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Understanding CliftonStrengths Domains: Teams and Managers

Understanding CliftonStrengths Domains: Teams and Managers

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Theme Thursday Webcast Series
  • Season 6, Kickoff
  • "Strong themes, stronger teams": Learn how your team can own its talents and become stronger, resulting in improved performance, organic growth and better wellbeing.
  • Interested in learning more on this topic? Read more about how to improve teamwork in the workplace.

We kick off Season 6 of Theme Thursday talking about your talent themes and their relationship to your manager and your team. When we improve teams through owning our CliftonStrengths, we improve performance. When we improve performance, that's how we get to the kind of organic growth that allows us to have stronger economies, a stronger world and better wellbeing. And great managers hold the key: As they move from boss to coach, they help team members understand who they are already and hold them accountable for being even better, maximizing the team's engagement and impact. You might even be a manager in ways you never thought of! So join Jim Collison and Maika Leibbrandt for Season 6, as we focus on teams and managers -- including a new talent-mindfulness challenge at the end of each webcast. Strong themes, stronger teams.

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

We've created the ultimate guide to improving teamwork in the workplace!

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 6!, recorded on January 9, 2020.

Jim Collison 0:21

Theme Thursday is a Gallup webcast series that dives deep into the CliftonStrengths themes one theme at a time -- this season based on developing teams and managers with CliftonStrengths, or, in other words, Maika, what does that really mean?

Maika Leibbrandt 0:31

It means strong themes, stronger teams.

Jim Collison 0:34

All right, a good -- we already -- maybe that should be a hashtag at this point, right?

Maika Leibbrandt 0:38

It's a long hashtag! Whoever can figure out, here's the challenge: Listen to what we say today. And then find the best hashtag for the season and whatever goes viral, goes viral. That's who wins.

Jim Collison 0:50

I like it!

Maika Leibbrandt 0:50

Whoever keeps typing; whatever gets picked up.

Jim Collison 0:53

Think of those hashtags; throw 'em in the chat room. If you're listening live, you can join us in the chat room by doing that. There's a live -- there's a link to it in video window on our live page, if you want to go to the YouTube instance. If you have questions after the fact -- and you could be using this email address for a lot of things -- but send us an email: Don't forget to subscribe on your favorite podcast app or on YouTube. We have two YouTube channels. CliftonStrengths is one of them and Gallup Webcasts Live is another. Maika Leibbrandt is our host today. She's a workplace consultant here at Gallup with me. Maika, always great, and welcome back to Season 6!

Maika Leibbrandt 1:26

6 seasons, Jim! Can you believe we did this?!

Jim Collison 1:29

I know! I've never been that consistent with anything in my life. And so for me, it's a big deal to get into this 6th season. We have spent a bunch of time kind of thinking through what, what would we do, right? About midway through last year, we knew this was coming. And so we kind of started thinking, what would we do with it? Today, what we kind of want to focus on is how to use a season. And this would apply to -- we've kind of done this in the beginning of each of the other seasons. But how do you use this as a tool? What's going to be available to you? What's going to be the structure of it?

Jim Collison 2:01

So today's going to be not a lot of themes, but more of kind of a structure on how to use what we have coming up and how to use that, Maika. So, as we as we think through that, let's start with reflecting, like, why -- it's been 7 years, actually, since we started Theme Thursday. Why -- why are we doing this and what have we covered over the last 5 seasons?

Maika Leibbrandt 2:22

So the original intent of Theme Thursday, started by Curt Liesveld, our good friend here at Gallup, was just to help that language of CliftonStrengths that is so universal actually be universal. 34 themes are complicated; in order to learn how to be fluent across 34 themes and each one of them has several, if not 100, different talents wrapped up in it. That takes some practice. You wouldn't just show up and expect to learn you know, a different language in a different country. And I think we can't expect people to show up and get the best out of strengths -- which is you know, driving toward improved performance -- without learning the language. I would also say it's important to realize that Theme Thursday originally was targeted toward specifically coaches, people who really did need to get up into every single one of those 34 themes and not just be able to speak it, but truly, truly love it. And think about how you can help your clients use those themes in some kind of a -- some kind of a theme intervention. What does that theme tell you in terms of how you can customize your approach toward a challenge based on the themes that you have most naturally?

Maika Leibbrandt 3:29

So you'll notice when you watch Season 1, which still to this day is where you'll find our most watched of any Theme Thursday podcast. Let's do a little challenge here in the chat. OK, so I already told you that the most watched podcast is from Theme Thursday, Season 1. Guess which one it was in the chat. We'll give you a little bit of time as you're as you're clicking through there, and I'll come back to that answer in a second. If you know anything about strengths, you can probably guess. But Season 1 was about falling in love with every theme. We had guest interviews. So It's a really great season to go back to, if you're new to strengths or if your clients are new to strengths, and you want them to hear the essence of a theme and that theme coming to life through an individual who lives it. I still go back and listen to Season 1 on the regular for my own themes and my own sort of efficiency and effectiveness. But also, as I'm preparing our our continued learning through Theme Thursday.

Maika Leibbrandt 4:25

We then went to Season 2, which is where we looked into Curt's book called Expanding Your Strengths, which, if you've taken any of our certified coaching courses, is the same content as a little spiralbound book called Paired Up. The concept is, How do themes change when they're playing together? So we call that theme dynamics. And we we really demonstrated how to use this great tool, this wonderful app that comes with the e-book called Expanding Your Strengths. That all sounds like Season 2 was a promo, but really what it was is helping people go deeper into -- instead of looking at their themes one by one, looking at what happens when you start to mix them together and lean into the fact that nobody is any one theme. And your themes never show up for you one at a time. They always show up through the lens of the other themes that are there, as well as the lens of your values and your experience.

