skip to main content
CliftonStrengths Woo Theme: Teams and Managers

CliftonStrengths Woo Theme: Teams and Managers

Webcast Details

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

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

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

What should I look for in a job/career?

Jim Collison 0:00

I am Jim Collison, and live from our virtual home studios here around the world, this is Gallup's Theme Thursday, Season 6, recorded on April 16, 2020.

Jim Collison 0:22

Theme Thursday is a Gallup webcast series that dives deep into the CliftonStrengths themes, one theme at a time -- this season based on developing teams and managers with CliftonStrengths. Today's theme is Woo. If you're listening live, we'd love to have you join us in our chat room. It's actually right above me right there. There's a link to it, take you to the YouTube instance. And you can join us for chat. If you have any questions after the fact, you can always send us an email: Don't forget to subscribe there on YouTube. It's just, it's actually down over here, down below us there. And there's a little "thumbs up" button too that helps us as well. Click on that if you enjoyed it, and that'll help us get discovered on YouTube. Maika Leibbrandt is our host today. She's a Workplace Consultant here with me at Gallup. Maika, always great to see you for Theme Thursday. Welcome back!

Maika Leibbrandt 1:02

Thanks, Jim. Gosh, it's great to be here. This season, we are exploring every single theme through the lens of team. And we'll do that by unpacking the 5 Truths of Strong Teams. We know that from our research that is explained to you in great detail and usable detail in the book, Strengths Based Leadership. So if you want to know more about these 5 truths we're going to use, that's where you can find that. We'll use them today as a jumping point really to get into the detail of Woo. We're going domain by domain this season. And as you listen and explore with us within the Influencing Domain, I hope it gives you more insight into what your people need in order to thrive and, in this case, beyond just Oh, they're an Influencer. I hope you can walk away today truly understanding the how and the what and the beauty of Woo.

Maika Leibbrandt 1:49

So if you have Woo as a dominant theme, here's your brief description. You love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. You derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with someone. The first truth that we're going to explore to help us really dive into Woo of a strong team is how they address conflict. "Conflict does not destroy strong teams, because strong teams focus on results."

Jim Collison 2:16

And what is it -- what does this focus on results mean with, with someone with Woo?

Maika Leibbrandt 2:20

So between where they are and where they're going, there are always people, if you have high Woo. And someone with Woo sees the people involved on the journey toward a goal. So focusing on results includes an awareness of the networks, the social connections that can be initiated, and the possibility that can happen when people, even if they're doing it individually, progress toward a goal.

Jim Collison 2:45

I think sometimes Woo gets, gets misread or misunderstood as just a kind of wild "spray and pray." How does Woo track progress?

Maika Leibbrandt 2:56

So I think it's about considering the interactions between people and the influence each person can have within their own respective networks. Someone with Woo may see this directly on purpose. Or they might just have a sense of it. But it's this idea of social multiplicity. Sometimes we talk about Woo as being social breadth -- really going wide. And we contrast that to something like Relator, which we would call social depth -- really going for longevity and depth and, I think, about the -- not just about having that initial breaking of the ice.

Maika Leibbrandt 3:32

Back to Woo. I think sometimes tracking progress might be closely tied to tracking influence, and understanding and feeling that invisible switch when somebody warms up to you. That can also be that invisible switch of understanding when somebody emotionally accepts an idea. So ask them how many people they've welcomed onboard. Who do they know that is the most enthusiastic about what they're progressing toward? What do they think it might take to inspire people? Woo, sometimes, as you, maybe you were about to say, Jim, I think just shows up as, you know, enjoying a good time, being, being fun at a party or I see even in the chat a couple people say, Wow, I find Wooers to be exhausting. And so I don't know if they mean that the person with Woo is exhausting them, or the idea of Wooing -- when you don't have it -- feels exhausting, which could be said about any of these themes. But really, it is the progress toward a goal for somebody with Woo is about that ability to think about, Where are the circles of people, and how can we, how can we influence those?

Jim Collison 4:33

Yeah, OK, let's do No. 2.

