- Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series
- Season 8, Episode 8
- Listen as the founders of a Gallup partner organization in Africa expound on how CliftonStrengths is changing attitudes and workplaces on that continent.
- Interested in learning more on this topic? Read more about how to improve teamwork in the workplace.
Yendor Felgate and Magriet Mouton, founders of the Being Human Group in South Africa, were our guests on a recent Called to Coach. Yendor and Magriet shared their passion for spreading the message of CliftonStrengths across the African continent and changing the ways Africans think about themselves, their workplaces and work roles, diversity and inclusion, leadership development, and more.
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 offices here in Omaha, Nebraska, this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on February 13, 2020.
Jim Collison 0:20
Called to Coach is a resource for those who want to help others discover and use their strengths. We have Gallup experts and independent strengths coaches share tactics, insights and strategies to help coaches maximize the talent of teams, individuals and organizations around the world. If you're listening live, we'd love to have you join us in our chat room -- actually off of our live page, there's a live link right above the video window. If you just click on that, it'll take you to a YouTube instance. And the chat room is there as a part of that video. Log in with your Google account. We will be taking your questions live during the program, so I appreciate you doing that as well. If you're listening to the recorded version after the fact and you have any questions, you can send us an email: email@example.com. Don't forget, you can subscribe on all places everywhere. This will be available as a podcast. You can subscribe on YouTube. We'd love to have you do that as well. Dean Jones is our host today. Dean is one of our Senior Learning Experts here at Gallup. And Dean, always great to have you. Welcome back to Called to Coach.
Dean Jones 1:08
Thank you very much. This is very cool. I am super excited about this. I think this is the first Called to Coach edition, at least that I've done, that's exclusively for coaches in Africa. So I am very, very excited about that. I think we've got a lot of kind of cool stuff we want to cover today. And so I'm excited to talk about specifically about what's happening in South Africa, what's happening around Africa. And really how it connects to everything that we're doing globally. So there's so much exciting stuff that we're doing and so much that we're -- that we're building for the future, I think, right now. And so I'm really excited for that to happen.
Dean Jones 1:46
One of the things that, as Jim said, we're watching the chat today. So Jim's watching the chat as we go through this. So we'd love to have you guys have specific questions. So if you have questions about, really about anything, as we go through this, feel free to throw me the chat. We'll try to answer as many as we, we can get to in the course of the conversation today. Obviously, with us today, are Yendor and Magriet from the Being Human Group. The Being Human Group are our partners in Africa. For us, you know, part of our global reach is to make -- is to work with partners in areas where we don't have a direct presence.
Dean Jones 2:22
So as many as -- even though we've got offices around the world, there's many places in the world that we don't have a direct presence, that we don't have an office. And in those cases, we have done a fairly rigorous search to be able to make sure that we find the right partner, the right organization to partner with. And we've been working with Yendor and Magriet now for a number of years, and in various capacities here and just thrilled to have them as a partner. And so Yendor, I'm going to kick it to you. Why don't you just give a little bit of your background and, and share just a little bit about Being Human Group. I assume that almost everybody here may be aware of you. But I think it's great to just have a little bit of background on you and the organization. So I'll kick it over to you here.
Yendor Felgate 3:09
Fantastic, Dean, and Jim, and thank you for being online with us. So for those that do know me, my name is Yendor Felgate. I'm Affiliate Director of the Being Human Group. And what's really fantastic, I think, about BHG is that over a 20-year journey of working with people, developing others, building capacity in that area, Magriet and myself have started an organization that solely focuses on Gallup, the importance of strengths, coaching and human development. And that's what we do. That's what we live, eat and breathe.
Yendor Felgate 3:44
And our job really is to bring that to the Africa market by working very closely with Gallup in partnership, but also with our ASC folk, our alumni, and the friends of the strengths family across the Africa piece. So I'm delighted to see that we have many people from across the Africa piece -- from Namibia, from Tanzania, from Mauritius, and all that good stuff, and that's our vision. We want to grow with you and with Gallup, and really be part of their journey about transforming and impacting positively the 54 countries across the Africa piece. We cannot do it from a broom cupboard in Joburg. And that's why we are reaching out and working with you guys. So that's really what we do. And that's where our passion lies. Magriet, I don't know if you'd like to add to that?
Magriet Mouton 4:33
Yes, thank you, welcome, everyone, to the show. I must say, this is certainly a huge privilege, as I'm sure most of you have been following Jim Collison and Called to Coach for, for the last couple of years. And now for South Africa and Africa to be included with, with Gallup is certainly a huge privilege. I've been working with strengths for the last 15 years and certainly drank the Kool-Aid. I've got the strengths virus, as we say here in, in South Africa, as Yendor says. And we -- I echo what Yendor says -- that we, we need to support the coaches, we want to make sure that everyone is successful. Spread the great news of strengths and what it can do for individuals, teams and managers, and just just add together as a community grow and become better.
Dean Jones 5:34
That's great, Magriet. Thank you so much. That's awesome. I wanted to talk today, I thought we'd kind of kick it off today and talk a little bit about what our mission is. So I don't know -- I think that either directly or indirectly, most people understand a little bit about why we're doing what we're doing, and really what our commitment to it is. I think that people, when they encounter strengths, because it is so powerful and because it's so positive, that for many people, they have a kind of transformational experience where they really see themselves, they see other people and they see their environment in a new light. It really has the power to transform relationships with people.
Dean Jones 6:15
I always laugh because with every group, I'll go into an organization and work with a group of managers or leaders in the organization. And they, they'll come up to me afterwards. And the first thing they always say is, "Can my spouse do this?" And I think it's because when people have that transformation with themselves, they want to share it with the person they love most. But it's like, immediately, you know, it has an impact on people's relationships, right? The second thing people then say is, "Hey, I want my team to do this," right? I want the people around me, the people that I'm responsible for, to have the same kind of power, the same kind of experience, to really, to be able to know who they are through the lens of their own talent; to be able to know who they are through the lens of the contribution that they can make; and to be able to focus their energy and their development around the things that they, that they are innately gifted with.
