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Create a Culture That Inspires: Name, Claim, Aim Strengths

Create a Culture That Inspires: Name, Claim, Aim Strengths

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series
  • Season 8, Episode 42
  • Learn how to build a strengths-based culture in your organization as we explore the Name it, Claim it, Aim it model for developing your CliftonStrengths.
  • Interested in learning more on this topic? Read more about how to improve teamwork in the workplace.

Jessica Dawson, Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup, was our guest on a recent Called to Coach. In Part 1 of a Create a Culture That Inspires series, Jessica explored the "how" of building a strengths-based culture in your organization, through Gallup's "Name it, Claim it, Aim it" model that is taught in the Accelerated Strengths Coaching [now Gallup Global Strengths Coach] course. Organizations often have questions on how to proceed after their employees have taken the CliftonStrengths assessment and have their results. Jessica brings helpful insights on the next steps organizations, managers -- and the CliftonStrengths Coaches who are assisting them -- can take to develop their employees' strengths and apply them in the workplace.

Access Create a Culture That Inspires, Part 2, and Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10 and Part 11 of the Create a Culture That Inspires series.


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 May 8, 2020.

Jim Collison 0:18

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 listening live, love to have you join us in our chat room -- a great way to interact during the program. Just link right above me on the live page. It'll take you to YouTube. Sign into the chat room; love to have you there. If you're listening to the recorded or podcast version of this, you can always send us an email: Don't forget, if you're on YouTube, you can subscribe. And I mentioned that word "podcast"; if you haven't found us in a podcast player, either on iPhone or Android, you can find us there as well. Search "Gallup Webcasts" and subscribe to us on those platforms. Jessica Dawson is our host today. Jessica is a Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup, and Jessica, always great to see you. Welcome back to Called to Coach!

Jessica Dawson 1:06

Oh, it's always so good to see you as well, Jim! Excited to be here and, and have a chat and talk about strengths.

Jim Collison 1:12

Yeah, no, great, great to have you. We are doing this series, this "Culture That Inspires" series really based on the previous series that we did with Robert, around the 5 Steps of Building a Strengths-Based Culture. And so that lays out that, that series, available now -- all 5 available on our website, if you want to head out and catch up on those. All 5 of those really build a framework for like, what, if we're going to do a strengths-based culture inside an organization, here's how -- here's some of the components we need. That's kind of the "what." Now we're going to kind of do the "how," right.

Jim Collison 1:46

We're going to spend some time over the next several weeks here with different guests. You're going to lead us out today on it, and kind of, now, what's the practical application of this, right? In our training, if folks come out and take our ASC course to become a coach, one of the very first units they cover is this idea of "Name it, Claim it and Aim it," right, in this process. And we're going to spend a little bit of time going through -- certainly not replacing what we do in the course, but for the, for the average strengths user, for someone thinking about like, man, how could I use this to help in my organization? And I think it's a step. And it doesn't come naturally, because I just talked to a group of folks who were saying, who they'd bought CliftonStrengths for everybody. And then they were like, now what? And so I think this area of Name it, Claim it and Aim it is, is, would be really great if we'd spend some time going through that. So, Jessica, from a developmental process standpoint, can you give, give us an overview of this framework of this Name it, Claim it and Aim it?

Jessica Dawson 2:45

Yes. And I love your verbiage of "I bought this thing; I took the assessment. Now what exactly do I do with it?" Right? So Name it, Claim it, Aim it is a fantastic framework to really get started. We know that the report is really simply a starting point for folks. So this framework is, is, is meant to help along that developmental process. And I remember I was, I was leading with Austin Suellentrop, who you all likely know. But back when he used to lead courses, he said something in one of our classes that really stuck with me. He said, Let's say if I was in front of the room, and I spilled coffee all over myself. One of you would like, likely get up to make sure that I was OK. Another one of you might get up to go get me towels. Another one of you might actually sit and think, how did she -- how did I do that to myself? Right. And I think that that is a great way to describe the fact that we all have a unique filtering system.

Jessica Dawson 3:45

So when we get our report, we're seeing ourselves sometimes for the first time. Sometimes it's revalidating some things that we already know, but the Name it, Claim it, Aim it process is a cyclical process to continue to have you discover, then really understand the tools that are in your toolkit. And then from there, put all of that good self-discovery into action by aiming your, your actual talents at specific outcomes. If you wanted to say Name it, Claim it a little bit -- "Name it, Claim it, Aim it" a little bit differently, I've even heard people say, "Learn it, Love it and Live it." And I think that that also embodies what -- where we're going with the Name it, Claim it, Aim it process.

