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Thriving as a Coach and as a Person During the Pandemic

Thriving as a Coach and as a Person During the Pandemic

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series
  • Season 8, Episode 62
  • Dean Jones joins the webcast to share his thoughts on how, in view of COVID-19, coaches can make the most of their lives, now and in the days ahead.
  • Interested in learning more on this topic? Read more about how to improve teamwork in the workplace.

Dean Jones, Senior Learning Expert at Gallup, was our guest on a recent Called to Coach. Dean discussed the challenges that people around the world are facing with the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, including how coaches should approach their lives and their work. This included:

  • Acknowledging that many of the pandemic-related changes have been hard
  • Moving to a more realistic mindset about the duration of the pandemic and the associated change
  • Seeing the opportunities that have opened up, professionally and personally, and how to take advantage of them

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

There's always people that will tell you that they love change. ... But ... I have come to learn that people only really love change when they can see it coming and when they can control it.

Dean Jones, 5:34

How do you start to use this time in a way that it ... becomes a powerful time for you, ... becomes a time that kind of propels you forward? First and foremost, this is a time for self-reflection.

Dean Jones, 12:41

I also think it's a time to be of service to others. ... Never before has our world really needed Strengths Coaches more than they need Strengths Coaches now.

Dean Jones, 26:08

Jim Collison 0:00

I am Jim Collison, and live from our studios around the world, this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on August 4, 2020.

Jim Collison 0:19

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. Actually, on our live page, there's a link right above me there. It'll take you to the YouTube instance. Sign in with your Google account and join us in chat. If you have questions after the fact, you can send us an email: Don't forget, if you're on YouTube there, subscribe. Just a great way to stay up with everything that's going on here. And if you want to listen to us as a podcast, you can find us on any podcast app. Just search "Gallup Webcasts" and you will see us there. Dean Jones is our host today. Dean's a Senior Learning Expert at Gallup. And that sounds super important. Dean, welcome to Called to Coach!

Dean Jones 1:04

Thank you. Thank you for having me here today.

Jim Collison 1:07

We are glad to have you. I think, as you and I were kind of brainstorming a little bit on what we wanted to talk to about the coaches today, you know, there's been a lot of reaction to the pandemic that's going on. It's August 2020. I think a lot of folks thought we'd be out of it by now; we are still in the midst of it. And I think there's still a lot to go. We really wanted to encourage coaches to -- that during this time, there's been some changes that have happened, and, and some of them have been difficult; some of them have given us new opportunities. I wanted to focus or spend some time talking with you about that. I think you have some unique insights [on] this and some opportunities still yet, I think, for coaches to lean into this a little bit. And so let's take a few minutes. Dean, what kind of thoughts do you have on this?

Jim Collison 1:44

Yeah, absolutely. I am, I am excited and actually looking forward to this topic. So yeah, just to, just to like replay the tape here, I, Jim and I saw this coming up on the calendar. And I called Jim and I said, "What should I talk about? What's out there? What's should I talk about?" And Jim, Jim said, Gosh, you know, it feels like it would be great for you to talk about where people are at now, and how people can like make the most of this time, you know. How do you, how do you figure out how to navigate this time?

Dean Jones 2:24

So I really started thinking about it. And, and I've got a lot to share today. You know, I think this is a little bit different than a normal Called to Coach. And so I want to -- here's what I'd love to talk about today. It's -- we were talking about like, what to call this right. And initially, I was going to call this "Your Comeback Strategy." Right. But I don't think this is really about coming back. I think this is really about living. And, you know, we're calling this one "Living Through the Pandemic." And I think this is really about How are you living your life right now, so that you're making the most of your life right now, during this time? Not just surviving this time, or waiting for it to be over, but how are you living during this time and making the most of, of what this time is, right?

Dean Jones 3:13

I think, by anybody's account, this has been an incredible year. Right? This has been an extraordinary year. We are living through a time that people are going to discuss and study and analyze for generations to come. This, this year has been extraordinary by any other, any measure, and, you know, this is one that the grandkids are gonna say, What was it like then? Right? And, and we'll make -- oh, we'll all make up crazy stories, right? But it's really been unprecedented. You know, this is the year when a global pandemic shut the world down. And it's really taxing all of our ability, all of our medical resources, all of our healthcare resources. It's impacting people we care about. This is --we are in the midst of, in the midst of it.

Dean Jones 4:02

We are in, you know, I read an article in The New York Times this morning, you know, we are in really an unprecedented economic difficulty. And it's really a global difficulty. It's putting extraordinary pressure on our global economy and all the network of relationships -- company relationships, country relationships -- that support our global economy. And, you know, there are many who say, Gosh, it is going to be, it may be, we may be dealing with this for the rest of our generation, right, you know, and generations to come, this economic difficulty that we're in the middle of.

Dean Jones 4:40

We have, we're in the middle of a historic awakening and awareness around racism, that, that I think, never more broadly have become people become aware of how racism is systemic, and how discrimination is really embedded in so many aspects of our society. So many, so many, and that really the impact that racism has, racism has on friends and colleagues and communities. So, you know, we're in the midst of this really, really difficult, extraordinary time. And as part of that, we're dealing with a huge amount of uncertainty and ambiguity. There's just a lot of uncertainty about what this means and what this is going to do, and what does this, how will this translate? And, you know, so it's just a really challenging time. And that's actually really hard.

Dean Jones 5:31

I always laugh when, you know, there's people that, there's always people that will tell you that they love change, right. And I will tell you that, you know, like, and I think I was one of those people that said, "You know, I love change," right. But I will tell you that over the years, I have come to learn that people only really love change when they can see it coming and when they can control it, right. We love the change that is, you know, obviously that we anticipate and that we can manage, right? Change that's unpredictable, unexpected, uncontrollable, that's always painful. You know, it's always just really, really hard.