Dean Jones 7:06
So I think there's enormous power there, right? As many of you know, I'm not high in Context. I'm not a historian by nature, right. But we really started this journey back in 2010-2011, where we're having lots of conversations as an organization. At that point, we'd had roughly about 8 million people that had done CliftonStrengths. And, and we were really looking at, How do we help in that? And how do we help the world really know their strengths? How do we really make sure that this is something that we could get to all corners of the world?
Dean Jones 7:43
And we are looking at lots of different ways, there were lots of different opinions and lots of different people with opinions about what we should do or how we should do it. And as we looked around, we really saw that the right conduit for this really was through coaches. And it was, it wasn't just, Hey, we think that, that coaches could carry the message. It's that we really realized that when somebody does the CliftonStrengths assessment -- when they go through that process, and look at that, and they get their report, there's what -- you know, immediately we know, for a lot of people, that the report is eye-opening.
Dean Jones 8:20
But where it really comes to life is in conversation with somebody who is a coach who's trained to help them really build their self-awareness around it. And whether it's 1 hour of coaching, whether it's an ongoing coaching relationship, we know that that coaching relationship is so, so powerful, and so meaningful in terms of helping people to really understand the depth of their own talent, and then start to point it at the things that they care most about in life -- to be able to point their talents at the things that they really want to accomplish.
Dean Jones 8:53
So that was the reason that we said, Hey, we really need to focus everything that we're doing around equipping coaches to be able to work with people inside of their strengths. Today, we have over 22 million people who have completed strengths. We roughly have, roughly speaking about 2 million people a year discover their strengths. So it's, you know, it's going like gangbusters, and so since that, since that point. Our goal in all of this, and just so it's clear, our goal in all of this really is to change the world.
Dean Jones 9:29
You know, it always sounds a little breathless and a little ambitious when I say that, but we're really -- that's really what we're up to. And when you become a coach, and when you become a Gallup-Certified Coach, you really become our partner in that endeavor. We are very, very serious -- as much as I, it always tickles me -- because, you know, like, I think one of the things in life, one of the greatest gifts you can have is to do something that's really meaningful, and to do something that really makes a difference and contributes to people. Our goal, really is to change the world. And how we aim to change the world is to help change the nature of human development, help change the conversation of human development. So that development is really focused on people's innate talents; it's focused on what's right with people and not what's wrong with people.
Dean Jones 10:18
If any of you have worked in human resources or in learning or organizational development, you know that fundamentally in learning, that historically, that has been really analyzing where somebody has deficits, and then pointing training or pointing learning or development at those areas where there are deficits. And one of the things that we know makes a huge difference, both for the people that are involved in it and for the organization, is to, to really, to flip that whole process on its head; to really analyze where somebody is naturally and innately gifted, where they're naturally talented, and to be able to point learning and point development at those areas. So that we're really capitalizing on what really, really works about people, what's really great about people.
Dean Jones 11:10
So the intent of everything that we do around coaching is to equip coaches to help people go through that process, to discover their innate talent, to become aware of it, to appreciate it, and then to be able to focus those talents, those gifts at the kind of outcomes that they care about, and that the organizations that they're affiliated care about as well. So that people can really, it really unleashes people's contribution on the world, right?
Dean Jones 11:41
So that's really the mission. That's really the gift around that. Yendor, I'm gonna -- I want to pull you into this a little bit. I'd love to have you just share a little bit how you see that playing out in Africa. Right? Because I think that, you know, we've now been working in South Africa for some time. And I know that we've got a, we're starting to build a community of coaches there. I'd love to hear you just kind of share about how you see that kind of playing out in Africa, or what you see arising in Africa now in our community of coaches there.
Yendor Felgate 12:16
Yeah, thanks, Dean. I think what's always impressed us, when we work right across the African continent, is the idea that what people bring to the party is sufficient. If we develop that, and if we can recognize it, rather than think about the African continent in a deficit idea -- is fundamentally powerful to what we do. It is so amazing to see, when you work with individuals or with teams, and you say, we really value what you bring to the party. How can we turn that volume up? How can we develop that? It's sufficient, and we can recognize them as valuable human beings.
Yendor Felgate 12:52
Because it is true in our history across the piece, we have been told that all the perspective of Africa is very much a deficit place. This is where war and famine happens. This is where people don't have skills. This is where they, it's just not good. And to see the delight when people understand that I can contribute; there's not something wrong with me that I need to fix. And we can dial that up with a strengths-based approach, I think is extremely powerful and lands exceptionally well. So absolutely like that. I think some of the feedback from our coaches is that strengths really helps with this diversity and inclusion question, which is something that that we in Africa, really need to look, and then it's really about leadership. You know, how do we get our leaders to lead in a way that enables human capacity rather than breaks it down or tries to fix it or try to make it themselves. And I think those just three years, Dean, have become very, very important issues for us around the transformation agenda.
Dean Jones 13:52
Yeah, no, I think that's great. I think that's incredible, and particularly this piece about diversity and inclusiveness. You know, I think, I can't help but be struck now by so many organizations around the world are very concerned about diversity and inclusiveness. And but I think diversity and inclusiveness even extends beyond that. I think that, as we start to look at countries and we look at us as, as global citizens really working on how do we build inclusive countries? How do we build inclusive continents? How do we build a world that feels inclusive, so it's less "us versus them"? And it's more how are we working together as human beings, as humankind, to be able to solve some of the really big issues that are facing us?
