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Coaching Leaders in the United Kingdom

Coaching Leaders in the United Kingdom

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series
  • Season 8, Episode 37
  • Learn how a U.K.-based coach is creatively using her CliftonStrengths and builder (BP10) talents to coach leaders and partner with them in times of crisis.
  • Interested in learning more on this topic? Read more about how to improve teamwork in the workplace.

Hannah Miller, Director of Miller & More in Birmingham in the U.K., was our guest on a recent Called to Coach. Hannah specializes in one-to-one coaching with leaders, including educators, doctors and healthcare professionals, giving them tools to grow their leadership. Hannah shared how the sudden work stoppage because of the coronavirus brought out the best of her Woo and Communication talents, as she has now put together materials -- including a PDF and a series of short videos -- on "Strengths in Crisis," helping leaders think about how they can lead themselves and others through crisis.

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 studios around the world, this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on April 28, 2020.

Jim Collison 0:20

Called to Coach is a resource for those 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 are listening live, we do have a live chat room, it's right, right above me there. And we'd love to have you log into that. Let us know where you're listening from. If you have any questions after the fact, you can always send us an email: Don't forget to subscribe. There's a little Subscribe button down in the corner of the video down there. That will just notify you anytime we go live. So if you want to click that subscribe and click the bell, that would be great as well. And there's a little "Like" button down there. People ask me all the time like Hey, how can we get CliftonStrengths discovered beyond you know kind of our current circles? Just click that "Like" button down there, let us know you like it and then that helps us with the, with the YouTube rankings. Anna Sawyer is our host today. Anna's a Senior Consultant out of our London office, although we are all home today, Anna, welcome to Called to Coach!

Anna Sawyer 1:17

Thank you. Thank you. Great to be here.

Jim Collison 1:19

Great. Great to see you. Excited for our guest today. Why don't you take a second and introduce her?

Anna Sawyer 1:24

Yeah, absolutely delighted. So welcome to Called to Coach today Hannah Miller from Miller & More. Hi, Hannah.

Hannah Miller 1:31

Hello. Good to see you, Anna!

Anna Sawyer 1:33

Likewise. Good to see you! How are things?

Hannah Miller 1:36

Good! Different, unusual, but good generally. Things are in a new different for us as a family and as a, as a business and we're getting used to it and enjoy taking the good with the not-so-good. How about you?

Anna Sawyer 1:49

Yeah, yeah, doing pretty well doing pretty well. So I know we have in common teenagers at home. How are you? I think 3 boys you have?

Hannah Miller 1:56

Yeah, three boys. They're 17, 14 and 11. And actually, they're doing really well. We had the sort of initial shock of Gosh, how are we going to do this? And how are we going to make this work with -- we've got three adults, actually, we have a lodger as well. So there's the 3 adults working, and then the 3 children. But actually, we found a rhythm and found some really good things from that; they're coping really well, working hard. We have a break time and a lunchtime, and they're enjoying actually seeing a bit more of their Dad than they normally would, because he's normally all over the place. So quite good to have him around a bit more and, yeah, getting used to -- be interesting to get used to back to normal again and how we do that.

Anna Sawyer 2:33

Absolutely. Silver linings despite the --

Hannah Miller 2:36

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Anna Sawyer 2:38

So I think it's kind of tradition. I'm not sure I have a choice in this and we'd love to share if you're, if you're willing: your Top 5, Hannah.

Hannah Miller 2:45

Yes, my Top 5 are Woo, Communication, Developer, Empathy and Belief.

Anna Sawyer 2:51

OK, fantastic. Thanks for sharing that. I think it's really nice for everybody to hear kind of maybe the angle that you're coming from. So like, I'm really excited to chat with you today, Hannah. I know that We've known each other for a little while -- longer than we both, I think, realized. It's 5 years at least since you did the Accelerated Strengths Coaching program in London. So obviously, 5, 5 years kind of --

Hannah Miller 3:13

Flying by.

Anna Sawyer 3:14

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So I also know that you're a proud Brummie. So one of the things that I'd love you to do for our international audience is just explain what that means. And maybe just share a little bit about yourself and the work that you do.

Hannah Miller 3:29

OK, so the work that I do, I live in Birmingham, which is the center of the U.K. It is the heart of the U.K., by the way. It is the second city after London; it's, but it's a wonderful place to live. Anna's got friends up here so she knows it's wonderful. So what, what do I do? What do I love to do? So, my, my business works in a few different areas. We, we do coaching, one-to-one coaching with leaders. I love to see people grow and progress from whatever their starting point is. I also love to do lots of workshops. I work with lots of CEO development groups, actually. And that's a real joy to work with those that are actually quite advanced in their business, in their career, but actually giving them tools to grow their leadership.

Hannah Miller 4:08

And then another big part of what I do is actually working with the NHS [National Health Service in the U.K.] and with doctors and people working on, in primary care, again, supporting their leadership. So working all sorts of different environments, but the main thing is, it's either, it's either speaking, workshops, training or coaching -- all around giving people that boost and development edge. And I, I think I'm quite a practical person. I like things to be really grounded, things that people can take away and think, right, what can I do with that? I think it's great to have the learning, but you need to have the whole "What next? What does this mean?" And that's what I love to do. And the best moments for me is when people get back in touch with me and say, What you've done is really made a difference to what I'm doing. So that's, that's why I get up in the morning and do what I do.

Anna Sawyer 4:48

Fantastic, fantastic and great to hear that you're working with the, you know, care providers and so on as well. Have you had an opportunity to partner with them kind of throughout the crisis or what --?

