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CliftonStrengths
Resiliency Through CliftonStrengths: Career Wellbeing
CliftonStrengths

Resiliency Through CliftonStrengths: Career Wellbeing

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series
  • Season 8, Episode 76
  • Learn how to define and leverage career wellbeing, including the manager's role, family considerations, and what success means as you pursue a career.
  • Interested in learning more on this topic? Read more about how to improve teamwork in the workplace.

Faith Gaines, Executive Director for Consulting at Gallup and a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, was our guest on a recent Called to Coach. In this conclusion to our series on the 5 Elements of Wellbeing, Faith discussed the importance of career wellbeing and the impact it has on people's lives, including:

  • What it means and how it interfaces with your CliftonStrengths
  • How you can give back in your career and as a coach, and the benefits of doing that
  • Defining success for yourself, and using that to navigate your career aspirations and the seasons of your life

Access other webcasts in this Resiliency Through CliftonStrengths series: Physical Wellbeing; Financial Wellbeing; Community and Social Wellbeing.

At the heart of career wellbeing is really ... liking what you do every day. And if you don't have that deep appreciation for what makes you unique, what sets you apart, ... it's hard to have that enjoyment and fulfillment.

Faith Gaines, 6:18

I think that's also important, just to define what a work-life balance means for you, and to really evolve it based on the season that you're in in life, because I know that changes as well.

Faith Gaines, 17:31

Just that need to connect human to human and uplift and just touch people soul to soul goes a long way, especially in a year like we've had this year.

Faith Gaines, 24:11

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

Jim Collison 0:00

I am Jim Collison, and live from our virtual studios literally today around the world, this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on November 13, 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. It's just available for you, actually, on the live page. There's a link right above me there; it'll take you to the YouTube page that has the chat in it. Many of you have found your way into the chat room, and you can ask your questions live. If you're listening after the fact, maybe as a podcast or on YouTube, it's a recorded version, you can always send us an email: coaching@gallup.com. Don't forget, if you're on YouTube, subscribe. That way you get notified whenever we do something; you hit the Like button while you're at it. That's always kind of nice, makes us feel good. And then if you want to listen to us as a podcast, you can do that as well. Just search "Gallup Webcasts" on any podcast app and subscribe there. Faith Gaines is our host today. Faith's an Executive Director for Consulting and a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach. Faith, welcome to Called to Coach!

Faith Gaines 1:16

Thank you, Jim. It's good to be here. I'm a longtime listener, but a first-time caller. So thanks for having me.

Jim Collison 1:21

You know, I was kind of wondering, I think -- I've had you on at least once before, right? Or is this the first time you've hosted with me?

Faith Gaines 1:26

I think this is the first time. We've done other things -- well, we did do it at the Summit one year, live. So it is the second time, that's right.

Jim Collison 1:32

We did. And I think I've done some calls with you. So always great to have you, always great to see you. Give us a little bit of your background on what you do for Gallup, kind of what you get paid to do. Weave in your Top 5, or you can just kind of tell us your Top 5 in the context of that, if you want to. And then why are you in Nairobi? So answer all those questions for us.

Faith Gaines 1:53

Definitely. So I'll start with the first one. Why am I in Nairobi? So my husband is a diplomat. And so we are assigned here for two years. And Gallup is really great and has a really flex work-from-anywhere policy. So I have the opportunity to work from here, and I get paid to do 3 things. The first is to design and then operationalize our strategy for our Middle East and North Africa. The second is to really help our clients use Gallup tools to fix their broken workplaces, whether that's culture, employee engagement, leadership development or customer centricity. And then the third thing is I get to develop and coach team members from across the organization to help them reach their career goals.

Faith Gaines 2:38

And my Top 5, I'm gonna give you my Top 10 -- is that OK? I own all 10. OK, so I have Individualization, Learner, Maximizer, Relator, Ideation, Self-Assurance, Intellection, Competition, Futuristic.

Jim Collison 2:52

Ooh, I like the Competition in there. So it's gonna be a good one today; you're gonna, you're gonna want this one to be the best because we are in the last of the 5. So we've been working through the each one of the elements of wellbeing. Ryan Wolf kicked us off with physical wellbeing; we had Ronny and Maria come talking about financial. Social and community, Jim Harter came on and talked about that. You're wrapping us, as we think about career wellbeing. Faith, why is -- and I think, you know, everybody kind of knows this. But I think just to get, to set it straight, why is career wellbeing so important? And I think maybe for us, because we spend so much time working, but give us a little background on, on, on why career wellbeing, and why do you focus on it so much?

