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CliftonStrengths Analytical Theme: Teams and Managers

CliftonStrengths Analytical Theme: Teams and Managers

Webcast Details

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

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

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

Somebody with Analytical can defuse the emotion of a situation by seeing ... the evidence that has led to where we are today or ... [will lead us to] where we're going in the future.

Maika Leibbrandt, 3:32

If it feels like the sky is falling, someone with Analytical is probably going to go outside, get a telescope, do the research [on] ... the stars and comets ... And then give you some impartial evidence on what's actually happening.

Maika Leibbrandt, 11:51

When tracking progress is the goal, Analytical will do it with an element of detail and proof and truth that other themes probably won't bring to the table.

Maika Leibbrandt, 5:15

Jim Collison 0:00

I am Jim Collison, and live from our virtual studios around the world -- or at least here in the state of Nebraska -- this is Gallup's Theme Thursday, Season 6, recorded on July 30, 2020.

Jim Collison 0:21

Theme Thursday is a Gallup webcast series that dives deep into the CliftonStrengths themes, one theme at a time -- this season based on teams and managers with CliftonStrengths -- and today we are looking at Analytical. If you're listening live, love to have you join us in our chat room. It's actually just right -- the link to it's right above me there on the live page. Log in and you can join us in chat. If you have questions after the fact, you can always send us an email: Don't forget, subscribe in any platform that you're on. And we'd love to have you as part of the community. Maika Leibbrandt is our host today. She is a Senior Workplace Consultant with me here at Gallup. Maika, always great to see you. Welcome back to Theme Thursday!

Maika Leibbrandt 0:56

Thanks, Jim. I'm so happy to be here. You know, this season might be the best thing to come out of 2020. We are looking at every theme through the lens of team. And we know from our studies in leadership that if you want to talk about a strong team, or if you look across different strong teams, you'll find that they all have about 5 things going for them. We're going to use these 5 truths today as jumping points to really go deep into one specific theme that will kick off our Strategic Thinking Domain. Today that's Analytical, and I find that Analytical is one of those that can sound, on the surface, like you might already understand what it is. It's a common word; we tend to use it a lot. But we know from several other themes in CliftonStrengths world that sometimes what you think that that definition is, or how you think about maybe needing to be one way or another, doesn't exactly align to what the natural patterns of thought, feeling or behavior typically are that make up that theme.

Maika Leibbrandt 1:51

So I hope after today, you can think about Analytical as it relates to bringing value and really shining within a team. I hope that least you can say more than "Oh, it's a Strategic Thinking theme, so it means they think." So let's start with the short definition. If you have Analytical on your CliftonStrengths 34 profile, you will find this short definition: "You search for reasons and causes. You have the ability to think about all of the factors that might affect a situation." So we're going to think about Analytical as it relates to these 5 truths. And the first truth of a strong team is how they address conflict. They're not torn apart by conflict, because strong teams instead focus on results.

Jim Collison 2:34

I haven't said this during the season, but thank goodness that they don't destroy strong teams, right? I mean, especially in times of stress, like we're experiencing here in 2020, you kind of mentioned that. It's really important. So what does it mean to focus on results for someone with Analytical?

Maika Leibbrandt 2:50

Let's just take this out of context -- or in context a little bit, Jim, and follow what you said. Because I think, you know, we're, what -- 75% through the season already? And I don't think we've actually said this out loud. But the reason -- I think about how true this is and how many times you're in conflict, to know that the truth of a strong team or a strong partnership or a strong family is how you address that by going instead to the results; by not sitting and marinating in the in the conflict, but using that to lead you to somewhere better. Making the most important thing, What are we doing together? What are we creating together? What are we progressing toward? Not, Why are we disagreeing?

Maika Leibbrandt 3:28

So if you think about that a little bit deeper, I think it helps us unpack Analytical. On a team, somebody with Analytical can defuse the emotion of a situation by seeing the hard facts or the evidence that has led to where we are today or that's going to lead us to where we're going in the future. And it isn't to say that someone with high Analytical doesn't have feelings or that feelings aren't also part of evidence. But when you've got someone with Analytical on your team, and they're telling a story, the measurable data within that story plays a starring role. I think it means that on your team, you have someone who can say, "Let's not get stuck in who's on which side. Let's give the evidence a side, and see what we discover."

Jim Collison 4:10

High Influence for both you and me in this, and I have to be honest with you. As we're describing this Maika, I crave this for me and teams. Like I love it when we, when I, when I run into high Analytical because I need it. And so, rather than running from it, I run to it. And I think it's important that we track, that, that we, we -- in teams, we figure this out. So how does someone with Analytical track progress? Because that's really what I like about this.