Hannah Miller 4:58

Yes, so a lot of them are connecting with me through the videos that we're going to talk about probably in a little while, but also, I'm doing a webinar with them next week aimed at some of the doctors and the leaders as a bit of a support and a boost in this, in this time, and just giving them a bit of a letup in what's going on right now. So there's a webinar going out next week with them. So I am still doing a bit but a lot of the face-to-face work, obviously, that I do with their leadership program is on pause, and I can't wait to be back with them.

Hannah Miller 5:00

I bet, I bet. And, you know, I know that development is, is really, really important to you. I think I'm right in saying that your, your kind of background was in teaching. So, you know, you know, big part of the sort of passion for development, I think started in that in that education field. Do you still get involved in that area?

Hannah Miller 5:41

Yes, I do. And absolutely, I'm still a very proud teacher and love seeing progress. As I've said, I love seeing development, and teaching is and was my trade. So I do still work with schools and colleges, further education and higher education providers. I've worked mainly with their staff, with their teams. I think there's a couple that have actually already said "Hello!" on the chat. So some people I've worked with in that environment; it's great to give that back to the industry that I've trained in, in the profession that I love so much.

Anna Sawyer 6:11

That's fantastic. And when you think about kind of education versus maybe that kind of a more commercial environment, do you see similarities? Do you see differences?

Hannah Miller 6:20

Oh, well, I think the main difference, if I'm totally honest, is that if you work in education, or you work in primary healthcare, for example, but both of those areas, there isn't much opportunity for self-development. There's never enough time; there's too much to do. And actually, I would say that when I work with schools or colleges or universities, there's a real appetite for this, because so many have found themselves in positions of leadership with very little coaching, or training or support, and they've ended up there because they're good at their job. They do what they do well, but actually, why they do what they do well and who they are in that workplace, they've not really had a lot of time and opportunity to explore that. So I find it such a privilege when I work with teachers, professors, lecturers, leaders in education, because they are lapping it up on the basis that actually there hasn't been a lot for them. So I really love to do that.

Hannah Miller 7:12

That's not to say it's not appreciated in the corporate world. Of course it is. But I think there is more of a rhythm and a routine around that in those spaces. Whereas when you're working in colleges, and further education, sometimes you can feel, I've not had the opportunity to do this. Now, obviously, some colleges and universities do a lot more than others, but schools particularly don't have the time to do this. It's great to do that with them.

Anna Sawyer 7:36

It's great that you get to continue doing that, where -- kind of where it all started as well for you, which is terrific.

Hannah Miller 7:41


Anna Sawyer 7:42

So lots of people today, I'm sure our coach community will have been enjoying your "Strengths in Crisis" series. And for those of you that, that haven't discovered that yet, Hannah's been posting a series of, well, I'll let you describe it, Hannah. But I guess one of the things I'd like to say, Well, what's it all about? And how did it get started?

Hannah Miller 8:04

OK, so if we take a step back as to why am I doing this? And what happened? So, like many people who work in the face-to-face field, about 5 or 6 weeks ago, everything changed in about 48 hours very quickly. In fact, I was actually at a meeting with the CEO groups that I work with. And only two were in the room; everybody else had already been told on the way in, "Go home." So it was, it was this emerging scenario of suddenly things were going to really change. And then I started to get emails and phone calls, as I'm sure many businesses of all kinds got: "We're not going to do this anymore. This is canceled. This is stopping." And it was quite a shock. And, and although I knew there was change coming, it felt like that -- overnight, sudden change, which I don't feel I was prepared for as perhaps I should have been. I'm quite optimistic, quite positive. And I sort of think, You know, we'll be OK, we'll find a way. And actually there was this revelation that I can't do what I do at the moment. I'm a company of my own, and I so therefore I need to be to be working.

Hannah Miller 9:07

So what happened was for those first 2 or 3 days, I felt really low. So I want to be honest with people who are listening, because I'm sure there are plenty who have. I felt very disappointed. I felt stuck. And I felt a bit nervous, to be honest. I felt nervous about, Is my business going to make this? Can I, can I ride this storm out? And of the people that know me well give you that boost and say, "Of course you can, you know, you'll be fine; this is an opportunity." My friends, my family, my husband were brilliant at sort of reminding me of what I'm good at. Particularly a friend of mine, Justin, who actually trained me on Called to Coach, he was very helpful in reminding me of my strengths and who I am. So it's safe to say there was that dark disappointment. And I think many people who've been furloughed, even if they understand it's got to happen, it's a challenging time. It's hard to feel -- your meaning and your purpose isn't taking place.

Hannah Miller 10:01

So after those 3 or 4 dark days that my husband had to ride out with me, I, one, one evening, I was just, I think I was trying to go to sleep. And I just had this idea: OK, if I'm using my strengths, if everyone's encouraging me to use my strengths to find the way through this, I love to communicate. Woo and Communication are my Top 1 and 2. On top of that, my Builder Profile says that Relationship and Selling are my Top 1 and 2, OK, for those who know that, that Gallup profile as well. If I need to work out how to use my strengths to get out of a crisis, everybody needs to be thinking about that.

Hannah Miller 10:38

So essentially, without much thought, I decided I would write a guide. So there's a PDF guide, which is about 37 pages long with a page on each strength, particularly thinking about how you lead yourself and others through crisis. I thought, I'm just going to post a daily video. I'm going to start this series, and once it's out there, you've got to finish it, right? You can't start something like that and stop. So I started posting these videos with very little prep, and I'm sure we'll come on to that as we chat. And just seemed to really hit some traction with people. People wanted to listen to them; people wanted to engage with it. And it showed me that taking a step and trying something different and trying something that you've been meaning to do was exactly what I needed to do in this season. So, with a lot of nervousness and self-consciousness, I just thought, you know what, I'm just gonna go with it! So that's where the videos came from. So these videos are about 2 minutes long, 3 minutes maximum, one a day being posted in Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, just giving people an encouraging boost as to what they need to do more of in a time of crisis, who they are and what they bring to their teams and their friendships.