Faith Gaines 3:35

Yeah, I think you alluded it to there. I think most of us spend most of our lives at work. And when we think about the 5 elements of wellbeing that you just highlighted, career wellbeing significantly impacts all the other areas, right. So if you have low career wellbeing, it impacts your physical wellbeing, your social, your financial, your all 4, all 4 of those elements as well -- community wellbeing as well, thank you. And so at the core of it, we define it as really liking what you do every day and being motivated to achieve your goals. But it's really surprising that globally, only 20% of people strongly agree that they have an opportunity to, to do that on a day-to-day basis. So there's a huge part of the workforce, at least, that's not career-fulfilled.

Faith Gaines 4:21

But it definitely has implications for everything from, you know, health, mental health, emotional health, but also in a time like we're in in 2020, when it's the year many people are calling it the year of the reset, right. I think it's an opportunity just for people to really explore and evaluate if, you know, what they get to do every day really gives them energy, whether it's their passion, whether it's their purpose, and how they can better leverage their talents and who they are to really meet it.

Jim Collison 4:48

You're a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach. And so one of the reasons I brought you on is because you have that unique, you work both in our, in our practice as far as, as we help companies do this, and then you also can take it from the perspective of a Certified Strengths Coach. And so if I, if I was a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, and you were going to give me some advice about how to help people do this, what kind of things can, can coaches do to -- maybe questions to ask, or what kind of stuff could they do to begin to get people to think about this? "I'm having I, you know, I don't like what I do. I don't like where I work. I don't like what's going on." How do I start that process, Faith?

Faith Gaines 5:26

Definitely. That's a great question, and I think at the core of it, it starts with who people are, and helping them figure out what do they like to do? What gives them energy? What do they wake up in the morning, and they can't wait to get to do that, which, I think, our Gallup strengths -- Certified Strengths Coaches do that really beautifully and just helping people understand who they are, what their natural talents are. And I think, just as important, it is to evaluate where you are in your career today and try to figure out what are the things that you enjoy most about your role? And what are the things maybe that you enjoy least about your role? Because that could give you clues about whether or not you're in the right "fit," depending on whether that balance is Yes, I spend 80% of my time doing what I love, and 20%, doing things that I, that I have to do.

Faith Gaines 6:11

But I think it really starts with just that helping people understand what their talents are, and also helping them understand what they're not good at, because at the heart of career wellbeing is really that liking what you do every day. And if you don't have that deep appreciation for what makes you unique, what sets you apart, whether you are a coach or somebody working within an organization, I think it's hard to have that enjoyment and fulfillment.

Jim Collison 6:35

Let's flip that on its head a little bit as we think about organizations, where -- is it possible for organizations to look internally at their own, their own kind of staff and start saying, "Do we have people lined up in the right, in the right roles, doing the right things?" Can that same process, because it's very expensive, turnover is very, very expensive. And if I can convert someone from one role to another, that's a lot less expensive than letting them go and having to hire someone else. So can organizations make that flip too? Can they begin to look at, "Do we have the right people lined up?" Have we done anything like that?

Faith Gaines 7:08

Yeah, absolutely. I think it's important for organizations and, specifically, at the manager level, managers to be having those conversations, those career conversations with their teams around what gives the most, the most energy, when are they most productive, what motivates them. And really understanding if people are in the right "fit" to role, because I think that makes a difference in all of the metrics we know, Jim, contribute to a great workplace -- whether that's, you know, engagement or wellbeing like we're talking about today.

Faith Gaines 7:36

So I think if I were to take it into an organization, I would really equip and empower managers specifically to have in-depth conversations with people about who they are, their specific role, and who do they want to be? You know, where do they want to go in their career? I think is also an important question for managers to have a perspective about for everybody on their team as well.

Jim Collison 7:57

Faith, it took me 30 years to find my career, and then it probably took me 20 more to find this career. So it's not like it happens overnight. But as we, as we think about advice we give to people about -- because this is an important, like, Am I doing the right thing based on my, what I'm good at, what I'm talented in, where I've made investments in the past? How long should we expect that process to be? Does it have to be 50 years? Can it be fast? Can you give a little advice on that?