Maika Leibbrandt 4:35

Yeah, No. 2: "Strong teams prioritize what's best for the organization and then move forward."

Jim Collison 4:40

And so how does someone with Woo focus on the larger goal and purpose rather than maybe just themselves?

Maika Leibbrandt 4:46

I think it's about how are they going to connect to a goal and spread that goal among the hearts and minds of social communities? An effective way to do that for Woo is to spend time with people who can further your message or advocate for your cause. I think about Woo as lighting tiny little matches in the right places and then letting the sparks grow on their own, rather than focusing on building one giant intense campfire by rubbing sticks together. It's about that breadth and the reach that they can have.

Jim Collison 5:16

What inspires someone with Woo to take action?

Maika Leibbrandt 5:19

Strangers that they can convert into friends! That's one of my favorite lines. I think it's from like the very first iteration of the definition of Woo is there are no strangers; only friends you haven't yet met. Being around other people is energizing for people with Woo; they get a real charge from being among people. The presence of others, the absence of boundaries, so the ability to stand up and say, "Hello!" or extend a hand or offer that connection without needing permission or access. I would also say, eye contact is something that inspires someone with Woo to take action. It's the person in the elevator or on the airplane who notices that you're there and who's always got their kind of their radar or their antenna out for possible connection.

Jim Collison 6:06

Yeah. And it doesn't need to be in person -- virtual in this current environment -- those virtual connections work just as well. No. 3.

Maika Leibbrandt 6:15

No. 3: "Members of strong teams are as committed to their personal lives as they are to their work."

Jim Collison 6:20

And how does Woo show up for someone in their personal life?

Maika Leibbrandt 6:23

Well, they're likely drawn to activities that involve a lot of people. Maybe they're the person who shows up quietly at every local sporting event. And they don't have to be the one who's shouting from the stands ... who is there to be among the people and to encourage. Maybe there's somebody who signs up for a big race or spends their time immersed among strangers. My grandma Garnita likes -- when I was growing up, she would make frequent trips to the grocery store because it was the social hub of our small town, and she would go all the time just to say "Hello!" to the checkers and bring them snacks. They likely have a proactive way to make other people feel welcome.

Jim Collison 7:05

And so what kind of questions could a manager ask, knowing this, to tap into that personal side of Woo?

Maika Leibbrandt 7:12

How do you build rapport with people? When do you know you've [gained] someone's trust? What's your favorite way to break the ice? What is a community or a group you love to be part of and what do you love about it? Who gives you energy? When was the last time you made someone feel welcome?

Jim Collison 7:32

I think that "feeling welcome" part is, is, is really, really, really important in a lot of ways. All right, let's look at No. 4.

Maika Leibbrandt 7:41

No. 4 is "Strong teams embrace diversity." There's a quote from Strengths Based Leadership that helps us really understand what this one's about. "Having a team composed of individuals who look at issues similarly, who have been the product of comparable backgrounds or who have experiences with similar track records and approaches is not a sound basis for success." We also know this from our perspective paper at Gallup on diversity and inclusiveness. It's the benefit that you get from getting different lenses on a problem is always better than a homogenous approach. Now, I do know that diversity is bigger than just a difference in your CliftonStrengths. And we're definitely not trying to oversimplify the issue. But what this really is about is, What does somebody with this one theme bring that other people might not?

Jim Collison 8:27

And what kind of descriptors would we use? What kind of words, you know, could we use to describe this?

Maika Leibbrandt 8:32

Sure. Somebody with Woo is charismatic, extroverted -- that one's sort of a hot word, because I know it has a specific direction for people. But what I mean by that is sort of just outwardly motivated, welcoming, hospitable. There's a social comfort, a social resilience, maybe, to Woo, energizing, a lightness or a levity and -- I also love this word for Woo -- playful.

Jim Collison 9:02

What unique perspective does Woo bring to a team then?