Maika Leibbrandt 5:21

As I'm going through this reflection, I'm thinking about Theme Thursday, Jim, as really almost mirroring the evolution and the development that individuals have when they start with strengths. It's first those building blocks of what are these, one at a time? And then what do they mean when I start to realize that I am a full person with a lot of themes at play?

Jim Collison 5:39

Yeah, I was just I was having a conversation with a couple coaches this morning who came into visit, and we had this -- I was saying, you know, today kicks off Season 6 of Theme Thursday, and they were asking about the other seasons. And I kind of realized, we've evolved through the seasons as well. So it is that journey, right? If you think about recommending them, we've created short versions of them. And some other tools available. Season 2 and Season 3 have companion guides that go with them. But it has been an evolution for us, and even for you and me as we've kind of grown into these. So it's a great way to consume it is to start in the beginning, kind of -- even for an individual, building them a playlist on YouTube or, or or giving them the links associated with them. It's a great way to have them kind of work through from the very beginning. Just ignore me in the early days. I had no idea what I was doing.

Maika Leibbrandt 6:24

Neither of us did, if you look at it from here, says Jim, says the Maximizer, which is clearly when you look backwards, something was lacking. It wasn't in the moment. It was really great for where we were. And when I think about -- is there a coffee grinder noise?

Jim Collison 6:39

Maika Leibbrandt 6:39

Oh, sorry. Chad, I think it was just to get my attention. I was a little ...

Jim Collison 6:44

No, I think someone's grinding coffee while they're listening. I will say, since I mentioned the companion guides, and I get this question a lot, we've consolidated those into a location now on the new Gallup Access. So if you go to, in the About section there is this -- we now have an All 34 Theme resource page if you go to that. If you go into each one of the individual ones, you can, you can see we've collected the first 4 seasons that are available there. And I think we'll be adding the 5th here, kind of coming up. They're all available there by theme; the companion guides are with the video. So register at on24 to get access to the video, and then the companion guides are there. So it's kind of the way to -- the way to get that done. contact me if you have questions. Maika, what about Season 3?

Maika Leibbrandt 6:45

Yeah, Season 3, again, thinking about that evolution of where do I go with strengths? Pretty soon you start to ask yourself, Well, how can I help anybody else? So Season 3 was where we dove into strengths-based leadership. And we followed Gallup's research of what do we know about promoting willing followership? And what do great leaders need to provide to their followers? So it was another interview-based season where we interview a leader for all 34 themes -- a leader who leads with that specific theme. We talked about the theme as it relates to how it can provide compassion, trust, stability and hope.

Maika Leibbrandt 8:05

When I, like, as a consumer, I think that was one of my favorite seasons. When I go back and replay them, I learned so much because there's so many -- having just another person to join our conversation, Jim, between you and I, adds so much. It was also pretty cumbersome to make it happen behind the scenes, which might be why Season 4 took a little bit of a different turn. And Season 4, we simplified things. And we came back to thinking about all 34 themes, again, in this idea of how does the theme lead to success?

Maika Leibbrandt 8:37

And this was -- Jim and I were talking about this yesterday. I don't know where Context isn't for me, but not one of my full 34 because I couldn't even remember what we had done or why we had done it. And so I was Googling ourselves. And I'm watching our kickoff from Season 4. This might also be why I didn't remember it: It was the first day that I had back from maternity leave. It might have been a little bit of "mom brain" going on. But Season 4 was really where we went back to basics, I think because we were feeling a little frustrated at the popularity of just naming it over and over and over again. And it frustrated us because we knew, or we were afraid, I'll say we were afraid and concerned that if the focus of Theme Thursday was just, How do I identify somebody themes? That that might create a hurdle or a stumbling block to taking it toward, How do I appreciate them? And what do I do with them?

Maika Leibbrandt 9:33

So we went back to, really, original writings from Don Clifton, which is I don't -- it wasn't necessarily about identifying potential downfalls or dark sides or what this could look like when when something specific happens. It was really that nudge and that challenge and that obligation to say, We've named it; what are you doing with it? And and I don't remember Don necessarily talking about different ways that a theme could look, but I remember reading a million different ways to describe success, and how -- I never read a million; you know me, I talk big. But it was really about how do we bring this back to what do we do? Bring us back to performance.

Maika Leibbrandt 10:11

So in my notes that I'm not sure anybody's ever actually seen, but my notes from Season 4, I divided into two vertical columns. And one half or the first part of any Season 4 podcast, I was talking about, What if this is one of your themes? And the other column I described in my notes as, What if this is somebody on your team or somebody you work with? So you can see some patterns there when you look back at S Season 4.

Maika Leibbrandt 10:36

And then last year, Season 5. We had this beautiful new report came out in October of 2018; 25 pages that really took strengths from something you needed to have somebody to read the tea leaves to -- I think it accelerated the first couple steps that an individual can take on their own. That 25-page report is huge. It's not meant to be read through from front to back and set aside; it's meant to be like a file folder you'd come back to and sort of like a coach in your pocket. And so it upped our game as coaches. And it really, I think it helped people answer a lot of the questions that they have in the very beginning when they have the momentum and curiosity about those questions.