Faith Gaines 8:23

Definitely. I think it depends on people. And I think it really does evolve and change over time. You know, I think, even in my own journey, I started first in business development primarily, and then moved into, you know, more of account management, working directly with clients to construct solutions and help them operationalize it. And I found that I had a lot of energy there. And so I think, you know, it could take 50 years, it could take 5 years. I think a coach is one way that people can accelerate getting to that specific destination because a coach can help them understand who they, who they are, where they want to go and the fastest way to get there. So I think my personal belief is everybody should have a coach. I think even coaches should have coaches because I think it just helps you just gain a deeper appreciation and awareness for who you are and helps you make some of those tough decisions. But I think it is OK to transform and change over time. And, you know, change is the only thing that's constant, especially in 2020. So I think that it's all right to move from career to career, for sure.

Jim Collison 9:30

Yeah, I never saw, you know, when we were, when we started podcasting, I never saw this event coming that would make us ready. I was in the right place at the right time, ready to do, to create content in a, in a now a completely virtual world, lining up some of those talents, the, some of the work that I'd put in and just crazy timing. Like no, nobody knew this was gonna happen.

Jim Collison 9:51

Faith, how important is the role then of, of investing in ourselves? Like, it's great we can ask these questions and talk about this and think about it with a coach. But can you talk a little bit about what do we have to do? What's the, from an individual standpoint, what do we have to do to make those investments for change?

Faith Gaines 10:08

Yeah, definitely. It's a great question, Jim. And I think one of the greatest investments you can make is in yourself. I once had a mentor who told me that you can only take your clients to the level that you're at in terms of your skill set, right. And so the more that you're able to increase your skill sets, whether through courses, whether it's investing in a coach, like we talked about, yourself, that allows you to refine your skills, and be able to help people at a higher level, right, to really serve at a higher level than you'd be able to. So I'm a huge fan of mastering your craft.

Faith Gaines 10:42

When I first started at Gallup, our CEO, Jim Clifton, you know, he said, "Welcome to Gallup," and, you know, "figure out what you want to be the best in the world at and continue to invest in that over time." And I really just held that with me, and it stuck with me. And I think it really does make a difference when you're consistently investing and growing yourself. And one of the things I do personally is I have an hour of learning scheduled on my calendar. I have Learner in my Top 5, as I said. My dream would be just to do it all 8 hours of the day, but I can't do that right, Jim? So --

Jim Collison 11:13

But you could sure try.

Faith Gaines 11:14

I could try, I could try. But it's an hour. I protect it really intently, but it's an hour where I'm learning about my clients, I'm learning about myself, or I'm investing in learning about the topics that are top-of-mind, either for us as an organization internally or for the stakeholders that we serve externally. But I really do think that, you know, you can only serve at the level that you grow. And so it's really important to invest in yourself as a coach.

Jim Collison 11:42

Faith, we've been spending a lot of time at Gallup talking about managers. They're having a conversation in the chat room about it now, and we have this concept of manager going from a boss to coach. How important at the manager level is this for managers to see this kind of -- to answer both questions: 1) Do I have people lined up in the right place? 2) Am I getting them the development that they need to learn and grow? How important is that, for managers to understand that? And how does that coaching play in with that?

Faith Gaines 12:12

Yeah, I think it's really critical. And when we look at our data, we know that 70% of the variance of engagement within a workplace is due to a manager, you know, and people -- we say people don't leave companies; they typically leave a bad manager. And so it is really important for managers to make that pivot from that old command-and-controls type of leadership to more coaching, right, where they're coaching people around helping them find their purpose. They're coaching them around their strengths. They're giving them continual feedback, because what we do see is it has -- it pays dividends, in terms of performance, on the back end for the people that they serve.

Faith Gaines 12:47

But we also recognize that that's really a hard pivot to make for most managers. If you've been, you know, managing for 25, 30 years, and someone comes in and tells you, "You need to change everything you're doing." I think naturally, people would be resistant to that. But I think when they start to see the return on investment for making that shift, and the difference, just in terms of their own wellbeing but also the wellbeing of their people, they're more likely to keep going along that. But I think managers are really, really critical.

Faith Gaines 13:15

And even when we look around the world at engagement numbers, I think it shows us that we're, we probably have more managers leading from the old style than the new style. You know, we have about 35% of employees that are engaged globally. So just a little bit over 3 in 10. And those numbers do change, you know, in certain geographies. You know, I think Asia is our highest, with about 50%, but it ranges from anywhere from 35% to 50%. So about half your workforce coming in not engaged. So I think that ability for managers to pivot and to learn the specific coaching skills that they need is really pivotal for just the leadership of today, I was gonna say "leadership of the future," but the future is here. So leaders of today.

