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CliftonStrengths Consistency Theme: Teams and Managers

CliftonStrengths Consistency Theme: Teams and Managers

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Theme Thursday Webcast Series
  • Season 6, Consistency
  • "Strong themes, stronger teams": Learn how your team can own its Consistency 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 discover how the Consistency talent theme relates to your manager and your team in this Season 6 episode of Theme Thursday. 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 February 5, 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 -- and today, we are talking about Consistency. If you're listening live, love to have you join us in our chat room; link's right above the video window. Many of you have joined us over there already, if you're listening live. If you're, if you have questions after the fact, you can always send us an email: Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast on any podcast app that you listen to. Subscribe to us on YouTube if you're listening there. And just love to have you join us here live. Maika Leibbrandt is our host today. She's a workplace consultant here at Gallup, and Maika, always great to see you on Theme Thursday. You're in Omaha, which is always awesome. Welcome to Theme Thursday!

Maika Leibbrandt 0:58

Thanks, Jim. You know this season, we're exploring every theme through the lens of the team, and we know from research and from experience that there tend to be 5 things that strong teams really have going for them. I'm going to present these, perhaps -- well, I'm going to use them as a jumping-off point to talk about Consistency today. But as you listen, you might also think about these 5 as, as a rubric for where your team is really strong and where perhaps they could use some, some improvement.

Maika Leibbrandt 1:25

So let's get into Consistency. The short definition: You are keenly aware of the need to treat people the same; you crave stable routines and clear rules and procedures that everyone can follow.

Jim Collison 1:38

I crave this theme! I don't, it's not there. I mean, it, it is -- it's in the middle, and I crave it because it does a lot of great things. So for those folks who have this, it's, it's an amazing -- to me, it's an amazing theme. But Maika, talk a little bit about -- so these, you've been talking about these 5 things, we've been encouraging people in the framework to write them down. No. 1: "Conflict doesn't destroy strong teams because strong teams focus on results." How do they do that?

Maika Leibbrandt 2:07

First of all -- I think we've said this now, like five times; we never really dove into the sentence. But imagine the power of -- this is, this is why the conflict isn't destroying us. I think so many times we get pulled in, and we're like, Help me manage conflict! And what we know about strong teams is that isn't the target. The target is the results that are bigger than that conflict. Well, for somebody with Consistency, that focus on results is a pursuit of uniformity -- in minimizing the impact of outliers, really bringing everything into repeatable, manageable order. Results that matter to somebody with high Consistency is looking at what can be sustained. So what's more than just a short-lived win or an unpredictable victory?

Jim Collison 2:50

Yeah, and while I crave this, I often fight against it. Sorry, for those with Consistency. How does someone with Consistency track progress? What, what kind of results might matter to them?

Maika Leibbrandt 3:01

I think they're going to pay attention to indicators. What is it that we're doing today that we can keep doing? Where the gains might not be flashy, but will be predictable and will still be gains. I think safety and fairness play a big part in in Consistency's attention to results. Their desire to make sure every person has the same opportunity to work hard may mean that they track through clearly defined rules that really level the playing field as much as possible.

Maika Leibbrandt 3:29

Practically, this might look like expecting each person on the team to share ownership of one common goal -- at least one, not not just the only one. It might also look like a desire for people to have an equal ownership of consequences, both negative and positive.

Jim Collison 3:46

I don't like that sentence, "equal ownership of consequences." That can -- in a team, listen, in a team setting, that can be a "make or break," oftentimes, and so, I think, really, really important. Let's do No. 2.

Maika Leibbrandt 3:59

No. 2 is "Strong teams prioritize what's best for the organization, and then they move forward or they get to work."

Jim Collison 4:06

So how does someone with Consistency focus on a large goal or purpose rather than their own, right? This is what we're talking about this year.

Maika Leibbrandt 4:14

Yeah, it is so much of what we planted the seeds in, in Season 5, where we talked about the maturity being less about "me" and more about "we." I think No. 2 helps us dive into what does that look like? So for Consistency, it's about understanding how other partners within the organization contribute. And that kind of assurance that we are following the same rules, following the same expectations, adhering to the same standards.

Maika Leibbrandt 4:37

They like knowing that we have an equal shot, and they like taking that shot. It's still an Executing theme. It might also be important to track goals continually, getting regular updates of how this person or this person's team is comparing to others who are measured against the same standards. Standards are important for somebody with Consistency. And it's best if you have the practice of agreeing upon what the standards are going to be. It might even be worth revisiting, not the, the execution toward something, but revisiting whether we're still agreeing to the contract on what acceptable is or what it's not.

Jim Collison 5:15

Michelle in the chat room says this: My son has Consistency No. 1. This explains why, when we play family games, he's always the scorekeeper.

Maika Leibbrandt 5:24

Oh, beautiful!