Dean Jones 14:39
When you look at what's happening in the world right now. You look at all the issues around climate change and how it's impacting people around the world. You look at the this virus that's affecting us right now, right, through, throughout the world and, and where they still don't have a great handle on it. Right? And you look at this, some of those things, and we really need to make sure that as human beings, we are working together. And so I think there's just great opportunities. And I think strengths is, you know, for all of us, I think, I think strengths helps us to really value and appreciate each other's differences. And it gives us a common language to be able to talk about that.
Dean Jones 15:20
When I work with organizations, you know, the No. 1 thing that they comment on is that oftentimes, inside organizations, we don't have the right language to be able to talk about individuals' differences in a way that's respectful, and a way that's positive and captures those differences. But instead of diminishing them or calling them out, it, it helps to really, to be able to capture and communicate the contribution that each person uniquely brings. And so I think strengths gives us that kind of language to be able to talk about that in ways that are really powerful and positive. So, yeah, I think it's incredible.
Yendor Felgate 15:59
Sorry, Dean, just to answer that.
Dean Jones 16:01
Yendor Felgate 16:02
I mean, what what you're saying totally resonates with us. And I think in some of the, the work that we're doing, this is about helping people talk to each other. And it always amazes me. If you watch kids, for example, they don't have to talk to each other. You don't have to train them. You don't have to guide them. They just climb in and they talk to each other and they ask you the most arbitrary and sometimes the most awkward questions, but because they're curious, and, and that's how it works. But we seem to have lost that as adults, and Magriet's really had -- done some nice team dynamics work, where there's the whole strengths notion, and I'll ask her to share some of that, just switches their conversation button on in a way that we've just had such dramatic Aha! moments, because it's uniqueness and recognition of difference. But how do we include that, and I think that's the power of strengths. Magriet, I'd like you to comment on that.
Dean Jones 16:48
Magriet Mouton 16:51
Yeah, thank you, Yendor. So one of, one of the greatest exercises I think that, that Gallup has given to us, us certified coaches is certainly the scavenger hunt. And when we use, when we introduce that exercise in, in the the team dynamics workshops that we do, then we, I mean, we, it's just the whole room comes alive, you know, and it's people standing up and they talk to each other. And it seems like for the first time -- and some of these folks have been working together for more than 10 years -- for the first time, they've actually realized what the value is that the other person is bringing, not only to them as individuals, but to them as as a team; not only in a work context, but personally as well.
Magriet Mouton 17:37
So, in terms of it, it seems like, like, folks are getting the, sort of getting the diversity side right, but they're struggling with inclusion, and that's where I see and we experience the strengths coming in and really touching people deeply in the inclusion part. It's exactly what you're saying, Dean. It's like, it gives people a language to speak to one another. So, so there's no more -- there's no millennial versus boomer. This is not English versus Xhosa or Zulu. There's no men versus women. It's now people see one another through the lens of strengths. And I absolutely love that.
Dean Jones 18:25
Yeah, no, Magriet, I think that's right on. One of the things I think, you know, when we talk about diversity and inclusiveness, strengths doesn't help with diversity from the standpoint that you still have to make sure that diverse populations are represented in the community or in an organization. It's still important that that we have a diversity of genders and orientations and ethnicity. We still have to make sure that we've got that representation from all the different populations.
Dean Jones 18:56
Because we know that when that doesn't happen, it, when that doesn't happen, we know that the organization flattens out, right, that it becomes very one-dimensional. We also have lots of data that shows that engagement and performance in organizations increases when you have teams that are diverse teams. And so we know that there's a good kind of business case for diversity. What does, what doesn't always happen, though, is, and, and I think, Magriet, you really pointed to it beautifully, is that oftentimes organizations are, as they've worked hard on representation, have struggled with inclusiveness. So we've got representatives from different communities, but we still don't, we haven't shifted the environment so the environment is inclusive. And I think that's where strengths starts to be able to help -- where we can, it's a tool that we can use to start to build a culture of inclusiveness, right.
Magriet Mouton 19:48
That's exactly right. That's our experience as well.
Dean Jones 19:52
I want to, I want to just want to address -- there's a couple of questions in chat that I think are really good. One is, I wanted to go back, Clinton was talking about offer plans to offer additional training interventions in Africa. And so I want to chat about that just a little bit. And so you know kind of what we're up to. And as, as Yendor, Magriet, myself, Jim, and others talk about our plans there, part of what our intent is -- and you'll know this right now -- the primary thing that we're offering in Africa, in partnership with the the Being Human Group, or through the Being Human Group, is our Accelerated Strengths Coaching course. So that is really our flagship course for coaches. It's our flagship course for strengths.
Dean Jones 20:35
And some people I will tell you, as they get introduced to strengths, some people are not quite ready for that. I, I have encountered, as I've worked with coaches, some of them that feel like they need a little more background in strengths, and oftentimes going to an introductory workshop or an introductory briefing on strengths, sometimes helps people to get sort of introduced to the tool and the language before they're ready to take on that full week of training. But when you are, there's, there's probably no course that we offer that's more powerful than the Accelerated Strengths Coaching course. It's 4 1/2 days, and, as Magriet knows and as Yendor knows, it's an incredibly powerful course. It's incredibly transformational for people. And it's a great course for being able to equip people to be able to really effectively work with people and coach people inside of their strengths, so inside the lens of their talent.
Dean Jones 21:27
Part of our commitment and our desire is to start to build a community of practice of strengths coaches in Africa. So what we're out to do is create a community of practice. One of the things that we've seen as we've worked around the world is that as we offer the Accelerated course, and as we start to build a community of practice, it becomes the foundation, Clinton, for everything else that we do. And that when there's that community of, of coaches that are grounded in strengths and and facile with the strengths language, then, when we start to talk about other dimensions of communities and institutions and workplaces, then everything sort of falls into place, when we talk about employee engagement; when we talk about performance management and performance development; when we talk about what it means to be a great manager. When, when we've got that foundation of strengths, it all starts to kind of hang together.