Jim Collison 13:58

We spent some time early in the year, very beginning of the pandemic talking about the 5 Conversations, right? This comes right out of It's the Manager, this -- these 5 different types of conversations that managers can be having with, with their staff, with their employees, those that they're coaching, let's say, in this case -- that they're not bossing around anymore, but that they're coaching. And so we have those for you. So if you go to gallup.com and search "5 Conversations," those are available. We created one on each. But certainly this developmental conversation, this idea of, Are we positioning you right?

Jim Collison 14:30

I have a, I am, you know, living proof of that, even in my career at Gallup right up to this point where, when the, when, you know, when COVID hit and the pandemic took force, I went full-time. I had been doing recruiting and, and podcasting and webcasting. And my manager said, "Well, you know, you're going to go full-time webcasting now. Because there isn't a lot of recruiting to do and we need you." And so there was a pivot of a change of my manager saying to me, "You know what your responsibilities are now, right. We know, we know what you need to do." So in a great coaching conversation, I didn't have to, I didn't have to think hard about that one; I just said kind of "Yes" to that.

Jim Collison 15:09

But that was actually a conversation we had early in the pandemic. And I think it's really, really important managers have those, lay out those expectations. I kind of felt like it was moving in that direction, but I kind of needed my manager to, to validate it. That doesn't happen unless I'm having actual conversations, right, with my manager, and a lot of times those don't happen.

Jim Collison 15:31

So, Faith, how do we define success in this? It's easy to talk about these things. And for me, I define success -- I had a very successful -- we did more webcasts from January through June than I did all of last year, responding to the pandemic. That's an easy way of measuring success. That's not easy for everyone. Faith, how do we go about this? If we're, if we're making these changes, how do we define success?

Faith Gaines 15:54

Yeah, it's such a great question, Jim. And I think, and I encourage people I coach to define success for themselves. I think, often in our careers, you know, success is defined for us, right, by other people. There's kind of a blueprint that we've created in terms of the expectations that we have, our family has, our society has about what it means to be successful. And I think, especially in the times that we're in today, I'm seeing a lot more people revisiting what their definition of success is and making it more holistic, right. Looking beyond just the climbing of the corporate ladder, but looking also for the contributions that they're making, right, the connections and the deep relationships that they have, how they're giving back to their community.

Faith Gaines 16:36

And I think it's important that, you know, that definition of success is connected to a really, really strong "Why." I think, for me early in my career, you know, my definition of success was really about kind of a title or where I wanted to go. And as I've evolved in my career, I really started to just think about what contribution I wanted to make, what difference I wanted to make in the world and how I wanted to best serve both our clients, our teams, and my friends and family as well. And so my definition is a little bit more rounded right now.

Faith Gaines 17:07

And I think the other piece about the definition of success is early on in my career, I thought that, you know, work-life balance was a myth. I thought it had to be an equal equation. You know, if I worked 50 hours, I needed to have 50 hours of freedom. And so I think that's also important, just to define what a work-life balance means for you, and to really evolve it based on the season that you're in, in life, because I know that changes as well. And so now I have less barriers between work and life. I think it's a lot more fluid, but it works for me; it works for our family as well. And so I think, yeah, I think it's important to also, as a manager, to really know what the definition of success and the career aspirations of the people that you work with are, and where they want to go, and to be flexible to change and adapt with them when they need to, based on things that are happening.

Faith Gaines 17:57

I'm seeing a lot of people now reevaluating both success, but also reevaluating the career that they're in. I think this year has really encouraged people to think about, Am I in the right role? Am I in the right job? Should I be in another job, right? Or should I be in another career? So I think just even thinking about that allows people to go to the origin of where their definition of success comes from, and also gives them the freedom to explore something different if it makes sense for them.

Jim Collison 18:26

Those are such great words that you just said there. I would encourage folks to go back and really dig into that, just the last 2 minutes of what you said. As you were saying it, I, just this week, you know, we've been spending a ton of time on Theme Thursday this season thinking about Talent Mindfulness -- this, this idea of thinking about what's going on around you. And I've tried to be a little more in tune to how my body is feeling about work. Like when I am in doing work, how am I feeling about it at the moment? And Monday and Tuesday of this week, I just went after some things. There was some, some work that needed to be done. I was doing 10- or 12-hour days, just because I wanted to crush it; like I wanted to get this in and done. It was important work. By Wednesday, I was feeling, Wednesday afternoon, I just couldn't get started. Like I couldn't get my motor started. And I remember thinking, I'm gonna go do something different.