Dean Jones 6:09

So we're right in the middle of all of this. And while we want to think and we really have moved through some part of it, we've probably not moved through as much of it as we think we have, you know. That, I mean, I don't mean to be -- I'm not by nature a pessimistic guy. But I, I do, I do think there's a good dose of realism for all of us, that this is probably the beginning of something that's gonna last a long time. And it's, it's going to be really hard for us to know how much of this is ahead of us. And that, excuse me, there's a lot of science every day that, that the kind of issues we're dealing with, the impact of those issues, the difficulties that, that result from them are going to be with us for a long time, right.

Dean Jones 6:58

So I think that there's some power for all of us in kind of telling the truth about it, you know. I do think, I do think, I get this sense, and you know, I read a lot. So I get this sense that, right, I think for some -- to some degree, people have been holding their breath. And, you know, it's kind of like, OK, I'm holding my breath. I'm waiting for this to be over. I do get the sense recently that people are starting to say, Hey, you know what? This is, I'm now realizing this is going to go on for a little bit, you know?

Jim Collison 7:30

Yeah, Dean, I, I think, and I hear, because I'm talking to the community a lot, I think we all kind of anticipated Oh, a couple months. And, you know, we'll pass through this and it'll be fine. And to your point, I think we have some long-term changes that are going to stay with us. It's changed some things for the good; it's made some things more difficult. I think today I want you to drill in or dig in, especially when we think about how our coaches think about this. Because there are unprecedented opportunities ahead as people are discovering new jobs, new opportunities for themselves, new things about themselves, right, you talked a little bit about, there's been a little, a little bit of an awakening. And, and I think that's causing people to really think about who they are and where they fit in this. How do our coaches as, as you look forward on this -- and you could give some coaching to the coaches in this area, what would you say to them?

Dean Jones 8:31

I just think, first of all, I know that people are in different places, Jim. I know that people are in different places. I think some people -- it's interesting, Jacque Merritt and I some months ago were talking about this, a couple of months ago, that, you know, there are people that are really thriving in the middle of all of this. It -- this is really giving people an opportunity, some people an opportunity to step back, and they are able to refocus. And they still have their jobs; they still have their health; they're safe. They're able to refocus. So for some people, they're really thriving in the middle of this.

Dean Jones 9:05

For some people, it's really been the opposite. They're really having difficulty, and sometimes those difficulties are real, tangible difficulties. They've lost their, their employment or they've lost clients. And they're really struggling with that. They may be dealing with illness. They may be dealing with either unemployment or underemployment. They may be dealing, they may have financial struggles. So I know -- I I don't want to be Pollyanna about this. I know people are dealing with some real stuff, right?

Dean Jones 9:32

I think also, there are other people that are, as I said before, kind of waiting, waiting, trying to wait it out. And in some ways are sort of emotionally "on hold." Right. I'm like, it's like, "I'm gonna watch Netflix. Let me know when this is over." Right, you know. And so it's like, Hey, I, you know, I'm just gonna kind of wait it out. I'm gonna hunker down and wait it out. Right? I think we got to -- it's the thing you said I think is the right -- one is, I think that we have to confront that maybe the "normal" that we knew before this may never return. That the normal that it was that we knew, it may, it may not go back that way. And if it does, it's not likely to look like it did before this all happened.

Dean Jones 10:19

You know, people talk about the coronavirus and say, you know, like, I heard a health expert the other day saying, Gosh, this is going to be with us for the rest of our lifetimes, right. So I don't know if that's true or not. But I do think that we, we can't live in the fantasy that somehow someday we're going to wake up and it's all over and everything's just going to go back to the way it was, right. At least for some foreseeable future, we're going to dealing with -- deal with this.

Dean Jones 10:44

So to your point, I think there's some coaching for the coaches. I think there's some coaching around, around this. And I, you know, I wanted to share some kind of some coaching and some advice about how to find your footing again. So I wanted to today give you a little coaching on like how to do this. This is designed, the coaching that I, I kind of came up with today here is designed to empower you. So let's say, like, if it doesn't empower you, you should definitely ignore it. Right? Right? So this is designed to be helpful. This is designed to empower you. I don't think this is the right coaching. I don't think that all this is true. But, so if it doesn't empower you, feel free to ignore it. Right?

Dean Jones 11:25

I think there's probably some advice, as opposed to coaching, embedded in this. So just take it like advice, just take it under advisement, right. And the other thing I'll say is, I don't -- this sounds funny to say, but I don't mean for this to be inspirational. Right? I want to -- and that sounds funny, that sounds like a funny thing to say. But I -- if you hear this as a pep talk, you're probably missing the point. This is not really about inspiration. This is about Where do you go to start to invest in yourself during this time? Where do you go to start? I don't want you to hear it as inspiration, I want you to hear it as an investment. Right? How do you dig in?

Dean Jones 12:05

And it really comes out, you know, when we were talking about that, what I immediately flashed on is the people I'm coaching right now. And the, the coaching conversations I'm having with people. And, and, you know, there's just a lot of people that either I'm coaching on a regular basis or come to me for coaching and advice, right. And so I immediately start thinking about the conversations I'm having, and what I'm, what I've been telling people to do. So that's some of what I want to kind of provide here. Right.

Dean Jones 12:32

So, as we said, you know, this is an extraordinary time. And, and I guess the question is, How do you make the most of this time? How do you, how do you start to use this time in a way that it is, that it is -- becomes a powerful time for you, becomes a useful and valuable time for you, becomes a time that kind of propels you forward? I think first and foremost, I think this is a time for self-reflection. I think this is a great time to take a step back. Whitney Johnson, in her book, Disrupt Yourself, she's, she talks about this thing called "the slingshot move," where it's -- and she means it relative to your, to your career, where you take a step backwards in your career, in order to step -- take a step forward. And in some ways, this is kind of like a slingshot move. This is, I think we've been given a time when there's the opportunity to kind of take a step back and reassess.