Dean Jones 22:22
So really what we're working on right now is, How do we build that strong community of practice? And specifically, one of the things, you know, as our as, over the years, since 2012, really, as our community of Certified Coaches has grown, we've become more and more focused on certification and Certified Coaches. We've, we know we've got a big community of coaches out there that are interested in strengths and working with strengths in some capacity. For us, as we start to continue to kind of invest, where we're increasingly investing is in coaches who are Gallup-Certified. Helps us to be able to focus and say, say, OK, yeah, this is the right group of folks who are sufficiently invested and committed to strengths; allows us to kind of work with a group to both help them to be better in the, in their practice and use of strengths, as well as to solicit feedback from them. So, Clinton, our plan is first to build that community of practice. That's really the foundation, and then beyond that, then that allows us -- that kind of opens the door for us to to have other offerings then in Africa. Yendor, Magriet, anything you'd add to that?
Yendor Felgate 23:35
Dean? Yeah, you know, and I, what I've always appreciated in terms of us working with you guys, is the steel that you've always given us, which is, Get your tools sorted out; work with the tools; get the depth of understanding first, and then we can grow the learning pie as we go along. So I think I would totally endorse what you say. And I would, you know, always positively challenge our coaches: If you can tell me you've used all the tools in the ASC toolkits, then we can talk about a more learning. As much as I want you guys to learn tons more, and add more programs and certifications and all that good stuff, start with the wonderful stuff that you have there and bottom it out. Because, you know, I am afraid to also tell you, we work with the stuff every single day. And I can categorically tell you, I've not used all the toolkits in the ASC yet. And so maybe that's our first departure point.
Dean Jones 24:27
Yeah, we -- just so you know, the probably the No. 1 complaint we get about the ASC is, is that we give people too much. You know what I mean? I think it's probably a good complaint to have, right. But, you know, we really, we're really out to equip people. I always laugh, too, because the No. 1 -- we, every year at our Gallup at Work Summit, the big summit that we do during the, during the summer, that's really -- it started out, it was strengths-focused, and we've expanded that now to really look at the whole gamut of the research and science that we offer. But the No. 1 breakout session is -- many great breakout sessions as we have, and there and literally there's nearly 100, but -- the one that's always at the top is how to master the tools that people get in the ASC. And so, people just love it, right. And because that is there is so much to master there; there's so much to unpack there.
Dean Jones 25:18
Go ahead, Magriet.
Magriet Mouton 25:20
We had, we had one guy on the on the ASC one who said, and I think he's on this in the school as well, who said he was so blown away by the instructions that you provide -- that Gallup provides in the digital kit, and throughout the ASC -- he said, Gallup will even tell you how to pull your tooth!
Dean Jones 25:44
Everything's there. All the answers, right? Exactly. I want to go to -- Chris Kamalski asked a question on chat here that I thought was really good. And, and Chris, I, I'm going to read your question here but and I want to talk about that just for a minute, because I think it's good. Oh, look at Jim, Jim and the technology here. How could Gallup's focus on strengths development specifically, and more, and more recently on work, holistically empower human potential across the African context? Brilliant question, Chris. And I'd love to just share about that for a minute, because I think it, I think it ties directly into the work that you see that's coming out of Gallup right now. And so I want to chat about that for a minute just because I think it's really useful.
Dean Jones 26:28
One of the things that you -- if you haven't seen this, we've been talking about, probably for the last couple years, is how the global workplace is changing. And one of the things that we -- and this, this really started to arise in the research that we do around the world, where we look at, at what is the cultural wellbeing around the world? What is the culture of workplaces around the world? What is the level of engagement globally? What is the -- how do, what do different generations think about the workplace? What is the role of women and the countribution of women in the workplace? So as we look at all those different dimensions, one of the things that we've seen is that fundamentally, the workplace is changing. And we've distilled it down into 6 kind of core shifts that we see in the workplace.
Dean Jones 27:15
I won't go through every single one of them. But one of the, one of the threads that you can see as we move, to have a workplace that's more focused on mission and purpose; more focused on strengths and on development; more focused on managers who coach and are facile with having ongoing conversations with the people that they manage; right, where work becomes holistically a bigger part of life. Right? Those are the sort of fundamental shifts that we start to see globally in the workplace. One of the things that we see happening is, for workplaces, is that they are much more development-focused. And it's one of the things I think organizations are grappling with significantly, is there, there wasn't a, you know, there -- it's hard to imagine, but decades -- a couple decades ago, people didn't think, "I go to work in order to learn." People's relationship with work was, "I go to work in order to get a paycheck; I go to work in order to use my learning, or use my experience of my background." But work wasn't necessarily a place where I went to learn and to be developed.
Dean Jones 28:25
And if you'd ask leaders and managers at that time, Hey, is your job to teach people? Is your job to develop people? At that time, they would have said, No, no, no, no no! They need to go to university or they need to go someplace else and be developed. And then when they come here, we, my job is to get the best performance from them. That has fundamentally changed. Where if we look now at the current workplace, that, and we look at the current workforce, they look at the organization they join, and they look at it through a lens of development. And they're looking at the organization to say, How will I be developed here? Will I have opportunities to learn and grow? Is this an organization that is organized around people's development and around people learning?