Maika Leibbrandt 11:17

So we looked at all 34 through the lens of the highlights of that report. That report had more information than we've ever released before in one place about strengths. So you'll notice things about blind spots; you'll notice pieces around how does this fit into the domains? Because it's all there in in the CliftonStrengths 34 report. And it was also fun for us to change the format up, Jim. You want to talk a little bit about what's different in format for Season 5?

Jim Collison 11:43

Well, we recorded two at once because we were short on time. We had done a series on StrengthsExplorer the first half of the year, and so we did them in 20-minute increments. So, many people had asked, Hey, can we get shorter versions of this? And so we had made shorts for Season 1 and 2, I think, and then now the podcast itself was shorter -- was 20 minutes. And so those, we just shortened those up. We, as we talk about what's coming up in Season 6 here, I think we're going to follow a similar format for Season 6 as well. So it was good, great opportunity, 5 seasons out there available for you, all the resources that you need available as podcasts, which means audio form, they're still all out there.

Jim Collison 12:24

If you want to listen to them, you can get them on YouTube, if you want to do it that way. We have two YouTube channels that you can subscribe to now. I mean, the subscribing part is really important so you get notified when we do publish them. Google and YouTube is really good about that. So you want to make sure when you're on those. In fact, if you're on the live page right now, right down here, it's actually underneath where Maika is, is a little Subscribe button; it says Subscribe. You can click that and then click the notification bell that's right next to it and say "all"; you'll get a notification every single time we post something, so you'll never be left in the know. I'd rather overnotify you than under, so you can click that. If you go to YouTube and click -- and search for CliftonStrengths, you'll see our CliftonStrengths channel. It's really all the produced things that we do here on, on. in for Gallup. You can subscribe to that as well. So edited, available, live, two different channels, subscribe to both. So you know.

Maika Leibbrandt 13:18

Jim, I love you for a lot of reasons. One of them is your tech ability and understanding. So I just want to flat-out ask the dumb question: Every time I'm on a YouTube channel that I like, they tell me to subscribe. Why is that?

Jim Collison 13:32

Well, it drives engagement, right, and and we know -- like you'll forget, you watching something, you'll get busy in some things and you'll forget. And all the channels that I like to watch on YouTube, I subscribe to, to make sure I get the notification. Up at the top of the page, up on this side, on the top page, there is a notification bell that's up there. And when there's a new podcast or a new video for you to watch, that lights up when you're on YouTube, and you can drop that down and choose what's there. So, get subscribed, it's just kind of a great way -- it's like subscribing on a podcast app. So if you haven't done that yet and been listening when you're working out. I hear people all the time say you're my, you're my treadmill partner, right? As we spend time on treadmills with people or on a bicycle, or on walking the dog, I don't know who would be crazy enough to do that. But great opportunity in your podcast, just search Gallup Webcasts on any podcast player. So your phone has it -- has one if it's Android, you have to pick one. If it's iPhone, you have one built in. And just choose Gallup Webcasts and subscribe. You may not listen to all of them ...

Maika Leibbrandt 14:34

Is that the word, no matter where we're searching, like if I'm in my podcast app, or if I'm on YouTube, or if I just go to Google Gallup Webcasts ...

Jim Collison 14:42

Gallup Webcasts will get you there 90% of the time. If you have problems, let me know. We'd -- I'd really love to see some folks, and I'd love to see some of our subscription numbers come up in in 2020. Just as we know, people are using those tools and getting them automatically. I hear from people all the time, like, Oh yeah, that's right, I forgot! And we don't want you to forget that we're making these great resources available to you. So get subscribed, get signed up in those as well. However it works for you. I'm going to continue to send you the reminders, as well.

Jim Collison 15:11

You "follow" on Eventbrite, we talked about that a little bit earlier; that terminology is "follow." Follow us there so that you get the new content. We want to talk about what's coming up. So we have Season 6. And, Maika, I want to coach individuals who are listening now, like, how do you prepare for Season 6? What should they know? How do they consume this? What -- what are we trying to do with it? And, and how will -- how will it be maybe a little bit different than Season 5? And what's the best way to consume it that you think?

Maika Leibbrandt 15:41

Well, I would say, the way it's going to be different as somebody who's writing the notes, what I think about, and first of all, it's challenging to continue to raise the bar this way. But it's so delightful to have that kind of a challenge. So thank you to those of you who have been digesting this, using it, sharing it with your clients. Knowing that this isn't something that just, like, you listen to once, you never listen again, forces us to create better content. Because we know that you're going to, you're going to need something more. It's that development curve of how do we help you be even a little bit better?

Maika Leibbrandt 16:18

Season 6 really is about that idea of having stronger teams through stronger themes. We're going to talk about every theme and how it shows up on a team. So the reason we're doing that is because we know that teams tend to be where many coaches get called in to an organization. Often it is -- I mean, it's for a number of reasons. In my experience, I've been in consulting for almost 12 years. A lot of the times, people call in a coach ever is because something's going on between people. And sometimes it's just that desire to say, I want to make my team stronger. But that's the ultimate goal. When we improve teams, we improve performance, and when we improve performance, that's how we get to the kind of organic growth that allows us to have stronger economies and a stronger world and better well being. It's again, it's not just about how do I have an individual who sees their strengths and thinks they're cool.