Anna Sawyer 11:50

Brilliant, love that, Hannah. And I guess one of the questions is, How did you prepare for these? When you said you kind of jumped in a little bit, but how -- what --did you do any preparation?

Hannah Miller 12:01

I've got Activator just outside of my Top 5. So I do tend to leap with things. So I spent a couple of days writing the guide. That's what I did first. I thought, right, I need the guide to be ready because if I'm telling people they can have a free guide, I need to write it. So I wrote the guide, which was a page on each of the strengths. And I spent a couple of days at my laptop, tried to be distraction-free; I find that very hard. And got that, but I knew the clock was ticking and that actually I needed to move quickly. And in this position, in this particular season, moving quickly was important.

Hannah Miller 12:33

So I wrote the PDF guide. And then I essentially, when I do the little videos, I just reread the page in the guide, and I press "Go" on my recording, and I do honestly no more than maximum 3 takes; normally try to do it in 1. Don't watch it back. And I post it. A good friend of mine said, Hannah, you've just got to ship it sometimes; it's just got to go. So that's what I did.

Hannah Miller 12:56

And the other thing I do is I think about the people I've worked with, both friends that I have but also colleagues and clients of mine, and I tag them in the videos that relate to their strengths. I've got quite a good memory for things like that. I do use the platform as well, but I do remember a lot of people's strengths. So I tag them in, and in fact, I included Sylvie, Anna, in one of them, because Sylvie is an amazing example of Focus. So I tag people as I go to sort of say, "This is you. Be encouraged, be boosted by this."

Anna Sawyer 13:25

Very good, very good. And Hannah, how did you decide which one to start with? Were there some that just came easier than others?

Hannah Miller 13:31

No, I've done it alphabetically. Basically, I decided I would not miss any if I did that, although it's quite funny. Some people who are watching them have lots of strengths at the end of the alphabet, and they've been messaging me every day. "When are you going to do my -- ?" You know, not a problem. It will come. It's alphabetical. There's a lot, isn't there, in the A's and the early part.

Jim Collison 13:53

It does seem like it takes a long time to get through the first half of the alphabet when you're doing this.

Hannah Miller 13:58

Yes, it does. It does.

Jim Collison 14:00

You know, there's 34 of these. And that doesn't seem too intimidating when you're getting started. When you were writing the guide and then when you went to do the videos, is it taking longer than you expected? Or talk a little bit about committing the planning and the prep that went into that.

Hannah Miller 14:13

Yeah. So you do think of -- exactly what you said, Jim. You think, "I'll do this," and I tend to underestimate things anyway like that, and think, "Oh, it'll be fine. I'll do it, I'll get cracking." I obviously know the strengths pretty well now; I've been working with it for a long, long time. Before the training, I did my own strengths by for many years before, but it is quite a undertaking to think about 34 different strengths. And this one's, like you said, Anna, there's ones that you do feel you're a bit more familiar with, or you really get, and ones that you have to think a bit more about, think about the people that you know with that strength, who they are and how they lead, and use those examples to help you. And the guide, I felt like when I got in the flow, it really started to come to me. And that's where actually doing something in a couple of sittings, if you can get your head down, is probably the best way to do it.

Hannah Miller 15:02

I know some people like to chunk up a job, but actually I much preferred sort of pushing hard to get that finished as quickly as I could. To be honest, there'll be people who write better guides than me who would spend 6, 6 weeks longer, 6 months longer than me. But I am inclined to work in the 80% category, get it done, get it out there; make it brilliant as you can with the time that you choose to give it. That's sort of how I tend to work. And I don't obsess too much -- my strengths don't obsess too much over the detail. And yeah, go back and edit as you go. That's sort of what I think. You can always update it and make it better as you go.

Anna Sawyer 15:37

Absolutely. Absolutely. So I could see you getting to the end of the 34 and then maybe starting again.

Hannah Miller 15:42

Now I need to think of something new. I think because it has been such a -- honestly, I think putting yourself in front of a camera -- we all do it through Zoom calls all the time, but I've not go -- I've not got experience of working really behind the camera. It was quite a vulnerable thing to begin to do. But so many people have been so kind to me and said, "Hannah, you're really good at this." That's awkward for me to say on here right now, but lots of people have taken the time to email me, message me, people I don't know and say, "Please keep going," that I sort of think OK, maybe this is something I'm meant to be doing. And I should be exploring this beyond these 34 strengths. I'd like to say Yes, new series hopefully on its way. I'm running out of clothes and hairdos!

Anna Sawyer 16:26

Very good. So I was gonna ask you what kind of response you've had. You just share a little bit about, you know, people reaching out. Presumably, this is kind of widening your network as well, people you've never met. How's your Woo feeling about that?

Hannah Miller 16:38

There's a few -- yeah, my Woo's loving that, actually, it's great. One of my goals actually going into this year, Anna, was maintain the business as it is apart from the name change, which I'll come to later, but grow influence. That was what I was going to do. The trouble is, when you're so busy doing what you do every day, it can be hard to find the time for all of this. So this has afforded me the opportunity to really work on that particular target.