Dean Jones 29:08
And they are counting on specifically that they're looking at the people, the managers and the leaders in their organization through a lens of, Is this somebody that I want to be more like? Is this someone that I can learn from? Is this someone who will coach me to, to be able to, to be all I can be, to contribute all I can contribute, and to really use my talents in ways that are most productive? And I think organizations are really grappling with that. It's one of the reasons -- for many of you, you know, our book, It's the Manager, right, written by our CEO Jim Clifton and Dr. Jim Harter, our chief scientist on workplace science, right. And this is -- if you haven't read it, I highly encourage you to read it. It is a bestseller around the world. And what's happening, and it really captures what's happening in organizations, which is this intense focus on, How do managers play a central role in the success of an organization? And, and what is that role of how managers are central to learning and development in an organization?
Dean Jones 30:14
We've all, we've known for some time that managers have a disproportionate impact on employees and on teams. One of the statistics that we talk about a lot is that at least 70% of engagement, of workgroup engagement, can be directly attributed back to the manager, and that manager's impact on the team. So we know, we've known for a long time that managers have this incredible disproportionate impact, right. So one of the things that becomes then increasingly powerful is when a manager then gets equipped with strengths. And so as strengths coaches -- and you know, Chris, this goes back to your question -- as strengths coaches that are thinking about, How do we have the most impact on organizations? Your focus should be primarily managers. Your focus should be primarily, How do we help managers and teams really succeed in organizations? How are you working with managers and leaders across the continent in ways that are really meaningful to help them understand their own talents and strengths and use those in meaningful ways? And how are you help them to be able to develop the people that they are responsible for, so that those people's strengths, those people's talents and strengths, can be utilized in the most successful way? That really should be the focus here.
Dean Jones 31:34
And I think what we're doing through the Accelerated Strengths Coaching course, and the other development that we provide, right, is to really give you the, give you this incredibly powerful tool that enables you to do that. So that's really the intent there. And I think it's, it's one of the big opportunities that I think you've got. Sometimes I think that what strengths coaches ought -- it's easy to get diluted by, I think it's easy to get your energy and your time diluted thinking, "I should coach everybody!" You know, and you know, I think when you first -- and Magriet, I think you're, you're so great because you're so passionate about strengths. And your enthusiasm is so contagious. But I think it's one of those things when people, you know, you meet somebody, like Magriet, you start learning about strengths, and you just want to give it away to everybody, right? And there's a point where you start to realize, as a coach, guys, I kind of have to pick my battles, right? And where am I gonna invest in ways that will have the most impact? And when you start getting focused on leaders and on managers in organizations of all sizes, you start to be able to multiply the kind of impact that you can have. And so, Chris, that's that's it. Magriet or Yendor, anything you'd add, or Jim, anything you'd add to what I said there?
Yendor Felgate 32:56
Dean, I think that's that's spot on. And you know, we we talk to a lot of managers. And the types of things that we're coming across is managers spending too much time on technical and not enough time on their people. They don't know how to have great conversations. They intuitively know that the way that they manage is like pushing a rock up a hill every Monday morning. And they don't want to come to work, but they don't have the tools to know how to, how to change and switch that on. And what we're finding is that that light bulb goes on very quickly. Even HR and the training community are starting to ask questions: How do I make my content and my learning processes really powerful?
Yendor Felgate 33:34
And so what we've discovered is, everywhere we go, people really connect well with strengths. And what we've been doing is we've been adding strengths to people's leadership development. We've been adding strengths to people's performance development. We've been adding strengths to people's management conversations and management meetings, and so forth. And I think sometimes our coaches just get really sort of -- if it's not coaching and formalized coaching, it can't be strengths-based. And we say, Guys, you know, attach strengths to anything that is human and walks upright, dudes, attach it. Because you're going to have great conversations and you're going to build, and whether you call it formal coaching or team dynamics or leadership development, that's less material, but have those conversations.
Dean Jones 34:13
Yeah, no, I think that's brilliant. Magriet, were you going to add something here as well?
Magriet Mouton 34:18
I think Yendor is absolutely, absolutely spot on. And that's, I think, what I love about the strengths tool is if you breathe and you have a soul, then, you know, you've got strengths, and how you can develop that and, and flesh that out and have conversations in terms of how you do your work, how you influence people, you know, how you think and how you build relationships. It just, it just filters, filters your, your world.
Dean Jones 34:51
Yeah, no, that's great. I think, to your point, I think the first level of it always for people, and this is where I think coaches, you know, if I'm trying to push coaches in any way, this would probably be it. I think, in many cases, when people start getting exposure to strengths, that it is a really powerful self-awareness tool. And people really understand -- they start to understand themselves and their contribution in a different way. And, Magriet, to your point, the, you know, the -- we think about it typically in those kind of 4 dimensions, or those 4 domains: how people influence other people; how they build relationships; how they execute on projects, or execute against goals and outcomes; and, and how -- and what are those thinking patterns. Right?
Dean Jones 35:35
So we think that, you know, there's this all of a sudden there's this new understanding, this new insight into themselves and others. Where I think it becomes powerful, and where I think coaches really need to take people, is, is to go, to build on that a self-awareness with application. So I think sometimes where we see strengths sort of peter out, right, or flatten out, or you like lose steam, is when it is it when it's seen only as a self-awareness exercise and not as a tool that one uses to accomplish what's important to you. Right? It, you know -- where you -- it's very, very valuable to have that great self-awareness. And in many cases, all development is grounded on, on a lifetime of building self-awareness.
Dean Jones 36:25
But where strengths becomes incredibly powerful for people is when they use it as a tool to accomplish performance goals, accomplish the kind of goals and outcomes and, and things that they, that they really want to see for themselves in their life. And whether that's against things that they're working on in their organization, in their role, it may be things that they want to accomplish in their, in their communities. But when you start to use strengths as that tool, that's where it becomes really powerful. It's also where people begin really needing a coach. Coaches are useful in the -- and, and have an integral role in the this self-awareness building. But man, I tell you, when I start mapping all that against my outcomes, that's when I really need a coach; I really need somebody to work with me to help me to be able to harness those strengths and to be able to look at how am I, am I developing those talents into legitimate strengths on a day-to-day basis? How am I applying those strengths in meaningful ways? What, what blind spots I might have around that, or places where it's underutilized? That's -- those are the places I really need a coach. And that's really where coaching comes to life.