Dean Jones 13:24

So I think this is a good time to take stock. And, you know, a lot of the people that I'm coaching I'm, I'm saying, well, you know, some people I coach are big into journaling; some people are not big into journaling. It sounds -- my version of journaling is making lists. So I make a lot of lists. Right. And so that's my version, oftentimes, of journaling. But I think that, I think it's a good time to take stock. I think the questions you want to be asking yourself is, is really as you look at yourself, What am I good at? What are the things where I have legitimate strengths, where I have strengths that I'm able to count on and rely on and, and, and, and bring to bear. What are the things that, when I look around, and when I look at the last 6 months or the last year of my life, what are the things people are acknowledging and recognizing me for? What are the things that they -- so that when I get acknowledged and recognized, what are those things? I think those are good clues to, to where to focus, right? I think it's, I think you want to look at those moments of inspiration -- What inspires you? What are the things that, as you ask yourself, what are the things that inspire me? What are the things where I find myself just turned on and passionate and enthusiastic, and feel like I've got, you know, I get into flow, I've got limitless resources in that area?

Dean Jones 14:45

I think we want to be looking again at our talents. And I think for all of us, and we know that the strengths journey is a, is a limitless journey, but what are the talents that I've got? What are the ones I tend to lean into? What are the ones that I'm not using and haven't developed, and how can I be developing those into strengths?

Jim Collison 15:04

Dean, I think that's an interesting point. Because the, in the, in this area of talent, this has opened new doors that weren't available before. And you may have, you know, you may have looked for an area to work in; the door was closed. It's now open. I think you need to go back, like you're saying, reevaluate. We've -- I have spent all of my time since March 13th webcasting. We're now, we've now done twice -- we've done all of the episodes we did in 2019 and 2020 already. Like, you know, we did 50 all of last year; we hit 50 at the end of June. And so it's given me a new opportunity -- the door, that door opened; we needed to get it done, right. I just think that evaluation gives people the opportunity to say where had you heard "Nos" before? Those "Nos" may be "Yeses" now, and so it might be a good time to reevaluate.

Dean Jones 15:53

Well, and also I think people see with new eyes, too, Jim. You know, I think that -- to your one thing, I mean, it's funny, you know, we would do, we would do webinars and Zoom briefings before and have 40 people show up. Now we have 400 or 800 or 1,000 people show up. So one is there's a demand. And, you know, the world has changed. There's a demand that just wasn't there before. The, the other thing I will tell you is, is that, that the context has changed. And so everything's showing up differently.

Dean Jones 16:25

So part of it, to your point about there were "Nos" before and now they're "Yeses," the context has changed. People are seeing everything with a different line. But it's, to your point is to really -- I love what you said about webcasting because I think, I think you got to think for yourself, What is it that is my fundamental contribution? What are people counting on me for? What's that stuff that I'm doing? And part of it is looking backwards and looking at what are my successes, what are my failures, what have I learned in the past? But really, it's really looking and saying, Where do I need to focus and where do I need to focus now? What's the thing that's going to make, make the biggest difference?

Dean Jones 17:03

So I think this is a good time to take a step back and kind of doing, do an audit of yourself, right? And to be able to look to see, like, really like, what have I got to contribute? Where do I want to contribute? We all know that and, and that strengths-based development, in strengths-based development, typically, you don't get wider, you get more narrow, you get more focused. So as you develop your talents and strengths, and you start to lean into them and you facilitate them, you tend to lean into them more, you tend to get more narrow and more focused. So to your point, this is a time to be thinking about How do I continue to really look at those things that make a difference that people are counting on me for? That's a huge thing, right? So that's one as I think it's -- this is a good time for self-reflection. This is a good time to be thinking about all those things.

Dean Jones 17:58

I think this is also a great time to be developing yourself. It's one of the things that I'm really working on with myself, right, is to think about where are you developing? And where could you be expanding yourself? This is a great time. One of the things that is unique about this time is probably there's more learning available and accessible than there's ever been. Everybody's going online, so everything's accessible from your home office, right? Everything's there. And what's interesting is, is you see that a lot of it, there's more free learning out there than ever before. So there's more stuff where people are sharing and like that. It's just, it is a really, really good time to be developing yourself and to be thinking about, Where do I want to be developed? How do I want to be developed? It's an interesting thing.

Dean Jones 18:45

I will just tell us, you know, I have gotten more involved at Gallup in our diversity initiatives here, right. And so I'm more involved in making that happen for our organization and thinking about what we need to do from a diversity standpoint. One of the things that I realized when all that started was, is that, well, I've only -- always had my own perspective, right? I never had really gone out and had any kind of formal education around diversity. And one of the things I started doing was calling everybody I know. I called the people that I respect, and said, Hey, you know, what, what should I know about this area? What should I be thinking about relative diversity and equity, and inclusiveness and representation? And like that? And then I started looking at formal programs, and started looking at what's there.

Dean Jones 19:32

So I started, and then I started wondering, well, why am I not doing this in other areas of my life? So why are, you know, I've been working in learning for, you know, for, I don't know, the last 20 years, the last 30 years. I should be -- why, when did I stop, when did I stop pursuing that?

Dean Jones 19:50

So I think this -- it's a cool time to be developing yourself. I think there's a -- it's a good time to be expanding yourself and thinking about where am I developing, where am I expanding? How am I cultivating my talents? Where am I continuing to develop myself? And I think part of it is really looking and saying, What are those strengths that I have? What is the, what are the, what's the knowledge I need? What are the skills, what are the experiences I need that would take who I am -- the strengths I have, my contribution -- to the next level? So this is a good time I think to be developing yourself.