Hannah Miller 17:01

So in terms of the feedback that I've been getting, to answer that question, I've had lots of personal encouragement, lots of people wanting to say to me, "Well done! Thank you for doing this. I've really appreciated it." But for so many people, they have found it has given them a boost at a moment when they just needed it. That's really strange, but people have stumbled across -- somebody's saying in the chat now, they stumbled upon the videos on Instagram. And actually, they looked at it just when they were having a difficult day. I think most people are finding it's like this, aren't they? You know, I've spoken quite positively. We're doing well as a family. But there are moments when you think, Gosh, this is tough, will we ever get back to normal?

Hannah Miller 17:36

So some people, it's personally given them that boost and encouragement just when they needed it. And then people have done some wonderful self-reflections. So some people have then got in touch, and in the chat, I find on Instagram people are very honest in the, in the comments, perhaps more so than some of the other environments and talked about what it's meant for them and where it's also been difficult for them. It's also given people a recognition as to why this has particularly been tough for them, what it is that their strength needs that they haven't been able to have.

Hannah Miller 18:05

So just a couple of examples: A couple of people with Consistency felt, they could see how in their leadership, in their treatment of people, they were able to be seen as stable and fair, and that they were really leaning into that, and particularly in the way they make decisions around furloughing. And then another person, also in response to furloughing, said that their Individualization had shown that they needed to approach those conversations differently. And it was really important that they thought about how this was going to land for each circumstance and scenario. And that the person with Individualization said she can understand now why her children are getting so annoyed with her over the homeschooling because she's using an individualized approach. And I think the older child thinks the younger child is getting away with murder.

Hannah Miller 18:47

So lots of those kind of things, but also people thinking this is, OK, what can I now do? So, for example, somebody I know who has Communication and Positivity has put that to work. They lead in a very large organization. They have thousands of people that report in to the teams that they lead. So they're doing weekly videos, but they're not just information updates; they're also really praiseworthy. They're saying, Well done, thank you. I know this is so tough. We can't be together; you are putting yourself at risk in many ways with what you're doing for us in this, in this time. So those go out, and they maybe wouldn't have thought to do that, or realize what was at play or what they were doing so well.

Hannah Miller 19:24

On the other side, just to say for those who are listening who are coaches, it has also turned into work opportunity. And that was never what I thought might happen to start with, but it really has. People have connected for coaching; people have connected for workshops; people have connected to do online webinars off the back of the videos, or me coming back to mind because of this sort of presence out there. So lots of wonderful responses.

Hannah Miller 19:48

Oh, one more to tell you. Somebody with Context said to me, she said, The minute that it started, everything kicked off, she said to her children, she said she had this urge to say to them: "We're living in a historical moment right now. Let's start a Memory Box." So I thought that was so Context; they started a Memory Box. And they've been putting things in there every week to sort of add to this -- her Context strength was like, right, we need to record this; we need to remember this. And we need to come back to this in the future. And I loved the way it was giving people the language again to see what they were doing in the time of crisis.

Anna Sawyer 20:22

I love that, Hannah. Hannah, I guess one of the questions that, that, that always comes up with with an experiment like this is, What did you learn?

Hannah Miller 20:30

What have I learned? Well, good things. You know, I've learned that sometimes it's good to just go for it. I think that's the biggest thing that I've learned. If you've got something that's a hunch, and even if you feel unprepared, and you think, you know, there's people who can do it better than you. Sometimes it's really good to just go with it, and go before you are ready. I've heard people say that so many times. But I think I felt like I needed more experience at this to be able to do it really well. But actually, it didn't matter and it's been such a privilege to engage with so many people and to not let yourself over -- and I appreciate that, that, that that's not my strengths anyway. But, but whatever your strengths are, I would say, it's important to sort of give yourself a boundaries. I'm going to spend this long on this, and then I'm going to let it go. And it will never be what it could be.

Hannah Miller 21:18

And Jim, you said to me, when we chatted, you said, you'll probably look back at some of the videos and you'll see how far you've come. And you'll say, you could have done that differently. But that's OK. That's the learning process for me. Yeah, and really feel that that's probably the biggest thing I've learned is to go for it. And if there's things in your heart to do, this is probably a good time to push and not to just retract because we're feeling nervous. I've just spent quite a lot of outgoing on a rebrand, and you could think, What a stupid time to have just done that! But I've done it now. So there's nothing -- it's actually a good thing. It's over. It's done with. I'm moving forward with that. And let's, let's not retract and retreat and become frightened for the wrong reasons, and continue to push forward in what we're called and meant to do. I think that's what I've learned. I've also learned that people know me well, and sometimes you need a boost from the people that love you. And lots of people gave me the encouragement I needed to get cracking and to get back on the saddle, so to speak.

Anna Sawyer 22:17

I love that. I love that. And yeah, I mean, you know, the next question has to be what's next?

Hannah Miller 22:22

What's next? So much next! I think the one thing that's definitely next is more of the online communication with people. I want to go back to the beginning, like Jim said, and think about another series. And I also want to write a course. I'm looking at writing a couple of online courses using strengths and some of the other BP10, hopefully, as well in the future, helping people look for purpose and meaning, something they can interact with, over maybe a 40-day period. I'm thinking of like a 40-day, daily sort of journal activity, a reflection kind of course, where people journey over that time thinking about their purpose and their meaning, and hopefully come out the other end with a real encouragement. So that's the project for May and June, to get that ready. Big undertaking, not ready, not qualified, going to do it anyway.

Anna Sawyer 23:05

Good job. Good job. Hannah, you mentioned there about a rebrand. Tell us a little bit about that.

