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Adjusting Right Now to the New Workplace

Adjusting Right Now to the New Workplace

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series
  • Season 8, Episode 23
  • Listen as Adam Hickman and Mohamed Younis discuss how Gallup data can help organizations, coaches, managers and employees navigate COVID-19-based workplace change.
  • Interested in learning more on this topic? Read more about how to improve teamwork in the workplace.

Mohamed Younis, Gallup Poll Editor in Chief, and Adam Hickman, Gallup Content Manager, were our guests on a recent Called to Coach. Mohamed and Adam discussed the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic is bringing to workplaces, and how Gallup's wealth of research and data can help organizations, coaches, managers and employees navigate those challenges -- including keeping remote workers engaged and finding ways to connect while in isolation.

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 0:01

I am Jim Collison, and live from our virtual studios here around the world, this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on March 27, 2020.

Jim Collison 0:21

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 individuals, teams and organizations around the world. If you're joining us live, we'd love to have you log into our chat room. There's a link right above me that will take you to -- YouTube instance. There is a Google chat room there. We'd love to have you log in. Let us know where you're listening from. If you have questions, you can ask them there. If you're listening to the recorded version, and many of you will, you can send us an email with your questions. We'd love to answer those. You can send that to Don't forget to subscribe on the YouTube channel while you're there right now, and if you're watching this on YouTube, you're there. Down below, there's a subscription button. You can subscribe to it and hit the notification bell. That way, you get notified whenever we go live on any event. Or if you want to do what the cool kids are doing, you can subscribe to it as a podcast. Go to any podcast app and search for "Gallup Webcasts." You'll see all the podcasts, including the Gallup Podcast, which we'll talk about here in a little bit, is available there for you as well. Dr. Adam Hickman is our host today. Adam's Gallup's Content Manager. And Adam, you've gotten kind of popular over the last week or two. Welcome back to Called to Coach!

Adam Hickman 1:30

Thanks, Jim.

Jim Collison 1:31

Good to have you. Want -- Why don't you spend some time introducing our guest?

Adam Hickman 1:35

Yeah, absolutely. With pleasure, too. So we know, as the weeks continue, the days continue -- sometimes even by the minute -- the workplace continues to change. And what leaders, managers, coaches need to continue to focus on is that adjustment that's taking place. You're going to see lots of content coming out still on that site we referenced in previous podcasts as well. But, you know, as this happens, we know that the decision-making around "What do we do?" has to be based on something. A lot of it's kind of "gut" right now on, Do I go to the store? Do I not? Do I order groceries? Or do I not? And what we know from our senior scientists around that decision-making is using that objective data.

Adam Hickman 2:11

For coaches that have Input, Learner, the book, which I love, Thinking Fast and Slow -- Danny Kahneman -- it's a fantastic read; it gets really in the dimensions into it. So if you, if you're bored over the weekend, probably over the month, because it's a relatively thick book, I totally I would encourage checking that out. So today we've got a special guest and at Gallup and to the world, we know this person as our Editor in Chief. He's also the host of the Gallup Podcast. And our coaching community, he's Jim, he's a Certified Strengths Coach. And he's coached and knows English and Arabic. And his Top 5 are Relator, Input, Learner, Individualization and Intellection. So today, he's also the person that leads the teams and efforts to keep us informed where, not only in the workplace that we use that, we use that information in our learnings and our publications. But it's really just good to know we've got a sound voice and insights into what's the world thinking. So without further ado, our Editor in Chief Mohamed Younis.

Mohamed Younis 3:12

Thank you guys for having me. I just want to, seriously with no joking, this is a huge moment for me. I'm a massive fan of Called to Coach. Jim Collison is a legend at Gallup. And a big part of the reason he is is because of this program, so it's just really a pleasure to be here.

Adam Hickman 3:32

Cool. I would agree. Jim is a legend. Former, former officemate also part-time

Jim Collison 3:39

All right, enough, Jim love. Let's get to the content.

Mohamed Younis 3:41

Checks are in the mail.

Adam Hickman 3:42

OK, Mohamed, let's jump right into it. What could you share with us that coaches can benefit that's going on and polling, news, panel, data? What, what do you got for us?

Mohamed Younis 3:49

Absolutely. So obviously at Gallup, we study human behavior. You guys are gurus, guys and gals out there, at managing human behavior; inspiring the right kind of behavior. So when the biggest disruption to human behavior kind of took all of us by storm, a lot of us at Gallup powwowed and tried to think of, How can we tackle this from multiple angles?

Mohamed Younis 4:13

One of the things we've been doing is having a morning call, thinking about the last 24 hours, if you will, with the COVID crisis, and what we should be asking Americans. And hopefully soon, to build up the capacity to go back and ask the world how they're dealing with this crisis. All of the reporting we're doing from, whether it's our panel data, or just our phone poll, which is usually where we report presidential approval, a lot of the other, more kind of well-known statistics that we publish regularly, can be found at Or it could also be found at the landing page that I hope Jim will add a link to here in the box.

Mohamed Younis 4:56

We have economists like Dr. Rothwell; Jim Harter, who's no stranger to the folks here; Adam; others; Lydia Saad; Jeff Jones, really trying to powwow every morning and think, Are we asking the right questions? What should we be asking? I was trying to think about all the data we've been publishing recently and kind of how it's relevant to coaching. Adam, you mentioned I'm a Certified Strengths Coach. I, like most of the people here, strengths completely changed my life. The biggest sign of that was once I took StrengthsFinder -- at the time was called StrengthsFinder -- CliftonStrengths, I immediately made my mom and dad and brother and everybody I knew take it.