Dean Jones 37:37
So as coaches, you should be the ones really pushing people past self-awareness. Not that there's anything wrong with that, or that we want to diminish that or that we want to hurry that in any way. But we really want to make sure that we're getting people right into that application most where they're really using strengths as a tool to, to, for accomplishment, right. And I think that's really, really powerful. So ... Yeah, please.
Yendor Felgate 38:03
So Dean, to add to that, I mean, I think that's, that's spot on. What's been fascinating for us is that people don't use all their dominant strengths. And what I mean by that is, specifically in South Africa, we have people that are working incredibly long hours, but are not using their thinking patterns to work smarter. And so everything that you do with them, they just think, hear the message, "I've got to work harder; I've got to work harder," until eventually that hamster burns out.
Yendor Felgate 38:32
And it's been fascinating to see how, in actual fact, they resist the notion that thinking is actually real work. It's not laziness, when you contemplate about how to do things smarter, and that you don't have to kill yourself by working hard, that this this work-smarter intentionality thing can really be great from a strengths point of view. And I, I think almost sometimes we rescue people from this idea that I must just keep shoveling; it doesn't matter how deep the hole is. But sometimes you have to step back and ask why. And I -- we had this brilliant feedback during a team dynamics workshop, where, where this guy got so stressed about it, he said, "I can't do this thinking piece because it makes me feel that I'm lazy. You can't make me lazy" -- that almost like this panic that, you know, Thinking and Influencing and Relationship Building are not meaningful contributions to all you're trying to do. So that -- also that balancing idea I think is quite powerful.
Dean Jones 39:25
Yeah, Yendor, I love that. I will tell you this. I keep revisiting this notion. We as human beings are so wired in such a funny way that we think that what comes hard is what's worthwhile. We think that what is difficult or challenging for us is our greatest contribution. And in fact, the opposite is true: is the things that we're naturally gifted at, the things that may come easy, right, are -- that natural ability to build relationships, that natural contagious enthusiasm, that ability to be able to think effortlessly through the steps of a process, or that ability to understand the underlying sources or causes of something. Those immediate, those, those things that we do so effortlessly because they're given by our talents, those really are our greatest contributions. And helping to, you know, in many cases over and over again, and I see this in my own life, right? Those things that come, that come so easily for us oftentimes are the things that we undervalue the most. And yet at the same time, those are the things that, when we invest in those things and cultivate those things, can become our greatest contribution.
Dean Jones 40:36
You know, it sounds funny, but I will share that, you know, for me, a lot of times I undervalued a teaching, and that it was the thing that came easiest to me; it was the thing that I, you know, I always sort of took for granted, right? Of course, I can go, I can go stand in front of a room and teach people, right. And it really has been only in the last couple years that I realized, No, in fact, that's the greatest contribution that I have.
Dean Jones 41:02
And you can look back at my life and see the early seeds of that talent coming to fruition my whole life. And so it is one of the things that I think, for all of us, we've got to look and say, inherently, what are those things that I am really, really good at, just naturally, and that I may be taking for granted? And how, how are those things the access really to the contribution that I can make?
Dean Jones 41:28
I saw some comments about Gallup Access. So I want to talk about Gallup Access for just a minute. We went through a big system change last year. So, for many of you that have been with us for a while, we, a couple years ago, we had -- we were looking at our online presence. And I think -- I'll get the numbers wrong because I get the numbers wrong. But we -- I think we had something like 15 different websites that were that were people were interacting with us through, right. So if you looked at our online presence, you know, and you were in higher education or you were in government or you were in a commercial function, or you were, you know, a strengths coach, and you all had, everybody had sort of different entry points to Gallup, and they weren't rationalized very well. And oftentimes, it was really difficult for people to find what they needed.
Dean Jones 42:13
And so we went, over the last several years, we've gone through this, this sort of endeavor to be able to rationalize that and bring everything together in a common technology platform for the future. And so one of our, one of our goals and commitments has been, How do we start to integrate everything together so we've got one great technology platform that sets us up powerfully for the future?
Dean Jones 42:37
Last year, one of the big pieces of that was migrating what we used to call the Gallup Strengths Center into our core platform, which is called Gallup Access. And that was a -- we laughed, and I think people talked about it at Gallup as a behemoth. It was just a huge piece of work. I think it was migrating some hundred million records of data, you know, to move that all into Gallup Access. So it was not without its pains. You know, there were places where -- there's places where we knew that we weren't going to have exactly the right functionality at the beginning that we wanted. And we are working to remedy that very, very quickly. We knew also that we were going to have to need -- we were going to need to support customers. But I think we underestimated the degree to which we really -- customers were going to have difficulty making that jump to this new platform.
Dean Jones 43:29
So we had some challenges last year, in terms of doing that. But the thing that's exciting about it is, is that we now have a platform that is by far the most sophisticated platform we've ever had. And when you look at it compared to what's in the marketplace, it's one of the most sophisticated technology platforms in the marketplace for this kind of work. And so we are super excited about it. And every month, we release updates to that platform now to be able to continue to refine it and develop it. So we are super excited about it. We feel like it is a, it is a platform that is, that is a match for the mission that we have. Right. And we have a very big mission, you know, and always for me, it always inspires me every day -- the, the mission and purpose that we've got. And we feel like we've now got a technology platform that's commensurate with that.