Maika Leibbrandt 9:06

Back to the "eye contact" comment: They can notice people in the moment because they're looking. People with Woo are constantly scanning for chances to make a connection. And this can mean that they offer that lightness that breaks the tension or that they invite a comfortable space for people to be real and feel seen. And because they're comfortable among strangers, they can bring courage to a team that allows them to dive into spaces where they don't already have a presence and do it confidently and energetically like they're drawn to new places, new communities, new environments, instead of being intimidated by it.

Jim Collison 9:45

Yeah, and Theme Thursday really exists because we Wooed this into existence. It's one of those things, right? We just -- it needed to happen and Strategically, it just wasn't; Wooing, it would. No. 5.

Maika Leibbrandt 9:57

No. 5: "Strong teams are magnets for talent." Another way to spot a strong team is to look for the one that everyone wants to be a part of.

Jim Collison 10:05

And what specifically are others attracted to?

Maika Leibbrandt 10:09

And I think there's something about Woo's warmth, Woo's desire to make other people feel at home. It's fun to be Wooed. They can make you feel like you're the most important person in the room, and, and that can feel both significant and kind of quietly comforting. Because they're driven to do this, it doesn't come from a place that feels weird; it comes from a place that feels genuine. And sometimes describing this magic, I'm aware, can come across as like they're putting a spell on you. But when you act, interact with someone who really does have Woo and does lead with it authentically, you experience that honest desire to share a connection with someone else. So accept that connection that they're offering you. It's a great gift.

Jim Collison 10:57

And how might you describe a gift Woo brings to a team that others really want more of?

Maika Leibbrandt 11:02

A social courage that inspires people to treat others with hospitality. It's also a fun, playful attitude that helps other people relax, maybe through laughter, maybe through just the acknowledgment that they are important and worth winning over.

Jim Collison 11:19

OK, let's review the 5 again.

Maika Leibbrandt 11:21

Yeah, 1) Strong teams focus on results instead of conflict; 2) They do what's best for the organization, and then they move forward; 3) There's an equal importance between their work life and their personal life; 4) They embrace diversity; and 5) They are magnets for talent. There's a lot more that you can dive into across all 5 of those. I think the fifth one, Magnets for talent, might be a result of the other 4 plus having a really great leader and an engaged team. But if you want to read more about that, you can find that in Strengths Based Leadership.

Maika Leibbrandt 11:50

What I hope that helps us do right now is think about not just, What is the makeup of my team? What -- you know which of the 4 Domains are they strongest and least frequent in, but how do we talk about a goal when you're looking at the DNA of the team, the strengths profiles of a team -- something that you can use those talents to operate in pursuit of? Because there is no dream combination of themes. The goal is not to have balance across those 4 Domains. The goal with a team is to understand and honor the talents that you have at play in order to better reach and solve a challenge that you already have.

Jim Collison 12:26

Maika, I think that's a super great reminder. We this season have been going through -- as well as Season 5 of Theme Thursday -- been going through some talent-mindfulness exercise, and you have one set up for us today. What do you have for us?

Maika Leibbrandt 12:37

This one I love. So Woo is all about social connection. Not everyone -- not everyone has Woo and not everyone needs it. So talent-mindfulness is a practice for you, regardless of whether Woo falls in your Top 5 or in somewhere else across your full 34. I invite you to turn your focus on the talent filter that you have. It's a way to acknowledge and explore your unique dominant patterns of how you best and most naturally behave and think and navigate your world. But today's practice is going to be about social connection.

Maika Leibbrandt 13:11

Let's start in a moment with 10 seconds of silence. So you can do something that marks this time apart from the rest of your day. You might stretch or breathe or change the positioning of your body. Turn off a light, lay on the floor, pull over and park if you're driving. Do something right now that changes your focus and aims it toward yourself. I'll wait here. ...

Maika Leibbrandt 13:45

Good. When you explore social wellbeing, you could discuss a lot of things. Do you have a lot of love in your life? Do you have a network of builders, collaborators, mind openers? How do you best connect with people? What role do others play in your success? Please know today that social wellbeing is bigger than any one single element here. Today, I'm just going to focus on one person in your social life. This is a reflection exercise that I highly encourage you to do without writing anything down at least the first time, just think. You're welcome to come back and replay this with a pen and paper so you can take notes later. But don't judge your answers. Don't qualify your reaction in your mind. Don't even share them with anyone else until you feel that you're ready. Just notice the reactions, the ideas you have to the questions I'm going to prompt you with.