Maika Leibbrandt 4:39

Well, is it too simple to say they track by analyzing it? Probably. What makes Analytical different from the Executing themes is the motivation behind it. Analytical can track progress by looking for evidence of progress, but what they're drawn to is not the progress itself. So it's not Achiever of saying, "We hit this milestone; let's check it off." It is the understanding of where we are -- sort of grounding that understanding in evidence or finding new ways of exploring what caused this and what are the effects that are going to follow? So the short answer to your question, Jim, is when tracking progress is the goal, Analytical will do it with an element of detail and proof and truth that other themes probably won't bring to the table. But if you really want someone with high Analytical to track progress, make that goal something that is part of the plan. Don't just assume that they're going to do it naturally.

Jim Collison 5:32

Yeah, I love that. It's just something I gravitate towards. OK, let's look at the second truth.

Maika Leibbrandt 5:36

The second truth is "Strong teams prioritize what's best for the organization, and then they move forward."

Jim Collison 5:41

So how does someone with Analytical focus on a larger goal or purpose other than their own?

Maika Leibbrandt 5:47

I'd say they're naturally curious about causes and effects and implications. So they might be able to find evidence that informs the links between what is important for one person and what matters to that larger group. So give them the space to explore what's important for the organization and how that plays out on a smaller scale, like an individual or a team. And also on a grander scale, like a community or an industry.

Maika Leibbrandt 6:10

At Gallup, one of the consulting practices that we offer is helping an organization to find their values. And it's an organic experience. We can't just say, you know, throw a "pin the tail on the donkey" sort of idea and say, "Yeah, those values sound good." But we really study what, you know, what comes up over and over again? How do people within this organization make decisions? How do they hold each other accountable? How do they connect with each other?

Maika Leibbrandt 6:35

Imagine somebody with Analytical going through that kind of a process and really being able to understand and dive in and research, What does this organization stand for? Or what are their natural ways of treating each other, ways of treating their constituents, ways of treating their clients? That can be a very analytical process, and certainly one that's going to help someone with Analytical connect to a goal that's larger than just their own.

Jim Collison 7:00

Analytical may get a bad rap as being in someone's head. But how does it take action? How do we see that taking action?

Maika Leibbrandt 7:06

Yeah, when they, when they find an interesting connection, when they find the opportunity to simplify or remove fluff from an idea in order to reveal the understanding or an answer, that's like a spark going off for someone with Analytical. If you want to inspire or motivate someone with dominant Analytical talent, look for openings for investigation; anything that we can explore, that we can measure, that we can evaluate in pursuit of the goal in front of us. And also, if you're working with someone with high Analytical, go ahead and admit when you don't fully understand or know something. This is going to illuminate a pathway for somebody with Analytical, saying, "Wow, that's where I can lean in. That's where I can contribute."

Jim Collison 7:47

I say that way, probably, too much. Let's look at truth No. 3.

Maika Leibbrandt 7:52

"Members of strong teams are as committed to their personal lives as they are to their work."

Jim Collison 7:57

And so how does Analytical show up in someone's personal life?

Maika Leibbrandt 8:00

It might be just as simple as they're someone who asks a lot of questions. When others get swept up in emotion, however, you can notice someone with Analytical goes instead into discovery mode so they can evaluate what is and what is not. They find a lot of comfort in facts. They might appear to be pretty detail-focused, but don't mistake detail for routine and structure.

Maika Leibbrandt 8:22

I know when I was first coming to understand CliftonStrengths, two themes that I confused quite a bit was Analytical and Discipline. So the detail element exists in both of these but for Analytical, it's born of their attention to what is essential, because that's how they understand or make sense of their world. Their ability to take a big idea and, and boil it down to the smallest provable element probably makes them look incredibly detail-focused. Whereas with Discipline, that detail is sort of the byproduct of routine and structure. In their personal life, I'm not sure this one is always that obvious, and it'll be interesting to see how we answer this question about the rest of the Strategic Thinking themes, because by nature, they exist within their head.

Maika Leibbrandt 9:07

But I have noticed with Analytical, they tend to be curious about something -- maybe about everything. Especially in areas that interest them, they can be active and eager listeners. They're looking for new evidence. They're deepening their understanding, and they're evaluating what they don't yet know.

Jim Collison 9:24

What kind of questions could a manager ask to kind of tap into this personal side of Analytical?

Maika Leibbrandt 9:29

Yeah, What have you been researching or thinking about lately? When do you do your best thinking? What have you been investigating? What is an interesting discovery you've made? How do you describe your work style? What's the most important element of a good weekend? What is the simplest way to describe something you love to do? Or how do you measure success or enjoyment?

Jim Collison 9:54

OK, let's look at No. 4.

