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Improving Teamwork: Staying Connected

Improving Teamwork: Staying Connected

Webcast Details

  • Learn about team-connecting activities that are effective at improving teamwork
  • Find out how you can build a culture of greater team recognition
  • Discover how reassessing team values can support your organization's mission

Jaclynn Robinson, Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup, was our guest on a recent Called to Coach. In Part 2 of a series on teamwork, Jaclynn and host Jim Collison discussed 10 connection activities that are available for managers and teams as they look to reconnect -- in person, virtually or in a hybrid situation. Much has changed over the past year, and the recovery from the pandemic provides many opportunities for teams to reconnect and understand how their own mission fits into their organization's mission. Gallup's Team Activities Guide is a valuable resource for teams that want to improve their teamwork. These activities provide some raw material for reconnecting as teams move forward, including the vital role of team recognition.

Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series -- Season 9, Episode 19. This is Part 2 of a 5-part series on teamwork. Access Part 1, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5 of the series on teamwork.

What I love about that activity is it's giving people the opportunity to think about, What am I doing now? What have I been doing in the past year? And has that actually changed from, you know, that pre-COVID time?

Dr. Jaclynn Robinson, 4:30

Recognition can completely change an organization. ... If you could only do one thing, start having people recognize -- meaningful recognition, and it totally changes things.

Jim Collison, 19:16

No. 8 is what I like to call Wellbeing Wednesday. ... [It focuses on] one wellbeing act, element, action, activity a week that brings the team together.

Dr. Jaclynn Robinson, 25:35

Jim Collison 0:00

I am Jim Collison, and live from our virtual studios around the world, this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on April 22, 2021.

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 today, that's going to be really, really important. If you're listening live, love to have you join us in our chat room. There's a link on the live page right above me; that takes you to YouTube. Sign in to your Google account. And we'd love to have you in the chat room there. If you have questions after the fact, and many of you have been sending these, you can send us an email: Don't forget to subscribe on any podcast platform and find us in any social media by searching "CliftonStrengths." Dr. Jaclynn Robinson is our host today. She works as a Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup. And Jaclynn, it's always a great day when I get to spend it with you. Welcome back to Called to Coach!

Jaclynn Robinson 1:06

Thank you, sir. I know this is my, this is one of my, if not my favorite time of the week is just being able to connect on here for an hour with you and the community.

Jim Collison 1:16

Well, we're gonna talk a lot about connecting today. Right. I mean, that's, that's the kind of theme of today. Big, big interview last week, when we had Jane, our COO, on that. Any, any takeaways from that as we just kind of think about looking back before we look forward? Anything you, any takeaways from that that you pulled out of it?

Jaclynn Robinson 1:36

I'd say. And for anyone that hasn't watched it yet, I highly recommend it. It's, it's really level-setting as we go through this, this series this quarter on teams, where she really kicks it off just talking about purpose, and the value of having a purpose within an organization. How you create that strengths-based culture, and really have that as a foundation, so when change happens, like we've gone through in the past year, you're already pretty stable and set up for success. And then you can deliver hope to help people get through.

Jaclynn Robinson 2:10

So that was, that was such a wonderful session to kick off with. And I'm glad that now we are moving from purpose into getting even more tactical. You know, at that local level, what can we do to help teams? Especially right now, when they're looking for belongingness, they're looking to reassess their values as a team, maybe their goals, the partnerships they have. And so that's what today is all about is really thinking about bringing the team together cohesively.

Jim Collison 2:38

We're going to spend a little bit of time with some resources, both what's available in coaching kits, what's available on our Activity Guide -- Team Activity Guide that's out there and available. But we'd also like to hear from you. So as we're going through this time together, we're going to, Jaclynn and I are going to work through these, we'd like to hear some team activities in the chat room that works for you. And I know, you know, sometimes they're big and complicated, but try and boil that down to a 10-second elevator pitch. What are you doing that's working on teams? And we'd love to have you share that in our chat room. And we'll kind of talk about that as we get towards the, the end of the program.

Jim Collison 3:14

But Jaclynn, let's dive right in, as we have kind of 10 connection activities, when we think about pulling people together. You've thought this through both from an in-person and a virtual perspective. And so we'll kind of work through that as well. We know that both situations are happening, where we've kind of moved back into or are moving back into a more hybrid workplace. And so let's start with No. 1.

Jaclynn Robinson 3:40

No. 1. So it's the "At Your Best" activity. And if you all have the Team Activities Guide, it is going to be on page 9. So I really like this activity, because it's a great way to reset and recalibrate as we come out of this recovery phase. And the idea behind it is, first, just self-reflection. So if you've got the team together on site, or virtually, they can do this activity. And that's what I appreciate about it. So what they end up doing is talking about a time when they're at their best. They're talking about a time when they feel a lot of joy. They're talking about a time when they worked on the best project ever.