Dean Jones 20:24

I also think this is a good time to be working on your wellbeing. And by wellbeing, I want to make sure you hear it in through the lens that, that we talk about, right, is all 5 areas of wellbeing: your Career Wellbeing, your Social Wellbeing, your Financial Wellbeing, Physical Wellbeing, Community Wellbeing. So all of those. I think it's an interesting thing, but I will tell you, I think for a lot of people, those are the things that really that's really the foundation for your, your contribution and for your life. One of the things about -- there's, I always think about this, this was kind of in a funny way. But I always think about those, those things that in each of those areas are stabilizers for me.

Dean Jones 21:07

We were talking about this, Jim, the other day is What are those fundamental things that if they're out, it's like you're out of balance. And if they're in, that you're -- they stabilize you. I always think about the, like, stabilizers on a helicopter or an airplane. Right? I have no mechanical engineering background. Let me be clear, OK. But you know, those things that stabilize it so you fly straight, right. And I think that there's certain things that are like that. For me, part of it is getting enough sleep, as weird as that sounds. One of the things that I'm doing right now is I stopped drinking. And, you know, I know that when I told Jim that you were horrified that --

Jim Collison 21:45

You're the only one. You are it.

Dean Jones 21:50

A lot of people during a pandemic that have started drinking, right. You know, but part of what I did was stop drinking, just because part of it is it's part of me working on my Physical Wellbeing. And so, and I know, I think that somebody asked in the chat, What are the 5 areas? In our, from our wellbeing book -- and I obviously, I encourage everybody to read it -- it's Career Wellbeing, your Social Wellbeing, Financial, Physical and Community Wellbeing. Right. And so I think it's, this is a time to be investing in your own wellbeing. This is a time to be investing in that area, I think is really important. So -- yeah, go ahead.

Jim Collison 22:29

Dean, we do have some, we have some webcasts coming up on that here in the future. So starting in late August, we're going to be looking at each one of those through some experts at Gallup. And very, very tactical, we say through CliftonStrengths, and so a great opportunity to do that. Early, Dean, the best thing for me early in the pandemic, I did a financial audit. I just went through and said, because I need that stability in my life, and, and I spent a day or two just kind of figuring out OK, what's gonna work and what's not? And that has been, like you say, stabilizer. That has been such a stabilizing influence for me not to have that worry of like, Are we gonna make it? What are we kind of doing?

Jim Collison 23:05

We met with, you know I met with our one of our financial planners at Gallup. It just calmed me down; it gave me something not -- there's plenty of things to worry about. That was one of the things I didn't have to worry about as much, so to speak, right. And, and so and then staying, for me, Physical Wellbeing is very, very important. And so staying active, finding ways to get outside, finding ways to do workouts in the house, whatever, right. So yeah, I think it's a really good to think through those. I think I need to do some Social Wellbeing now because I'm starting to -- that's getting, I'm getting a little toasty around the edges, right, on this. And it's like, how, OK, in a new world where we can't do this, what's the replacement for it? Some of the other ones are easier for others than some. I think, coaches, you need to be clued into those in your conversations with people. Because if one of those gets out of whack, it can throw the whole thing off.

Dean Jones 23:55

Yeah, I'm laughing cause, you know, like, like, I mean, Woo No. 3, right now. But I'm like, there was a point about a month or two ago where I was laughing because there's a guy that came to our house to deliver, I think was delivering some furniture or something. But he came to the house to deliver the furniture. And both my husband and I are at the front door greeting him. Like never before would there be a welcoming committee. But it was like, Hey, we need to see humans, right. This has gotten bad, right? Even humans with masks, right. And so I think that it's one of those things where I think just managing those areas of wellbeing are just super important for us.

Dean Jones 24:34

I also think this is a time to be building and creating. So this is a time to be able to think about What are you building and what are you creating? I think our world right now needs builders and creators more than they ever have. We need, you know, I read a statistic this morning that currently in the United States, there are 30 million people that are receiving unemployment benefits, and there's roughly 5 million jobs. Right. So there's a huge deficit. Even if we put those 5 million people -- that we fill those 5 million jobs, we have 25 million people that still don't have anything to do, right. And we know that the best, biggest, best job creators are small businesses.

Dean Jones 25:16

And we need people around the world -- not just here in the United States -- who are starting new businesses, they are fueling businesses, they are growing businesses. And we need Strengths Coaches who are supporting those people, and who are either starting those kind of businesses, or they are encouraging and supporting and coaching those people to be successful. We need builders and creators right now. And we need -- I think, also, this is a time to start to try some stuff. I think this is a time to give yourself permission, give yourself freedom to try something new, and to swing out. Because I think it's an unprecedented time.

Dean Jones 25:53

And so, I think this is opportunity where, that we ought to be thinking about, Hey, what am I building? What am going to create for myself? This is a time to be creative. Right? I also think it's a time to be of service. So I think it's a time to be of service to others. I think that, I talked about this before, but I think that never before has our world really needed Strengths Coaches more than they need Strengths Coaches now.

Dean Jones 26:24

So I think this is, the thing that I want to make sure everybody who's listening to this podcast, everybody who's in our Certified Coach community, you know, those are people that have a very unique talent. They have the ability to help people to be able, using CliftonStrengths, to identify their inherent, their innate talent, and to be able to harness that talent and apply it against the things they care about. That is a very unique gift that you can give someone, a very powerful gift and you're trained and certified to be able to do that. It's not like you're just some somebody off the street, you are trained and certified to be able to do that.

Dean Jones 27:05

So I think the -- and right now the world needs that. I always, you know, I always laugh because we are about, roughly about 2 million people a year are doing striengths, right? So give or take, about 2 million people a year are discovering their strengths. And that is, if you look at our Certified Coach community alone, that's, that means that every single Certified Coach who's in our Certified Coach community has to, has to coach an additional 200 people every year to keep pace with that, right. There's a huge deficit between the number of people doing strengths and the number of coaches that there are. There just are. There are a lot of people, just the people who've taken the assessment, not even the people that are new that they're out there to introduce it to. There are a ton of people who need strengths coaching, and we got this community of trained Strengths Coaches.