Jim Collison 19:14

So Wednesday afternoon, I didn't say I'm taking the day, I didn't say I'm taking time off. I just thought about, learned some things, did something different for a couple hours, 3, 4 hours, just took my mind off it, did something different, just spent some time. It was a real microadjustment that I don't know if I've ever really kind of done for the most part of, even in the midst of a week, not the career, not maybe a project, but even during a week to kind of think through like, OK, I can't sustain this this week. I'm gonna need to take a little downtime during the week, at least think of something, at least think of something different. And so for me, defining success was, How did I feel on Thursday? Like when I came, when I woke up Thursday morning, how do I feel? How do I feel about my -- what I'm doing? Am I ready to get going? Is it -- is it that simple? I mean, is it -- can that be a component of How do I feel about my role today?

Faith Gaines 20:08

Definitely, I think that's really important. I think people think of it really at the, the macro level normally when they're thinking about success, but I think the micro is really important too, you know, in terms of figuring out what is fulfillment for you on Thursday, you know, for you as the example you just gave? Or what does success look like for me today is really important to continue to evaluate and have flexibility in that. And I think our talents really give us clues when it comes to this. And so over the last probably 2 years, I've been experimenting with strengths stacking or strengths pairs, to try to figure out what combination of strengths do I lean into and what order, when I'm in a specific situation? So if I wake up, and I just don't have the energy, or I'm not motivated, for me, the strength I have to lead with is Learner first. If I can listen to a podcast, read a book or anything like that, that really feeds my brain, I go Learner, Ideation, my Maximizer. And then my Achiever can make a list for what I need to do.

Faith Gaines 21:04

So I think it's also important to look at strengths from a success perspective and figure out, you know, what strengths fill up for you in what situations? And how can they help you -- pull you forward in those moments where you may not be, you know, ready or as motivated or excited to do the things that you need to do as well?

Jim Collison 21:22

So great, I have this, I was talking to you about this in the preshow. I have this Arranger-Maximizer combo that likes to move things around, and not necessarily for any reason. But could it be better this way? And so I'm constantly adjusting and adapting my background here in the home, in the home studio, just moving things around. "Oh, I kind of like this over here, and I like these things over there." That's actually a very calming thing for me. So for -- it, for some people, that creates chaos. They get uncomfortable, they, they want things to be the same way. I actually like them to be different, which puts me in a great spot to be careerwise, where, you know, things -- the pandemic shook everything up. I was like, "Bring it on!" This was OK, let's do some things differently. Like this series was born out of a response, this Resiliency series was born out of a response to that. I thrived into that. Not everybody does, by the way. Right?

Jim Collison 22:14

So I think your point is looking -- and I think this is where coaches can really help, right, is -- looking at someone's themes, how can we really, how can we really maximize those? Or how can we take advantage of those? "Exploit" is a word that I like to use sometimes -- how can we exploit those for, for positive momentum, for positive gain going forward? How can I take advantage of those in these times and really make it work in a way? So I think coaches have a great responsibility, whether they're managers or not, to help folks see those. And so if it's leaving clues, how important, and, Faith, we talked about this in the, during social and, and community wellbeing -- the importance of giving. How can we, how, in our career, can we give back? How can that go beyond -- because it feels so good to give. Like I think, I think we underestimate helping people and the power of that. How in our careers can we bring this element of giving in, and give? How can we do that?

Faith Gaines 23:11

I think there's lots of ways that you can do it. And I think as a coach, you can, you know, potentially do it in terms of giving away a couple of free coaching sessions to specific people or mentoring and coaching upcoming coaches in the business is another way that you can give back. I think of it, you know, within Gallup, it's, it's mentoring people, it's giving feedback, it's, also with our clients, going above and beyond what they expect, in terms of your relationship, I think, is a really, really great way to, to give. And it makes such a huge difference, especially in the times that we're, that we're in today, whether it's a small thing or a big thing, I think we just need to give more than we receive as a kind of a value that I was raised with in our household, and it's just a mantra that I've carried with me. And I think in a year like we're in now, and Jim, you mentioned this, where, you know, for some people, it's they're viewing it as a really tough, really difficult, really challenging year. And it really has been for a ton of people. And so I think just that need to connect human to human and uplift and just touch people soul to soul goes a long way, especially in a year like we've had this year.

