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Boosting Your Coaching Skills via Gallup's Social Research

Boosting Your Coaching Skills via Gallup's Social Research

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series
  • Season 8, Episode 63
  • Learn about the extensive social research Gallup does through its polling, how and where to access it, and how it can take your coaching skills to a new level.
  • Interested in learning more on this topic? Read more about how to improve teamwork in the workplace.

Lydia Saad, Gallup's Director of U.S. Social Research, was our guest on a recent Called to Coach. Lydia -- along with Gallup Content Manager Adam Hickman -- explored some of the avenues of Gallup's social research and how these can move your coaching skills forward, including:

  • Where to access these Gallup resources
  • How these tools can uniquely enhance your coaching preparation
  • Ways to maximize your use of Gallup's vast research, even with minimal time

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

I hope as coaches or whatever the role that you're in ... you're in the conversation before [it] happens. I know part of that prework is stepping into their world.

Adam Hickman, 17:50

We try to hit you with the main point [of a story] at the beginning. ... If you just want a 2-minute read, you can read the highlights and the lead paragraph and look at that graph. And you'll get what you need.

Lydia Saad, 26:20

The more these coaches understand the breadth of public opinion, ... it's going ... to seep through what they do and just make them ... a level up in terms of what they bring to a conversation.

Lydia Saad, 40:24

Jim Collison 0:00

I am Jim Collison, and live from our virtual studios kind of around the world, this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on August 12, 2020.

Jim Collison 0:20

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. And I must say at this time, it's never been more important. If you're listening live, join us in the chat room. We'd love to have you there. Check in and let us know where you're listening from. If you're listening after the fact and you have questions about anything, you can send us an email: Don't forget, if you're on YouTube, you can subscribe right below the video window there. And of course you can listen to us as a podcast. Search "Gallup Webcasts" from any podcast app. Dr. Adam Hickman is our host today. Adam's Gallup's Content Manager, and Adam, that sounds super important. Welcome to Called to Coach!

Adam Hickman 1:03

Thanks, Jim. Great to be back. Good to see you. I love we color-coordinated our efforts on shirts.

Jim Collison 1:09

Yeah. That's good. We have a special guest today. Why don't you take a second to introduce her?

Adam Hickman 1:15

Yes, so welcome Gallup's Director of U.S. Social Research, Lydia Saad. She's with us today to talk through a little bit about why social research and how it intersects with coaching. And she comes today with Achiever, Strategic, Responsibility, Input and Learner. And I could say over the last year of seeing Lydia's work, partnering with her, her having to deal with my emails and conversations, I 100% agree. I think you're gonna hear it, see it and come to fruition on all of her Top 5 today. So Lydia, welcome!

Lydia Saad 1:44

Thank you.

Adam Hickman 1:46

OK, so as similar to what Jim had mentioned, "Director of U.S. Social Research" is a little intimidating, I will admit, as I was writing it out. What is your role? What do you do at Gallup?

Lydia Saad 1:58

So all that really means is that of the wonderful team that we have, and we all do a lot of the same teams, that I'm ultimately responsible for the questions that we ask on the U.S. Gallup poll, as well as the content that we produce, using that data -- most of which gets reported on the Gallup news site, which is news, which we'll talk more about later. And then some direct-to-social-media stuff. But that's what it means.

Adam Hickman 2:25

Got it. OK, cool. And the key word there: We will come back to that one. But if you're, if you want to see some of the, I would say beautiful work that our news team produces, and Lydia is a part of a lot, that's the first site to see. And we're gonna hopefully get you some articles out there today. It's most relevant that space right now. But social research, right, we can put them together. We've got an idea of the, of what it means, but why does social research matter right now?

Lydia Saad 2:53

Well, so social research means basically all the data we collect on, on the -- in the U.S. Gallup poll on U.S. society. You know, we also have social research in the World Poll. But because I'm U.S. research, we'll talk about that. You know, it's how people live their lives. It runs the gamut from their views on politics to domestic policy issues, but also their behavior. We measure -- we have long-term trends on people's diet, smoking, drinking, exercise, how religious they are. On abortion, we cover everything from -- excuse me -- on social issues, I always think, Abortion to Zed, A to Z, we cover everything -- run the gamut on social issues.

Lydia Saad 3:34

And these are all things that people, these views, these behaviors -- they're things that people carry around with them. We don't live in compartments. So all the things people think about, feel, do are who they bring to the table when a coach sits down to meet with them and talk about their strengths. So I think just the more familiarity coaches have with the range of behaviors and attitudes in the American public, I think that brings a lot of perspective to those conversations.

Adam Hickman 4:02

Sure, sure. And I love the idea of if -- and I have a high Analytical; those who have high Analytical, you're with me on this -- it doesn't need a % sign; words are data, right? And so what you guys are bringing to fruition is what are the words, the things, the feelings, pieces to it? And what does that translate into the social research that we have going on right now? And dare I say the most pressing issues that a lot of individuals are thinking about. I'll give an example more so towards the end of if I'm a coach, how do I pull this all together? But here's probably the, the one thing that I know -- if you talk Gallup outside of Gallup to people, like my neighbor, right. If I say, "Hey, you know what Gallup is doing?" "You mean the polling company?" Like, "Yes, that's a part of it. That's not the whole thing." But that, that sometimes if you know, you know; if you don't know, then we'll get you there. But how far does this go back? How long have we been doing Gall -- or social research of a sort?

