and I tried to get the entire group of runners around us to kind of finish with us or to finish with you anyways at that point. But when we think about those blind spots, right, it's awesome when it's on, but when we think about blind spots, how might that hold us back for Woo, from excellence?

Maika Leibbrandt 3:53

Only 2 people with Woo meet during a 13-mile run and end it as friends. So there are some blind spots to all themes. And this doesn't mean that you should, you know, lead with it or tell people, "Here's how you can lean into your themes is to not do this!" Because the very nature of positive psychology helps us understand that there's infinitely more to understand from our areas of success than there is to fix in areas of weakness. But it is our responsibility to understand how we could get in our own way.

Maika Leibbrandt 4:22

So here's two blind spots for Woo. The first one is that your social connection to others could seem self-serving or superficial to people who don't do it naturally. There's plenty of folks in the world who in order to make that connection, they have to put on some kind of energy. So acknowledge that this is a potential misunderstanding. But don't be deterred by how it might seem. Here's two reasons that you really don't need to be too deterred by this.

Maika Leibbrandt 4:49

The first is if this is someone that you interact with a lot, you're likely to win them over and they'll experience your genius firsthand and your genuineness firsthand. No. 2, if there's someone you do interact with frequently, they're going to see that you're real through the consistency of that charm that you bring. But do understand that at first glance, it might be misunderstood.

Maika Leibbrandt 5:12

The second blind spot around Woo might be that you trust and truly like people, and that happens real quickly for you. So you may have a tendency to reveal too much about yourself too soon. And that can make people who are more reserved feel like like the hospitality that you're trying to extend in doing that doesn't feel hospitable; it can turn them off. So pay attention to the reservation level of other people. Vary your approach. Developing more ways that you can connect with others and more ways you can start to reveal more, more deeper truths about yourself is just going to add to your toolbox and your ability to help refine that talent.

Jim Collison 5:51

Contrary to what some people think, Woo can play on a team. So how does Woo do that? How does Woo play on a team?

Maika Leibbrandt 5:57

Of course, Woo is an Influencing theme, and these are themes that describe people who thrive when they are responding to and interacting with other people. Woo brings an element of fun and comfort to a team. They're rarely intimidated by personalities. And not just strangers, but even sort of, I think, particularly extreme personalities don't don't deter people with high Woo; they just become more of a challenge maybe. And so Woo is at their best in the company of other people. It's likely that on a team, they are the social connector. While not everyone on your team will have a relationship with everyone, it is probable that most people on the team will have some connection to the person with Woo.

Maika Leibbrandt 6:39

So this can accelerate the trust that people have among their team with or without that person with Woo present. It's sort of like a guarantee that you'll probably have a mutual friend on that team. They can be an excellent resource, able to pull people together and tackle a challenge because of their large network of contacts. They can change the environment to feel more hospitable, to feel more comfortable. Someone with Woo sees everyone as a potential friend. So when they're around, we all feel a little less invisible, and that can drive accountability; that can drive courage to speak up, and and that inspiration to really say, "Here, I've got something to give. I want to contribute."

Maika Leibbrandt 7:21

Let me first turn up my sound because I actually just lost sound in my earbuds. Now I'm going to compare it to other Influencing themes. So looking at Woo and Competition. Woo says I want to win your favor. I enjoy the challenge of melting the social ice. Competition says I want to win the contest. I enjoy the challenge of outperforming relevant benchmarks. Activator and Woo. Activator infuses the team with confidence that they can get started. Woo infuses the team with comfort, connection and social warmth so that they can keep going.

Maika Leibbrandt 7:59

Communication and Woo are two themes that show up together quite often. And so if you don't ever try and isolate them, you might only ever meet someone who has both, and not know the difference between the two. But Communication can help others feel heard by turning complex ideas into simple words or phrases. Woo can help others feel seen by acknowledging presence and acknowledging other people's importance. In a partnership, Woo can help you make connections and expand your network. Woo can offer introductions that truly feel mutually beneficial, and they can meet you where you are -- make you feel 10% more at home. Don't "science" me on this one, but that's -- I think it's true about Woo.

Jim Collison 8:40

You mentioned Woo and Communication going together a lot. I see this all the time. Anytime I meet somebody who has Communication, I always say, "Do you have Woo as well?" "Oh, yeah!" Not always. Not always, but when we think about it, and I'm glad you mentioned that because they do need -- they do need to be separated. We see Positivity as well show up a lot in that. But any clues on communicating well with Woo?