Maika Leibbrandt 9:56

No. 4 can be a complicated one. What we really mean is people coming from difference gets to some -- gets to a greater outcome than people coming from the same place. But the fourth truth of strong teams is that they embrace diversity. We're not saying that diversity equals having different CliftonStrengths themes, but we do understand that having people with a lot of different experience, different pedigrees and different ideas does make for a stronger team. So we're using this truth to say, What does Analytical bring to the table that is different from those other themes?

Jim Collison 10:27

And what are some -- what's the diversity of descriptors we might use for Analytical?

Maika Leibbrandt 10:31

Yeah, you might call the person with Analytical on your team open-minded, detailed, evidence-based, curious, evaluative, an investigator, methodical or even scientific.

Jim Collison 10:44

I want to be called "scientific"! The -- no one will ever call me.

Maika Leibbrandt 10:47

I think you might need a costume in order to be called "scientific."

Jim Collison 10:49

Exactly, no one will ever call me that. What unique perspective does Analytical bring to a team then?

Maika Leibbrandt 10:55

So I'm just noticing that Vivian in the chat says about Analytical, "I want -- I definitely want to know the facts. I don't always believe what I hear. I want to know the source behind it." I think that kind of healthy skepticism describes Analytical really well. It's that idea of, Don't just trust what you've been told; don't get swept up in the emotion or the excitement or the propaganda of an idea, but really be that anchor for the team who can help us look for, OK, what are we hearing? And how can we understand where that came from and what's true, so that we can really make sound decisions. I think there's something incredibly powerful about that kind of dispassionate approach to curiosity.

Maika Leibbrandt 11:35

The way they think creates a level, stable, consistent tone that other people can typically count on to be one of curiosity for the sake of really uncovering truth. I think I said this in a previous season, but if it feels like the sky is falling, someone with Analytical is probably going to go outside, get a telescope, do the research to see which way the stars and comets are moving. And then give you some impartial evidence on what's actually happening in the sky.

Jim Collison 12:05

That's, that's very applicable to today, right? We've spent a lot of time looking in the sky over the last couple weeks. Let's look at truth No. 5.

Maika Leibbrandt 12:13

No. 5 is "Strong teams are magnets for talent." This is probably an outcome of the other 4, and maybe a couple other things happening for a team. But another way to spot a strong team is just to simply look for the one that everyone wants to be a part of.

Jim Collison 12:25

Yeah, and so tell me why I might be attracted to a team that has someone with high Analytical?

Maika Leibbrandt 12:30

Yeah, what's magnetic about Analytical? They can help you make sense of things when they feel chaotic. They can pop the emotional bubble and reveal the facts, reveal the evidence and help you deal with it. They can also ask really great questions that expand your thinking beyond what's directly in front of you. And I think, especially Analytical with an element of care can be just that person you need, especially in times of chaos.

Jim Collison 12:53

And how might you describe that gift that Analytical brings to a team?

Maika Leibbrandt 12:56

They can help the team notice and measure the impact that they're making. They can find indicators of progress that help us understand what's really going on, not just what we hope is happening. They can also find stories and patterns in data in a way that simplifies things. Without Analytical (it's 28 or 29 for me; I just see rows and rows and rows of numbers). But someone with Analytical, it's almost like those numbers "pop" to them, and they start to become characters in the story. So it can be incredibly helpful.

Jim Collison 13:25

I love that idea of characters in the story, the numbers become characters in a story, right? They, they take on life, and they -- and for the rest of us, an easy way of being represented right, in a way we can understand. OK, let's review those 5 again.

Maika Leibbrandt 13:38

1) Results, not conflict. 2) Do what's best for the organization and then move forward. 3) Work and personal lives matter equally. 4) They embrace diversity. 5) and They are magnets for talent.

Jim Collison 13:49

Maika, this season and last -- since Season 5, we've been spending some time doing these talent-mindfulness exercises. You have one keyed up for us. What do you have for today?

Maika Leibbrandt 13:56

So today's a little bit different. Today's session is something I'm going to call a "coaching cooldown." You can use this anytime that you've had a big, juicy interaction with somebody. Now it's designed for you to quietly comb through your own brain immediately after a coaching conversation, to supplement those actions that you've codesigned along with your coach. But you might find that you want to play today's talent-mindfulness "cooldown" at the end of your day. You might want to return to this after a heavy or significant interaction with a colleague, or anytime you feel you just need to take a moment and make sense of what's happening in your brain.

Maika Leibbrandt 14:35

For right now, because you did not just exit a coaching conversation if you've been listening live, but I welcome you to consider all the ideas that you've had so far today. Or maybe think of a situation that you have top-of-mind right now that you just need to work a little bit to unravel. Something you have not yet sorted out but would really like to.

Maika Leibbrandt 15:02

So to separate where we are from learning all about Analytical to really get into our talent-mindfulness, I'm just going to be quiet for a moment and allow you to breathe. ...