Jim Collison 24:21

The audience has heard me, and I threw it out to the audience: I want to hear how you guys are giving back. This would be a great opportunity, I think, to get some, to get some chat room involvement here. Faith, for me -- and if you've been listening to any of these, you know this, but -- I've been doing virtual happy hours every Friday since this thing started. So John, John Cleveland here, a good friend of mine at Gallup, we get together every Friday afternoon. We'll do it again today. And it's just been that way of connecting, and he kind of gives me a rundown on his week and we're doing kind of similar things. And so I help him do some things. He's given me some great ideas on some ways to implement some things here. So it can be as, can kind of be as simple as that. Chat room, some stuff coming out of the chat room talking about mentoring others, definitely. Definitely mentoring, Nate says, "Dfinitely mentoring; always be giving."

Jim Collison 25:12

Faith, let me ask you, like, as we think about mentoring relationships, can you talk about that really quick? Cause that's an easy thing to say. But when you think of mentoring, what are those, what are those responsibilities, or what are you really doing in a mentoring role?

Faith Gaines 25:25

Yeah, so in a mentoring role, I think you are, first, beginning with understanding and getting to know your mentee as much as possible. So understanding what their unique strengths are, what their blind spots are, what their aspirations are, you know, how are they defining success and where they're trying to go. And then I think it's both formal and informal. So it's kind of the formal development and coaching where you're having consistent meetings with them, whether it's, you know, reading a book together, or it's helping them understand and go deep on a specific topic. And sometimes it's just helping them understand the landscape of the workplace that, that you're in and giving them advice around that. But it's also the informal of, Hey, this just happened at work. And I need a sounding board or someone to talk to or advice. So I think it's both kind of those two things.

Faith Gaines 26:13

But I think if you have a clear understanding of who the mentee is, where they're trying to go, and how your strengths connect and how you can help them get there, I think that makes a successful mentor relationship for sure. And I always say that, I think as a mentor, you can also learn a ton from the mentee. So I think there's also a piece of that humility, right, and just that there's a lot that they can give you too, in terms of their experiences, or their perspectives and the way they view the world that's additive to the relationship as well.

Jim Collison 26:45

No, I think a really key. Lisa makes a point. She says she asks everyone in every situation to share how they're taking care of themselves. And I think that's, like, really, really key. We can't just assume it's happening. How are things going? And then don't let "Fine" be, be the default answer. Don't let that be, like, no, How is it really going? You know, I have this good friend Maika, who can sense in my voice when things aren't right or when they are, right. And she'll, she'll sense, because we've spent so much time together, she'll sense and she'll say, "No, really!" Like "OK, now really tell me how that's going."

Jim Collison 27:21

Let me ask you, Faith, you're in Nairobi. You're a long way away from home. You're -- how are you staying connected in career wellbeing in Nairobi, a different place? You're there for a short period of time. It's almost like military service, because you're there and you're not. Like you don't want to put too many roots down. So how's that going for you? And how are you managing your career wellbeing during this time of change, and a global pandemic?

Faith Gaines 27:48

Yeah, definitely. So I think the introvert in me has welcomed the, the "alone time" that we're able to have as a result of the pandemic. So I think, from a self-development perspective, I do a lot of reading, listening to podcasts. I also love learning with other people. So, you know, book clubs and things like that, I think, are also -- have been really helpful in connecting with other people. But I've also had to be a lot more intentional. I think a lot of things happened by default before the pandemic, whether it was, you know, running into someone in the hallway or seeing someone out. And now it takes a lot more intentionality to schedule that time, like you were talking about the happy hour that you have.

Faith Gaines 28:30

And so it's also reaching out to people in the organization, other subject matter experts, you know, to learn from them, hear from them has also really helped with the, with the career wellbeing. And I think the other piece is, as you mentioned, success leaves clues. So I've been trying to study people who are, you know, at the levels that I want to be at, and from a career perspective or a family perspective, and just trying to see what are the things, what are the systems that they've used to get that specific success is another thing that I've really been, been leaning into as well.