Mohamed Younis 5:41

And I discovered the first of all that my wife has Restorative No. 1, which explained a lot in terms of why she wanted to be with me. But part of that is connecting the challenges your client or the person you're coaching is facing within the context of what's happening across society at large. One of the striking data points to me from this week is that when you ask people whether they approve or disapprove of the various actors involved in this crisis, the news media coming in at the very bottom -- 44% approval. And elected officials not very far from there is really a stark contrast to where people have been approving of their own employer. And I know a lot of us are coaching folks in an employment setting, or just, you know, coaching folks that are an independent entrepreneur. But what's really interesting in all the data, whether it's attitudes about local hospitals, their employer, state government, Americans in particular, because this data really focused on the U.S., are looking to that immediate network of support to really get through this crisis.

Mohamed Younis 6:55

And I could imagine that a lot of the folks listening to us, typing their comments up on the comment stream, are dealing with folks, you know, that are facing economic stress, social stress, you know, wellbeing impacts of this crisis. So one of the things that we're going to continue to do is track how the most prominent actors in this crisis are being assessed by Americans and how they're dealing with it. But when I think about, you know, who people are putting their trust in, it's the folks right here on this call -- their employers but also their coaches. And a lot of you are coaching managers, who are now leading teams that are really experiencing a disruption unlike we've seen in the past.

Jim Collison 7:45

Mohamed, I want to add to that, just really important as our coaches are thinking about their impact to managers. And we've said this several times throughout our programs, but, but the manager the, the frontline manager has a lot of impact in what's going on now with, with the folks they're working with. So, as coaches, we think we've got a lot of data. And we've done a lot of work already on how to handle remote workers, what their needs are going to be. What are the 4 things you need to think about when, when you're, you know, when -- the needs of followers. So, Adam, as I throw it back to you, I just want to encourage folks, we have a lot of material around this. And so hopefully this isn't, that's not new to you. But if it is, we'll continue to put links in the chat room for resources that's available to you. So, Adam.

Adam Hickman 8:31

Yeah, good point. And I was, as soon as I started hearing, I thought, like, gosh, what's the resource we can point out? There's, there's lots of stuff out there on our website for you. If you've got it handy, our Strengths Based Leadership [book], go to page -- I want to say it starts wholeheartedly on page 79. If you want to see the research, right, analytical questioning, why I approve it, got it, it's in the book. But you can also see how, how it kind of came together.

Adam Hickman 8:54

And if you watch some of the events over the last couple of weeks, you're seeing leaders coming out of their shell and just embody the whole needs of followers. If you remember the Marriott video that came out last weekend, that was a big entity in the news right at the start of the week, you could hear from there you, you just hear all over the place trust, stability, hope, compassion, because that's what people need right now. They need to not only know that they're cared for, but, you know, in my mind, I think, you know, as a remote worker, I've got to close my eyes and say, do I actually believe and do I feel it? And what takes that is the words, the emotions that match the words, and, you know, everything's across. So no surprise, I love the data point. I was quickly scanning at the article real quick about, gosh, that really lines up with what we say in It's the Manager, even to the point in a time of crisis, it's still the manager that can help bring that bring that to the life force.

Mohamed Younis 9:49

Absolutely. You know, the other data point that, that kind of nestles right under that for me, Adam, is how long people expect the disruption to continue. And from a very early stage in the crisis, early -- let's call Friday the 13th sort of when things really started shutting down for most of us, at least here in the United States and a lot of parts of Western Europe too. Since the early stages of the crisis, a majority of Americans are expecting this to last for months, not weeks. And as a coach, I mean, just honestly, even with my own team, it's, it's gonna be a challenge for all of us to keep folks motivated, focused on the right things, leading with their strengths, as this situation kind of grinds down on our collective stamina.

Mohamed Younis 10:40

So as you all are coaching the folks you are working with, you know, trust is really, really key. The other side of it, in a way is hope, and how much hope you can give that's realistic, and how to deal with situations where hope is not -- it's not as easy to sort of cling to. And I think all of us, in our own ways, are really facing that right now. I know the folks on the, on the call have been probably spending their past 2 weeks really delivering for people in some very, very tough coaching conversations.

Adam Hickman 11:20

Again, looking at the data and, Megan, fantastic job writing this one -- side note -- just the age difference.

Mohamed Younis 11:26

Megan Brenan, New Jersey.

Adam Hickman 11:27

Yeah, fantastic. I get -- I'm an old-school millennial. That's what I'm going to claim. I don't know if that's a word, but I just made it up. But I'm in that 38% bracket. I was thinking last, last night, you know, of our, of the crisis that's happened over my lifetime. How big of an impact is this going to have, not just in the workplace, but long term, about how we parent our kids, what are the things that are, that are different. And it's -- sure it stems past the workplace where I think the benefit for a coach right now to be coaching managers, leaders, you know, even outside of the workplace of how you're still leveraging your strengths, regardless of what the situation is now or in the future. You really just make the quick adjustment and you keep going forward. But in my mind, it's like, during this crisis, you're seeing strengths just bubble right to the top. Right. So when my wife and I are planning the day for the kids, because we both work, we both have things we've got to get done. It's like her belief in my Analytical, which sometimes doesn't work. But it goes in that pattern where, you know, a coach that can help bring that to life, to say, right now in the time of crisis, how can you still use what you've got, you know, every single day in work and also in life?