Jessica Dawson 4:29

I think the biggest miss -- the miss -- the biggest misconception that people have about the framework is that it is linear, but it's not. It's actually cyclical. And you can be anywhere in the process and need to jump to another component, right. So, for example, I could be in a place where I did a lot of self-discovery, be at Aiming it, and then have a new "Aha!" epiphany about a nuance about one of my strengths, and I'm jumping right back to Naming it. So it's excellent because it endlessly unpacks, and that journey never really ends for you.

Jim Collison 5:04

I was excited when this came up -- when this topic came up, when we started talking about it, because I find sometimes in our communities, in our strengths communities, we're really good at the Naming it part. And I jokingly say, sometimes we, we spend our time doing, Name it, Name it and Name it, where we -- all we do is talk about it, right? Where it doesn't become an actionable item and doesn't lead to successful outcomes. Let's kind of break this down. Let's break this framework down. We're going to talk about Name it, but I'm excited to kind of dig into the Claim it and Aim it as well. Why don't you start with Name it for us? What's that framework?

Jessica Dawson 5:34

Yeah, so Naming it is really about a person going through that continuous process of understanding how their strengths show up for them, and putting a name to those patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Right. So a lot of times we will have folks read their, their report, circle and highlight the words and phrases that really resonate with them, start to think about how their strengths show up with them, you know, in their lifetime and their work at home, etc. And I remember you and Dean actually did a really great 3-part series on Strengths Training Basics, What's Next? And he breaks down this so beautifully, because I think the other thing that sometimes can happen within this Naming it process is if people don't have a really clear foundational understanding of what their themes are, it's easy to start labeling. And it's also easy to mistake one theme from another theme. Right?

Jessica Dawson 6:29

So to quote Dean, This is not a Rorschach [blot], right? So you do need to have a foundational understanding of what is it that Gallup means about these themes, and then from there, you are going to expand your knowledge and have a broader understanding of, for me personally, how does this theme show up for me, right? And so, at least a bare minimum, you've got 6 months' work -- worth of work --ahead of you, but then it continuously you will discover new things about yourself. I literally discover new things about myself every day based on the strengths. And I took this back in 2010. So the Naming it piece is about putting a name to those talents.

Jim Collison 7:12

Do these, are there nuances? I mean, certainly, right, as we think about this idea, What does it mean for me? That really does add some nuances. When, when those come into conflict, Jessica, how do we -- kind of how do you -- what advice do you give on handling that when there may be differing opinions?

Jessica Dawson 7:29

I think that feelings are facts to the person that's feeling them always. And as a coach, that should make you curious, right? Or as you're rolling this out, and maybe two people have Achiever and they see it differently, or maybe it shows up for them differently. I think that all of that is a beautiful place to have a deeper conversation and for us to understand what's really happening there. Sometimes it could be a little bit of theme dynamics that's coming in, or maybe it's not just my Achiever strength that I'm talking about, but maybe it's my Achiever and my Context and some of these other things. And sometimes the theme just shows up differently. Right? Yeah.

Jim Collison 8:09

It's, it's a big point. And we won't spend too much time digging into that. But it's a big point, especially in a community, when we think about building a strengths-based culture and you have everybody talking the language. Sometimes folks will get hooked on a definition. And they're like, "No, this is it because this is the way it is for me," not necessarily understanding that we all have a different set of theme dynamics that things play into this. Maika and I spend an enormous amount of time talking about this on Theme Thursday. We have 6 seasons, and we're just scratching the surface on all the different things that can happen there. So the Name it piece, I think people are pretty good at. What about Claim it? What about Claim it? Maybe a little harder?

Jessica Dawson 8:47

Yeah. So Claiming it is all about an awareness and appreciation of your strengths, you know, it's a deeper level of understanding. It's really being able to catch yourself red-handed, utilizing your strength. So those moments when you say, "Oh, there's my Consistency or those, there's my Responsibility," right, you're in that Claiming it piece. I think the other thing that, that happens within, within Claiming it is, you know, it's easy to kind of settle on my strengths or things that help me. But the other thing that happens within Claiming it is, you start to understand the totality of how your strength shows up. And in reality, our strengths are a tremendous help for us, but they can also really hinder us.