Dean Jones 28:00

So I think it's important for people to know like, No, you, we need you to be doing what you're trained to do. Right? We need you to be coaching people in understanding, becoming aware of, appreciating their strengths and the strengths of others, and then pointing them at meaningful outcomes. You know, around the world, GDP is plummeting. You know, we had this historic drop in GDP here in the United States. We need people, we need people at work now. Right? We need people pointed at meaningful outcomes. And who better to do that than Strengths Coaches. So -- it's really critical.

Dean Jones 28:39

I, the last time I said something like this on on Called to Coach, I had somebody reach out to me and said, "Do you mean that we should be giving away our services?" And I want to be clear, yeah, I do think that, OK? So let me be clear, I think that yes, you should. Does that mean you should give it away at your own expense? No. That's not what I'm saying. Somebody said, I love -- somebody said in here, they, you know, the thing about put on your own oxygen mask before you help others. No, I think you 100% should, first and foremost, protect your own financial viability. I think No. 1, you should make sure you are financially viable; goes back to the thing we were talking about wellbeing. You need to make sure you're viable, because then you don't have anything to give.

Dean Jones 29:24

You know, as it says in the Bible, God loves a cheerful giver. Right? You know, and so No. 1, No. 1, you should make sure you're protecting your own financial viability. But once you've done that, if you have the ability to contribute to others, and you can do that, yes, I would 100% do that. I think that's really important. And I think it requires, one, a generosity of spirit. But I think everybody who does that, everybody, you know, if you haven't figured out this, by this time in life, let me clue you in. The best thing you can do on Earth is be of service to others, right? When you figure out that your, that the, the literally the biggest gift you can give yourself is to be of service to others. Man, I'm telling you that comes back to you tenfold. Right?

Dean Jones 30:09

So, yes, I think you should use your talents and make a huge difference for people. And if that, that includes the people who probably need it most. Right. And so I think there's, there's lots of people out there to be able to do that. Right. So the, the last thing I'll say about this, and and so let me just kind of review here. I think it's a time for good self-reflection. Right. So I think this is a time to be thinking about taking stock of what who you are, what you can contribute, where you need to focus, what you're good at, what you're passionate about. I think this is the time to be able to do that.

Dean Jones 30:47

I also think this is a time to be developing yourself. So investing in your own growth and development, learning and growing, building yourself during this time. I think this is an important time to be working on your wellbeing, and I think you should be at work in your own wellbeing. I think this is a great time to be building and creating what's next for you and for the people around you. Right? And, you know, there's lots of people I know that are coaches that, that that I see on Facebook, or that I'm connected with on Facebook or social media, who are doing really cool, innovative stuff, right. Think about Alexis Thompson, you know, who's built, you know, like, this is a human being who's at work on building something and creating something right.

Dean Jones 31:26

I think about our friend Maureen Monte. I think about Michael Dauphinee. I think of it, that there are lots of coaches out there that are work on, on building and creating. And I think this is a time to swing out and try something new. Right. I also think this is a great time to be of service to people. I think we need that. I think most important, probably most important than anything else, this is not the time to be going it alone. Probably more than anything else, this is not the time to be doing it by yourself. Right? Some -- I will tell you, I see people hanging, just hanging out in their heads. You know? And I, you know, and I just want to tell you, this is the time for partnership, collaboration and teamwork; we all need each other. You need to be connecting with other people. You need to be reaching out to other people in new and different ways.

Dean Jones 32:19

This is an imperative. You need partners. You need partners to create with. You know, I have a very good friend who got laid off from his job. He was a sales executive, got laid off from his job. His company was in an affected industry; he was, he was in hospitality. And he and, you know, like I could see he was just stuck, right? And part of the reason he was stuck is he had no one to create with. He had nobody -- he had, he didn't have a partner to create with, right. So we started having a weekly call, right? So he's got a partner to create with.

Dean Jones 32:52

And so, and so, I, we all need partners. We all need a team. You need to start building your team. Who's on your team? Who are, you know, you need a cheering section, right? You need the, you need those people. So you got to, you got to make sure you've got to do that. The advice I give you, part of it is, is I think you need to extend to create miracles; you need to extend yourself beyond the people you normally traffic with. We all, we all have people that we normally traffic with; the normal people that we see and that we tend to reach out to and connect with. We need to reach deeper into our networks. We need to reach deeper into the networks of the people we know, of our connection. We need to expand, right?

Dean Jones 33:42

So this is a time to be building relationships. So as we're doing it together, we're building those new relationships. And, you know, that means finding your allies, people that are aligned with the things you're committed to and you're passionate about, which, by the way, you can't do unless you've done some self-reflection. This is a time for brainstorming teams, putting people together and brainstorming, coming up with some new stuff, thinking through some new stuff. This is a time for mastermind groups and small groups and focus groups. Right?

Dean Jones 34:14

I, you know, I, I've shared about it before, but I have this group that for the last 28 years we've been meeting, right, we're this group. And, you know, this group, we set goals together, we connect together. I can't imagine my life during this time without them. And we used to physically get together 3 or 4 times a year. And now we get together on Zoom and have our meetings. And man, I'm telling you, it's, they are part of my team, right? You need accountability partners during this time. You need the people that you make promises to, and you check in with, right. I have a week -- a standing call with a friend of mine, that we're both committed to our wellbeing and transforming our wellbeing. So we got a standing call every week where we just get on and we talk about our wellbeing, right. And it takes you in a lot of unpredictable ways.

Dean Jones 35:01

You need to figure out who are, who are your mentors? Who are the people you're mentoring? Right? So who are the mentors you've got? I feel like I've been blessed. I have these incredible mentors at Gallup. And it's been, it's an incredible gift for me, you know, to have great, great, great mentors. And there's people in mentoring. And so you want to, you want to think about who that is? Who are your role models, right? Who are the people that you look to and get inspired by? So my point is, is you got to, this is not a time to go it alone; you got to find the people around you that, that empower you. Right? You got to find those people.