Mohamed Younis 12:35

And how, and how can you stay out of the basements, right? I mean, I think a lot of times in situations of high stress, I know at least for myself, it's when I have to be the most intentional about leading with the right tool, the right strength at the time. So how do I not let my Input get the best of me late night on the phone, reading everything scary about coronavirus? How do I kind of temper that for myself, but also, you know, and this is where Jim, honestly, a lot of the wonderful content you guys have put out over the years has helped me as a coach: How do I talk to somebody that leads with Command in these kinds of environments? It's very, very different than talking to somebody who, like me, leads with Relator. What they're looking for is a completely different set of tools.

Mohamed Younis 13:25

One thing that's really interesting to me in all the engagements we're having with clients and partner organizations: Some people seem to be in a place right now where they're really looking for a conversation, and others seem to be look -- are in a place where they're really looking for solutions and advice, like What do I do? And, you know, I'm sure the folks on this call have been on several of those calls and in those sessions over the past, what, 3 weeks now. But it's been, it's been a challenge for me just as a person leading a team to kind of sense what, you know, what people need at the time and how to deliver it to them based on their, their own strengths profile and what they lead with.

Adam Hickman 14:06

It's such a good point because I -- so Command's No. 2 for me. And relate that back to needs of followers. I was thinking, you know, what, where's my rub right now? And if there's a lack of stability, Command kind of shifts gears and say, OK, I got this then. But if I can't find it to anchor it, and what I need to be stable, I'll try to get -- that's where stress and anxiety comes from for me. I think that's a great point for all coaches is to think of, of the, what you're working with, right, what your unique strand is. If you think not only of their strengths, but also at a time where followership and needs of followers -- doesn't even have to be towards the leader or manager, just, just in general, how are you working through this crisis, this adjustment? If you think of the needs of followers compared to their strengths, you probably can delineate and get, you know, to a point of a formula where, yeah, of course, like stability is like gosh, there's no stability, then I'll just Command my way on through it. Right? Yeah, I'm gonna lean into that rather than anything else at that point. I think if you worked, anybody, you know, the three of us or anybody on this call that worked through that, you could see how both of those start to marry together.

Mohamed Younis 15:13

Absolutely. You know, the other data point that really struck me is -- well, a couple actually -- one of them is, you know, I actually started really, I joined Gallup at a time when the world was really impacted by 9/11 and what happened after 9/11. A lot of the research I worked on when I first joined was focused on that through our World Poll and global research. When we ask Americans how closely they're following what's happening right now with COVID, it's only second to 9/11 in all the major crises that we've been tracking over decades and decades here in the United States.

Mohamed Younis 15:51

So another part of this is, similarly to those of us who are sort of old enough, frail enough to be around and remember what it was like then, I think there's a fatigue that's going to set in relatively soon with a lot of folks -- from the news coverage, from a worry. It's very clear, at least from our polling, that there is going to be sort of a political dynamic that unfolds in terms of how serious people think, for how long this self-quarantine will continue. So as that unfolds, the folks that you're coaching have all kinds of opinions on these issues, and their level of worry and stress and how they're dealing with that, and their assessment of the risk, is informed by all those things. So I think it's, it's also really key to just keep in mind, you know, even though it's a very different event, at least in terms of its impact on the psyche of Americans; at least with regards to their focus on the issue, it's only second to to 9/11, which was a pretty tragic and monumental kind of moment in this country's history.

Jim Collison 16:57

Mohamed, let me, let me ask you this question. So Lisa poses it in the chat room. She says, "As independent workers, many of us don't have managers to provide that hope, trust, compassion, stability. We have to be our own internal managers." When we think about -- in our polling in the work that we've done -- what are we seeing in this? Like, you know, we've been talking about the gig economy now for, you know, the last decade or so. We may have a lot of people in that space. Are -- is there anything out there around that is talking about what's happening to gig workers during this time?

Mohamed Younis 17:29

I think that's a great question. One of the things we're going to start doing with the Panel, and I think your name was Lisa, thank you for your comment; it was awesome. One of the things we're going to start doing with the Panel is try to zero in on specific groups of folks within the population. So whether it's gig workers -- and that's absolutely something I know Jim Harter has been thinking about, how we exactly get to that the, the setup of a gig worker versus an independent entrepreneur versus somebody that owns a business, but also healthcare workers, folks in that industry.

Mohamed Younis 18:03

But to your larger point, I think the place really for us who are more independent in what we do is -- are spaces like this. Reaching out to the folks you know share your sort of professional drive, are trying to solve similar problems. I've connected with more people just within Gallup this week and the past week than I have ever. And I've, you know, been at Gallup for 11 years. These are the moments to really reach out to folks; express your needs. They probably have the same needs. A lot of the folks I think within this community are the best support system for each other that we that we can really have.

Jim Collison 18:44

It's a -- it is a great point that we have created a community around this. And it's no mistake, we actually ramped up our communication out to the coaches just for that purpose, right, just to know, Hey, we're here. We got some things to say; we're pulling out all stops by bringing folks on. You have a webinar that is happening now on a weekly basis that is open to the public. Anybody can attend, they just need to register. What are you hoping -- through that webinar series -- what are you hoping to get out to folks? What are you hoping they'll hear?

Mohamed Younis 19:17

Absolutely. That's a great question. We're actually trying to do two things. The first thing we're trying to do is just have a place where we can share the breadth of all of the research that's happening at Gallup as it impacts this crisis that we're all living through. So whether it's our economic modeling done by some of our economists and biostatisticians; whether it's the wonderful workplace research and science that Adam and his team are putting together. But the second thing we want to do -- or sorry, whether, obviously, it's the World Poll or the global polling we're doing, which we're actually going to start featuring in a couple episodes here.