Hannah Miller 23:10

Yeah, so I've been called Miller & More. And that's what my website still is at the moment. So please do go there if you want to find the PDF guide, because that's where you'll find it. But last year, I felt increasingly like I really loved the word "sidekick." And it can be seen as a bit of a disparaging word, "Oh, just the sidekick," and I sort of want to redeem the word sidekick as being something really positive -- that a sidekick enable somebody else to be everything they're meant to be.

Hannah Miller 23:37

So the idea behind the rebrand is that I'm like a secret weapon to other people's growth and success. And on top of that, the rebrand is around other people learning to become sidekicks that, when you're having your own development, we want to pay it forward, who are we acting like a sidekick to? The people who go through any of my programs, they will be given that challenge: Who are you giving that back to and supporting?

Hannah Miller 24:00

And the other thing that's front and center about this, and Anna and Jim, this relates to my Belief. I realized that to grow what I'm doing, and to really find the impetus to grow, I needed to connect with things that mattered to me. And that's my Executing strength. I work really hard, but I have to care that it matters. So 10% of all sales, not profit, but all sales, are going to be reinvested to support leaders in some of the most challenging scenarios around the globe. So this first quarter, we've supported a project in Uganda, a project in India, and then locally in Birmingham, a project that's working with some really disadvantaged families, and we're looking to support women into leadership in that community. So whoever works with me, from corporate backgrounds or whatever, we're siphoning that off, and they're acting as sidekicks themselves to people to reduce the sense of inequality that we have across the world. So I appreciate that might sound ever so -- I don't want that to sound grandiose, but for me, it's a driver and it's really important that I talk about it.

Anna Sawyer 24:57

I love that. I love that. I'm thinking about what your logo's going to look like and, you know, just my Ideation's going into overdrive here, Hannah. Hey, Jim, do we have any questions that are coming up in the chat room?

Jim Collison 25:09

Yeah, a couple of good ones. By the way, that -- this idea of a "sidekick" -- we've been saying on Called to Coach, you know, one of my jobs is to be kind of the assist. We call it "the power of the assist," like somebody to come along, and they're not scoring the points, but they're certainly setting people up to, and I think that's a really powerful place to be, so, so. So good work on that. Justin had a question: What strength have you found hardest to write about in this video series and in the PDF?

Hannah Miller 25:34

Good question, probably some of the ones that I'm definitely don't feel apply to me. And I think distinguishing some strengths that are similar to one another, making sure that what I'm saying is different. So, for example, Input and Learner, and making sure that I didn't just say the same thing twice, I really gave those a bit of extra thought. So ones that feel like they're almost kind of connected strengths, making sure that they sounded separate and different. I don't know if there was one that I found more difficult, but some that I really do, perhaps just think about more. I actually really appreciate the strengths that I don't have. So in some ways, there's a lot to say on those because I realize that's not really what I do. And so I need people like that. So perhaps, perhaps Input and Learner was one where I did want to make sure I distinguished those and said something different about them. Because people often ask that question, don't they? I've got them both, you know, what's the difference? So I wanted to make sure I was saying something different about that.

Jim Collison 26:29

Hannah, I get the feeling, I -- Curt [Liesveld] used to tell me I had all 34 in my Top 10 because we'd talk about him and I would just say, I'd almost pretend like I'd have them, you know, just because I was so comfortable with them. And I think you're probably in a similar boat. You've been around -- you've been working with many of them, they probably come. Kim had asked a question about, Were people mostly familiar with strengths, or did they ask what it was when you started posting this?

Hannah Miller 26:57

It's a really good question. So there's a lot of people who are liking the videos and interacting with them that I know, I know from that current discussion or their backgrounds actually, they haven't done their strengths. So some people have been messaging me from that and saying, "I want to know more about this" or "This one sounds like me." So there's been some of that that's been going on. And then you've got the strengths guys that love their strengths, don't they? Who are tagging others and saying, "This is so you!" and and championing strengths for their friends and the people that they know who have it.

Hannah Miller 27:26

But to answer Kim's question, there has been quite a bit of engagement from people that at the moment don't actually know what strengths are. So that's a really good "in" as well, because I always want to say, you know, if you want to know more about what this is, rather than guessing them, this is where you go. It's all in the guide, you know, go find out some more. So it -- although it sounds a bit reverse, actually it is working as an "in" because they're such short videos; you can engage with that and think, Well, maybe that sounds a bit like me. And then, and then when they do the test, they can say actually Yes, yes they are -- that is exactly who they are.

Jim Collison 27:56

They do make great companions, and this is what -- when I started looking at them -- they do make great companions to Theme Thursday in the sense that you know, we are, even in our shortest, we're 20 minutes. And that sometimes is too much for people to engage in. And so, with a 3-minute window, it's a great opportunity to get in there, you know, get it done. A lot of people will listen for that, you know, visit and see it as a new, like, Oh, yeah, no, I can sit through this if it's 3 minutes long. And so have you gotten any feedback from folks that found you that you didn't know before -- that, you know, that weren't part of the work in the past? Have you gotten feedback from them?

Hannah Miller 28:33

Yes, I have. I've had a lot of new people choose to connect with me and take the time to message. So friends of friends or connections of connections, have started to make contact with me. And people who've stumbled across them, just like I think somebody said in the, in the chat -- people who stumbled across it by accident and then began to engage with it. So there are lots of people who I have no idea -- well, I do now have an idea who they are. But no, they hadn't got a connection to me, who because of this have started to engage.