Maika Leibbrandt 9:01

Yeah. And just before I answer that question, I think the reason that we think it's important to separate it is not so that we can make themes overtly like scientific and sort of dissect people; it is because I don't want you to cloud your understanding of Woo by your understanding of all these other themes. Woo can be quiet. Woo can be just that person who makes meaningful eye contact and helps you know you're not alone when you're going through something. It doesn't also have to have some of the outgoing tendencies of some of these other themes.

Maika Leibbrandt 9:30

It's a different kind of outgoing; it's its own kind of outgoing. It's that courage with strangers that says, you know, in some cases, nobody else is reaching out to shake your hand. I will. Advice for communicating with Woo. You know what, if you're helping them solve a problem, understand they might need to socialize the answer. Their version of research is including other people. The way they even deal with their own opinion might need to include asking other people what they think. Even if it's only in their thought process, acknowledge that that's going to be important to them.

Maika Leibbrandt 10:01

Ask about their community, their team, or some other way of acknowledging the value and attention they give to other people. Don't expect them to be everyone's deepest friend. If possible, expect them to be the connector between people, and then set up relationships with other people that can go deeper.

Jim Collison 10:21

Or even remember names, just saying. What might motivate or inspire someone with Woo?

Maika Leibbrandt 10:27

Opportunities to expand their influence. Maybe they want to speak in front of people; maybe they just want to greet newcomers, attend community or industry events -- anything that just makes their circle a little bit wider. A clearer connection to people who are affected by their work. Again, they sort of think about success in terms of of people. So can you talk about the end user and that end user's experience? Can you ask them to investigate stories of how what they're a part of translates to groups of other people? The challenge I think to meet and win over people, it doesn't have to be a long-term relationship that you're asking to set up over and over again. But without other themes, Woo itself is really more about creating that initial comfort -- that that speed of connection. So put them in charge of an icebreaker at your next team meeting.

Jim Collison 11:20

I practice this Woo theme, not only here, but at church. I get the opportunity to be kind of what we call service host, which is you welcome people from the platform. A minute in the beginning the service; a minute at the end of the service. It's been a great way to practice this. So Maika, how else can people with Woo practice this talent every day?

Maika Leibbrandt 11:40

Just don't spend your whole day alone. It'll drain you, even if you're in the zone and really, really focused on something, if you don't get around people, you won't be as good as you can be. Even if you just interject, you know, a walk to the park, a trip to the grocery store, a break to go say "Hi" to people and, you know, take a lap around your office. That's going to be practicing that Woo. And remember that it's energizing for you.

Maika Leibbrandt 12:04

I have had this conversation with other people with Woo, and I have it myself. And I'll find that, you know, there are times where I'm not ready to meet somebody. And I know that I'm not going to be "on" and because I have Woo and I want it to be good, I will avoid that. But it's important to remember that you should, you should lean into those situations on purpose. Be ready, and and make sure that, on purpose, you surround yourself with people a couple times throughout your day. Also stay in tune to current events, especially those events that are of interest to the people that you serve. So find a daily update about a local sports team or about relevant news. Knowing a little about things that are important to your community is going to accelerate your ability to connect with them.

Jim Collison 12:48

That's some great advice, Maika. And maybe the first time I've heard that in context with Woo, where -- and I find myself doing that all the time, finding these little tidbits of really of ways to connect or impress or Influence, right? That's all the things we're trying to do in the groups that we're speaking with. So speaking of practice, we've been spending this season working on this idea of talent-mindfulness. You have put together a "Woo-tastic" talent-mindfulness exercise for us today. Why don't you walk us --

Maika Leibbrandt 13:14

Save that one in your pocket for a while!

Jim Collison 13:15

Yeah, you bet. All season I've been waiting to use that one. What do you have for us today?

Maika Leibbrandt 13:20

So Woo is an Influencing theme. It's all about noticing others and making connection. Whether you have this theme or not, you do live among others. You are not here by accident. Your very existence on this planet is proof that you're not here by accident. Talent-mindfulness is an exercise to help you explore the talent within you so that you can more intentionally use it for good -- even if that "good" just looks like you improving your own life or your own process. We are all influenced positively by you tapping into who you are at your very best. So the next 3 to 5 minutes are for you, with or without Woo.