Mohamed Younis 19:54

But the second thing we want to do, Jim, and to me, honestly, is the more interesting thing is we want to hear from the folks who are participating in the webcast -- what realities they're facing, what questions they're trying to answer. What are the challenges in their industries? One thing that's, that's really struck me in the past 3 weeks, 2 weeks, is, you know, we all, we're all touched by this in very different ways. Some of us are professionally having a very challenging but exciting time to be doing what we're doing. Others of us are facing extremely unpredictable futures that are very concerning and worrying. What we want to do with that webcast is have a space where we can also hear from folks, sort of outside of a survey setting, what they need; what they're looking for.

Mohamed Younis 20:46

We were on a call earlier this morning with I know somebody you two know very well, Dan Foy, with leaders in the healthcare industry, just asking them, what are the data points that you're looking for, and what are the questions you're trying to answer? And how can, how can our research help you do that? So really long answer, but the first part is, we want to share what we got. But we also want to hear from you all. So we would love for you to join us. I've actually never done a webinar before. So it's weird for me to be speaking while people are looking at a computer screen or slides. I'm much more used to this. But I encourage you all to join. We're going to try to make it as interactive as possible. And I think I'm safe to say that next week, we'll be hosting Jim Harter, and he will be telling us what he's found after his first 2 weeks of digging ... workplace.

Jim Collison 21:46

Adam, we're expecting, you know, nobody really knows how long this thing's gonna go. And we've written some, we have an article talking about how, how U.S. adults are feeling about the duration. I'm going to throw this out to both of you. Based on what we know, how are people feeling about this and does it matter? Like sometimes people say it doesn't matter how we feel about things. The reality is -- so, so, Mo, let me, let me throw that one to you first to say, why does it matter that we poll on things like that to ask the opinion of people -- How long do you think this is going to last? Why is that important?

Mohamed Younis 22:20

Great question, man. And it's one of the questions, honestly, it's one of the best questions we get sort of as, as pollsters or researchers of public opinion. It's -- People's perceptions are not really that accurate, or just not really based on the best information; why does it matter to ask them? And it's primarily because of what all of you as coaches know, that, you know, perception drives behavior. It may not be the factual truth, but it's the truth that that person is running with, whether they're in a team situation; they're in a management situation; they're in a crisis pandemic situation. So that's why we want to understand people's perceptions. Because we want to be able to help leaders, and others who are trying to understand that behavior, get a glimpse into where things are headed, where things are going.

Mohamed Younis 23:12

If I think this is going to last several months, and it last 10 days, I'm going to do a lot of things in those 10 days that are based on the fact that this is going to last several months. I'm going to buy things differently. I'm gonna treat my coworkers differently. I'm gonna think about my job differently. I'm going to feel differently about the stability of my paycheck. So the perceptions, even though there are more empirically pure ways to ask these things, another thing is, have you invested in the stock market? So obviously there's a way to know how many shares have been bought from the major companies that are out there. But one of the things we found, interestingly, but sort of related is from 2008 to now there are 10% fewer people in America that say that they've invested in the stock market, even though the size of the stock market has almost doubled.

Mohamed Younis 24:03

So, you know, it doesn't matter that there's, you know, there is a better way to, to measure that economically. But in terms of where people see opportunities for investment, that perception is actually going to determine whether or not they make that investment. So similarly with this, whether you're a manager, an employee, a parent, how long you think this thing is going to last is going to determine a whole, a whole lot of behaviors. The other thing we're going to start doing very soon here, Jim, is starting to explore with respondents where their tradeoff point is between the economic suffering they see happening all around them to the, the scientific concern or the health concern of the pandemic itself. As some leaders, both here and globally, will start to encourage a less strict sort of form of quarantine to ease the economic suffering, it's gonna be very interesting for us to try to understand what groups within the societies we're studying are more interested or less interested. And when people are sort of ready to make that shift.

Jim Collison 25:18

Adam, I'm going to throw it back to you.

Adam Hickman 25:20

Yeah, I've got Empathy (No.) 34. So I'm going to utter a sentence I rarely say: "Feelings are facts." Right. So why important right now is that's it. And sometimes, you know, is there always an objective data point? In my world, I hope. But in other people, it's not always, there's not always something we can point back to. What I've come to -- just in the tenure here is learning and seeing what Gallup has been reporting during times of crisis. Over a majority of the larger world, crisis is taking place, both on the work side -- our polling and Panel data as well. I was joking once with Mohamed about a textbook I have on 1930 -- yeah -- 1935 to current questions we were asking, and what people were saying. I always, I always joke so if it's a, if we're having people over and I get bored in the conversation, I pull a book out and I'm like, Hey, you want to know what Americans were talking about in 1935? No? OK. Well, I do, so I'm going to ask you anyway. That's, that's what education is for.

Mohamed Younis 26:19

You have the right job, Adam. You work in the right place, man.

Adam Hickman 26:22

Yeah. So I -- one is "Feeling is facts." Then there's this point of, what do you do once you have the facts? And I think this is where really coaches could hone in on. Because there was this, this idea of -- before this crisis happened, well, what had, what had we been writing and talking about? We've been talking about remote working since 2008. That's why I've kind of dialed it back too, when we really made that prevalent. When, when things in State of the American Workplace report and State of the American Manager report independently, I mean, just on and on, we've kind of been beating the drum on it's an option you should explore. There's talent associated with it. Your -- the most talented are looking for this; are looking for options, a flexible working place. All of our research around women in the workplace, and children being the No. 1 reason why they leave the workplace. Well, if you don't have a flexible office space or workplace or schedule, that's, that's a problem.