Jim Collison 29:03

I've discovered I'm a little more introverted than I thought it was during this pandemic. I've enjoyed -- people think that's weird. But I've enjoyed the time alone. I've enjoyed my alone time, and I thought I would struggle with it more. And it's actually been really good. That's maybe a clue. Like all of a sudden, you know, for, for years, for 50 years, I've thought I was a very extroverted person, because I lived in an extroverted world. And I was good at it. But then when the situation changed, and I was kind of forced to being not extroverted anymore -- now I still get to do this. So this, this kind of fills that, fills that bucket, right? But I started thinking, Oh, OK, I've learned a few things about myself. Maybe I'm, again, those clues, like, oh, maybe I was not as extroverted as I thought I was in this.

Jim Collison 29:49

And so I think there's some indicators there for me. Going back, as we're thinking about going back now, and I look at the clues, I start going, OK, when, maybe when the world returns to whatever the "new normal" is, maybe I go about it a little bit differently than, than I went before. Maybe there's some things -- I'm really, really productive in these at-home, alone times, where I wasn't before. I'd come home from work frustrated, because I was like, "Ah, I didn't get enough work done!" Right. So I think some great opportunities in there. Mark says he's gonna work with 10 First Tee high school seniors and juniors, and their leadership team, and Justin follows up and says, Ah yeah, quite a lot of free coaching support to people, especially people that have lost their jobs. Those are, I think, great opportunities to give back as well. Anything else you would add to that?

Faith Gaines 30:40

I think I just, I love, I have a soft spot in my heart for coaches, because I think it's such a unique role that you have where people invite you in, especially in a year like we're in today. And you help them, you help kind of create light, right, you help them kind of rise above and see the world from a different perspective. I think it's also just that need I think we all have collectively right now just to focus on what's right, focus on what's good, I think, is another gift that, that coaches definitely give to the people that you get to work with.

Faith Gaines 31:14

And so I think that yeah, I think it's just, it's, it's a great time to think about giving in a small way or a big way. My husband and I are looking each day, each morning to see, you know, how can we impact, who can we support, who can we touch? Whether it's just connecting via phone, right, and giving them the space to talk or doing big things. But I think to your point, there's something that's magical when you step outside of yourself, and you look for opportunities to really serve and connect with other people as well. So I love those examples that were given there in the chat in terms of coaching other people, giving out free coaching, but also even the simple thing that Lisa mentioned, just asking people, "How are you really?" I think is also a great way that you can give.

Jim Collison 31:58

Yeah, and then listen! This, that's, I have some work to do in that area. Right? Cause I need to listen more -- like ask and then, and then really listen. As we -- one final question for you as we kind of wrap this. How important, as we think about career wellbeing, we haven't mentioned the, the "F word," which is "family," in this at all. How does the family fit into this? And do we have any advice or as we think about -- because we always think that's at work, but yet the family unit is very, very important in all things. You're, you're moved because of a family member, right, in this? How important is it that we take family and that consideration into mind in our career wellbeing?

Faith Gaines 32:39

Yeah, I think it's a great question. And this is probably my Individualization speaking, but I think it's different for everybody, you know, depending on your family, the size of the family, the connection to them. I think it's very important for me. I talked at the beginning about having a clear "Why," right, for, for what you're doing, whether you're a coach within an organization or an independent coach. And for me, my "Why" is my family, right, wanting to improve, give back, support. And so it's very important for me. It impacts everything from my schedule to how often I travel. There's a lot of inputs that I collect in making decisions about not just, not just what's best for me, but what's best for my family as well. So I think it's definitely a critical component. I think it impacts how happy you are in your career as well. I think if you have a family that's, you know, supportive of your career, understands why you're doing what you're doing, why you're working the late hours, I think it definitely makes it a lot easier, for sure.

Jim Collison 33:39

I spent some time kind of roping my daughter into my career in a lot of ways. She's a listener of Theme Thursday and big strengths advocate. And so we get to spend some time sharing that common, commonality to it. She's graduating this fall from, from college, and will be doing -- and I want her, I think, I can learn -- some of the things I've learned in media I can help her with, as she gets started in her career in journalism. Speak about a career field that has been completely disrupted. I mean, it was bad before the pandemic, but it's really bad now. But I'm excited to be able to partner with her in that area and give back. Say, "Here's what I've learned in this." And, and to kind of take that and help another family member to be able to do that.