Maika Leibbrandt 15:21

If this topic or conversation you're thinking of was a storm, imagine it's a good one, knowing that in the end, it's going to provide rain or, or a difference or a challenge that's going to reveal some clarity for you. But think about all those ideas, all those thoughts swirling around like a storm for you. And allow it to feel as overwhelming as it might; be human in that moment. You can close your eyes if you want, and in your mind, list all the ideas that you had during this previous conversation. They're probably moving too fast for you to pinpoint. But if all those ideas, all those Aha! moments, all those challenges were swirling around like clouds in your mind, imagine standing in the middle of those clouds as they just swirl kind of recklessly around you.

Maika Leibbrandt 16:21

Now out of all those thoughts, what is it that you hope to remember? ... Maybe now it won't matter how fast those ideas are coming because you don't have to catch every single one of them. Just think about one discovery or idea or thought that you really hope you can remember and take with you. What will be important about remembering that? ...

Maika Leibbrandt 17:00

As you think about that answer, just breathe a little bit. ... What do you want to carry with you from this previous conversation? ... What action can you take to carry it with you? ... Now in addition to that action, I want to offer a physical element that will help you carry this discovery with you. So imagine plucking that idea out of that storm cloud of your brain with one of your hands. Physically do this. If you're driving, you'll replay this later when you're not. But think about physically grabbing that idea, and in your other hand, flatten out your palm, as if you're about to receive something. And as you have the idea in your first hand, place it in your palm so that you feel the tips of your fingers touch your open palm. Give a little bit of pressure so that you can remember what that physically feels like.

Maika Leibbrandt 18:21

Next time you want to center yourself on what you took away from this conversation, you'll make this same physical move. This might not work for you, but I think it will if you give it a try. So again, let's do it one more time. Make this physical move, grab the idea you really want to take -- the discovery that mattered most to you -- and place it physically in that open palm. Now in your open palm, go ahead and close it, as if you're capturing that discovery and you're going to carry it with you. And just listen for the next 30 seconds as we close.

Maika Leibbrandt 18:58

When things are complicated, when they're complex -- and as humans, that's just about guaranteed to be all the time -- it can be tempting to feel like you have to carry the full weight of every detail. You don't. Some ideas, some information, some details really are there just to inform the next idea, to bring you along on a trail of discovery that gets you to a bigger understanding. Some discoveries aren't meant to be carried through to that end result. Who you are in this moment, what you're thinking about, how you feel, how you describe what you've just made sense of -- that's all you have to take with you. You can let the rest of that storm go. Just like thoughts passing through your mind, imagine those clouds dissipating, and all you're left with is that important discovery.

Maika Leibbrandt 19:59

If you look back on this tomorrow, and you can focus solely on the idea that you physically placed in your palm, then you're growing from it, you're learning, you're moving forward. And that matters. That's your talent-mindfulness for today.

Jim Collison 20:23

Bring it back. I love that idea of tying some of these actions, what we want to do in our brain, that we do with our body. And I just think sometimes it's a great indication of the ability then to remember, like remember that or remember those feelings or remember those actions, and so, pretty great. I'm also excited -- kind of you and I have been thinking about 2021. I know that seems like an eternity away. But we're excited as we think about the future and there may be some new things coming for talent-mindfulness. Just throw that out there. Throw it out there in July, and we're pretty excited about it.

Jim Collison 20:58

A couple reminders. Want to make, make sure we remind everyone that all the resources are available now on our new site, and it's really not new anymore, but -- easiest way to sign into Gallup access is from that page. Takes you right to the strengths dashboard. I was just talking to somebody today, Maika, who did not know that, And I was like, how is that even possible? As an Influencer, I take that as an insult. I'm just like, I've -- how many times? -- it's OK, though. It's OK. I'm just saying, but yeah, Bookmark that, give it to your friends. That's the easiest way to get signed into Gallup Access. All kinds of great resources there as well. You can also search for us on YouTube; just search "CliftonStrengths." Or you can -- if you want to see the Live page, we have a dedicated Live page, "Gallup Webcasts Live." You can search for that as well. You can get those, follow us, give us a "thumbs up" there; all those kinds of things. I guess Subscribe is the right word there. And you can subscribe to us as a podcast, search "Gallup Webcasts" on any podcast app, and you will find us there. If you have questions after the fact, you can send us an email: Join us on our Facebook group: And on LinkedIn, you would search "CliftonStrengths Trained Coaches." If you found this helpful, we'd ask that you'd share it. And many of you do share Theme Thursday, and we appreciate doing that as well. But don't, don't keep it a secret. Give it a share; let other folks know as well. Thanks for joining us today. If you're listening live, we'll go into the midshow. And if you're not, with that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

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