Jim Collison 5:24

Yeah. How great is that as an example, Maika? When we think about that, the -- he's always inspired to want to keep track, right? How else, how else, someone with Consistency, how can they take action?

Maika Leibbrandt 5:36

It might be important, I think -- just to be able to use that scorekeeper experience and say, they probably understand how the group is progressing forward. So there, it's, it is about taking action. It's also about taking, like we said, rules and standards and what's repeatable, what's sustainable. So their action is probably not going to look very new all the time. It might look more about the whole, moving forward and progressing together.

Maika Leibbrandt 6:04

So No. 3 is "Members of strong teams are as committed to their personal lives as they are to their work." So we probably want to think about, What does that mean for Consistency? What's it look like in your personal life? I like this sentence of, "Anything they do for one they do for all." You might find hints of kind of an evenness or uniformity, and that could show up and how they treat people or how they treat their time.

Maika Leibbrandt 6:30

I have a friend who gives a gift of the year. So every year she finds one really great gift, and she buys 10 or 12 of them. And that is what she gives to all of her other friends. And last year, it was like a really cool picture frame, and that kind of benefit that she gets from having that uniformity and that standardized approach means she's not ever wasting time thinking, "I need to find the perfect thing for this individual." It -- I have another friend, thinking about how they approach Consistency with their time, she actually has a pie chart of where she invests her time, and she keeps herself accountable by journaling back toward, "Am I feeling out of balance with any of these pieces? Am I making sure that I am showing up with the same kind of preparedness or the same kind of passion in one important area of my life as I am within, within another one?" And that ability to recalibrate toward evenness, I just think is a really beautiful aspect of Consistency.

Jim Collison 7:29

That's, that's the aspect I really love in Consistency. And I have such a hard time doing it, right. I just, I'm not built that way. How, from a, from a management perspective, like we're talking about the manager a lot this year. How can a manager tap into that with some really great questions? What kind of things could they ask? Pull that maybe from their personal life and bring it into the workplace?

Maika Leibbrandt 7:49

What's an important system you have at home? How do you decide to spend your time? What is a family rule that benefits everyone in your house? What's an important tradition among your friends or your family -- something everyone does or everyone knows?

Jim Collison 8:06

Yeah. And those are some great questions to ask everybody, by the way. But you'll see that, I think, as we pull those out of Consistency, that's pretty great. Let's look at No. 4.

Maika Leibbrandt 8:13

No. 4 is "Strong teams embrace diversity." Diversity is bigger than strengths. So this is probably, in many ways, it could be its own conversation completely. We're not trying to say that, you know, the pinnacle of diversity is CliftonStrengths diversity, but it isn't a jumping point to say, How might you see somebody based on their talent -- in addition to other attributes that bring difference and bring that that extra perspective? So I just want to dive into that first one, How might we see someone through the lens of Consistency? What, what do they naturally bring to the team that might be a way we refer to them? We could call them a leveler, an equalizer, someone who notices the extremes and pulls those extremes down toward, toward uniformity or toward the center. They're steady, they're safe. I think they can also be somebody who creates a container for fair and practical progress toward a goal.

Jim Collison 9:10

That "safe" word, I think, is really, really important, especially on teams. What unique perspective does Consistency bring to a team?

Maika Leibbrandt 9:17

They have a conscience for fairness -- elevating standards and contracts to the center of the conversation. That was a really flashy way to say, they're going to talk about how we do things together and not just what we do. After emotions are running high about opportunities, give the Consistency person the voice to sort out how the team -- how what the team does fits into -- how what they're doing fits into the the way that they're doing it.

Maika Leibbrandt 9:47

So it's not just that I'm going to get blinded by the fact that we have something to achieve right now. They're going to be paying attention to the way that we're doing it, or the the agreement that we make with each other with the people we're doing it for. I think that's a really important voice, especially when you compare it through that lens of Executing and thinking about, you know, I might just look at a team grid and see, well, they're all doers. But knowing that that specific flavor of doing pays attention to the systems. That, that's, I think, just a cool, unique perspective.

Jim Collison 10:15

When teams are working well, they become what we like to call a "talent magnet," right? This is No. 5, "Strong teams are magnets for talent." Talk a little bit about how are people attracted to these teams through this theme?

Maika Leibbrandt 10:27

Yeah, there's a stability that Consistency brings to relationships that I think is really attractive. They tend to avoid unfair advantages or disadvantages. It's about evening other people's opportunities to play, and that can create opportunities that might have gone unnoticed. When you want to refresh your current perspective, or test whether your priorities are in line, invite them in to, like, give you an exhale free from the hype (sorry), and be able just to say, OK, what's, what's really mattering here? It's, it's that "leveling the playing field" piece that can really be refreshing.