Lydia Saad 4:57

Well, it's really -- this goes back to the founding. of the company by George Gallup in 1935. You know, back then it was called the American Institute of Public Opinion. So right from the get-go, he had his view on public opinion. And it was public opinion about what? It was things going on in society. One of the first news stories that we have in our archives from I think it's '35, or '36, is American support for child labor laws. And there's a little -- a picture of a little, little dirty boy with coal on his face in a, in a coal mine or a factory or something. And it was, you know, public support for child labor laws to protect children from having to work.

Lydia Saad 5:38

And so we've been going strong ever since then, with whatever the issues of the day are. Gallup has been there to measure what Americans think about, the policies and, and some of those, some of those questions we've continued to trend, and other things have evolved over time as policy issues have evolved.

Adam Hickman 5:56

Awesome, since 1935, so it's probably been a while.

Lydia Saad 5:59


Adam Hickman 6:01

Is there anywhere we can go and see some of the stuff that's backed in like to the vault of things? Any anywhere, if someone's curious, I always love -- I have one book back here that's sort of what questions were asked and what were the answers? And anytime we have people over and the conversation's getting stale, I'm always like, let me go grab that book cause I want to -- let's talk about what was going on in the past, cause I'll just turn right the nerd note on it. But where could you find any of that, if people are curious about where we -- where were we? What were we thinking about at that point to pull things forward?

Lydia Saad 6:31

Well, so the, the website, what we call Gallup News, is, is a great place. There are some places of the site that are kind of systematic; you can go in and see everything we've asked on the topic. And right now we don't make it super easy. The site is going to be revamped in the fall, so hang on, but right now if you scroll all the way to the bottom of the website, you'll see something that says Topics [Trends] A to Z. And you click on that, and you will see everything from -- Abortion to Yaks, or whatever it is, and you can click on that and see all the questions we asked with the full trend as far back as they go. So that's one thing.

Lydia Saad 7:04

Then we have another special type of story that we call The Gallup Vault. And we've published well over 100 now, where we take a deep dive into the past -- find a very interesting question we might have asked in the '30s, '40s, '50s or 60s. We revisit those results and, if possible, the actual news story that we published at the time. Go back and kind of quote from those news articles. What was Dr. Gallup saying at the time about this data?

Adam Hickman 7:30

Perfect. Yeah, there it is, too. And know, I mean, we, we use this as employees, just as anybody else's coaches could use them. I know when we start to think about workplace issues and trends, very similar site I jump on to and this is where we find this. So if you're thinking of as a coach so far, it's like, "Well, this is interesting. What do I do with it?" Well, just think of the stories, the coaching sessions you've had recently. What topics have they brought up that has a society influence or potentially they're a leader that could affect a change in their own company that they would like to know, What's the voice of, of the U.S. population thinking? Right. And even sometimes, I know you're director of U.S., but it doesn't just stop there. Is that right, Lydia? Is there global things on the site as well?

Lydia Saad 8:14

Yes, very much so. And more so up until COVID. You know, since COVID, a lot of our world polling had to stop until we could transfer the in-person data collection to telephone. But yes, there's a ton of stuff out there from from our World Poll, which is a great resource. It's the only worldwide representative poll of what people in over 120, 130 countries are thinking. And these are representative country polls. They're not just going into cities, which a lot of world -- other kind of global surveys do. And they cover all the same topics we cover. So that data is there also. Yep.

Adam Hickman 8:54

Go out there. Easy to say.

Lydia Saad 8:56

Yes. And it's actually, you know, there's a tag on the website that says "World." Yep. So that's a good place to start.

Adam Hickman 9:04

And I love the tiles of these. Because if you're, if you're a researcher, you go to the abstract, right, to find out am I gonna get in the immediate article? If you look at the title, the title will get you, but underneath there, look, look for the -- I always look for the names. So I'm looking for Megan Brenan, I'm looking for Lydia and Jeff Jones; those are my 3. I've just given away my tricks, but also the quick synopsis, right, will get you close to what's involved with that article as well. In the, that mean, just the niceness to this is that it's there for you download. It's there for you to utilize, and it's always, it's always the most relevant topic. You guys do a fantastic job with this.

Adam Hickman 9:41

And speaking of, right, it's our most recent commitment that we've made, so our Center on Black Voices. If you're not familiar with it, there is a site, Jim, maybe we could throw that up. But what it is is a 100-year commitment to report the Black experience in America. And if you think of social research, where can we -- yeah, there we go. There it is -- where can we bring the Gallup brand and thought-process things that we do around here? That will be an ongoing commitment. Lydia, is there anything more you want to add to that or, kind of what what makes that unique and special for us?

Lydia Saad 10:14

So Gallup has a long history of measuring American attitudes about race relations and civil rights, going back to the '50s. And we have maintained those trends all along. And as best as possible, we will periodically have oversamples of Black Americans and Hispanic Americans so we can report on their views on those things. So this is just a, like a supercharged version of that. We're going to be, be doing more with those Gallup trends. We're going to be doing bigger and more, more often oversampling of Black Americans so we can make sure to represent their views on things. But then we're also going to be going in new directions with the discoveries we've had around criminal justice and police and other things that have been in the American news recently to go deep dives on some stuff. We're going to have a whole workplace poll focused on racial equity. We're going to have a special focus just on police. So it's going to just, it's gonna be just go broader and deeper than we've ever gone before, but building on stuff that Gallup has had a commitment to for more than half a century.

Adam Hickman 11:27

Awesome. Yeah, so a little input on. on the workplace side of things. So congratulations to those that have pulled that together. That'll be a long commitment, but for the right reasons and right causes. Perfect.