Dean Jones 35:41

And you're going to need, I think, for all of us to, to get through this, right. And not just to survive it, but to really have this be a time where we look back and say, "Man, that was a rich time. That was an incredible time that we lived through," right. Is that it's gonna take us bringing that kind of stuff forth. And we got to do it together. You know, we got to do it together. I see, like Mark Russell in the chat is talking about the value of the, of the coaching community. This is a powerful community. One of the things I love about this community -- I mean, we have some dark moments in our community. You know what I mean? We get a little crabby sometimes. Wait, us? You know, every once in a while, we have some crappy moments, right?

Dean Jones 36:28

But, you know, by and large, one of the things that people always say, you know, it's funny, I hang out with the Strengths Coaches in the Bentonville [Arkansas] coaching meetup. Right. And we do our meetups on Zoom. Right. And one of the things that as people, as new people kind of join the coaching community, the strengths coaching community, one of the things they always talk about is this is a supportive community. That they're having rich conversations about coaching, and about developing people with people that are really want to make a difference in the world. This is a rich community. And I think that's part of the value of this great community. So let me just pause there, Jim. Sorry --

Jim Collison 37:02

Yeah, Dean, let me, let me, let me take a breath for a second. Let me say, one of the things I noticed about this is it took intentional change to create all these differences. And if you don't stick with it long enough, you don't see the value or the benefit in it, and that there are some communication channels that had to change. Like I was used to being able to walk down to the atrium and have this kind of influence of -- around people or with people, and not have to work very hard to get it done. It just came, it came to me. Or I walked down the hall. And those -- that's not happening anymore.

Jim Collison 37:35

And I had to intentionally start some new patterns that would put me in place -- you know, you say create new allies. I have spent some time with some new friends during this that have really opened up some doors. But I think you have to, you have to stick through it long enough to see it flourish. Don't get frustrated, because it's -- for a lot of people, you know, I just heard, "Oh I hate Zoom. Like I just hate it!" And well OK, you got to kind of push past that; get good at it. You got to figure those things out, you got to learn those things. Those aren't going away. And the more you fight it, the longer it will take you to be effective with it. So dig in, learn those, learn those opportunities, figure out what it's going to take to get it done and then move forward.

Dean Jones 38:18

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I don't know if there's any questions in the, in the chat that we want to take. But one of the things I do think is, is I think this is the point here is, is this is a time that can be a rich time for you. I think at the end of this time, you're either going to be, you're going to look back at this time and say, "Hey, I waited it out," you know, or you're going to say, "Hey, that was a rich time for me," right, where I grew, I developed. I was somebody that, that during this time, I really used this time to be able to invest in ways that were really, really, really difference-making, right.

Dean Jones 38:57

I also think it's an opportunity during this time to really grow and to have the people around you grow, and to really transform your life. And so that's why I think I am, I'm super excited. I think there's a huge opportunity here for people. And, but I think it's gonna take work in order to be able to do that. I think it's gonna take an investment of time and energy and, and really digging deep to kind of think about it. I love what you said about Zoom. You know, it's like, it's one of those things where it's like, if I think about what this time would have been like if we didn't have Zoom -- and FaceTime and all the other technologies that we've got. Going through this time would have been, you know, an order of magnitude harder for us if, if, if we didn't have those technologies.

Jim Collison 39:47

No, and I think, you know, just, just this morning, I I rented a U-Haul that I did completely online, I will pick it up and drop it off touchless. And I thought, that never would have happened, ever, if this like -- and so there's, there's these new, there's these just these new pathways, these new ways of thinking, these new -- which are, which we can, we can fight, or we can harness and, and jump on to them. And that doesn't always mean taking the old way and jamming it into a technology so I'm going to take what I did in this exercise and I'm going to make it electronic. That doesn't always -- and sometimes it does -- but I think that if we continue to think creatively about the end result and how can we take advantage now of the new way to change it? Like, you know, you've got an opportunity. How can I use this to be different? Yeah.

Dean Jones 40:42

I think to your point, Jim, I think that part of what I -- that I get excited about is part of it is some of the barriers that were, that were real barriers for people in the past have dropped. We -- you know, our courses are now virtual. So people -- literally there were people who always said, "Hey, I can't travel and do a course." Now they, now they can actually do the course virtually. And that is incredibly powerful. I think, you know, it's funny, I was in a conversation over the weekend with someone where we're talking about how, fundamentally, organizations now can draw talent from anywhere. Because really, because with everyone working remotely, people, the talent pool for everyone, just expanded, which I think is really incredible.

Dean Jones 41:25

So I think there's lots of cool opportunities that we're starting to see in the way the world is changing. Part of it, I think we got to have space for is, is that it happened very fast. So part of what I think is so dislocating for people is that this change happens so quickly that I think people are still kind of catching up with it. Right. And so I think that's a that's underway. Do we have some questions?

Jim Collison 41:52

We do. So Mark says he's working with 12 new managers. Should he focus just on their dominant talent themes first and create a strong foundation, and don't want to overwhelm them? Thoughts as we're working with -- and this is the hard part. I think we all were, for, for veterans, we were all used to this being able to do the first part in person. And thinking of this being virtual, it's been so hard. I think that's, Dean, people have had the hardest time overcoming that. "But I'm used to influencing a person, how do I now do this virtually, especially the first session?" Any, any advice on that?

Dean Jones 42:27

Yeah, I think, Mark, one of the cool thing, first of all, congratulations! This is great that you're going to be working with these managers. And one of the things that's so cool about working with managers is the influence that managers have, and the opportunity that they have to really make a difference with other people. One of the things, yeah, one is you want managers to know, yes, you should work with their dominant talent themes first. And I think that's really important. I always have people think about their Top 10 to 12 themes. Because when we look, you know, the majority of somebody's behavior, we can explain with those top themes. And that's why that's really important for people, and particularly for managers, to be able to own and aware, and be aware of those.