Maika Leibbrandt 17:11

So I've heard all too many times in my experience at Gallup, and my experience even as a consumer as well, this idea of, Hey, we did that strengths thing. It was fun; we liked it. I don't really remember what we did after that. And if you want sustainability, it has to be owned by that team. So it -- a little bit about that's, that's sort of why we're doing it. And I'll dive into that a little bit more as well in the future. But the structure of Season 6 should help you still isolate one theme at a time and think about it through that lens of what does that mean for the team?

Maika Leibbrandt 17:46

I think that we have leaned a little bit too heavily on the domains being the extent of what we know about teams. We are going to go domain by domain because there's some rich research there, and I think it's a great construct to help you have a helpful conversation about a team. But that's not the extent of the conversations we should be having. So within every single theme, we're also going to explore what does this mean? How can I challenge somebody with this theme? What is the very best of them that I can expect? What might attract other people to this theme? How might a person with that theme connect to their team?

Maika Leibbrandt 18:22

Really a theme's influence across the 5 Truths of a Strong Team is what we're going to be looking at. You -- you've known that I've promoted the It's the Manager book quite a bit -- I'm looking over there on my desk because that's where it's sitting. But we're also going to take from other areas of Gallup research, specifically the 5 Truths of a Strong Team come from the book Strengths Based Leadership, which we discussed a little bit in Season 3, but this is a piece that I feel goes underappreciated. If you were at the summit last year, you heard this in a breakout that, behind the scenes, I actually helped design, and I could not remember that where I got this was from Strengths Based Leadership.

Maika Leibbrandt 19:04

So if you know this already, and you know that it's from Strengths Based Leadership, hats off to you! But I want to talk a little bit right now about what those are, that'll help you understand the structure of how we're going to run the season. So from our research that went into Strengths Based Leadership, which again was revolutionary in the way that we, that we really got curious. Instead of studying leaders, we studied followers, and we had open-ended questions about what, what makes a difference in your life in terms of a leader that that you follow or that's had a big impact on your life.

Maika Leibbrandt 19:34

And from a lot of that research came these 5 things that are true about strong teams.

Maika Leibbrandt 19:39

First, it's that conflict doesn't destroy them, because results are more important.

Maika Leibbrandt 19:45

Second is that those teams prioritize what's best for the organization and then move forward.

Maika Leibbrandt 19:51

Third, team members are as committed to their personal life as they are their work. Fourth, strong teams embrace diversity. They know that having the same background, the same interests or the same talent does not get us as far as having a difference in those things. And No. 5, strong teams are magnets for talent. If you want to know if you or your team is a magnet for talent, take a look at how many other people have asked to be a part of it. That's essentially what that one means. So across those 5, I've designed some questions that we can get curious about for any one CliftonStrengths theme.

Maika Leibbrandt 20:24

So you'll notice questions like -- let me pull up my notes here, just to give you a preview of our first one -- how might somebody with this theme focus on results? Or what kind of results would speak really loudly to somebody with that theme? How might they connect to something bigger? What does action mean to them? What what really says "Go!" to them? How might somebody with this theme embrace a connection with their manager, or what might inspire them outside of work and how could you ask about it?

Maika Leibbrandt 20:54

Along the diversity piece, I think it's important to say, What will somebody with this theme bring to a team naturally that other people might have to try hard to do? Or around the magnets for talent piece, what is going to be attractive to other people about somebody with this theme? So we're keeping what's always worked about Theme Thursday, which is the simplicity and detail that you can get to when you look at one theme at a time. But we're expanding it. And we're going to be bolder, and we're going to be braver, and hopefully give you more ideas of what you can do when you are coaching or managing or working or caring about somebody who has any combination of these beautiful CliftonStrengths themes.

Jim Collison 21:36

When we think about then the domain piece, and adding in the domains, we're going to focus on -- so we're going to start with the domain. And then we're going to do these themes. And then we're going to circle back with kind of a recap of what we learned. I think it's important this season more than most that you interact with us about what you're learning, what you're hearing, what you're seeing during that particular domain. We really want to get that feedback from you. Some of that will make its way into the recap. And so we want to recap each domain piece. Maika, as we think about those domains individually, then, anything else you want to add to that?

Maika Leibbrandt 22:16

So we will go domain by domain. I hope that in doing that, it helps you amplify the conversations you're having around domains. If you're brand new to this, and you're -- if you're brand new to strengths, one of the first things you're going to notice is there are 4 domains. And I think it's important to understand how to use those. So what they are is really a research-based way to say what's your default way of leading other people? Originally, those domains came from our research into executive leadership, where our question was, you know, is there one way to describe how somebody leads, based on their strengths? And it sort of bubbled down to 4 different ways that people default to leading. That has since grown and matured into a model that sometimes is less about who the executive is and how they lead, and more about just what is your default? And how does that play out when you're working with other people? Very often those other people are part of your team.

Maika Leibbrandt 23:12

So we're talking about Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building and Strategic Thinking. And I think part of the utility that that has grown into has been the ability to say you don't have to master all 34 in order to understand how your themes compare and contrast with other people's. You can have the shortcut of looking at the domain. Are you a doer? Are you an influencer? Are you a relationship builder? Or are you a critical thinker? Yes, for those of you who are reading the transcript, I just changed executing to doing and strategic thinking to critical thinking, but it doesn't matter. It's just a way to simplify that and talk about it.