Adam Hickman 27:17

So I think that, you know, that's the data things that we're, we're bringing to the world that could be leveraged in conversations, in your programs, and whatever the case may be. It's, there's, there's your data points you could use. That was "pre." Then the crisis hits, right. "During" -- well it's what we've got. Because what else do we have to go off of are really opinions and thoughts of past history to bring forward. But what Mohamed and team does fantastically is it's a source of data you can absolutely trust because, I mean, I love the fact that I can click the Survey Methods -- because I, sometimes I start there first to see what I'm working with. But it's also, it's what leaders have accessible to them that's easy, that's a 3-minute or less of a read. And it's just stuff you can just put right into the action.

Adam Hickman 28:02

Well, if you're going to make, if you're going to make a decision based on objective data, no better time now than to check out what Mohamed and team is doing to prepare for leaders -- because here's why. On the horizon, because this too shall pass, right, people are gonna have to re acclimate to the workplace. Likely there's going to be a hiring uptick, right? And as people are thinking about, How do I come back to the workplace, leaders and managers also have to -- and I would say, policymakers -- have to be aware of, there's probably going to be a little change. And questions are going to come up, conversations are going to happen. And all of that needs to be rooted in, Well, what do we know of the past that can predict -- help us predict a little bit of the future of what's coming.

Adam Hickman 28:44

And you're seeing that come to fruition now, not in tips and tricks. If you go on LinkedIn, you can find tips and tricks for everything remote working right now. Everyone's a guru and everyone's a pro, which is great, because the, you know, the, the summary of it is, Communicate. Yes. Do all of that. Do all of those tips and tricks; they will not hurt. Right? But if you think of, well, what is on the horizon? What comes up next? You can kind of piece together the stories as we unpack every week, because it seems like, you know, the consumption of data, you've got to take it in weekly. Seven days ago, things were looking a little different than they do today. Right. So how do I use that data to help and inform my conversations as a coach or as a manager to know and build those needs of followers?

Adam Hickman 29:26

Because when, when you're using that, right, you're building stability in your conversations, because you're well-informed on what's going on. Right? You're giving for hope for the future because you're thinking about what's on the horizon and manager like, Gosh, no one's even ever talked about what's on the horizon yet. So you're doing that through all those and you're just building that, that follow-up chute. I think, Jim, that that's exactly why we got to be tuned into this.

Mohamed Younis 29:46

Hey, you guys. I want to just comment on the fact that there are some pretty awesome comments here in the comment section. One point was that really caught me is this, this concept of grief. So a lot of us are talking about how grief is a very common feeling that many of the folks that are engaging are experiencing. And I think it gets back, Adam, to that, that kind of hope thing, you know. If you're grieving, and you are looking for hope, how much of the conversation as a coach should really be about processing the past, and sort of what is perceived to have been lost, versus sort of, you know, when is that time to start embracing the new normal in the future?

Mohamed Younis 30:32

One of the things that really strikes me about this whole situation is the technology was sort of there for us to -- for many more of us to go remote. "Us" being individuals, businesses, everything. And it's almost like this -- it took a crisis to really push us over the edge in terms of having to go remote for those of us that can. And, you know, in that is how much of the normal is going to come back? You know, for many of us, I can imagine a lot of folks saying, you know, you know, scary, scary, angry, screaming kids down the hall side -- this isn't that bad. Like I can actually see myself doing this job, if it was quiet, remotely. And I see benefits to it.

Mohamed Younis 31:18

I mean, honestly, I've, I've been a very skeptic, a big skeptic of remote working, just in my own personal life and my own personal experiences because I've been very fortunate to always be in a team of people that are in the same building. These past 2 years, I'm leading a team of about 10 people, eight of whom are in a different state than I am. And it has opened my eyes to the possibilities of connecting with people one-on-one outside of a meeting setting. Just picking up the phone and reaching out. So as we sort of grieve as coaches, I think one of the things I am trying to do with the folks I'm coaching is find that balance for them between, What have I lost? Is it really lost, like, or is it just a perception of everything has stopped right now? And also, in addition to what is there to gain from this new normal?

Jim Collison 32:11

Mohamed, we know that just a couple weeks ago, most Americans, and I think and, you know, we are a little U.S.-centric, because we're all here in the U.S., the three of us, we're all in the U.S. But as what's happening in the U.S. has been happening around the world. We don't have all those exact numbers, but just a few weeks ago, 38% felt like this will lead into some kind of recession. Today, that number is 61%. And it's getting significant. As we think about watching that number going forward -- and that, that looks a little depressing. Like, how can we how can we use those kinds of numbers to kind of, to be better at what we do, to be better informed at what we do? And really to bring this stability and compassion because that seems a little -- that seems a little disconnected and a little different? What would your advice be on that as we think about, as we're rolling up numbers out and we're getting these opinions of Americans? How can we use those to help people be stable?

Mohamed Younis 33:07

That was to me, right, Jim?

Jim Collison 33:08

Yeah, yeah.

Mohamed Younis 33:08

Well, I think the No. 1 thing really is processing, right. For me, a big part of what I need to do in moments of crisis like this is I need to just process what's going on. One way to process it -- what's fascinating about the data is, again, public opinion, we used to have this really funny old black-and-white cartoon cutout in the hallway in Gallup D.C. that said, it was like a guy pointing down the hill, and he was -- it was basically a herd of people. And it was something about, you know, leaders are wondering where public opinion is, but it's already all the way down the road. You just need to look ahead, not behind you. And like it's a bunch of, like, you know, fat cat leaders like wondering where are all these people?