Dean Jones 44:21
And so I always want to mention that because I think it's a great tool in this strengths journey. One of the things that we're going to integrate more and more into the learning that we provide -- Jim and I have been working on how do we, how do we how do we work with Certified Coaches to help them to be able to master the platform, and we're going to announce some new stuff over the course of the next week. We've we've produced a small set of how-to videos for some of the key kind of things that people have struggled with. So we're going to start to launch those in the next week. We've got some cool kind of exciting stuff that we're planning to do to really help Certified Coaches to take advantage of that. So we're really excited about that. Part of what we think is a component of this whole strengths journey, this whole, you know, equipping people to be successful in coaching, is the Gallup Access platform. So I'm like, I'm excited that that people are mentioning that in chat, because I think it's a great opportunity.
Jim Collison 45:18
Dean, let me let me add to that just say like, much like auditing your kits as a Certified Coach and knowing what's in there, might be a good idea to get in -- if you haven't been in yet -- and I'm, I'm surprised; I hear from folks every day or, you know, we migrated back in September, and they're just now coming onto the platform and seeing it for the very first time. It may be worth some time just to get familiar with it, to get in there under, not under duress or pressure, not with -- not with a client, your own client rattling your cage for information, "How do I do this?" -- of getting a good feel for how it works and where things are located and where your kits are now. Courses and Workbooks is the short answer for that. And so just get familiar with the menuing system and where things are at.
Jim Collison 46:03
We, we created an enormous amount of resources for you, available for both Certified Coaches and for the community at our gallup.com/cliftonstrengths site. And there's lots of information there available for you. And so, I find I answer a lot of questions online -- all the time. And I often find I just look it up and then tell you. And so, spend a little bit of time getting familiar, it'll save you from having to ask me on Facebook, or having to send us an email, or having to call in and get prepared. So that thinking that we talked about just a little bit ago that this is one of those exercises in learning where it will save you some time on the back side of -- there's a lot there. Get familiar with it, spend some time with it, send us your questions. And we've gotten some -- Dean, to your point -- we've gotten some incredible feedback of some nooks and crannies and corners where things don't make sense or the wording's not very good. And OK, yeah, that's, that's probably true. We can get that feedback in and get our technology teams to address that, come up with the best solution for the globe. And then push that thing out going forward.
Jim Collison 47:01
So would be good to spend a little bit of time if you haven't been in there. I know a lot of folks don't like change. And I know that's hard. Dean, the single most feedback I got when we were on the Gallup Strengths Center was, "This thing is is terrible; when are you going to replace it?" Right? And then you replace it, "Bring it back, that thing was great! It was the best thing ever!" It's kind of human nature, right? And so, let me say this: Lean into this with your strengths, right? What are you good at? What do your themes -- some of you have high Input; some of you have high Context; some of you are high Learners. Get in there with your themes and figure out, like, how do I approach this best?
Jim Collison 47:38
And then how do I help the community around me? I think we want to develop a local community there -- if we're going to call Africa "local," let's do that on the continent there. And a local community of folks who help each other, right, "Oh, you know, I've been through this. I've done this. This is the easiest way I found to get this done. I'm using these tools and resources to be able to get that done." So I'd encourage you, spend a little time, come up with a plan, get some things available. If you know you're going to be offline, come up with some plans to make sure you don't have to get back to the online resources if you're going to be in a spot that's offline, right? Be ready for those kind of contingencies, but lean into it with your themes and really kind of figure out what works best for me.
Dean Jones 48:17
That's great, Jim, that's really great. I, you know, we should start to I think, sort of wrap here. I think, because we're, we're at the end of our time, I just want to make sure you guys know how much we value you. You know, I don't think we can say it enough, but thank you for your, your passion and your desire around strengths. You know, as coaches, we have -- just value you so much. And we're so, for those of you who have who have done the Accelerated Strengths Coaching course, thank you for the investment of your time and your money and your energy to be able to do that. Thank you for those of you who have gotten certified. We really appreciate you -- your investment in, in achieving that credential.
Dean Jones 49:00
And, you know, as Jim and I are working on a project right now where we're looking at Certified Coaches and how do we continue to support Certified Coaches? How can we, can we continue to invest in them? And because we, we, we really, that's a serious, serious thing for our future. We are thrilled with the work that Yendor and Magriet and the Being Human Group are doing in Africa. I can't underestimate that enough. I can't emphasize that enough. You know, I would tell you that I think -- Yendor, you know, I'm going to talk about you like you're not here, but you're -- you just have such a great mind and such a great sense of what will work and how to help really equip and empower people throughout Africa. And, you know, it's -- I'm always just so impressed. You have a blue-chip business background, but you brought that to something where you have this huge desire to make a difference in the continent of Africa. And for me, that is just so, so, so, so powerful
Dean Jones 49:58
And Magriet, I don't think we could have a better cheerleader or champion for strengths. Your passion for strength is contagious. And you are somebody that has such a heart for people. You know, it always moves me, right? I love people, and I love how you love people. And so the two of you, I, I just, I couldn't. I'm so thrilled to have you guys as our partner there. And your, your heart and your integrity and your strategy and your commitment is just unparalleled. So it -- for me, it's really exciting as we think about the future. And we think about everything that can happen and should happen and will happen in Africa. I think there's -- it's just such a great opportunity for us.
Dean Jones 50:43
And, you know, Yendor, just to pull forward what you said earlier. I think sometimes when people have thought historically of Africa, they think of the deficits or what's not working, right, as opposed to the sheer untapped power that there is; the human capital; the, the sheer power of and strengths and talent that exists on that continent, and how, and, and how that can be harnessed, and, and how the that Africa can contribute to the whole world. So having our Africa coaches as part of a global community of practice is so, so important. So, thank you guys for the work that you're doing. We're really just thrilled with the work you're doing. And we're excited to see everything that's going to happen this year to expand on that.