Jessica Dawson 9:29

So Claiming it is also that, that, that getting the "lay of the land" of your strength and how it may actually get in the way of you or other people around you and their success. So being able to be in more of a control of your strengths is important, because when you're not managing your strengths, your strengths will be managing you, right. So we talk a lot about helping versus hindering, or balconies versus basements. We also talk about tips and having a better understanding of when your strengths are hindering you so that you can start to correct it. Maybe you're using another strength; maybe you're stepping away for a second, and stepping more into that rational part of your brain, as opposed to the emotional part of your brain, which is where our talent is housed. It's also where you get to fall deeply in love with your strengths, right? So sometimes we like our strengths and love other people's, but this is where you get to fall in love with exactly who you are and you understand the power and edge of what that means.

Jim Collison 10:30

So taking a standard definition, making it -- or understanding it enough to make it our own. And then my favorite part, what about Aiming it?

Jessica Dawson 10:38

Yes, Aiming it! It's where the rubber meets the road. Right? We often say that it's not enough to just know your strengths; you must also take responsibility for actually using them. And I'll even go a step further and say that in your usage, it should enhance your performance and uplift the performance of other people around you. So Aiming it is where we get to demonstrate that. I now have all of this newfound self-discovery, newfound understanding about how I'm landing with my colleagues, maybe with my team, maybe even within the entire organization. What am I going to do about it? Right? So you have to be very intentional about aiming your strengths at a specific outcome; it could be at a specific goal. But the main point of the philosophy is to do -- you do this most effectively when you have that level of self-awareness, right. So you, you, you bring fresh eyes to your goals; you bring fresh, a fresh lens to those, maybe those obstacles that you're facing, because I have much more of a self-discovery, and strengths is the "how" I'm going to get to that outcome. Right. So a lot of times in our courses, we actually talk about doing an IDP. I know I talked about that the last time I was on, but an IDP is a great way to actually craft a plan. And I also like the idea of being able to measure the goal of the or the obstacle that's important to you, and putting a number or a quantifiable measurement so that you can see, I'm actually closing the gap while utilizing the tools in my toolkit.

Jim Collison 12:15

Yeah, Aiming, goal setting, IDP stands for "Individual Development Plan"; those are available inside our kits for our coaches to have that. It's just a process to work through these themes that they turn into actual talents that can be focused on something that you use, and you can create some goals around that. A very, very, very simple process. And so, Jessica, as we think about that framework, then, what, what type of culture would allow for this type of framework to thrive? Give us some examples of that.

Jessica Dawson 12:44

Yeah, you know, it's, it's gonna be a culture where people are actually able to be vulnerable, right? Some of you on the line likely have heard of Dr. Brene Brown, and she talks a lot about vulnerability, and she, she says that vulnerability is being brave and afraid at the same time. So, very much needed within this whole Clifton StrengthsFinder developmental journey, because you are not just exploring how your strengths show up, and how your strengths are fantastic; you're also exploring the vulnerabilities of your your talents, of your strengths. And if you're not in an environment where you feel safe to do that, it can really hinder the trajectory of the philosophy really being rooted in the culture.

Jessica Dawson 13:30

We know from our research within the workplace that there is this shift in terms of expectations that's happening. We know that workers want development, more now maybe than ever before. And managers and people-leaders, who are the bedrock of any organization, they're going to have to really find the balance between the commander, the collaborator, and the coach, and that's really tough, right? So I think it does take that culture of vulnerability, but you know, we also have to prepare our managers and people-leaders to be able to actually do that. And I think it's also a culture where, where we're able to actually pour into that emotional economy. At Gallup, we often refer to it as "behavioral economics." Right? So behavioral economics is, is really the, the role that emotions play in any decision that we're making. So, the behavioral economics piece is huge. It's not just about having a job; it's also about how is that job developing me, preparing me, right? So that needs to be deeply, deeply rooted. And this whole idea of performance development should be at the forefront within your culture. It's about creating expectations, having managers and people-leaders that can actually coach people, so that, that should be ongoing. It should be in a continuous fashion, and then creating that accountability. So strengths can be peppered in all throughout the performance development journey. And it can have a really big impact on the discovery process of that Name it, Claim it, Aim it.

Jim Collison 15:06

If I was trying to find the clues of this happening in an organization, I might be looking or I just might myself want to set some goals of what it could look like. At the organizational level, what kind of, what kind of things would we look for?

Jessica Dawson 15:18

Yeah, you know, I think, accountability and recognition are two ways that oftentimes will define a culture, right? So the way that you hold people accountable, and also the way that you recognize; it can run the gamut within any organization. But understanding how your organization is doing that right now can help you to see where is the doorway into embedding this philosophy. Right. So maybe we do that through, you know, monthly meetings that we have, where we get all of the senior leaders together. Maybe we embed strengths there. We maybe we embed some of this philosophy there, for example.