Maika Leibbrandt 14:00

Let's start really fresh. I want to invite you to push all the air out of your lungs. Just exhale, empty your body of any stale breath. Take a deep breath in from below your belly button all the way to above your crown. And exhale once more. Let's wake up your body a bit to remind yourself of your presence here today. Scrunch your shoulders up to your ears. Really create tension, almost to the point that it hurts. And then release. Shake out your shoulders, shake out your arms, let them hang like a rag doll.

Maika Leibbrandt 14:40

Let's roll your shoulders up and back, and rest your hands comfortably in your lap. You're already fresher than you were 20 seconds ago. And now we're ready to explore. I want you to -- you can close your eyes if you want or just turn your gaze downward so that you're not distracted. I want you to think about a time that someone made you feel comfortable. A time someone made you feel like you could just be yourself, without having to put on any sort of face or pretense. Who's someone you could really exhale with?

Maika Leibbrandt 15:23

Maybe you have to go pretty far into your past to find this. That's OK. Maybe it's someone you've known a long time. Maybe it's someone you don't even know personally, or experience directly in the same space as you. Focus your your reflection on just one person -- somebody who makes you feel comfortable. How would you describe how you feel when you're with this person or in that moment? ...

Maika Leibbrandt 16:02

If you can believe for just a second that this person isn't magic, but that they do something on purpose to create that kind of comfort, what is one thing they do really well? ... Think about that. What is one thing you can always count on this person to do? ...

Maika Leibbrandt 16:40

Now let's turn your reflection energy to yourself. What is something, anything, that you naturally do well? Doesn't even have to be about the influence you have on anyone, just something that we could count on you to do well. ... If you do that thing more purposefully, I guarantee it will have an effect on the people around you. What's one thing you need to focus on today, in order to lean into your own best self just 5% more? ...

Maika Leibbrandt 17:32

It's easy to feel overwhelmed by all of this. It's easy to feel like you need to be everything to everyone. We don't all have Woo, and we don't all need it. But we do all have an influence. We do all have an opportunity to understand what we do really well and to offer that on purpose. Thanks for spending this time today. That's your talent-mindfulness.

Jim Collison 17:58

You You made it through 34 of these. Wow, congratulations on that! If you're if you're just listening to us maybe Woo is the very first one, and this is the first one you found, we actually have a complete season of these available for you. And you can go back through either our YouTube channel or available as a podcast and you can listen to them on the road -- or, I think with these, it's really best if you kind of pull over or you do those at home. Many of them are kind of geared towards closing your eyes. And so you may not want to do it. How's it feel, Maika? To get through 34?

Maika Leibbrandt 18:35

It was a bold choice to even do this at all. And it's it's taught me that it's kind of fun to be bold.

Jim Collison 18:40

Yeah, yeah, no, we wouldn't have great things if we didn't risk a little bit and so thanks for risking that on us throughout the season. We'll have a season wrap of this as well. So if you're, if you're listening live or if you're listening even to the recorded version, we have a wrap party coming up -- kind of we'll summarize the end of the year, and talk about what's coming in Season 6. So don't don't miss this on that.

Jim Collison 19:03

With that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available now at Gallup Access, just go to -- pretty easy to remember. You can find us on YouTube as well, same idea, go to and search CliftonStrengths. If you want to listen to us as a podcast, I mentioned that as well. We have 7 different podcasts for you; this is just one of them. Maybe we'll have an 8th kind of based on the pre-show or the mid-show we talked about a little bit earlier. You can get access to those on any podcast player. Just search "Gallup webcasts." If you have questions, send us an email: If you're interested in becoming a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach or any courses that lead to any of the training that we have available for you, you can get a complete list of where, when and how much -- available for you right now: Want to also invite you to follow us on Eventbrite. All of Season 6 and everything coming up for 2020 will be scheduled out there. And so go to Create an account and follow us; you'll get an email every time I upload something new. And we're getting ready to upload the at least the first quarter of Season 6, available in January, February, March of 2020. So follow us there. Follow us on Facebook: I gotta say that in order or I get it messed up. We'd love to have you do that as well. We're closing out the season, but we have the wrap party in 2 weeks. So if you're listening on a podcast, just let it play, go through to the next one, and it'll be there for you. Otherwise, we'd love to see you back here in 2 weeks as we kind of wrap this series. For those of you who joined us live, stay around for a little bit of a post-show. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

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