Maika Leibbrandt 14:50

Dr. Shane Lopez taught me that strengths developed best in the context of relationships. And personally, he was one of the best I've ever known at making people feel instantly welcome and at ease, disarmed of pretense. Like they could just drop their baggage and be -- and be loved for it. Who in your life makes you feel at ease? Even if you don't know them really well or really personally, who's a person who makes it easier for you to drop any baggage that you're carrying? I hope there are several people for you. For now, focus on just one. Pick one whose voice you can most easily recall in your mind. Imagine what this person sounds like when they greet you.

Maika Leibbrandt 16:02

Imagine a time you've been in the presence of this person. How did your talents show up differently when you were together? ... What does this person see in you? ... What do they love about you? ... If this person was to advocate for you, really stand up and be your champion, what would they say is valuable, special or promising about you? ...

Maika Leibbrandt 17:03

Now let's take stock of where we are right now. Let's really get clear on your response to these last questions. Choose a few words that describe how this person would define what they see and love about you. ... And now I invite you to sit up just a few inches taller. Drop your shoulders. Lift your chin and breathe in like you fully believe it. Like you see it, too.

Maika Leibbrandt 18:01

You see, social wellbeing is about having a lot of love in your life. And sometimes, that means accepting the value that other people see in you, so that you can be strong for others, yes, but also so you can be strong for yourself. So that you can notice, claim and believe in your own potential. I encourage you to take anything you just realized with you more intentionally for the rest of the day. Stand up slightly taller. And when you do, let that be a physical reminder that you are valuable. That's your talent-mindfulness today.

Jim Collison 18:47

That is a good one. Thanks for sharing those with us, Maika. I know over the years we've been doing this, and I think we can say years, these, these are a little bit of effort to get done. Lke they don't just magically appear out of the ether. You're not taking them out of a book. These are life experiences and you spend a, you spent a lot of time, you give a lot of time and a lot of your Woo to make sure these things happen. And so thank you, kind of on behalf of the community and all the feedback that we get on them. I appreciate your influence. It's fun to hear some of the feedback in the chat room about Woo in the sense that "Oh, it exhausts me!" and yet they're here with two very strong Wooers, spending time together and, and we always appreciate that as well.

Jim Collison 19:35

With that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available, now in Gallup Access. If you head out to, we have an overwhelming amount of resources for you. I just -- I don't think anybody could tell me they've seen or read them all. Shoot, I can barely keep up with them and I'm making them! So they're available out there, again: We have all the webcasts are out there, the show notes that have the transcripts, all that stuff is on our website. You might want to get familiar with it, available for you. Brand new today is our CliftonStrengths Community Newsletter -- not new new, but it came out today. If you're not signed up for it, you didn't get it. If you didn't get it, you're missing out. So head over to, head over to the site: Go all the way to the bottom, there's a place you can sign up and get that each and every month -- some great information on things that are going on around the world in the strengths community. If you have any questions on anything, you can send us an email: Don't forget to follow us on Eventbrite: Follow us there. There's a Follow button, and you'll get an email notification whenever I post something new. And it's almost daily now at this point. So if you want to keep up with everything that's going on, and not miss out on anything, you'll want to follow us there. Speaking of not missing anything, you're not going to want to miss the 2020 Gallup at Work Summit that's coming up, all virtual. You can join us from anywhere in the world now: You can register, one low price for you to come in. And we'd love to have you join us there virtually. We got a lot of things planned for you, including some awesome closers. And so we'd love to have you come out and join us there. Don't forget to join us in our Facebook group: And then on LinkedIn, "CliftonStrengths Trained Coaches" is what you'll search for and just ask to be invited in and I will let you in for sure. Want to thank you for joining us today. Hopefully you found this encouraging. Thanks for joining live. If you are, there's a little bit of a postshow. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

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

Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A
+1 202.715.3030