Adam Hickman 11:38

So we can't get out of COVID conversations, right. If we're gonna -- let's talk a little bit about what that's involved, but also how social research has come into this. And then how do we use it as coaches as well? Our chief scientist Jim Harter has got it ingrained in my head: March 15 is kind of the date we've been using on, on when things went upside-down on COVID. And what -- where the, where it all starts. So let's say since March 15, we've watched over COVID very closely. Lydia and I are on frequent calls throughout the week on, what are the questions that are being asked? What's coming on; what's coming off? What's the sense of it? What, you know, what's it look like? If you've read our workplace articles, you'll see Panel data involved with that. That's as a result of Lydia and current team as well. But, but what we're trying to do is pull those into, while it might be a Panel conversation and a question asked, we're -- we're working those in because we know that has an implication on workplace.

Adam Hickman 12:34

So Lydia, from your perspective, what's the most prolific research finding we've made since that, or what's one that comes to your mind? And then we'll see how this translates over into into coaching.

Lydia Saad 12:48

Gosh, it's always hard to put one. I'm Maximizer, so it's very hard for me to -- that's like right below my Top 5, and I find that one causes me the most trouble. But, you know, let me just answer that a little bit differently. We've covered a whole bunch of different buckets in this topic, and they -- you think about planning ahead for polling, this is planning -- polling on the pandemic was not something we had, you know, scheduled. And so, you know, when this all happened, we just started asking questions left and right, thinking, What's going on today? How worried are people about this? How likely do they think they're going to get it? How long do they think this is going to be disruptive?

Lydia Saad 13:27

And then as it went on, we -- and social distancing suddenly became important -- we started asking people, How often are you doing this? Are you, are you staying home? And got very granular asking the American public about their social distancing behaviors. And then when it became clear that people were being sent home from work, and this was going to be very disruptive -- and this will be very relevant to workplace -- we started asking people about the, their concerns about their finances, their, their mental wellbeing, their physical wellbeing, how long they could go with social distancing before their finances, their health would be harmed by this.

Lydia Saad 14:09

And we started asking people how they're working. Are they going into the, into their workplace? Are they working remotely? How has that changed for them? And then, of course, we got into the whole education aspect as kids were going from the classroom to Zoom. So we quickly came on board with all of these different categories of measures. And we've had to stay one step ahead to think, Where is this going? And what do we ask now that will be a baseline for how this is going to go change going forward? You know, we weren't asking about masks initially, because we were told not to wear masks. And as soon as masks became important, we've been tracking masks, asking about masks in the workplace. Do people feel, you know, that that makes them safe? So it's all important. I can't pick one!

Adam Hickman 15:00

No, I love this. And can you hear Achiever, Strategic coming, just pouring out? But so let's keep your Achiever on, on point here Jim's -- I love this one Jim's pulled up here. Can you talk us through what is the site? And what was the idea to it? Why do we do it? I, I know I brought this up in weeks. I think this is the easiest format for us on a workplace side of finding out what we, what we have because we've got a lot of data. And knowing how to find it and where to find it in the moment that you need it sometimes is a challenge. But you've made it easy. So can you talk us through what this is?

Lydia Saad 15:32

Yes, this is really a companion document to something that we also have on our front page, which is called the COVID -- Gallup COVID roundup blog, where about once a week -- we're a little bit flexible with when we do it -- we, we do a summary of all the major findings from all the news stories we've published in the prior time period. But as we did that, we tried to put a little summary of every single article in that blog. So if someone wants the quick read on everything we found, you can go through that.

Lydia Saad 16:00

But then we also took out the links to the individual stories that we've been tracking and created this companion document sorted by topic. So if you just want to, if you know you want to know, you know, what's the first thing we found about, you know, masks, you can go to the social distancing category and look through that. Or if you want to know, Americans' views on their kids' schooling, you can keep scrolling down to the kids section, and you'll see everything we have on that. Keep going, keep going, keep going, keep going. Adults with -- here, children's wellbeing. It's under that side of the section. So it just, I know it's helpful to me to have things cataloged. I don't know if that's a strength but I like, I like things lined up. So --

Adam Hickman 16:43

Did maybe you felt the responsibility to make sure it's categorized correctly?

Lydia Saad 16:48

That might have been it.

Adam Hickman 16:50

In the input of knowing where to go get it -- secretly the site's for Lydia.

Lydia Saad 16:56

It's my brain on paper, but it works for me, and it's, it's apparently been useful for a lot of people. So might. Yeah.

Adam Hickman 17:04

Yes. So there's that site. The roundup site's always great. Let's keep talking COVID stuff more. So if you're thinking of, you know, How do you make sense of, you know, leading through disruption here? Things that are out there, there's articles associated with it, but even that page that we were just on, if you're, if you're stepping into a conversation where, you know, an executive or manager or whoever they, whoever it is that you're coaching has some curiosity about anything related to these topics.

Adam Hickman 17:37

Or you've seen, I was saying to Lydia yesterday, if you've studied athletes, one of the things they do is they're in the game in the moment, even before the game starts. They've kind of ran the plays each and every time in their head to know what that is. I hope as coaches or whatever the role that you're in, you kind of do the same thing. You're, you're in the conversation before the conversation happens. I know part of that prework is stepping into their world. So if you see on LinkedIn or whatever platform or however you're able to click into their world for a minute and find out, you know, they're a leader, but they're talking about social distancing the most. Well, what's the latest perspective that's going on related to social distancing?