Mohamed Younis 33:50

So the, like, the people already know what's coming. I think the, as a coach, one thing I would be telling the folks I'm coaching, and probably will be, is turn off -- unless you really need to and you're a stockbroker -- turn off the news. You already know that this is going to be a big problem economically. Focus your energy on the world you can control, and plan for your reality and the people that are depending on you and their reality. If you already are one of the 60-some percent of people -- that's probably going to go up to 80 next week -- that see a larger kind of economic crisis holding on and having impacts for people, you know, process that now. Plan for that now, and don't relive the moment every time the stock market dips, and go through that whole distracting cycle of kind of managing crisis.

Jim Collison 34:48

I've seen in the chat room as well, talking a little bit about coaches getting separated from those that they're coaching just because organizations have shut things down and, or have canceled engagements. We have faced that as well. I was on a team that where we, you know, we had to very quickly switch from in-person to virtual classes very, very fast and that's actually been very, very successful. Dean Jones is going to be coming on next Friday to talk a little bit about that, very practically, coaches, so head out to to and make sure you sign up for Dean's session on Friday as we talk about that.

Jim Collison 35:22

But I think in what I hear you saying, Mohamed, and, Adam, I'll throw this out to you as well, is we -- these people still need these connections. Like even though we may not have a formal relationship with them, we need to find some ways to continue to connect with people. I've been doing these virtual Happy Hours so to speak, where folks that I used to work with and see all the time are now meeting on my deck, except they're not coming over; they're on my phone. And we're enjoying, like, a little afternoon, you know, beverage or two. And it's been doing that way. Have we, Adam, in the, in the stuff we've been writing about in the remote space we've been, have there been other ideas like that where coaches can help their managers, the people they're coaching, to continue to make these connections even though we can't be around each other?

Adam Hickman 36:09

Yeah. I immediately thought of the, it's not gonna -- it's not verbatim, but it's from Soar With Your Strengths around the concept of "People need people." That didn't change; that stays the same. And if you want to get into the academic side of things, social exchange theory is the one theory that remains that we still need. People still need people. And, you know, our concept around "Everybody needs a coach," that's not changed. That's still in existence. You got to adjust, right, given us the certain crisis that's taking place, but that's still a thing that, that happens.

Adam Hickman 36:41

For coaches, if you're thinking of, you've got a, you, let's say, I'm your coachee -- right? Ideation, Analytical, Command, just a "hot mess" of things. I am usually deep into Strategic Thinking. And unless I think, "Gosh, I haven't bugged Collison lately; I better do that." It's hard for me to come up for air. There's a conversation you can have. And it's not always going to be an apple salute. I saw some comments in there about, you know, how do you cross between grief and things of that sort, right? We're not there; because we're not licensed to be doing that. We're in the coaching space of it.

Adam Hickman 37:15

What you can do is bring out that conversation about knowing what success looks like for your employees, knowing how they work best. If that was in a collaborative space, if that involved a lot of people, that's kind of like your -- Analytical comes out in a weird, the weirdest way. That's my checklist. That's who I know I'm checking in with first. That's who I know, instead of them just being a part of me, why don't you ask them to lead the meeting, right? Start those social interactions where they're still getting, you're still meeting the needs of what they need in the workplace, you're just doing in a virtual setting.

Adam Hickman 37:49

And I know that may sound super easy, but it's shocking, to, to think of, if I used to stop by Jim's office in the morning or I could count on him being in the atrium in the morning. And I know he's not there anymore, why can't I still just reach out to him -- just call him out of the blue? And, I think, you know, funny yesterday, I intentionally called Jim, I said, "Don't answer your phone, because I'm gonna leave you a long voicemail." Right, as a sample of something like down the road -- here, pick up and listen to that because that's, that's the connection point. Sure, you've got to get creative, but those with Ideation and can lean and others that have Ideation, it's still on that concept that people need people.

Jim Collison 38:23

Mohamed, what would you add to that?

Mohamed Younis 38:25

I absolutely -- I could not agree more that people need people. And in some ways it gets right to my point: Human nature, from my perspective, was resisting this embrace of the virtual for so many of us. I'm one of those people. I'm totally one of the, like until this happened, I was, I was pushing back as much as I could. Case in point: I was in Oxford 3 weeks ago, when this whole thing went down, because I just -- I didn't, you know, I didn't want to -- I want to be there. I want to meet people. But absolutely, you know, try to find that new normal for yourself. One of the comments here is that, you know, it's an opportunity for us to redefine our new normal for each of us. Adam, you had a great -- I had a great learning moment with Adam earlier this week, when he sort of broke down the difference between (I'm looking at my notes here) isolation, loneliness and belonging. And I think those are really three words. And I want Adam to, to remind me what the theoretical difference was. But I think those are three words that you got to be dealing with -- maybe not mentioning in your coaching sessions if it's not appropriate, but the folks you're coaching are dealing with these issues. And how they come together and how to manage them, I think, is a really, really critical part of, of what we're all facing right now. Adam, could you break it down for us?

Adam Hickman 39:51

I'll give a short spiel here. Ready? Here we go. So the concept of isolation is, is no longer a concept. It's a reality. You're in it right now; each one of us are. Because the minute we hang up, we've now lost touch with one another. And you're in a spot where there's nobody else around maybe, or if you've got screaming kids in the background, that happens. But you're in it, you're already isolated. So I'm always confused when I see some articles out there and other folks talking about the concept isolations like, well, physically you are. But if you're going to get into workplace isolation, now there's a difference, where it's that belief or sensation of, "If I'm not seen, I'm not here, right? I don't feel a part of anything; I'm not, there's no belongingness. It's just not seen, and the remote workers have been struggling this for since -- I'm going to say since 2008. But I'm sure you can way, way back to 1974, when there was the first remote worker.