Jaclynn Robinson 4:21

And once they have that opportunity to really just sit and reflect, they share that out with the team. And coming through this past year, people might be working differently. So what I love about that activity is it's giving people the opportunity to think about, What am I doing now? What have I been doing in the past year? And has that actually changed from, you know, that pre-COVID time, when I was on site and my work looked a little bit different? And that's also giving all the partners around them some insight into, you know, their, their projects, what's bringing them joy and when they're at their best, that they can be those accountability partners.

Jim Collison 4:57

If you're an organization that's Q12, that's using it, this is also a great one to pair with that Q01, Do I get the opportunity -- or, I'm sorry -- Q03, Do I get the opportunity to do what I do best every day? And I was thinking of Q01, like, Do I really understand what's expected of me in this? I think, as we think through the pandemic, those expectations may have changed. The organization expectations might have changed; your own expectations may have changed. And I think it's so a great opportunity. Don't get drug down in the handout or, or the materials on this one. It can be just a great question to ask. Let them formulate it, and then let them come back. Right. And, and, and do that.

Jim Collison 5:42

Jaclynn, when, when you're giving advice to coaches as far as facilitating something like this, and you're thinking about a team session, maybe there's 10 or so, what's the best -- if you think about best practice, you know, facilitation in this, pulling it, how do you really pull that out of people? How do we bring that back so folks can be open and have that conversation?

Jaclynn Robinson 6:05

Good question. I think if you're working virtually, people appreciate having 5 minutes just to have their cameras off to go through this process. And then typically, if their cameras are off, we would say, "OK, you know, whenever you're done, please turn your cameras back on. That way, we know that we can move on, and, and I can send you into breakout rooms." And that breakout room piece, even if it's 10 people, if you have 3 to a breakout room, or you know, 4 or 5 to a breakout room, giving them that opportunity in smaller groups to debrief with one another, I appreciate that. Because that could bring out the shy folks that you might have that are a little more leery or hesitant to share in that gallery view. But they are appreciative of being able to share in that smaller setting.

Jaclynn Robinson 6:49

And then I think, most importantly, is also having a team lead, if you are in breakouts, to say, "OK, who's going to be the team leader that's going to come back and share some of the insights with everyone else?" And then of course, you can open up the floor for other folks to share. But if you've got a team leader, then you can guarantee you're hearing from each of the breakout rooms. So virtually, I think that's, that's a really effective way to lead the session. But then if you're on site, too, you could put them in, you know, tables. I know some are fully vaccinated this point, so you might not be as socially distanced, but putting people in, in table groups. And first having, again, 5 minutes to self-reflect; a few minutes to talk as a team, and then open it up to the room.

Jim Collison 7:33

You can even make it a "Power of 2" exercise and bring them back in pairs, move them around in what we call "speed dating," which is so having those conversations, then move, you know, so you get 2 minutes on one side, 2 minutes on the other, then move. So I love this because you can really facilitate this an infinite number of ways, kind of based on what you need or what the organization needs or what that team needs -- if you know some of those needs. Let's, let's, so there's, let's go to No. 2, because that's kind of an add-on to this one.

Jaclynn Robinson 8:06

Yes. So on page 19 in the Activities Guide, if you have it, it's, it's an expectations activity. So this is now to say, OK, you know, you know what you, you do best; you know what brings you joy. Let's think about what you're doing in your role currently. What are those 5 expectations that you have in your role? And how do you see your talent themes connect back to that? So this can actually work two ways. To one degree, it helps people identify the talents they're using in the role. And maybe they're using different talents. Jim, that was something that even you had, you'd spoken about and moving from on site to this virtual world was you might be in the same role, but your talents are being used differently. So I think it's great at highlighting that.

Jaclynn Robinson 8:55

And then going back to Q12. Q01, I know what's expected of me at work, for anyone using the engagement survey. It also can be used to identify if you're on the same page and aligned with expectations for you and your manager. So writing those out, connecting it back to the themes, and then having a discussion with your manager to make sure you're on the same page. So kind of two ways that can work.

Jim Collison 9:19

Yeah, no, I love it. We do get that question a lot on those Q12 feedback sessions that we do -- like, What do you do? And sometimes, you know, that you're getting the groups together and you're just talking through it. And there's some great opportunities to do some of these activities to kind of pull some of these out. We know in the hierarchy of Q12 that, you know, the, the higher the question, I think, the more important they become. Those top 3 of Know what's expected of me and Do I have materials and equipment? and Am I in the right, am I in the right role, based on my strengths? Do I get the opportunity to use my strengths every day? are super important.

Jim Collison 9:50

And so focusing on those 3 items with just these 2 exercises that are right here is just gold. Like this is blocking and tackling, coaches. This is, at a very, I think sometimes we think -- Jaclynn, you probably see this a lot. We try to get it too complicated as far as what we're trying to do, right. We try to overcomplicate the exercise and really sometimes keeping it simple as best, don't you think?