Adam Hickman 18:19

Well, you could turn to many, many, many different media outlets. But you could also turn right to the site. Not only does that give you the perspective -- and we're going to share a little bit of depth on how do we get to this, how do we get these numbers and that? But then also, you're the expert. It's, you could send the article ahead of time, you could have the conversation and say, "Everything we've talked about on social distancing today and through our coaching session, I'll leave you a link for it. You don't have to click on it. You can go into it if you want to, you can click in it." And it kind of pushes you in front to say, "I've done my homework. I've done my research. It's credible, it's trustworthy, it's valuable. And here, here it is."

Adam Hickman 18:57

So again, if you're thinking, How do you integrate this into your coaching conversations? It's a part of the prework. But it's also part of the postwork as well on, you've worked it into your conversations and pre- or post-, whatever the case may be, you've put that into, into your coaching conversation, which just elevates your expertise of this, of this specific topic.

Adam Hickman 19:18

OK, so let's pick on a specific topic. It's almost September here in the state below Michigan. That's how I refer to the state because I happen to be a [University of] Michigan fan. So school is going to start. If I'm a parent, or I'm going to coach a parent, how could I utilize social research, or what would come up, what would come up that we've done recently that relates to parenting, or parents?

Lydia Saad 19:46

So, you know, kids, kids in the U.S. were pulled out of school in, in March and sent home, and schools scrambled. And within the next month, kids were mostly online. So we, we started tracking, asking parents, we were curious, how quickly are kids going to get back to education? And what's it going to look like? So first, we were just measuring what are parents, what are kids doing for schooling? And then, you know, that obviously has a very close connection to what are parents doing at home? Because without school, the parents had to do a lot more backfill to keep their kids going and reading or whatever, and workbooks. And then once school started, they have a lot of issues getting those kids up on, running on Zoom.

Lydia Saad 20:30

So we've done a lot of measurement of it. But at a certain point, toward the end of the school year, we took a reading of how parents were feeling about the next school year. Do you want your child to go back full-time? Do you want them a blended approach? Or do you want them to do completely remote learning? Very interesting that at that point, a majority of parents were ready for their kids to go back to school. We do have other data that there are a lot of stressors at home with the child emotionally and educationally to keep them going on online remote learning. Parents are ready for them to go back.

Lydia Saad 21:07

But flash forward to July, we now have that 56[%] who wanted their kids to go back full time has dropped to 36[%]. So in that time, obviously, the infection rate in the U.S. has gotten a lot worse. People, parents have a lot more concerns about safety going back. We now have 28% saying they want their children to do full-time distance learning, up from 7%. So parents have, have had to -- have made a big shift in their mindset about their child's schooling. And we know it has a big impact on their home life and their remote work life as well.

Adam Hickman 21:40

Yeah, yep. And I think every parent in U.S., global, whatever the case may be, has had that feeling of you know, what, what do we do? And no, no research to back this -- I think the higher percent was, I've had enough of summer. Can they just go back to school? And then it got closer, and it's like, Well, I don't know if I really want to send them just yet. And it's, it's cool to see how they -- it turns out from that.

Adam Hickman 22:03

But if you think of coaching as well, you're gonna coach parents, right? And if you know they're active, active parents, if you know they're parents, just the idea of like Gosh, yeah, I don't know what we're thinking about doing for school or for kids coming up, elevate yourself as the expert. Know what the science and research behind that says and say, Well, yeah, I hear what you mean. Did you know, you know, recent, recent Gallup research has, has kind of really uncovered? And then drop in the data point to where that's at, right, just changes the conversation a little bit, but also puts them at ease to say, OK, I'm not, I'm not too far off. This is what, what I was thinking, and this kind of confirms that along the way, too.

Adam Hickman 22:40

Let's keep, keep going on that same notion around that. Are there other articles or topics that you would say are COVID related that we should be keeping eyes on, or other, any other research that has come out recently that's interesting that you would see would be relevant or useful for coaches right now?

Lydia Saad 23:03

So we have, we just started asking questions about whether people would take a vaccine. So we found two-thirds saying -- we said, If, if there were a vaccine available that was FDA-approved and ready tomorrow, would you take it? And it was free? Two -- about two-thirds said "Yes." And about a third said "No." We'll be doing follow-up to find out why not. But interesting thing is, that rate was the same for employees, people who work, versus those who don't. So there will be issues with going back to work if people think that a vaccine is going to be just a silver bullet. It's, it's not necessarily, if that vaccine isn't, you know, doesn't have a very high effectiveness rate and we don't have a very high percentage of Americans taking it, we may not get to that herd immunity.

Lydia Saad 23:49

So I think if, you know, people are saying to you, "Well, when we get back to -- when we take the vaccine and we get back to work, everything's going to be great." I don't know -- maybe there's a point in that conversation to say, you know, "That's the hope, but right now this is where the American public is, and it doesn't look like it's going to be that quick, quick a process. Just one example.

Lydia Saad 24:12

Face-mask usage -- we, we've been starting to get into a little more granular on how Americans are using it. A large percent report that they're almost always or usually wearing a face mask in indoor settings when they cannot be physically separate from other people, but relatively small percentage, less than half, saying they always use a face mask in those situations outdoors. And so, again, it's a little reality check on how soon America will get this under control if people are not using the protection that may be necessary to, to slow or stop the virus. It just, you know, we'll see what happens. But it's a, it's an interesting conversation starter or, or fact to weave in there if you're talking about people's assumptions about getting back to normal. Those are the things that are going to factor into that.