Maika Leibbrandt 23:50

It is important for us to remember that they are -- those domains are absolutely a way to simplify and a way to start the conversation. When you're looking at the domain breakdown of people on your team, or if you're mapping a team by domain, it is designed to give you one space to help you understand where your team is going to most naturally default to, or most, most easily think and feel and behave. They offer, I think, a way to have a snapshot of what you can expect from a team. They are not by any means a hiring tool, or something that you need to have an equal representation of. And you'll notice that if you are on any of our sites recently, as well, you'll see some of those quick videos that'll teach you a little bit more about the domains and what they mean.

Maika Leibbrandt 24:35

We used to have a hypothesis that a strong team had a balance across all 4 domains. And we found that that's not exactly true. That really what a strong team has in common, other than the 5 things that I mentioned today, is that they're aware of the talent filters of other people and that they actively work to make the most of those. So the domains are super helpful to understand where everybody's most natural patterns lie. They are not meant to be limiting.

Maika Leibbrandt 25:01

We'll cover every domain in detail. So, as Jim mentioned, we're going to kick off just by talking about what is the Executing domain? What does it mean if I have a team who's strong in this? How likely is that to happen? And what do I do about it? And then we'll go alphabetical through every domain. And in between, you'll have, like, little sandwich markers, where we take a look at every single domain and hopefully offer you some information about that; some myth busting, perhaps; and, more importantly, something to do about it -- something to take away to continue the conversation in your own space.

Jim Collison 25:32

Yeah, we want to learn with you as well through this process. So we're looking for that feedback from you. I hear from many of you -- in fact, a record number of you are joining the Facebook group because of these podcasts; because of these YouTube videos. And so we want to dialogue with you on it. We want the conversation moving on. We want to encourage you to use this in your organizations. Take these and do "Lunch and Learns" with them. Take these, watch them live with folks; watch them recorded with folks.

Jim Collison 25:58

There's pretty much an infinite number of ways that you could use these to get these done. We really want you to, and kind of one of the reasons we moved away from the companion guides, 1) they were a nightmare to get into people's hands, but 2) we really want you to kind of develop your content around this and your organization; make it applicable to you and what you're doing, whether you're an org, or you're coaching an org, really kind of look at your own culture and kind of maximize it based on what we're trying to do here.

Jim Collison 26:28

You could start with Season 5, those are all done for you. So you could try those out and get that done as we're developing Season 6, and then come back to it. Maika, last year we had a very successful launch of It's the Manager. And we really want to tie that in -- and when I say, "really successful," I mean it was a really successful launch. That book has done some amazing things, number-wise. If you haven't picked it up yet, you can pick that up from us: You can purchase it on Amazon and just about any other outlet that's available. Still only hard copy at the moment; we've got some other versions coming. Get that question all the time. Can we get it electronically? Not quite yet. And I know that's difficult for some folks in some areas to get that done. But why all the hype about managers? And how are we going to focus, using these -- the themes and then bring in some pieces of the manager?

Maika Leibbrandt 27:13

I'm going to show you a copy of my -- if you can see the video right now, I'm showing you a copy of my copy of It's the Manager, which I've only had for a couple months. And here's why I love the hard copy: Mine is dog-eared. Mine has highlights. Mine has notes of what other people have said about these topics. It is not a book that you're going to read on an airplane and then ditch; it's a playbook that you're going to come back to with little snippets of topics and what do we know to be true and changing and important?

Maika Leibbrandt 27:41

Why managers? Simply because they probably have more influence on your organization than any other person. We know that the variance in engagement -- why some teams are engaged and others aren't --tends to come back to who the manager is; that it is an art and it's something incredibly difficult and that managers really face a lot of challenges that nobody else does. And those who make it through those challenges with grace, absolutely are going to save the world. And that is how, why we want to think about what is the role that a manager plays on influencing a team, on coaching people to, to notice who they are already, and also hold them accountable for being even better. There's, that's a huge mission. That's there's a lot of compassion in making that kind of commitment and stepping up to the challenge that it takes to be a manager.

Maika Leibbrandt 28:29

We do know that there's, there's evidence that you really can't dispute that who you make manager within your organization might just be the most important decision that you make. And I think also -- Jim and I love podcasting. And we do really like hanging out with each other. But what I can say to be true about both of us is we don't do this just for fun. We genuinely care about this challenge that we have, that is, moving the needle on performance around the world. And if you look at our engagement data over the past decade, and a half, it hasn't moved enough. It hasn't moved enough to really spark the kind of change that we're going to need to create a place that's more comfortable for ourselves and more hopeful for our children. And we've got to shake this up and be bold. And the quickest way to get to the most people and the front-line people who are making a difference in this universe is through managers.

Maika Leibbrandt 29:22

So we've raised the bar on Theme Thursday every season. It's not about reinventing something. In many ways, it's about revising ways of talking about the simple truths that we do know are right, which is when you can notice and understand what's already happening in someone, that you're already miles ahead of trying to put something in it that isn't there. And it takes great managers to really see that, acknowledge it and challenge it to be better.

Jim Collison 29:48

Maika, a question from Brenda in the chat room. She says, "What are the benefits if you read if you're not a manager? Like, is the book only for managers? And by the way, I think we manage everything. It's not just that, but for nontraditional managers, how would you -- how would you answer that question?