Jim Collison 11:03

Inclusion can be really difficult, by the way, and it's not just about providing the opportunities, but providing them in a way they can actually be consumed. This is one of those areas that we work on all the time here in, in making sure -- and it's very, very difficult. How, what kind of gift could Consistency bring to a team that may help in that area?

Maika Leibbrandt 11:24

It's about knowing what works. And knowing the implications of changing that. Consistency is still about, How do I work in a way that I could do for 100 years? You know, and I was reminded of this this morning. So I'm podcasting right now from someplace I never podcast from; I have only one piece of my own equipment right now. And without Consistency, I didn't think that was going to be a big deal at all. I have high Adaptability; I have Ideation; I have Strategic -- like, I'll get through it, it will be fine.

Maika Leibbrandt 11:52

But I was thinking, "If I was somebody with Consistency, I probably would have had some red flags from the beginning and I would have been better prepared." Because I would have paid attention to the repeatable actions, the rituals that work. Consistency notices that. I didn't notice that because I didn't have Consistency. So I think it makes -- what do they have that others want more of, it's that safety that that creates. Being well prepared, having the space, both emotionally and practically, to -- when we do want to change, to feel like we're well-informed on what that's going to do.

Jim Collison 12:26

Sometimes I also have to find new ways of doing things. So the the old ways were created on one system -- or not changing the current way it works, but adding it, adding a new a new path, creating new pathways, creating multiple ways. It's harder that way, sometimes. Especially if we have Consistency, we want one way for everything sometimes to make it fair, when it really is multiple paths to get there.

Jim Collison 12:52

This is one of those technology solutions, where you kind of have to think -- and not always with technology, but it's pretty common that way -- you always kind of have to think, "Maybe one path is not diverse enough. And I need multiple ways for folks to be able to access that." So it's, it's a great discussion. We talked about Belief earlier. There's some great things in that as well, and thinking through that. I think there's some hard questions to ask in Consistency, and do not -- as a manager, do not shy away from them. Maika, as a reminder, let's go back through those 5 again.

Maika Leibbrandt 13:19

Yeah, don't shy away from it and also realize they have the answers. Like I'm giving you my take on this, and it's isolated from it living inside a human. So just ask the questions and listen to the answers. The answers are within those people. Those 5 again are: 1) Results, not conflict; 2) Do what's best for the organization and then move forward; 3) Work plus personal lives both matter; 4) Embrace diversity; and 5) Magnets for talent. And again, just think about how you might evaluate your own team through these truths. If you want to read more about them, you can dive into Strengths Based Leadership.

Jim Collison 13:51

We have been spending the season this season, as well as Season 5, thinking about this idea of talent-mindfulness. And they've gotten really, really popular, which is great. We appreciate your feedback on them. Maika has another good one lined up for us today. Maika, what do you have?

Maika Leibbrandt 14:03

This exercise is for you, for now, separate from the learning you've been doing, the notes you've been taking, mentally or otherwise. So do yourself a favor and turn your focus inward. It might help to take a deep breath. ... Now, you might want to replay this in the future, come back and take notes. You might even need to return to these questions a few times before you feel like you've found a true and helpful answer for yourself. That's OK. This is a practice; it's not an exclusive opportunity.

Maika Leibbrandt 14:39

We're going to talk today about systems or rituals that are important to you. So let's start with a rating scale. On a scale of 1 to 10 -- you don't have to tell anybody your answer -- how prepared did you feel to take on your day this morning? Not just when you woke up, but whenever you showed up to your first experience, whether that was getting to work or seeing another person. When you started your day, how prepared did you feel to take on the challenges that lie in front of you? Let's do a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is "Not at all," and a 10 is "I'm very confident in my ability to take on these challenges."

Maika Leibbrandt 15:26

Think about that number in your mind. Our goal right now is going to be to claim a small, simple adjustment that increases that score by just 1 point between now and tomorrow.

Maika Leibbrandt 15:44

It's important to think about what we can control, especially in a time when change is flying at our face. But you are a champion; you are a distraction-deflecting ninja. And taking control of the systems that you use, the habits that you have helps you focus that energy toward what really matters -- toward feeling confident about facing the challenges that you face. So I'd like you to think about one ritual, a repeatable action, that helps you focus or that helps you sort out your day. Or even just one thing that helps you feel like as, as much of a champion as I just said you were.

Maika Leibbrandt 16:34

Let's try this. I'm going to give you an example of one. Right now, focus your gaze on something that is not moving -- above your computer screen, on the farthest wall that you can comfortably see. If you're driving, this is not for you! But as long as you're not driving, focus on one item. It doesn't matter really what the item is. I'm looking above my computer; I can see a tissue box at the farthest wall. I'd like you just to turn down the noise in your head. And for the next 10 seconds, just concentrate on that item. ...