Hannah Miller 29:02

And like you said at the top of the video, Jim, all that engagement, people liking it, or people resharing it on their stories, all adds. Somebody is currently reshowing the whole series with their team. And somebody else I know has been taking the daily videos and putting them into emails for their staff -- this is an organization that uses strengths -- and emailing the members of staff that it relates to, which I thought was so lovely. Because as a team, none of them are together. So she's sending an email saying, You're getting this because you've got Belief. Watch this video. So she's isolating the people who should get that particularly -- do that taking real time and care for her to do that. But it's such a lovely response, really lovely.

Jim Collison 29:39

Yeah, and --

Hannah Miller 29:39

Can I just say, quickly, so then if you're looking on LinkedIn, I don't think you can find the old videos. You can only go so many posts back. But if you look on the other platforms, such as Instagram, you can see them all and I will put them all on YouTube when I finished summit so people can find them.

Jim Collison 29:54

Can I talk you into doing that earlier than finishing?

Hannah Miller 29:57

You think I should? -- I'm learning about YouTube. It's a whole new thing.

Jim Collison 30:02

I know this guy who's pretty good at YouTube. So I'll hook you up with this guy. Marta asks, Do you have a coach, and how often do you meet, investing in yourself? What kind of, what kind of self-learning you do?

Hannah Miller 30:14

OK, so a couple of answers to that. I have, I have 3 different people who would act in a more coach environment for me, as well as the people who -- my actual family in life, who can also act like coaches, can't they, at times. There is a strength coach, alumni friend, and we act as a bit of coach mentor to one another at different times. And we regularly communicate with each other with that in mind. And I have a personal coach as well, who I meet with about every sort of 6, 6, about 6 to 8 weeks, these days. It was more regular; it's about 6 to 8 -- obviously at the moment, not at all. And and that's about my personal development and a space where I go. And then I also have a business coach who I spend time with on a more sporadic level. So I do think it's important to practice what you preach. If I think people need that kind of role in their life, I need to get it myself too.

Jim Collison 31:05

One of the things I was particularly excited about when I saw this is it was coming from the U.K. And we get a lot of this stuff, or at least I'm influenced by a lot of the stuff coming out of the United States. And we saw some of this stuff coming out of, coming out of Asia early on; I haven't seen any new stuff recently. Anna, you got to be excited about when you see something like this, like, you know, this stuff, originating and coming out of the U.K. or coming out of Europe's got to be pretty exciting, right? Are you seeing other -- what other things are happening in the region that folks may, may want to start watching for as well? You have anything like that you can share with us?

Anna Sawyer 31:40

Yeah, well, Hannah and I were just talking about this before. We've got a pretty big week this week, because we've got our first virtual alumni meeting. So this is for folks that have been through the Accelerated Strengths Coaching course. And we tend to gather, you know, once a quarter in London; it's a great opportunity. I think our strapline is learn, share, connect. It's just that opportunity to just kind of network with other people that are using and working with strengths, shared learnings, etc. Obviously not able to meet at the beautiful Shard [Gallup's London office] this time around. So we're doing our first virtual program.

Anna Sawyer 32:10

And I think we're going to be graced by some of our, our colleagues from outside of our usual EMEA region. We've got about, I think, just shy of 400 people that have signed up for that session on Thursday. We're really looking forward to that. My, my colleague, a colleague, Hannah Lomax, has been working really hard on that. So, you know, kudos to her for all her hard work in that. And yeah, I think one of the brilliant things about that is it's creating energy. It's a supportive network. And this whole situation has actually, you know, again, silver linings. We're getting really creative about ways to continue those conversations and, and building energy. So yeah. Exciting week ahead.

Jim Collison 32:53

You've mentioned this, both of you have mentioned this, new opportunities. And what's been interesting since, you know, we've been home 7 weeks at this point -- that's kind of -- not that I'm counting the number of weeks but what we know --

Hannah Miller 33:06

Have you got something etched on the wall?

Jim Collison 33:08

I do, I do. They never let me out of this space! You can't see it, but there's walls. there's concrete walls around me. That's not true. But the -- as we think about new opportunities, you know, here we are, we're broadcasting early in the morning in the United States; afternoon for you guys. Usually for Called to Coach, when we do it in Europe, I'd get a handful of people. As I'm looking at the number, we have 35 out there, which is a great number for a Called to Coach this early in the U.K. I do think there are -- that people are more receptive now. Hannah, are -- you've gotta be sensing that through this, through this series, that people are just more open and willing to kind of connect maybe now more than they were before? Are you feeling that?

Hannah Miller 33:50

Yeah, I do feel that. I feel that is a definite increase in connection that's going on in a different kind of way. People are reaching out; people are -- the amount of sort of personal messages that I've been getting in terms of connection has definitely increased as an appetite for this, especially people who are really feeling that sense of disconnection that they were looking for different ways to connect. And there does seem to be a thing that I've noticed: Quite a few people who are considering purpose and considering direction at the moment, or what I do, am I doing it as well as I could be? So some of the bigger questions of Who am I in this? And is this, is this the role I want? Am I doing the thing that I'm meant to be? There's quite a bit of that pondering going on.

Hannah Miller 34:31

So I've actually had just in the last 5 weeks, I counted it up yesterday. I think I had 11 women get in touch for personal one-to-one coaching -- women I don't know. Literally some -- a couple of them I do know or, were contacts of contacts. But there's this sort of moment and pause where people are going, Maybe this is a moment to me, for me to think about myself here and my own development. So definitely think there's opportunity and there is an appetite for this. And people maybe have the head space to think about it -- although I feel as stretched and stacked as always, it is a different. It is different, isn't it?