Maika Leibbrandt 30:04

I -- thank you for asking. It was actually in my notes to rhetorically ask. So perfect. If you're not a manager, please keep listening; you might still want to pick up the book. First of all, I would say you're probably managing something or someone. But more importantly, it's a way for you to understand the landscape that you're in. And if you just take a look at what the Table of Contents is, as well, I think it'll make you more prepared for the reality of what our world is right now: everything from exploring how generations operate in the workplace to what's the role of women or what does it mean to get pay right?

Maika Leibbrandt 30:42

And this was really designed to be, I think, a book that you hand to a leader of an organization that they then give to their managers. I would tell you the best way that I've experienced using it has been on a couple teams I'm in who meet regularly just to stay connected. What we've done is we have assigned -- the first thing we did was we assigned everybody in this -- it was a coaching club is where it started -- we assigned all of our coaches in our coaching club to read the introduction, which is about the new, really the new face of the challenge of what do we face as human beings here on this planet? It's no longer about having the smartest technology; it really is about being able to harness the behavioral economics of human potential.

Maika Leibbrandt 31:21

And so the challenge was to read the first chapter and then pick the next out of the rest of the chapters -- next 52 -- pick one that you feel is most important to you in your own engagement. And then, we, we had a list then of what was most important to our audience. There's about 10 or 12 of us, and it took us 12 weeks to get through one chapter a week. And all we did was we assigned the one that -- you knew you were reading a chapter that somebody else had nominated as being important. And then we had a really rich conversation once a week about what we were noticing there and what really bubbled up, so I don't -- I'm not even a manager. I thought it was super helpful.

Jim Collison 31:59

3 or 4 minutes a chapter, by the way, very quick -- not intended to be, not intended to be the be-all, end-all, but really just start the discussion. It's almost like you paid Brenda to ask these questions. She says, I got the book at the summit. I haven't read it yet. So many resources available. What to read and listen to first? Maika, we have a new segment coming for this podcast that's going to kind of be around it. Why don't we just use that question as -- and share it ...

Maika Leibbrandt 32:22

I'll do it for you, Brenda. Just keep listening in the next 10 seconds, I'll tell you. But first, I'm going to use 10 seconds to reveal the question I asked earlier, which was, What do you think the most listened-to podcast is of all time so far? Jim, it is ... ?

Jim Collison 32:36

So on YouTube -- I have two answers: On YouTube, Listener. Listener?! Learner! There we go, that was like the most un -- that was like when Steve Harvey announced the wrong person.

Maika Leibbrandt 32:47

That was the wrong Miss America, wasn't it. Listener, the 35th theme!

Jim Collison 32:51

Yeah, Listener! We should all have that. We should all have that strength. Learner on the YouTube channel; about 15 or 16,000 people have caught that one. On the podcast. It's actually Strategic. And that's from season. That's just from the last season, from Season 5. So that has gotten some 6,000 downloads. I know we can do more than that. But that's kind of interesting: Learner and Strategic. The couple of the guesses is in the chat room, as well. OK. When we think about our new -- we have a new segment coming. By the way talent-mindfulness from last season was super popular, like super popular. And if you don't know what we're talking about, you just got to go back and listen to Season 5 and you have to kind of get to the end of the podcast to do it. We purposely put them in the back so you'd get through the rest of the content to get there. But Maika, what do we have coming for Season 6?

Maika Leibbrandt 33:41

OK, so nobody's asked yet, Are you still doing talent-mindfulness? I saw, in the ...

Jim Collison 33:45

Are we still going to do it?

Maika Leibbrandt 33:46

... in the chat that it was popular. If you don't know what we're talking about, go back. But I'll tell you right away, it was the riskiest thing I've ever done. And maybe what made us grow the most. But we're not bringing talent-mindfulness back in its exact same form. What we're doing this season is something that I'm tentatively -- between now and next week, I guess, we'll decide whether this is the right title; love some feedback from everybody -- tentatively calling this manager-mindfulness challenge. I don't know that I like that ...

Jim Collison 34:21

It's not bad.

Maika Leibbrandt 34:22

I'm going to pull it up here. So what we're going to do is we'll take, we're just going to realize that management is an art, and in the chat, I've had a couple of you ask already, What if I'm not a corporate coach? What if I'm not a manager? And I like a lot of the responses that I've also seen in the chat, which is, I'm thinking about my children; I'm thinking about my community; I manage something; who do I influence? So everybody's welcome, but I'm not going to cover up the fact that we're gonna talk about managers.

Maika Leibbrandt 34:47

So we know that management is an art and the chances that we all do it naturally really well are pretty slim. But everyone, even the very best, can improve upon practicing that art. So this season, we're offering a weekly challenge for managers -- a, think about it as a "microprescription" of something to go do to strengthen their team. We're going to start from Gallup research, and then translate that into action you can practice, action you can track, action you can implement right away after listening to it. Similar to the mindfulness, it'll be at the very end. And it'll be short. Maybe also similar to mindfulness, it might feel like an activity or a, something you might write down if we were in an in-person workshop. So -- should just go into this one and do it, Jim?

Jim Collison 35:30

Yeah, let's give it a little, let's give it a little preview for sure.

Maika Leibbrandt 35:33

Great. So here's your first, your first manager-mindfulness challenge. This one comes from "Boss to Coach" section of Gallup's book, It's the Manager. That's chapter 20, and the chapter's called "Three Requirements of Coaching." I'm going to break this down into "Learn" and "Do," so here's the Learn part of what I want you to know about this. The way that most organizations approach performance management does not work, but we keep thinking If we keep going, it will. I even have clients who say, you know, we're bored with our last program. So we're gonna bring you in to see if it works. And there's a moment where we should all just kind of shake ourselves and say, if we're not doing this right from the, from the ground, maybe we need to uproot it and plant something different.