Maika Leibbrandt 17:23

Now release your gaze, release that stare. Breathe in, breathe out, and come back to the space we were in before. This practice is an experiential example of the kind of power your systems and rituals have.

Maika Leibbrandt 17:44

Let's go back to what's within your control right now; what seems really important to you; something that you might enjoy trying out tomorrow that would make you feel just a little bit more ready to be refueled and to start your day on purpose. Maybe it's making a list. Maybe it's getting a workout. This is not -- it shouldn't be something big enough to qualify as a resolution. We're not talking about completely changing things. I'd just like you to add one ritual, one practice, something on purpose that is repeatable, that you could do for the next 100 years. And that helps you stay grounded in the fact that you have more power within you than even you know. ...

Maika Leibbrandt 18:34

Do that tomorrow. Stay in touch with us. Tell somebody else who you care about. Try it and see what happens. That's your talent-mindfulness for today.

Jim Collison 18:50

I like it! I've been, I've been practicing turning frustration as a fuel for focus. I know that sounds weird. But oftentimes I've discovered about myself, Maika, as we think through this idea of focus and calm, a lot of people try to calm down; I actually get super productive when I get a little sideways on things. It's just -- it allows, but I have to focus that energy. And you help me do this, by the way, as we think about these talent-mindfulness ideas of, for me that chaos creates clarity and and helps me sort things out.

Jim Collison 19:24

I just want to encourage folks, as we think about these talent-mindfulness exercises, to really lock into them and listen to what Maika says. Like, there is so much gold in this. But don't, don't just do it for yourselves. Focus on who you are in this, this Top 5 or all 34, however you're doing it. And take them to your teams. And that doesn't mean sitting in a group and "Kumbayah," and everybody hold hands, and now breathe, right. But there's some -- there are some great opportunities, especially coaches, to work through some of these and gather some focus on it. I just -- Maika, it's been a really important part of me for the last year as we've been going through these together, so thanks for, thanks for providing, I just, I want to say I appreciate it.

Maika Leibbrandt 20:08

Thank you. It takes practice. Valerie in the chat just said, Hey, turning down the noise, like you said, was really difficult. And I think that's why -- that was our original goal with this was "Let's offer practice," and it's going to feel hard at first. And it's not going to get easier; your life is going to get harder. But you're going to get better at it.

Jim Collison 20:27

And let me say this, Sometimes the noise helps me to focus. So don't, don't, don't try to -- don't try to be somebody you're not. Take advantage of those things. And I have figured out, somehow, in the chaos, to use that conflict, use that noise, to help get clarity and to help kind of focus me. To use that frustration to get to the focus, and not necessarily always try to get calm before I get focus. So I just wanted to share that. I want to remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available on Gallup Access. So visit That's the easiest way to get there. And that'll take you -- as you log in, that'll take you right to the strengths dashboard. We post full transcripts with streaming audio and video, plus all the past episodes. Everything's available out there, again, on that site: While you're there, sign up for the CliftonStrengths community newsletter, a monthly communication with us -- we'll get it right to you -- on all things CliftonStrengths. You can also search for "CliftonStrengths" on YouTube. Follow us there if you want to do that as well. Gallup Webcasts will get you on any podcast player in any podcast environment, you'll find us there. Subscribe while you're there, get it done. Make sure you never miss an episode. If you have any questions on anything, you can always send us an email: See a complete list of all the learning, and we have some dynamite learning coming up this year. Head over to our courses page: If you never want to miss a live show or know when we're going to do a live show, or know when we're going to move a live show -- because we moved the live show today from Wednesday to Thursday. Follow us on Eventbrite: go to; create an account, follow us there. You'll never miss a communication. In fact, those who register today are going to get a follow-up email from me here in a few minutes that says, Hey, thanks for coming! (It's all automatic, by the way.) And you'll get an email that says, Thanks for coming! Here's how to -- if you missed it, here's how to do it. So that's the value of registration. Get that done. Join us for the 2020 Gallup at Work Summit here -- June 1, 2 and 3 here in beautiful Omaha. No better time to be in Omaha than in June: gallupatwork -- all one word -- Registration is going on right now. And if you do it before April 4, you get the best pricing. So get in there and get it done as well. Join us on our Facebook page: Join us on LinkedIn to search for CliftonStrengths Trained Coaches. You don't necessarily have to -- necessarily be a trained coach with us. We'll take anybody in there. But that's the name of the group; love to have you join us in that group as well. We'll be back -- are we, are on next week? Yeah.

Maika Leibbrandt 22:44

We're on next Friday.

Jim Collison 22:45

Next Friday. So we're moving. I hate to say that.

Maika Leibbrandt 22:48

Plan your Valentine's Day with us!

Jim Collison 22:50

Yeah. That's a great idea. We'll be live on Valentine's Day. Love to have you join us with that. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

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