Jim Collison 35:09

Let me, let me just "call an audible" on this one and ask the two of you this question because you both have teenage children who are now like, ha ha. But it seems to be, like people seem to be figuring it out. We're getting close to the end -- at least here in the United States, we're getting close to the end of the school year. It's we're going to go into our summer months where the kids would be home anyways. Do you think -- and this, Hannah, you'd said a second ago, you know, had these women contact you. And then in the chat room, somebody said, Oh, we're getting more comfortable with video, and I think this whole thing has opened up. You're doing this series, these 3-minute videos, more people are online, more people are seeing them. We're doing more videoconferencing. Are the kids having the same experience? So are your teenagers now more comfortable because they've had to do some school online maybe or they've had to talk to their class? We -- I hear a lot of that going on. How are the -- how are your kids doing through this, through this time? And taking a strengths-based approach to that or the work that they're doing with the communication that they're having to do, is it making a difference for them as well? Let me just throw that out too. Let me, Anna, let me start with you on that one. How are your kids doing through this?

Anna Sawyer 36:17

Yeah, it's a great question. So I think, I think there's kind of -- mine are a little polarized. So I've got 4 kids. My eldest, you know, has stopped midway through her second year at university, she's not a happy bunny. Initially, she really didn't want to be at home, she was kind of missing her friends and that independence that you have. So that, that was kind of, I think, the hardest transition. She's kind of figured it out now. And, you know, fortunately we all get along pretty well, which is, which is good. We also, and I should probably, you know, kind of recognize the fact that we are not in a city center. So we are very, very fortunate to have a bit of space, I think 6 of us in a, you know, small central, you know, city location, we would probably not be quite as harmonious as we otherwise are.

Anna Sawyer 37:04

I think, you know, probably Hannah and -- we talked about this, you know, I've got a 17-year-old son, he's really chomping at the bit; missing his friends. I think as a 17-year-old myself, I was probably out breaking a few rules and not necessarily wanting to be under mom and dad's kind of eyeballs the whole time. So it's kind of finding -- I think, you know, strengths-based parenting, there's a whole lot of mileage in that right now. And I've, I've reread my book and just kind of thinking about, you know, how I show up in that role and recognizing who they are as well. For the younger two, they're loving it. I think there is a huge amount of opportunity. I'm not an educator, but this kind of autonomous learning, they just love it. So they've figured out -- they're younger, but they've just figured out that, you know, the quicker I get this done, the quicker I can focus on things I really want to do as well. So actually the upside for them is being outdoors more, you know, kind of messing around, you know, in the fresh air which, you know, I was rereading Tom Rath's Eat, Move, Sleep. And, and actually it's happening kind of, you know, organically because of them having more time to plan and use themselves. So yeah, long answer but, but --

Jim Collison 38:12

No, good. Hannah, you came out of that space. How are your kids faring in -- at this -- ?

Hannah Miller 38:19

Well, that's it. I can "crack the whip" at home as the next -- no, it hasn't been like that at all. But I think I would just concur with Anna that they are really different and handling it in different ways, but doing really well and seeing the bright side. I think one of the things that, that's harder across the board is they're not having a connection with friends, although they are part of a youth group. And they're, they're having that, that they're using all sorts of online stuff to keep them connected.

Hannah Miller 38:42

My eldest is incredibly driven and works really hard. And his biggest concern has been how might -- same age as yours, Anna, 17, A Levels, and feeling like How will I know that I've got my predicted grades for my uni application or lots of big questions. He's got Futuristic, he's got Focus, he's got Achiever, he's got Discipline, he's got Competition, he's got Maximizer. And for him, he's just actually got his head down and worked really hard. But one -- and he's OK with the season we're in, but actually desperate -- he loves to learn and wants to get back to that. So he hasn't needed a lot of direction from me; mainly just to tell him to not worry about the things that are outside of his control, and that there will be a new plan for those lower 6 in terms of how they do predict his grades, and not to worry. He's not alone; the entire country's in the same boat.

Hannah Miller 39:28

Then my second son is very sociable, and really more, he's like this a bit more in terms of how he's feeling. Some days, he's fine with the way it is. And other days, he's like, it's quite funny. He'll say to me, "Oh, I can't believe school might come back!" And then the next minute, he'll say, "I can't wait to go to school!" He can feel 100 things in one day, but actually, he's found a really good rhythm and found a way to connect with friends. He likes me to work in the room that he's in. That's the really interesting thing about his strength. I'm not doing anything; I'm nearby.

Hannah Miller 39:58

And then my youngest is turning to secondary ... he is really enjoying this and was ready for secondary. So for him, this has come as a bit of a blessing. Yes, it was quite difficult for him. And he's getting to do lots of autonomous learning, just just like you said. We set him up with the things to do, but, and he gets cracking. But to go back to what you said, Jim, this -- the response from schools across the country is very different, and how they're handling safeguarding in terms of video teaching is actually the challenge. So my own -- and they're also open to "key worker" children. So they're having to prepare for those children who are in the building, and the children who are at home. So my eldest son has been having some online lessons. My youngest son's had a couple middle sensory; my youngest son hasn't had the online stuff apart from his teacher. So his drum teacher sit, we put the call -- buy a set of drums, you can watch what he's doing. I need to be nearby and off they go.

Hannah Miller 40:56

So there is quite a varied response. My heart breaks for the families that are not in the position that Anna and mine are in, who are living in conditions of poverty and do not have rhythm, and they are going to struggle with a return to school. And that's where we're going to find the hardest, I think, for those that have got parents who are dealing with lots of pressures that Anna and I are not dealing with, and how we make sure that they are not losing the momentum that they had. Long answer, but it isn't -- it's because it's quite a nuanced thing, to be honest.