Maika Leibbrandt 36:17

Just 1 in 5 employees strongly agree that their company's performance management system does indeed motivate them. And people -- we know as well from our research -- are screaming for a coach, for some help, for some development. And this is really different than just wanting someone to tell them what to do, and measure whether they're doing it or not. So what does that mean? In order to figure out what that, what that need is, Gallup interviewed scientists, leaders, managers and employees. We combed through our own database of more than 60 million employees and we dove into other research, really large-scale studies, wanting to learn, What does -- what does science have to tell us about what's going right in successful coaching experiences? And that is where we came up with these 3 things that we know managers need to do if they want to move from that idea of being a boss to really being a coach. The coaching is establish expectations; continually coach; and create accountability. So there's your Learn portion.

Maika Leibbrandt 37:17

And the Do portion. This is where it comes to the challenge piece. I challenge you, if you're listening to this, I don't care if you're a manager or not, if you're hearing my words right now, within the next week, I want you to have a conversation with someone on your team about their goals. This is timely because it's still the first work week of 2020. Ask them, What are your 3 most important goals this year? What makes those important? And how will we know when you've completed them? Your challenge is really to zero in on the established expectations portion of the three things we talked about.

Maika Leibbrandt 37:51

I want you to offer one upgrade to this person's currently stated goals that make them even clearer to both you and to that person. It could be something like, Let's find something you can measure or rate or rank or sort that wasn't there already. Or maybe it's encouraging them to pick one single word that's really inspiring to them about what happens when the goal is reached. Maybe the upgrade you offer is something like discussing how you're going to celebrate together and what the impact of achieving that goal will be on their development. If it hasn't been asked already, it's probably going to be, "Maika, where are you going to post these?" So they will be posted. Jim, what do we want to do with this?

Jim Collison 38:35

I don't know. I don't know. Let's, let's get into this a little bit. I think sometimes we discover, even as we went into the talent-mindfulness pieces -- by the way, I'm going to request: You have to start the segment with, "Take a deep breath."

Maika Leibbrandt 38:47

OK, I can still do that. All right. Just a little bit of a separation ...

Jim Collison 38:49

Yeah, you know, I think, you know, I think I do -- I kind of want you to go back to that same style that we had of being able to ask some questions; let it, let it sit for a second. Like, I think people really appreciated that. I know I did. Talent-mindfulness changed my life last year. Like I, here I am, I'm doing this with you, you know, everybody's thinking we know everything and, and I, it really changed the way -- especially when I'm in stressful manager situations -- that I approach the way I think about it. And I actually, I hear you, like I get in, I get in these situations and I can feel my heart rate, you know, go up, and I hear you go, "Take a deep breath." Or my watch tells me, one of the two. But it's one of those situations and it, it kind of centers me back to it. And I'd actually kind of like to get back as we, as you develop these.

Jim Collison 39:22

And somebody left a comment -- Carrie had said, you know, hey CliftonStrengths great. Oh, no, that's not the comment I wanted from her; it is a little farther up. She says -- I think this was her -- I find it not only helpful at work, but as a parent, right? When we think about managing and these, these, these mindfulness moments in managing. It's not just -- and we, we're not, like in my case, I don't have any direct reports here at Gallup anymore. It's I have to influence other people. I work with you. I have folks, writers and editors and video folks. Does that mean I'm not a manager? Well, no, I still have to manage these situations. And I think, whether we have the title of manager or not, or parent or not, I think there's situations at work and at home and with our family, where we have to play a manager role.

Jim Collison 40:29

And I think what we're learning in our research is that having strong leaders and strong leadership and understanding why we're doing what we're doing from a leading perspective, is really the important part. And so that's what we want to emphasize on this. Yeah, It's the Manager was written when we when we wrote it and made this available. We wrote it for managers in organizations, but there's so many other things this applies to. Maika, I kind of want you to think through that same --

Maika Leibbrandt 40:56

Mmm, I like that.

Jim Collison 40:57

That same lens that we went through where, where we get people thinking about these individual exercises of things they have to manage. So let's get away from manager, and let's start thinking about, What am I managing? Because those are, I think we all have that -- whether we are, whether we are a, and I'm using air quotes, manager at work or not -- we have those things as well. So I want to, I want to encourage you in that when we come back. This is why we do an intro, by the way, so we can figure some things out in some of the work that we're doing.

Maika Leibbrandt 41:33

It absolutely is. I mean, you'll notice, you'll notice that about Theme Thursday in general, that it changes and it gets better. But today, the goal is just to help you understand what we're thinking about and get excited about digesting it.

Jim Collison 41:44

Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, it's, it's been pretty great. We -- anything else that you want to throw in there before we kind of bring this thing ...

Maika Leibbrandt 41:52

I do want to encourage people -- yeah, two things. One, thanks to Ralph, I just now decided I'm going to post these on Instagram. So, If you're not following @strengthstalk -- all one word -- do that. I'm not going to pretend that it's a perfe... -- it's not just professional, it is me. You'll get to see a couple shots of my kids about once a month and a bunch of shots of coffee that Ralph likes to tell me is not espresso and doesn't count. But follow @strengthstalk for this is where we'll put it, mostly cause it's a great place for people just to keep commenting. The comment thread is just kind of endless and it's super easy to use. By the way, this week we're doing a goal-writing challenge on Instagram @strengthstalk. And we're going to run manager-mindfulness or mindful managing a little bit more like a practice. I -- it's so funny, Jim, I ran into that because I I just kind of ran through it just now because I was a little bit afraid to ...