Adam Hickman 40:44

Now we've got that out of the way. Then there's the loneliness piece to it. And in those Input, Learners out there, and others, UCLA had a beautiful loneliness scale that they put out there. Long questionnaire -- I always joked and said, If you weren't lonely when you started it, you wouldn't be by the time you finish. Because it's a really long one. But that came to the point of which was the outcome of isolation, which is that point of, "I'm lonely. So what do I do?" And, and some of the things I've been building this week is the outcome of that. So if you're having -- it's kind of like that disengagement. If you're, if you're thinking, like, gosh, it's 4:00; no one's online. I'm not really seen; I can just cut out. Well, you've lost that productivity time.

Adam Hickman 41:25

If conversations aren't happening, and it just, it costs all of that belief and sensation and you're at, you're at that point. The difference is that belongingness piece. You've got to think of, not only in your, in your strengths domains and of those that you have -- no better time now to lean into your team and the people around you for what they're naturally gifted and talented at. Because not only are you going to support the reason of who they are and how, and how they wake up every day, but you're validating as they're being seen. They're not lonely and they know that they're still being counted on. And that's really important, not only for the remote workers that have been remote, but those that have just gone remote, right. "How can I still contribute?" is an internal dialogue going on in their head. So just help them out. Do it through the ways of their strengths.

Mohamed Younis 42:09

I want to add to that, you know, one of the things, one of the things I've done -- and I saw this suggested in the comments -- which has worked for me miraculously just in terms of the team setting. And if we're coaching managers, this is a great thing to suggest, is have a have a, an intentionally nonstructured time together as a team with no agenda. I started doing that with with the News team at Gallup 2 years ago, and it has just become -- like it's sometimes it's 10 minutes; sometimes it's 30 minutes. Sometimes we have really heavy things to discuss, like President Trump just retweeted our approval rating and implied something that wasn't accurate; should we respond? To, you know, somebody whose kid was sick and we're checking in to see how they're doing.

Mohamed Younis 42:56

But creating that space has done two things. It's definitely given us a place to legitimately have a human connection without having an agenda to justify the interaction, which I think is really important in our world today, even more so now than ever. The other thing it's done is really give us a space to bring challenges that are not likely to come up in the context of, "Let's have a meeting and sit down and talk about this." So, you know, things that folks are struggling with, successes they've achieved, just having that space simply to connect as human beings -- and it can be 15 minutes -- has done wonders for me and my team and like we basically all swear by it now. It's amazing.

Jim Collison 43:43

Mohamed, we, you know, we have we call it a "Focus on You." Officially, when you come to any Gallup event, the first 5 minutes of any meeting, we spend -- especially if we haven't been together in a while -- we call it a Focus on You. And it's a great opportunity for everybody just to go around and introduce themselves and their Top 5 and then usually another question. We also have given permission in all the virtual meetings that the first 5 minutes, at least, is going to be that connect, that, hey, we're going to intentionally hold off -- we're pretty good at this a Gallup anyways, but -- we're going to hold off on starting the meeting and what we're doing.

Mohamed Younis 44:16

Sometimes it's a challenge to get to the ... Hey, it's 40 minutes after!

Jim Collison 44:21

I know it is, but it's, it's so needed. I was just on a meeting the other day with that. I was on with Dean and, and we were spending some time together. And we just spent the first, you know, 10 or 15 minutes connecting, and even though we're seeing each other kind of every day, I think those are important. We had mentioned Kevin had mentioned in the chat room that he has this "coffee talk," which we have -- one of my teams has one of those as well. Five minutes with people yesterday, didn't even know -- it was totally fun. And you can schedule those things. And really, coaches, you could be scheduling those with each other. Like you could connect via our social groups and do that if you don't -- if you're isolated yourself. Or encouraging your managers doing it with them. Make that -- make that a part. Don't make it a coaching call; make it a coffee talk. Hey, we realize you guys are isolated. Let's just get together at 8 and do this kind of thing. Or, as I mentioned a little bit earlier, a virtual, like a virtual happy hour in the afternoon. Listen, we need to get away from our computers. Like, I was telling Adam, just in the preshow. I'm like, man, I cannot wait for tomorrow, because I need to get away from this desk!

Mohamed Younis 45:25

Yeah. You need to get away from the screens.

Jim Collison 45:26

Yeah, yeah, it's, it's, guys, we're kind of, we're kind of gonna bring this thing in for landing. Mohamed, let me ask you one more thing: Anything else as, as you got a chance to talk to our coaching community. What else? Any, anything we missed, or anything else you'd say to them?

Mohamed Younis 45:41

Well, one thing I would just add is, reiterate one thing and make a point. I just want to reiterate: the folks on this call, you are the lifeline -- emotionally, professionally, developmentally -- for so many of the folks you're coaching. And they are, as you well know, are facing a massive crisis. Crises are always opportunities to step up, to lead with more intention, to lean into our strengths. So that's the first part. Just try to bring that awareness to every coaching conversation you have. And try to kind of meet the folks where they are in that moment and what they need.

Mohamed Younis 46:19

The second piece is, in a time where everybody is freezing, hiring, and cutting costs and freaking out economically, if you're a coach with your coachee; if you're a manager, try to find opportunities that are not cost-heavy, or not involving costs at all, that are still focused on developing the people you're working with. These are really critical times to show those that you're working with, joining them on their journey, that you're still willing to invest in their development -- at a time when they're looking out into the world and seeing everything, all the curtains are kind of closing and people are rolling up the the rugs. It can do wonders for trust on your team. It can do wonders for your relationship with those you're coaching; your clients, your, your partners. And knowing that even in these times, you're thinking about their development and their movement forward.