Adam Hickman 25:07

Great. You know, it's Jim show on this, there's one thing I want to make mention of. There's a -- you can read a lot. I mean, just there's so much that you're hit with on social media, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, I mean, all of it. There's, there's a ton of data that's out there. One thing I hope that if you're listening, and you're able to check out articles, there's such a narrative logical flow to how we write and what we write. So if you're thinking, do I need to get in this and spend 10 minutes? No. Could you? Of course you could. You can spend as long as you want on there, right? But we've, we've got a word count and a time-on-page count that we try to anchor really quick. And on the workplace side of things, you probably see more of a narrative. Lydia, anything you'd like to say about that piece on how we write what we write, so people can get what they need and get out?

Lydia Saad 25:55

Yes, so we -- we have a outline where we typically will write, our story will be based around a table -- a trend or a table right up at the top. And that will have the key information. And we'll have just a very short introduction that just gets right into the data. And we usually have Story Highlights right above that, that give you the key points in the whole story if that's all you can read. But we try to hit you with the main point at the beginning. And then the rest of the article might be elaborating on that, might be breaking it out by a certain demographic or going a little deeper on the trend. But you, as, as Adam said, it's your choice. If you just, just want a 2-minute read, you can just read the highlights and the lead paragraph and look at that graph. And you'll get what you need.

Adam Hickman 26:40

And most important, so we're going to next, I've got some quick-round questions for you. If you see at the bottom of those articles, I don't know if, Jim, you can throw that one back up, there's a, there's a gray box there that's got the "+" sign. If you click on that, that gives you the method. In shortest fashion, Lydia, what is that box?

Lydia Saad 26:59

Survey Methods. So this is kind of a required disclaimer or transparency that we need to provide for surveys. Just tells people when -- what the survey dates are, what the sample size is, what the margin of error is around the numbers. And a little bit more about how the data was weighted, what, what demographic characteristics we made sure balance out to match census data so that we know our, our samples are representative. There's a lot more that can be put in here. But this is kind of the minimum that we need to put out to give people assurance that this is, these are valid numbers that can be projected to the population that we're reporting on, which is usually national adults.

Adam Hickman 27:40

Great. Yeah. Is there -- I know the sample, you guys, it's always impressive when I see the numbers, that's what makes me most excited and comfortable using it. Because it's not a representation of 10. Right. It's thousands. Is that pretty much the norm? Are we, are we trending right around the thousands?

Lydia Saad 27:57

Oh, well, so the Gallup Panel has been the vehicle, excuse me, for most of our COVID research, and that has the benefit of really big numbers, which are great, especially when you want to do subgroups. But our typical Gallup poll is a national adult sample of 1,000. And that is because it's done in a scientific way, it's very reliable with a margin of error of plus or minus 3, or plus or minus 4. So once, you know -- this is a little side note, but Dr. Gallup used to say you could almost just poll 100 people if you do it right. And that's all you would need. And it's true. We used to do pilot surveys, you know, if we had new questions, we'd just do a quick pilot survey to see how they're working, get the bugs out. We would do 50 to 70 interviews. And if you do them correctly, randomly, we would pretty much get the same result when we did 1,000. So don't get too hung up on numbers. Numbers are great when you want to do subgroups, but --

Adam Hickman 28:54

You get my Competition --

Lydia Saad 28:55

A Gallup poll of 1,000, yeah, Competition, I know.

Adam Hickman 28:59

I like thousands, big numbers.

Jim Collison 29:01

Adam, I will say as Lydia was going through these, and I'm in the background showing them, I didn't know in advance where you guys were going. So I was having to find them on the fly. And, and so I was a little bit behind. But you could see how fast I was bringing these in and up, and showing them without any prior -- I didn't have the links prior, in this case. I -- with some of the other ones, I did. But in this case, I didn't. So that page is really, really valuable. The, the page we were talking about before, if you're, if you're thinking about finding things, I just searched by -- you'd mentioned parents, I knew that was down towards the bottom. So I scrolled down to find that in the links.

Jim Collison 29:39

So a great way to quickly find it. Now, Lydia, in -- at one point, you said, Hey, Americans felt this way at the beginning of the summer about kids going back to school. Just 45 days later, they're already changing their mind, right. And so that news can change very, very quickly. So of course, this is also nice, the farther you go back in time, you get a little bit of a snapshot of the way people felt then, but maybe you compare that to now. So also be careful as you're searching through. Make sure, especially during this COVID situation, you know, you're watching dates on the posts of these, because we may have more current data that's more accurate.

Lydia Saad 30:15

Yep. Yep, and we got the dates there, as you can see, next to each link, and the most recent or at the top. So, yeah, make sure --

Jim Collison 30:23

It's a great resource.

Lydia Saad 30:24


Jim Collison 30:24


Adam Hickman 30:25


Jim Collison 30:26

All right, Adam, go through the lightning round.

Adam Hickman 30:28

OK, so here we go, Lydia. Quick as you can, how do we pick topics to study?

Lydia Saad 30:34

Well, it depends on the topic. But there's kind of two ways. One is we are a, an old organization that has trends. And so a lot of times, the topics pick themselves because we, we cycle through those on a routine basis. And it's time to ask "confidence in institutions" at the end of June or beginning of July; that gets on the survey. And we got a lot of that. But then otherwise, it's, it's picking up what's in the news, and we try to be right on point.