Jessica Dawson 15:58

I think it also is investing -- the willingness to invest in building those internal capabilities. Right. So part of that is budget, but then also part of it is having a senior-most decision, like, decision-maker on board with this. But building internal coaches and/or manager training is also a great way to start to equip a culture for this whole Name it, Claim it, Aim it philosophy as well. And, and I say that the training is important because once a person is equipped, and also has experienced the development on their own, they can actually then go out and create it for other people. Right. So a lot of our courses and a lot of our, our strengths-based types of experiences, you actually go through the developmental process for yourself, and that makes it so much easier to create it for someone else.

Jim Collison 16:54

What could this look like at the local or, or at the management level? So we say, you know, in the 5 Steps of Building a Strengths-Based Culture, we've got to have kind of CEO, manage -- top management. What does it look like there, if we're thinking at the, at the manager level?

Jessica Dawson 17:10

Yes. And such a great question, too, because, again, managers and people-leaders -- the bedrock of any organization, and they almost create that microculture, right? So perhaps at that manager level, there are some more touchpoints around Name it, Claim it, Aim it, perhaps that manager, those people leaders, they're closer to seeing people use their, their strengths or their talents in action. So because they have that higher locus of control, perhaps it's, you know, maybe at our team meeting, we're spending the first 5 to 10 minutes where you get to maybe recognize a peer, or I'm going to do some recognition of people having their strengths in action. Right. So I think it's those, those little steps that can start to help frame up the conversation and equip folks to, to change the way that they interact with people and also change the way that they see themselves.

Jim Collison 18:07

Yeah, and actually following that framework in recognition, especially from leadership, is a very, very powerful tool to say, This is what I saw; this is how it was used; these are the outcomes. I think sometimes, you know, in recognition, we want to say, Nice job, or what? Like, like, Oh, it's so great that you came to work today! Or what, right? I mean, and so, I think we can think, as leaders and coaches, you can spend time teaching leaders that recognition framework works as well for this Name it, Claim it and Aim it as you talk about what you did. What was the impact? What did it actually do? Like, what were the numbers on that? And so, as we think about small steps organizations can take to get started, maybe like that one organization that contacted me, and they were like, What's next? What would you, what would you recommend? What are some small steps they can start taking?

Jessica Dawson 19:00

Yeah, I think actually creating some visibility of talent could -- and that could mean anything from having people list their strengths in their email signatures to having a team strengths session. So anything that you can do to start to, to gain traction around the initiative, then also start to have people understand their talents and how they're showing up. It not only starts the conversation, but it generates a buzz, right, people start to get excited about it. And then people don't just hold those experiences in; they share them with other people throughout the organization. So I think as long as you can start to have touchpoints or even conversation starters, it's really helpful. And I think you all will find Part 2 of this really helpful, because we're going to start to talk about some of those more tactical ways to implement this framework as well.

Jim Collison 19:57

Yeah, no, we've got a bunch of suggestions coming. And so If you're listening in the podcast, or you're listening on YouTube, you can probably just fast-forward to the next one; get started on that one. And we're going to give you a bunch of very, very tactical ideas on the way to get started with this. Jessica, thank you for spending this first time kind of outlining the Name it, Claim it and Aim it framework, I think, a great overview of that and appreciate that as well. With that, a couple reminders. One, if you want to take advantage of all the resources we have available, you can now visit Pretty easy to remember. Lots of links, lots of resources, lots of things available, and really the best way to log in to Gallup Access because it'll take you right to your, to your strengths page. That's available there, the dashboard. While you're there, sign up for the CliftonStrengths Community Newsletter, available for you each and every month. We just put one out. And we'd love to have you sign up for that. Give us your email; we won't spam you. And send that to, send that to us, and we'll get that to you in your Inbox each and every month. If you have questions, you can email us: If you want to follow our live events, follow us on Eventbrite: will get you there. We'd love to have you join us for the June 2, now virtual, Gallup at Work Summit that -- just announced a couple weeks ago, gone completely virtual. You can do it from the comfort of your own home, no matter where you are, or do it -- do it with some folks -- gather some folks virtually and experience it together that way. We'd love to have you do it. Everything -- agenda has been, been released and everything available for you, including pricing, is out there, head out to and get to register today. You have until June 1, 2020. But don't delay and get that done. If you want to join us in our, in our social groups, go to Or on LinkedIn, search "CliftonStrengths Trained Coaches." If you're listening live, stay around for Part 2. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Jessica Dawson's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Futuristic, Relator, Activator, Developer and Individualization.

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

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