Yendor Felgate 51:30
Dean, thank you very much from our side. You know, what is very special about this Called to Coach is that we're connecting the great people that we're working with, with our great partners at Gallup. And so we just want to do a bit of a shout-out to Jim and Dean and, behind the scenes, Liz, you do a sterling job to equip us to be able to deal with this very lively bunch we call our coaching alumni. So without you guys and connecting us with our coaches, this wouldn't happen. So these are the types of events that we would like to really do more of going forward. And for those of us that are going to the Conference at Gallup in, in midyear, yeah, I'm sure that Dean and Jim will be looking forward to engaging with you. And I think Magriet's also going. So I think more, the more opportunities to connect, the better. So guys, from our side, thank you very much.
Dean Jones 52:23
Jim Collison 52:23
Magriet, anything else you want to add before we go?
Magriet Mouton 52:26
Yes, just a special "thank you" for for going above and beyond to help our coaches just transition to Gallup Access. Liz has certainly done a sterling job of it. She's great behind the scenes, and the communication that's coming through, Jim, communication on Facebook, the support there is amazing. All the, the Theme Thursdays, the Called to Coaches that comes out. You know, the, there's is too much to consume. But there's, there's everything for the taking. So thank you very much, Dean, for your, your support as well. Thank you, we really appreciate it.
Jim Collison 53:07
You, you are very welcome. And I'll just remind everyone, as we get larger, we need to actually get smaller. And so having, having you guys there, we want to really, you know, we have a lot of great resources but we want to connect to those in the local area, and we'll call Africa "local" at that point again. But we really want to connect in for the, for the folks that are on the ground. We're certainly available through our webcasts, through email, through social, those kinds of pieces, but we'd really like, you know, time zones are important. And so it's -- oftentimes, it's one of the things I struggle with the most. I do have to sleep a few hours a day. And so, but you guys are available in the local time zone and available that way, so we want to make sure we'll have some contact information for you guys in the show notes. But let me just -- let's get it out here. if folks want to contact you guys, what's what's the best way to do that today?
Yendor Felgate 54:01
Thanks, Jim, they can -- most people access to our mobile numbers; you can go to our web page, which is www.bhgroup.africa. You can contact us through there, you can contact us through email. Any one of those would, would make sense. For those that need our email address, it's firstname.lastname@example.org, for those that want to connect with us directly and don't have our contact details.
Jim Collison 54:28
OK, super great. I'm going to give a list of resources right here. So you might want to get a pen and paper, if you still do that, or type on your keyboard, if you want to do it that way. Or just listen. We want to remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available. And I mentioned this already: gallup.com/cliftonstrengths. Really, the strengths portal for Access in a lot of ways. That address, if you log in through that address, will take you right to your strengths dashboard. So a very, very easy way, especially as you're working with your customers, to be able to get them right to strengths. Again, you know, one of those simple little tricks that you land on -- if you come in through Gallup Access, you might land on a page like, "Where are my strengths?" gallup.com/cliftonstrengths will take them right there. I mentioned all the resources. And you guys mentioned Called to Coach, Theme Thursday. All those are available off that page as well. So spend some time figuring that out. There's a Resources tab that's the most helpful. Click on that and you'll see all those available there. Don't forget, you can subscribe if you want to get in the loop and never miss one of these, you can actually just click the Subscribe button at the bottom of YouTube right now. This is our live, our live page. Every time we create a new or webcast or we go live, you'll get a notification of that. If you want to listen to this on your phone or as a podcast, we have it available as audio only, so you can get that. Just search Gallup Webcasts in any podcast player, available both Android and iPhone. If you can't find it, just let me know: email@example.com. I'll help you get to it. We are everywhere. We also have a CliftonStrengths Community Newsletter that we publish every month. That's at the bottom of all of our posts that we do. There's a link to that; you can sign up and get that email every single month that we do, kind of get -- keep you connected to the larger community as a whole. I mentioned that email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. That's really a great address. If you just have any questions, we'll get those routed to kind of the right person. Sometimes I think it's just going to get routed right back to you guys, but an easy email address for you to remember. If you want to see where our courses are available around the world, we have one page that does that: courses.gallup.com. So you can go out there; there's a drop-down at the bottom -- it'll show you anywhere in the world our courses are offered and will include those there as well. If you want to know when the live webcasts are and you want to get signed up for them, one address for that: Just go to gallup.eventbrite.com and I post those out there. Follow us while you're there; you'll get a notification every time I post something new live. Dean mentioned the CliftonStrengths Summit which is coming up here June 1 to 2nd and 3rd here in Omaha. You can get more information on that: gallupatwork -- just one word -- gallupatwork.com. And we have posted all the breakouts, and all the sessions are there. So now is the time to make that decision. Price goes up April 4. So you got a month and some change to make that call, but you might want to get that done pretty soon here. You guys mentioned Facebook: facebook.com/groups/calledtocoach. All one word. That's the way to get connected there. Just ask to be invited in, and I will let you. If you're not a Facebook person -- and some of you aren't, that's fine, we're on LinkedIn as well. Search CliftonStrengths Trained Coaches, right. Just search that; you'll find the group. LinkedIn doesn't have a easy URL thing to remember. I need to, I need to complain about that so they'll change it. And we can get that in: CliftonStrengths Trained Coaches on LinkedIn, and I will let you in to that as well. We want to thank you for joining us today. If you're out there in the live audience, thanks for coming out live. You guys were good chat room today. Well, thank you for joining us. And with that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.
Yendor Felgate's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Achiever, Deliberative, Strategic, Learner and Ideation.
Magriet Mouton's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Individualization, Learner, Belief, Connectedness and Maximizer.