Lydia Saad 31:01

At the same time, we have a standard that we're not -- we don't want to do what we call "spot news." We're not going to just ask questions on things that are not going to be important a year from now or 10 years from now; we try to ask the -- find the enduring aspect of an issue and measure that. And so a lot goes into it, but we have a great team. We meet regularly -- we meet daily, actually to discuss what's in the news, what we need to poll on. Yeah.

Adam Hickman 31:30

So there's a pulse constantly.

Lydia Saad 31:32


Adam Hickman 31:33

I know on Mohamed's Gallup Podcast, he says at the end that they can -- you can pitch ideas. Is that, is that still true? How do we do that? If a coach wants to pitch an idea, how do you do that?

Lydia Saad 31:45

Yeah, just email us. You know, there's, there's a "Contact Gallup" on the website, and all that -- anything that's related to Gallup News gets routed to us, and we love suggestions. People will, you know, we'll, we'll take all those comments seriously. We don't get a lot of them. So we take the ones we do get really seriously, and they get, we -- they get discussed and sometimes put right on.

Adam Hickman 32:08

I marked down, "Start email." I'll start throwing ideas. Cool, can you -- if we wanted to, if somebody wanted to do social research in a certain area, could they hire Gallup to do this? Is that something we do?

Lydia Saad 32:23

Yes. So that's called our Public Release Department. And so they would go through a different door than what I do. You know, we, we're caretakers of the Gallup poll and all that. But there's a whole division of Gallup that will, first, it's very, we have very specific criteria for what kinds of research we do and who we will, who we will do it for. We don't work for candidates or political parties or advocacy organizations. And we don't do research that's trying to make a certain point or affect policy. But if it's a, if it's an approved topic by an approved sponsor, then people can do -- hire us to work with them to do a telephone poll, a Panel poll, a mail poll, whatever the right methodology would be. Get that data, either for their own use, that would not be public. Or it could be something they say, We want this to be a public release survey and be able to go out there and report it in the news.

Adam Hickman 33:18

Awesome. What goes into a study?

Lydia Saad 33:22

Doing it? I mean, all the steps?

Adam Hickman 33:26

I get you, yeah, you're like, "Are you kidding? Do I have to answer that question?" Just if you're thinking of, as we get set for, like, what, what goes into it? What's the team? You know, we got a good question in the chat room around, there's COVID, there's election things going on. How do we keep up with demand, and we add in this other entity of other things possible? How do you, how do we keep up with it? I mean, how do -- what goes all into it?

Lydia Saad 33:47

Well, I appreciate -- it has been very busy juggling all these things. And, again, being a Maximizer, you know, there are many more stories we think we'd like to write on each of these topics than sometimes we can get to. But we are, you know, doing our best to get out the most important stuff we can, and bringing in more people to write about it. It's been a great problem to have that there is so much important data. And we've been fortunate enough to collect it. So we've been, we've kept up, for the most part, but we're all working, I would say, many more hours this year than a normal year. COVID has been -- had a different effect on us than other places.

Adam Hickman 34:35

From an outsider's perspective, so Lydia and I are on the same team, but we obviously work in different divisions. And I get to see snapshots of the news team and the things that they're keeping, and they are loaded around the clock. Sometimes it's almost like, I'm always like, my Competition gets in, and I'm like, Gosh, how do I compete with that? I can't compete with that; there's only one -- I'm only one here. But yeah, so that's all, that, that's what I see happening.

Adam Hickman 34:58

I love this next question, because there's, there's so much rooted in What do you read anymore? And it circle -- it circulates around the trustworthy, what's credible? So how does Gallup Social Research, how do you keep it credible and trustworthy?

Lydia Saad 35:13

Well, we just, we, we view ourselves as a traditional news organization. We are pollsters, but we're also journalists of kind of the old school, where you don't, you don't interject your point of view; you don't -- you verify every fact 3 times before you report it. And we don't want to create opinion; we don't want to influence policy. We want to reflect what the American people think and report it objectively. And we all feel that way to our core. And so we all strive for that. And then we keep each other honest because we have a very aggressive peer review process, where we all review everything each other does, including our questionnaires. Be very easy to slip in the wrong word in a questionnaire and bias a question. So if that happens inadvertently, it gets scrubbed out long before it gets onto the phones.

Adam Hickman 36:11

Yeah. If you're familiar with our Q12, one of the questions around mission and purpose, that's probably, that's probably the best "mission and purpose answer" I've just heard about what's at our core. Because that's what keeps, it keeps driving us forward every day. You mentioned a little bit about this, but what are the items or topics or research items we won't report on or about?

Lydia Saad 36:32

Ah, top -- I don't, topics we won't report on? I can't think of a topic we won't report on. Ah, that's not true. We, you know, we stay away from like celebrity gossip. We stay away from, you know, sometimes the ins and outs of what's happening. You know, it's, for instance, when Brett Kavanaugh was nominated as the Supreme Court nominee. We have trend questions on people's favorable or unfavorable opinion of the nominee. We have questions on whether someone should be confirmed or not confirmed. We have questions on view of the Supreme Court. We didn't, we chose not to get into the weeds on the "He said, she said" questions. What do you believe? The kind of tabloid aspect of it, although very important questions at the time. There are a lot of other pollsters doing that. We have limited resources.

Lydia Saad 37:25

We felt our, our role was to provide the historical perspective on How does this nominee stack up against all the other 20 nominees behind him that we've measured support on? Is he more or less supported by the American people? So that's kind of an example of the boundaries we have. So yes, there are, I guess there are things we don't ask, and it just has to do with avoiding that -- the salacious and the, you know, all of that, and, and -- but, but providing the core information that's needed in this case. And in that case, he was the least popular Supreme Court nominee that we had ever measured. And so we've -- that information we put out there, and yeah.