Dean Jones 43:03

Particularly with managers, I think the foundation it creates is helping managers understand what are their, their kind of tendencies or inclinations. You know, if I lead with a lot of Competition, that's, that's what I go to to succeed, right? And to, to be able to understand, What do I typically lean into? And then what biases does that create? So I think, you know, as you're, as you're working with folks like that, I think that's really useful. It is, to your point, it's, given the context of this conversation, it's gonna be different working with them.

Dean Jones 43:37

But in some ways, this sounds funny, but in some ways that working with them -- I hope you're working with them on Zoom or on video -- working with people one-on-one in that way, I think it may, again, be incredibly intimate, and it can be, it kind of is, it, it can be incredibly powerful. So having those -- I've done a lot of coaching now on Zoom, one-on-one coaching with people on Zoom now, and it's incredibly powerful for people. Not everybody -- by the way, I think that there's a lot of coaches out there that were accustomed to doing sessions by phone. So they weren't used to seeing somebody and having that dimension. You know, for me, I love that. I think that's incredible. So, but I'm, I'm excited about that. The other thing that's so cool, Mark, about that, before we leave this is, yes, I love that you've got 5 sessions with them. So I think there's an opportunity really to build a great learning journey with them based on that.

Jim Collison 44:33

Dean, I also think it's an opportunity to change our mode. So we, we were thinking it's a one-hour session, it's this conversation. It may turn into four 15-minute sessions that are done via text, if that's how the person communicates, a Messenger, or, or we think, conversations to and from each other. We have folks at home who have never -- have not been home before. Their schedules have changed. Where they wouldn't have time for that, they might now. It may be a continuous coaching rather than a event in time. And, and you got to get creative on that; you got to figure out how that works financially and some of those other things. But, Dean, to your point earlier, I think this is where a door may be open now where it wasn't before. But you won't know unless you ask.

Jim Collison 45:19

So we ask that question all the time: What, you know, what, what's the best recognition you've ever had? We ask that as part of an onboarding, when I'm onboarding someone I'm going to manage. Well, you might want to start asking, as you're coaching, what's the best coaching you've ever had? Like, what's the mode that you're most effective with? The paradigm of a one-hour phone call or a one-hour coaching session may not be what's most effective for. So along those lines, Robin had asked, Dean, she says, Any suggestions on getting started on coaching? Love all the support, but sometimes feel overwhelmed trying to re-create myself after 40 years of education.

Dean Jones 45:55

Yeah, I understand that. I think, Robin, you know, like, gosh, you -- this sounds so funny, but you've stumbled into the right session for this. I think, more so than any other of the Called to Coach sessions that we've done, right, like, this is a great place to start. I think all the things that we talked about today are things you should be working on, right. One is the self-reflection, you know. What, what, what are your strengths? What are the, what are your inherent talents? What do you have to offer? What do you have to contribute?

Dean Jones 46:27

I think for -- one of the things that's so powerful for coaches is to know what makes you unique as a coach. And, you know, part of it is is that you're an expert in strengths, but part of it is is that you've got a unique background. Sounds like, with 40 years in education, you've got a really powerful, deep background to be able to draw on. And that's part of what you want to bring to bear in your coaching. You want to be doing all the things we talked about today, right? One is you want to be developing yourself. So looking at how are you getting coached? How are you developing yourself?

Dean Jones 47:00

You want to be working on your wellbeing, so you got a great foundation for what you're doing. You want to be thinking about how are you building and creating? And, and, and, you know, what are you going to create? What is it? What is it that you want to create? How can you be of service? And, and probably most importantly, Robin, I would tell you, you need to start to, to reach into the community and be communicating, "Hey, look, I'm here to coach!" I, it sounds funny, but a lot of the start of building your coaching business or starting your coaching business is just getting the word out: "This is what I'm doing."

Dean Jones 47:35

And part of it in the beginning is people are going to ask you questions that you don't have the answers to, right? "Well, what, what kind of coaching do you do?" "Well, I do strengths coaching." "Well, what does that mean?" I think you -- I think you, you're gonna, you know, "What do you specialize in? What kind of people do you coach?" Right? You -- people are gonna ask you questions, and you may not have all the answers to those questions. And that is a great thing. Right?

Dean Jones 47:58

And you're gonna, again, just like I said, you need partners, you need a coach yourself, right? You need your team. Yu need accountability partners. You need, like, you need your squad, right, that you're going to be working with. So this is a time to be building all those relationships, that, so that when you have great successes, you got people to celebrate. When you have good juicy failures, you got people to unpack them with and to learn from, right, so that you get you back in the game. So I think that's all part of this. Right?

Dean Jones 48:31

And again, you know, they're -- just throw a rock, you'll hit somebody that needs coaching right now. There are that -- now, some people, you know, it's, you know, you don't want to give coaching to people that, that haven't necessarily requested it, you know? Yeah, I've learned that lesson the hard way. OK. So I think you always have to, I, you know, I always ask people do, you know, like, "Hey, I'd love to be able to give you some coaching. Is that OK?" Right. And if they say, "No," you don't. But there's lots of people, and it starts out with building those kind of relationships. So I think that's, that's incredibly powerful. So --

Jim Collison 49:10

I love -- Ralph makes a comment. He says he's building a membership page that dribbles content to people about CliftonStrengths; allows them for a combination of emails, texts, Zoom sessions on a monthly membership fee. And I think that will work for some; it won't work for others, but I think we have to -- that's a, that's a mode, that's a method that may work for some coaches and not work for others. I think back to your, your point initially, finding those where -- I think coaches need to ask themselves, Where have I been most effective in the past? Is that avenue still open today? If it's not, how can I change that and how can I take what I'm good at and make that, make it work or try some things out?