Jim Collison 47:15

Adam, you have some folks that you wanted to thank. We've, we've had a team that's been working pretty hard over the last -- well, they always work hard. But they've been working extra hard over the last several weeks to do this. Let's just take a second if, if you could do that, I think that'd be great.

Adam Hickman 47:29

Yeah, I want to I want to couch it under that there's a lot of things you can still be doing and engagement's one of those ones that can't slip. So so at the bare minimum, right, things you can coach on are ways that you can engage and ways that you can still get recognition to it. And those that read our articles on both sides of News and Workplace, these are things that happened literally overnight, into midnight hours and on and on. It's been nonstop. So there's, as you see things coming off the Panel, we're trying to work those into Workplace articles and push out as well.

Adam Hickman 48:02

So the start of the day, it's like, I open my eyes and I know Jim Collison's been on Facebook, and I know -- I got email on what have we got going on. So if you've read anything, these individuals are really wholeheartedly responsible for what's coming out. Our Director of Content, Scott Miller; our Writers, Jennifer Robison, Bailey Nelson, Ryan Pendell -- if you've seen their name, you know their name, you know that they're right in the midst of everything.

Adam Hickman 48:25

Our Content Strategists are the ones that really pull out the headlines, that get you to the right links when you want to keep going. And I encourage you, those links are -- there's, there's a rhyme and reason why we highlight certain things to keep on that trail of readership. So these folks are E.Beth Bauman, Klayton Kasperbauer, Jess Buono, Sarah Kosch and Jen Litton. So thank you for you guys; and we couldn't do this without these two individuals on our editing team: Jess Schatz and Jen Peterson are our lifesavers on -- we might think it looks and reads really good. But boy, do they polish it up! Like it should. So thank you, all of those that, that contribute to our articles.

Jim Collison 49:02

Mohamed, you want to add anything else before I wrap it?

Mohamed Younis 49:05

No, just encourage everybody to go to or, or our COVID landing page to follow everything we're doing in this crisis. Be well, and thank you so much for having me, you guys, this has been a pleasure.

Jim Collison 49:20
I appreciate that. Adam, thanks for coming out, as well. Anything -- I should throw it to you for one more time. Anything else you want to throw in before we go?

Adam Hickman 49:28

No, I think, stay tuned to what we've got coming out. You're gonna see a good cross in between what we're learning from the Panel and how that applies to your workplace. So keep eyes on both and keep hearing on both podcasts as well.

Jim Collison 49:39

Yeah, I'll remind you, Mohamed is doing a weekly webcast, webinar, whatever you want to call it, is available every Wednesday 1:30 Eastern. And I threw the link in the chat room. We'll do that again; I'll have Mark include that in the show notes as well for you if you want to go out and grab that. You might also want to, while you're subscribing to Called to Coach, if you haven't done that yet, just on your phone, go to the podcast app, find -- search "Gallup Webcasts" and find Called to Coach. The Gallup Podcast is out there and Mohamed hosts that. Are we, are we weekly on that; every other week?

Mohamed Younis 50:12

We're every other week. But we have -- we dropped a great episode today. I encourage you all to check it out: Angus Deaton and Anne Case on Deaths of Despair and also COVID; what's going on with that.

Jim Collison 50:23

Awesome. Available. Hey, you know, one of the things I've had to change cause I used to listen to my podcasts as I was driving in, and I'm not driving in anymore. So over the last week, I've had to find new routines. One of them is, is 10 minutes an hour -- I try; not -- it doesn't, not every hour, but most, I go for a walk around the block. So I throw my earbuds in and I listen to my podcast now 10 minutes at a time. If you do that 5 or 6 times a day, guess what? That's the same as my commute, right? And so I've been able to kind of keep up -- the first week, I was lost because I just, I live on my podcasts. I just live to get that information. And, and so, let me encourage you, as you're listening, there's lots of new opportunities to try things out differently. So if you're feeling stuck, connect with somebody; try to find; just ask some questions. "Hey, how could I do this a little bit different?" For me, it was throwing the [earbuds on] ... and taking, taking my podcast literally on the road with me as I was walking. So I would encourage you to do that as well.

Jim Collison 51:21

We want to remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available, not only at, but if you go to, or, those are all the links we talked about today. But if you go to the CliftonStrengths page, all our strengths resources are there, again, Don't forget to sign up for the CliftonStrengths Community Newsletter that is there. We put that out each and every month. And if you want to stay up-to-date on everything that's going on strengths here at Gallup, that would be the best way to do it. If you have any questions on anything, send us an email: Follow us on Eventbrite: That will let you know when we're doing this live, because it's way more fun live. Right, right Mohamed? This is ...

Mohamed Younis 51:59

Absolutely, man.

Jim Collison 51:59

Yeah, way more fun live. And so we'd love to have you join us that way as well. And then one final reminder on the social spaces, if you want to join us on Facebook, it's If you're feeling lonely or isolated, we can get you some help in there. There's 15,000 people in that group who would love to connect with you in some way. So get that done. If you're not a Facebooker, and that's OK, if you're on LinkedIn, you can join us in the LinkedIn group. Search "CliftonStrengths Trained Coaches." You don't have to be one of our trained coaches to do that. We'll let you in. Just ask for permission. I'll do that as well. We want to thank you for joining us live today. We'll have a little bit of postshow here at the end. So if you're listening live, stay around for a little bit of Q&A. With that, we'll say Goodbye, everybody.

Mohamed Younis' Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Relator, Input, Learner, Individualization and Intellection.

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

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