Adam Hickman 38:15

Awesome. OK. Two, two more. What makes you most proud to report the news that we do?

Lydia Saad 38:26

In addition to what I just said about our standards, I think it's our methodology that both our Panel and our telephone -- the gray box, thank you, yeah -- that that's -- a lot of care goes into doing everything correctly. And that -- there's other firms that are still fighting the good fight to do it well, but I'm very confident that we have the gold standard on these things. So that, that makes me very confident what we report.

Adam Hickman 38:52

Awesome. OK, I feel like we could team up on this question. I felt like I was interviewing for a role here a minute. So Lydia, you're hired again! Great answers; we'll get a hold of you. Why would a coach, in your perspective, so I mean you, you have influence into the coaching network, and we're kind of showing how and why that is today. But it's not your full-time job. But if, if on the street, I stopped and said, "Hey, Lydia, why would a coach want to pay attention to any of these findings?" How do you answer that question?

Lydia Saad 39:24

I'm going to give you a really strange answer to this. And I'm not sure it's direct, but I think, I think it applies. One time I was interviewed, I was, I was called for jury duty. And I sat in the room where everyone sits, and then it was called to come in and talk to the lawyers and answer their questions and see if they wanted me for a jury. And they started asking me stuff, and they asked me what I did. And I was talking about the Gallup poll, and subjects came up and they said to me, "You're not like a normal person because you know stuff. You know a lot of stuff. Like you just know what's going on in the world. A lot of people have no idea what's going on in the world." It's not because I read a newspaper. It's because I understand public opinion. And I understand where Americans are on so many things. It just gives you a completely diff -- it levels you up so much in understanding every person you talk to, because there's a good chance you understand where they're coming from. Because you know where the public stands on things, and, you know, where men and women stand on things, and people in different regions of the country. And so I just think the more these coaches understand the breadth of public opinion, that they're going to just find ways it's going to be to seep through what they do and just make them not a normal person, make them a much -- a level up in terms of what they bring to a conversation.

Jim Collison 40:42

Adam, you said this a couple times -- make them the smartest person in the room, right, from that perspective. Lydia, we also asked one, and I'll add this to the lightning round. John had asked, How do you address the challenge of underrepresentation of subgroups that that are in your surveys? How do we make sure we're getting a complete -- and it's part of the science, but how do, how do we ensure that happens?

Lydia Saad 41:03

So with telephone surveys, it's done through weighting. And it work -- "weighting" -- like not "waiting" but "weighting" -- is the process where at the end of the survey, we look at the sample we got, and we say, How many out of 1,000 are men and women, are in each of these age buckets, are in each of these race buckets? And how close does that match census and if it's off, there's a process to weight the individual respondents to try to maximize the representation of the whole study.

Lydia Saad 41:35

And it works very well on telephone polls, because telephone polls -- even though we have lower response rates now -- are still very good at getting a random sample of the public. So those, those estimates are not too far off. And especially now with cellphones, with everyone holding, you know, the means that we need to reach them in their pocket -- and we're up to 70% cellphones on our, on our surveys -- we're getting a lot more young people; we're getting a lot more minorities; we're getting a lot more people that normally move around; lower-income people that oftentimes didn't have a landline or changed households. So we're actually getting really good samples. And we don't have to do a lot of that.

Lydia Saad 42:12

But the Panel surveys are different. And that involves doing oversamples, like intentionally taking our Panel of all Americans and oversampling the younger ones, because we might not have as many of them in our big group. Same for mail. If you're doing a mail survey, you got to send more letters out to certain types of people than others to get the numbers back that you need. So it depends on the mode.

Jim Collison 42:42

I'm gonna throw up here, particularly And I think, Adam, as we think about the best way, and Lydia, the best way to connect with us, this may be the page you bookmark, right. So if you go to news, and you can see this information. In fact, I think the roundup that we were talking about is right there on the front page, right. And so you can head over there and get the roundup page available to you there. And then we talked, I showed that one, this one a little bit earlier, as well as all the links that are associated are out there as well. So it's a great way to stay connected that way. Would you add any other resources, Lydia, as we think about other, other places people should go?

Lydia Saad 43:27

Ah, well, like I said that A to Z on the bottom, I would just show that one more time and show on the, on the homepage how to find it. Actually, if you go right to the homepage, I think it's also now linked at the top left. I don't think you have to scroll all the way to the bottom.

Jim Collison 43:39

Let's bring that back up.

Lydia Saad 43:40

Let's see if I'm correct on that.

Jim Collison 43:41

Give me a second here. So you say it's all the way to the left?

Lydia Saad 43:43

Right there. Explore trends right there.

Jim Collison 43:45

Right there.

Lydia Saad 43:46

Right there.

Jim Collison 43:49

And it will take you to it. My internet connection's a little slow, but there we go.

Lydia Saad 43:53

Yeah, and you can see, I mean, there's Airlines, Alcohol, Business and Industry Sector Ratings, Children, Crime, all sorts of things.

Adam Hickman 44:08

Work, Work and Workplace. I gotta plug that one.

Lydia Saad 44:10

Yes. I do want to say something about work. You know, Gallup, we do do polling on Americans' satisfaction with their job overall and in specific elements, and public support for labor unions and some other aspects of work. But in terms of U.S. social research, we stay a bit away from going too deep on workplace because Gallup has a whole Workplace division that Adam could talk more about that does a whole lot of research on workplace issues. So that's -- there, there'd be another website to go for that.