Jim Collison 41:26

Yeah, no, we, in fact, I'm doing a show on Thursday night, talking with some educators about how this crisis has changed the way we do education. And we have a story of a school district that sent out all their buses with hotspots on them and just parked them and turned the hotspots on

Hannah Miller 41:40

That's a really good idea.

Jim Collison 41:40

So that the students during the day would have the opportunity -- might as well use those resources, and, and -- we've gone a little bit off topic. Let me get back to Gary here really quick. He had one final question for you, Hannah. What would you say has been your best achievement so far as a "sidekick" helping individuals, teams, organizations achieve success? You can brag on yourself -- because the chat room asked, you have to. One of your best achievements. What's, what's been -- what makes you smile? That's, that's maybe a better way to -- yeah.

Hannah Miller 42:10

Honestly, in my in my teaching career, the most privileged thing I did was to be good at teaching learning to a ... that was really facing very big challenges. But in my coaching career, some of the things that really make my heart leap are actually when an individual -- even if it's been part of a team or organization or thing -- gets in touch with me and says, "This has really made a difference to me. I now do this because of that." ... Tangibly say, look at this wonderful productivity or profitability outcome, but somebody who says, you know, I'm leading quite differently. I've let myself off the hook about this now because I realized that's not what I'm meant to be doing. I'm leading more authentically than I ever was before. So I also -- I love it when ... and they say, I'm going to train in a different thing because my coach is really -- I've had quite a few people who've gone on to do different things with their lives because of the coaching. They've had one training to be a play therapist, another one, a probation officer, another one setting their business doing completely different things because "the penny's dropped" about what they're meant to do. So those parts of my job are massively enjoyable to me. And honestly, I've got Woo and Communication. So I love the feedback! I love feedback! I love it when people say, "Well done!" I'm better with that than, "You didn't do very well. ... That's just total honesty. Don't tell me I was rubbish. I don't want to know.

Jim Collison 43:37

Hannah, you and I are two peas in a pod. Anna, I want to throw it back to you. I don't want to tempt the internet gods too much longer. We've had great connectivity with Hannah, and it's getting a little, getting a little crazy, but Anna, anything coming up that you want to highlight, especially in the region, although we're not meeting together, we have some virtual options and let's thank Hannah for her time here as well.

Anna Sawyer 44:00

Yeah, absolutely. So, so any of our alumni are really looking forward to seeing you on Thursday for, for our first virtual experiment. And yeah, Hannah, I just want to say thank you so much for the opportunity to have a chat today. It's a pleasure having you as part of our alumni group. I love the energy that you're creating in our local market and beyond, so I guess the one question I wanted to leave you with was, How did the boys feel about their mom becoming a you know, social media famous superstar?

Hannah Miller 44:34

Actually, they love that! They really love it. They're really positive about it. It could be massive cringe, couldn't it, that your mom is doing all this. We say "mom" in Birmingham, by the way, which is like America, we say "m-o-m" -- it's strange just to think about the middle of the country; nowhere else. No, actually, they've been really positive. They're very sort of, "Go, mom!" about things, and I'm very grateful for that.

Anna Sawyer 44:57

Oh, I love that. Love that!

Jim Collison 44:59

Good. And Hannah, I want to say thanks for just continuing to do that work kind of with us as we think about those themes, and we think about the work. I'm excited for the second series. Get the first one finished before you move on to the second one, right? There's always that, there's always that temptation and, and we appreciate your work that you're doing out there. It was fun to see those start popping up on my LinkedIn, you know, on my LinkedIn profile, and watching those every day, as those popped up. And so I appreciate the work that you're doing there as well.

Jim Collison 45:30

If you're listening live, hang tight with us for one second. I'll remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available now on our new Gallup Access platform. You can access that really easy: Go to If you actually, if you sign in there, it'll take you right to your strengths page. Maybe you're watching this, and you're like, "I don't actually don't know that much about CliftonStrengths." Well, the good news is there's lots of information out there for you on that page. We've got a lot of great resources available -- again, go out to If you do have any questions you can send us an email as well: While you're on our site, at the very bottom of it is actually a sign-up for the CliftonStrengths Community Newsletter. We send that every month; great way for you to stay in contact with all the things that are going on and just stay up-to-date on everything that's happened. You can sign up, they're completely free. If you had fun today, and you're like, Oh, man, I want to do live more often! And who wouldn't want to do live more often? You can join us on our Eventbrite page: Go to If you create an account, sign up, follow us there, I'll send you a notification every time we post something new. And there's a complete list out through July. I'll keep you busy 3 or 4 days a week! Like if you want to come out and see these things, they're all available out there for you as well. The 2020 Gallup at Work Summit has gone completely virtual and we're kind of excited about that. Anybody can join from anywhere around the world at a great price. And so if you haven't signed up yet for the summit, we'd love to have you do that as well. If you want to see all the things that are going on with our summit, they're happening at and you can see the complete list of the agenda. Because we're doing it virtually, the agenda has changed. We are one day, but -- and like I said, anywhere in the world. We're going to have lots of things going on there that June 2 and the details are Join us on our Facebook group: If you want to join us on LinkedIn, just search CliftonStrengths -- CliftonStrengths -- it's easy to say: "CliftonStrengths Trained Coaches" and, and ask to be invited to that group, and I will let you in. We'll do a little bit of postshow. We want to thank you if you're joining us live, we want to thank you for coming out. If you're listening to the recording, probably just keep -- hit "Play," and it'll go on to the next one. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Hannah Miller's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Woo, Communication, Developer, Empathy and Belief.

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

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