Jim Collison 42:45

To go back?

Maika Leibbrandt 42:45

To go back! It still feels like, Oh, are they going to be OK with this? But thank you for the feedback that yeah, it is necessary to ...

Jim Collison 42:53

Think so. Take a deep breath.

Maika Leibbrandt 42:54

If you're gonna do it, really, really do it right. So thank you for that. The second thing I want to mention, though, is just echoing what Jim mentioned before. And maybe if you didn't hear it in his voice, you'll hear it in mine. Please follow us on Eventbrite:, because Called to Coach is already scheduled out on purpose this year. And as somebody with high Strategic and Ideation, anytime I see a cool storyboard of things that connect, like all the lights light up. And I really think that this is going to be a breakthrough in terms of how we get you information that can change your world. So across every platform, I hope you feel like we're all more connected here at Gallup. And that allows you to be -- to not have to do the connecting. So the work that you can go do is more about the behavior change and the support and the encouragement that people need, not the sorting through of how you get all the information from us.

Jim Collison 43:47

So Called to Coach will have -- kind of be the companion guide in some ways to this, when we think about teams and managers. So twice a month, we'll have two live sessions that are actually going to be four recorded sessions, right. We're going to -- we learned at Theme Thursday, that's a great way to get it done. So you can listen to those live. We'll still have success stories. And by the way, I've created a unique list on Podchaser, which allows me to get all those success stories kind of lined up for you.

Jim Collison 44:11

So if you want to hear the coaching success stories and organizations that are using strengths and engagement to make theirself a better place to be, as we develop strengths-based organizations, we are still doing plenty of those as well. And I have a list -- I'm doing everything I can to make this as easy as I can for you. But I do need you to participate a little bit and help me out, as -- and seek after some of these things as well. So we will have that but we will have more teaching this year on Called to Coach, especially around this, so we want to encourage you to do that as well.

Jim Collison 44:43

One of the things we're going to mention: ... opportunity coming for you called The Boss to Coach Journey, and you're going to -- it's not ready right today. But over the next couple weeks, we'll be doing more talking about that as an opportunity, a learning opportunity for both you and your managers to really study the idea of what does it mean to move from being just a boss to a coach. And we are super excited about that. And we'll have more -- just listen more, that'll be both on here and on Called to Coach, as we roll that out and have that opportunity for you there. Maika, anything else you'd add?

Maika Leibbrandt 45:22

This is -- this community, I think, has grown in such a beautiful way. And we had a couple turning points being able to see when, like, theme concepts and answers were answered by each other in the community. And now I feel like it's even just that that genuine supportive, What do we do with this? And how do we take it farther? So thank you to everybody who's a part of this, anybody who's shared this or, more importantly, anybody who's followed up with somebody that they've shared and made a difference. That's, that's really what we're hoping to drive toward. So thank you.

Jim Collison 45:51

All right. With that, we'll remind everyone that both in the podcast and YouTube descriptions now -- so some changes for 2020 -- we have placed a link to the full show notes and transcriptions. It's one of the items we got requested a lot on. So if you didn't know that yet, in both the podcast player or in YouTube is the link back to Sometimes it's hard to find; it's there in the description and will be for all of 2020 to get the full transcripts. Maika mentioned that a little bit earlier. If you want to see those, you can search on them as well. Mark spends a ton of time editing those. So Mark, thanks for your work on that and getting those done. We'll include the links to everything we mentioned here. Another great thing that Mark does is he spends a bunch of times making sure when we talk about something, it has a link associated with it. All those are in the show notes. You can find the audio and YouTube instances of this program as well as all our past ones. Remember, go to YouTube and search "CliftonStrengths"; that gets you to our YouTube channel. You can do Gallup Webcasts Live if you want to subscribe there. You can also search Gallup Webcasts on any of the podcasting platforms and find us, follow us and subscribe there. Don't forget, when you are on our show notes page, where the transcripts are at the very bottom is the opportunity to sign up for the brand new, very brand new CliftonStrengths community newsletter. You want to stay abreast and get an email every single month of everything that's going on in the community? Another way to do that: There's a link at the very bottom of the show notes to get that done; you can sign up there, and that will come to you each and every month. If your organization is struggling to implement anything we discussed or if you have any questions about anything strengths-related, even engagement-related, send us an email: You can also see a complete list of all our courses. I mentioned that Boss to Coach Journey on our courses page for today. That's If you'd like to sign up for future webcasts, we've mentioned this a bunch: We'll just quickly mention the summit that's coming up June 3, 4, and 5 -- I'm sorry, June 1, 2 and 3 of 2020. That's available -- all the information is available, and we'll really begin to crank up on that as well: gallupatwork -- just "a-t" -- Join us on our Facebook page. I say this the very last thing, at the very end of the podcast, and many of you listen all the way to the end to get there. You can join us on our Facebook group: We also have one on LinkedIn as well if you want to go out there: Gallup, Gallup trained, something -- ah shoot, I need to get that link in there. I'll do a better job. I'll get that to Mark and get that link in there for LinkedIn and have a better way to do that. I want to thank you for joining us today and listening for the full hour. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

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