Adam Hickman 44:49

After you visit News, then go to Workplace.

Jim Collison 44:53

I think -- there was also a question about Gallup trends a little bit earlier. So at the bottom of that page, we do have some access here to historical Gallup trends. And it goes a little bit deeper than what's available on our website as well. Of course, you can contact us for that. Some of that research is paid research that you can get access to through us. Adam, any, any other final things we want to cover as we kind of bring this in for a landing?

Adam Hickman 45:17

Yeah, Lydia's courtroom story is a good story, because I was thinking of, What's the "home run" answer I would be aiming for when I asked, you know, Why would we pay attention as a coach to this? There's a lot of things you got to worry about, a lot of things you got to think into it. So just adding this more to it -- what's the difference?

Adam Hickman 45:34

Well, here's a quick scenario for you. You're about to coach an executive that lives in the Northeast part of the United States. You know, they've got children. One of them's going to U of M [University of Michigan], which is a great choice. Maybe one's in middle school, and a niece is in, is an elementary school. And their company's struggling with remote working. That's kind of the input you have going into it. Just that, that much input alone, if you think of, well how do I get prepared -- I was gonna say "the game" because my Competition never shuts off. So how do you get ready for the game? Right? How do you get ready for that quarter?

Adam Hickman 46:04

You turn and you look at the news items that are out there on the topics to say, What can I find going on the Northeast U.S.? What can I find out about college and education? You said that's a topic that's in that top trends. Elementary school, I wonder what's going on with children, things that related to that? Struggling with remote working, hmm, there's probably some workplace pieces I could tie into that as well.

Adam Hickman 46:23

So if you think of the day -- it's sitting there for you, and, again, elevate yourself to the expert, expert in the room; you can start that conversation there. You can have preloaded articles, things that you can send out ahead of time, you can send them out afterwards, that just helps you build your credibility, but also expertise in that conversation to know -- you've just heard all of the rigor that goes into social research that we have here at Gallup. Why not use it? It's out there for you. So courtroom or not, it's great you guys do what you do, and thank you for being a part of that.

Jim Collison 46:57

Lydia, would you add anything to that? It just, we can't let Adam off that early or that easy. Would you add anything to that as well, in that courtroom case?

Lydia Saad 47:06

Oh -- they didn't pick me for the jury, so --

Adam Hickman 47:09

Me neither; I never get picked!

Lydia Saad 47:11

Yeah. And they -- neither one wanted me. So the judge got rid of me, because neither one wanted to use their exemption or whatever to get rid of me because they knew the other didn't want me so. But I think, I just think it's, it might be a little bit hard. I think I mean, Adam's, given some really vivid examples of how you might work this in, but I think that just spend some time with the website. Go to what interests you, and it'll stick, you know. And then I think, I think it'll be more evident how you can use it in your conversations when you become familiar with the material. Yeah, that's what I'd say.

Jim Collison 47:49

All right. Sounds good. I think you can send an email to You can also send us -- if you can't remember that, and that's a hard word to spell, especially for me, just remember coaching. That's easy for me to spell. Send an email to We have folks available 24/7 monitoring those email addresses. And we'll send your questions to the right person. I get actually a couple of those a day now from you. And so we appreciate your questions. If you want to, maybe you're part of a larger organization or a large university and you want to partner with us in some way, contact us. And we'd love kind of to start that conversation. Course, Adam, anything else before I close it?

Adam Hickman 48:27

No, I think that's it. There's just so much that goes into this. I hope everyone can take away and get used to it. If you get stuck in the weeds, and you can't find it, can't find what you need or where you need to go, use me as a resource as well.

Jim Collison 48:41

Yeah, sounds, sounds good. I've actually learned a lot today. I mean, I'm on quite a bit and I hadn't seen the A to Z page. And so a great resource now to, to go out and find those things. I often find, Lydia, I spent a lot of time on the coaching site, so, finding those articles for folks. But now on the News side I know I got a "one up," and it makes me look smart. So that's -- even though I'm not.

Jim Collison 49:04

We want to remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available. I mentioned that on the CliftonStrengths side; or for anything that we talked about today, and you can, you can head out there today and get access to that. If you want to listen to us as a podcast, just search "Gallup Webcasts"; that'll actually, and we mentioned this, Mohamed Younis is our is our host for The Gallup Podcast, and this would be a great way to tie in with us. Very quick podcast, every -- almost weekly, available for you. It's just called -- we got super creative -- "The Gallup Podcast." You can find that where -- anywhere podcasts are found in the apps on your phone there, or on the web anywhere. You can find Called to Coach, same spot, just search "Gallup Webcasts" as well. On YouTube, track us down just by finding "CliftonStrengths." If you want to send us that email, send it to Find us on Eventbrite so you know when these things are coming up: And of course, you can find us on Facebook: If you're not a Facebooker, and maybe it's better if you're not these days, but if you're not, you can find us on LinkedIn. Search "CliftonStrengths Trained Coaches," and I'll let you in that group as well. Want to thank you for joining us today. If you found this helpful -- and coaches, you should have found this helpful. Share it, just take this. Let folks know, send the link. I'll say, "You know what? You should probably listen to this." We appreciate those shares as well. Want to thank you for joining us today. Don't forget, if you're listening live, Theme Thursday tomorrow. Come out and join us for that as well. Thanks for joining us today. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Lydia Saad's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Achiever, Strategic, Responsibility, Input and Learner.

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

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