Jim Collison 34:27

So as we think about the giving and the family -- because I think, like any of the other elements, if one of them's broken, the others are going to suffer because of it. And so hopefully, as we kind of wrap this series, and we're going to spend a bunch of time in 2021 talking about this. We have a big manager series that's coming up on this, but we're going to really kind of dig into leadership and some of these pieces of wellbeing and how they all fit in. I think it's really, really important we kind of look at all those things around us -- those 5 elements and make an honest inventory. And kind of say, where are we today? Faith, if I asked you, How are you today? And those, if you were to kind of evaluate your 5 elements of wellbeing, what are you doing well, and what could you do better on?

Faith Gaines 35:13

Yeah, I think where I'm doing really well is career wellbeing and I've made an intentional decision to invest in physical wellbeing this year. I think prior to 2020, the only time I was running was after a food truck. But now I've put a system in place, right? Because that's not something I do naturally. But I've put a system in place, and I have an accountability partner who makes sure that I work out, you know, at least 6 times a week. So I think that one is definitely going well, and so is financial. I think there's definitely more I could be doing on community. I think there's opportunities to expand beyond my current network. So as a Relator, I tend to stick within my own group, but I need to borrow some of your Woo, Jim, and kind of expand out a little bit. So I think that one definitely I could work on. What would -- how would, how would you rate yourself, Jim? What's going well, and -- ?

Jim Collison 36:06

So, it's -- everything's flipped. And career, career is at an all-time high. Like, and people say like, "Really?" Yeah. No, I just really like what I'm doing right now. I get an opportunity to do what I do best every day. I've got the materials and equipment to do my job. I've got a great manager. Like, all those things are really, really working. The physical wellbeing, which is an area I've excelled at for the last 10 years, has just taken it on the chin. And I'm a little worried about it, I'll be honest with you. You know, I've gained the COVID-19, as everybody is saying, right, in that -- whether that's 19 pounds or 19 kilograms. You -- it's been a struggle. And so I continue, I've got to think about ways -- we're coming into winter here in the United States. And so it's going to get even more difficult. So I kind of think, and we're starting to shut some things down. So I got to kind of start thinking through, OK. I've got some things. You know, Adam Hickman, who's been on the show before, said to -- he hit me an email the other day, he was like, it was actually a Teams. He was like, "Hey, I'm gonna say, 'Go,' and you got to drop and do 20 push-ups right then," as we're, right. And it was just really cool because he was thinking about me. I'd shared that with him, and he was thinking about me.

Jim Collison 37:14

And so he was trying to, he was trying to encourage me to kind of get back into that area. Is it critical yet? No, I just had a physical and things were, things were OK. So it's like, OK, I'm not, to me, it's not critical, but I got some work to do. And so I love this conversation we get to have around this, right. Much like strengths puts a framework around our talent and our talent themes and the things that we do, I think wellbeing puts this framework around, kind of how we feel about things, how we're actually doing, and it gives us this ability to talk in ways that are fairly universal. So I'd encourage folks if they haven't, dive in. You know, we've got the Wellbeing book -- we have a brand new Wellbeing book coming out in March, which we're excited to share, more focused. The first book was focused on the individual; book 2 will kind of be a sequel to It's the Manager and really kind of focus in workplaces and wellbeing. But I think a great opportunity to discuss it in a way that's very healthful -- helpful, and very positive. Faith, anything else you want to add before we wrap it?

Faith Gaines 38:16

No, I think you said it perfectly. Thank you for having me. Thank you to everyone for joining today. I think continue to invest in yourself, invest in your career wellbeing, but as Jim mentioned, you know, focus on all of those 5 areas as best as you can, because it really does make a difference for your fulfillment, but also for those that are around you as well.

Jim Collison 38:36

Well, I think with that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we have available now on Gallup Access. So head out to gallup.com/cliftonstrengths. While you're there, sign up for the CliftonStrengths Community Insight Newsletter, a great way to stay connected to us and it might be one of those career wellbeing opportunities for you just to get a monthly update from us in your Inbox and to kind of follow along with everything that we're doing here. The link is at the bottom of every page at gallup.com, so you can sign up for that today. For coaching, master coaching or to become a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, of course you can send us an email: coaching@gallup.com. We'll have somebody get back with you and give you more information around those. Join us on any social platform by searching "CliftonStrengths," and thanks for listening today. If you enjoyed it, please share it. If you're listening live, we'll do a little bit of a postshow. I saw a few questions we didn't get to. So we'll, we'll have a little bit of a postshow. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Faith Gaines' Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Individualization, Learner, Maximizer, Relator and Ideation.

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


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