Jim Collison 49:49

I do know this. If you never try it, you'll definitely know it doesn't work because you have never tried it. So I think sometimes you got to get out and try a bunch of different things. Don't forget, we've got tons of digital resources available for you, now, all of a sudden, Theme Thursday in audio and video on YouTube. I mean, the YouTube numbers right now, the -- we joke about Netflix, but YouTube has seen a hundredfold usage during this time. More and more people are used to getting to YouTube. Do you have a YouTube presence? Are you out there talking to people, in whatever way you find that works for you? There's some great opportunities to spend some time talking to people that way.

Dean Jones 50:34

Yeah, I think, you know, just, I know we're starting to wrap up here, Jim. But one of the things I love is, is immediately we start talking about this. And people in the community start reaching out: Hey, find me on LinkedIn. Hey, here's a book you ought to read. This is, again, to reinforce: This is a great community -- if you're a coach, this is a great community to be in because there's a ton of support, right?

Jim Collison 50:59

Dean, let me just say, Kim had asked, Any other place besides Facebook? Facebook is the hub of that. But then those individual connections, whether we make them on Facebook or LinkedIn or WhatsApp or Instagram, or any of those, that, that is, that's more loosely structured. And so we kind of allow folks to kind of settle into those communities, kind of as, as needed. I get too many groups going and then people say, "There's too many, too many things to keep track of!" If I said, "We have an official Instagram group," everyone would have FOMO and want to -- "I'm not on Instagram," whatever, you know, "I don't do it that way." So, so please make sure you're connecting to people in the way that works best for you among those. Today, the, the Gallup Webcasts group, about 15,000, tons in there. And then, the 1,500 -- if you want a little quieter group -- the 1,500 or so if you're a Certified Coach, and you're in that group, you can join us in that Facebook group as well.

Dean Jones 51:57

Yeah, no, that's great. That's great. Yeah, I think it's, it is really important -- just to reinforce the point, Jim, -- that, you know, like you do you. You do the what works for you, and the way it works for you. For some people, social media is perfect. For other people, Zoom is perfect. And I think you got to figure out like, what is it for me? Right. And it goes back to really thinking about, thinking about, thinking about yourself and what you want to contribute around that.

Dean Jones 52:27

I do think, you know, just to kind of put a bow on this one, right, I think this is an important time. I think this is an important time. I think this is a time, a time when we're all going to step back and when we can really use this to be able to move forward. I also think this is a time that hopefully, wherever you're at, you're thinking about, Hey, that this is a time I should be investing. I should be investing in myself and I should be investing in others.

Dean Jones 52:54

Last thing I think I'll say is, you know, this funny thing I think -- I was thinking, when I was thinking about our, our podcast this morning, I was thinking about, gosh, it's so important to remember to be grateful. Every time I start complaining, my husband says to me, "Do a 360." That's his way of saying, "Hey, look around," right? You know, you got a roof over your head, you got food to eat, you got a bed to sleep in. Do a 360. Right? I think you got to remember that gratitude is the access to joy. Right?

Dean Jones 53:28

If you want joy in your life, you have, it starts with really being grateful. And, and I think that, I think this is really an opportunity where we need to be, you know, a time when we want to be counting our blessings. Right. And I think that that's a great way of starting to think about the work that, that we're doing, right, is to be grateful that we have each other; to be grateful for the, the tools that we have in front of us and the opportunity to be able to do this kind of work, I think, is a real gift for all of us. So --

Jim Collison 53:57

Yeah, Dean, I think some, some great advice, some great coaching, some, some great opportunities that come out of this. I think as coaches think about -- we have this saying, I think it came out of the U.S. hockey community, somebody asked, like, "How do you know, you know, or how do you play so well?" And he says, I, you know, "I skate to the puck." For our football fans, that means that I run to the soccer or to the football. And so (we call it soccer in the United States).

Jim Collison 54:23

But I think there's some opportunities for coaches to think about where are things going and then start changing their actions, their behaviors, their opportunities -- to be there, when that, when that opportunity opens up. No one knew this was gonna happen, but we know it's happening now. And so there's some great opportunities for coaches and for individuals to really kind of "skate to the puck." So Dean, thanks for, for spending the time with us today.

Jim Collison 54:45

With that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available, now through Gallup Access. Easiest way to log into Access, by the way: That page, if you log in there, it'll take you right to your Strengths Dashboard inside of Access. If you haven't been to Access in a while, you might want to log in. We're continuing to make improvements to that thing every single month. I was reading through the log the other day of all the changes that went in. And I'm like, Wow, these guys have been busy. We -- to skate to the puck -- have spent a ton of time in this, during this time to get really, really focused on our software development and, and really get some, some heads-down work done. So if you haven't visited access in a while: Login is in the upper right-hand corner up there, and you'll want to go in and check that out. Plenty of webcasts are available for you. If you haven't subscribed yet as a podcast, you can do that; just search "Gallup Webcasts." Love to have you sign up for our CliftonStrengths Community Newsletter that's available -- bottom of any of those pages on the web. Just give us your email. We won't spam you; once a month, we send you some updates on everything that's going on. Coaches, I know you get a Certified Coaches Newsletter as well, but you might want to stay up with what the community -- what we're saying to the community as well. Sometimes a little bit of an overlap, but it's OK. You'll get past that, and we'd love to have you as part of the newsletter on that. Questions can always be emailed to us: We mentioned the Facebook group. Easiest way into the community: -- all one word -- will get you there as well. "CliftonStrengths Trained Coaches," that's the group -- just search for that on LinkedIn, if you're not a Facebooker, and that's OK if you're not. You can join us there on LinkedIn. Want to thank you for joining us today. We're going to rush Dean off to his next meeting. So very little postshow. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Dean Jones' Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Activator, Focus, Woo, Strategic and Relator.

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

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