Jaclynn Robinson 9:52

It is. Yes!

Jim Collison 10:17

Let's move on to No. 3.

Jaclynn Robinson 10:19

No. 3. So I stole this from one of my colleagues who had us actually go through this activity on our team. It's similar to The Best of Me, for those of you that know The Best of Me. So I will run through what those statements are. It isn't in the Team Activities Guide; it's just a best practice that I stole. So it is, you know, I get, I get the best of me when ____; I get the worst of me when ____. Habits that build me up are ____; habits that break me down are ____. So as an individual, you are completing those 4 statements. And for anyone that has used a version of The Best of Me, you can tell that this is a little bit different because you're looking inward, and then you're sharing that out with the team.

Jaclynn Robinson 11:04

I love this because the team can hold you accountable. If they're hearing when you get the best of yourself, and habits that build you up, if you're not in that zone, then they can be there as accountability partners to make sure that you are building in those habits into your day-to-day. I think we need that more -- now more than ever, with wellbeing being so relevant and people feeling like their, their wellbeing tank is starting to go down. They need some more gas and fuel in that wellbeing tank. So this is a way to say, Hey, a habit that builds you up is putting some time in your calendar; you know, being more structured; going on a walk; working out. Are you getting that in?

Jim Collison 11:45

I love that you're talking about maybe modifying an existing, this, you know, an existing thought that we had modify that. Jane talked, we talked a little bit about values and purpose last week. And, and organizationally, the organization may hold to some values that are important to bring up. And you can modify that to fit in this Best of Me idea, right? And so you can bring those values in and make make 2 of those items, whatever, there's no magic number there. And 4 is not a magic number. It's just what, just what we picked, right? You can have as many or as few as you want.

Jim Collison 12:22

I think, I think the idea of starting with success in mind. So starting this kind of Best of Me exercise by stating, Think about a time when you were the most successful. What are you most proud of? What was some recognition? Because I think sometimes people struggle with that. Like, What is the most meaningful recognition you've ever had? And then tell us about that. Sometimes I think, in groups, getting that conversation going, and it's not easy in all cultures, by the way, there's some, some cultures that don't honor people talking about their successes openly. And, and so you've got to kind of taper that, right, with, with who you're working with. But I think getting that flowing, and then going into a Best of Me, gets the juices, right, gets the creative brain stuff moving so that you can get to these questions. Do you think so?

Jaclynn Robinson 13:09

Yes, yeah. I think that's a great point.

Jim Collison 13:12

Let's, let's look at No. 4.

Jaclynn Robinson 13:15

No. 4. So this is With Whom Do You Partner? activity, and this is going to be on page 31. So speaking of partners, this is, this is a way where you can start to identify and celebrate the partners that you work with. So this is an activity where you have people selecting for the partners that they work with daily, and they're thinking about the, the contributions that that person makes to them. What are the characteristics and the value that this individual brings to our partnership? What I like about this, and for, for coaches, you might have used these questions or tactics before too, but if someone appreciates a partnership, oftentimes I'll get into the weeds to say, "What are the characteristics that makes that such an effective partnership for you?"

Jaclynn Robinson 14:02

And then if you've got a manager, the manager can then start to identify, Who are some other people that are in their vicinity that I can pair them with and partner them up with in the future so that I can continue to build bridges and connections? At this point in time, you've got the individual actually thinking about this for themselves. So who are the 4 partners that I work with the most regularly? What are those values and characteristics? And oh, OK, now I can think about, you know, other people; I can keep my eyes and ears open for other people in the workplace that might be valuable partners that are meeting that, that same level of criteria, so to speak.

Jim Collison 14:41

We have a Board of Directors activity where we sit down; could you pair these two together and get, kind of start thinking, like, let's start with this. Who do I partner with? And then think, strategically, Who do I need to add to my Board of Directors?

Jaclynn Robinson 14:57

That's a good idea.

Jim Collison 14:59

Could you do that? Yeah, see how it works?

Jaclynn Robinson 15:00

Talent in action, Jim, Ideation!

Jim Collison 15:03

No, it is high Ideation.

Jaclynn Robinson 15:04

This is a powerful partnership!

Jim Collison 15:08

In the context of what you and I do, too, as well, I think it's important to see examples of that happen. And, you know, you bring, like a lot of the hosts that I have on here, you really bring the fundamental, for me, you bring the fundamental building blocks of what we need to communicate to the community and do it in a way that is proven and tested. Like I'm not in the field. So I can't, I have to hear it from you guys. And so that's the value, as I think about our partnership, you and me -- and I'm not just making this up as an example, by the way; I mean, this is, this is all the way I feel.

Jim Collison 15:41

And so it's just it's, it's, it gives me the ability makes me feel comfortable knowing I can come to this time together and I never have to worry about the content, because I know you're going to deliver great quality content every single time, Jaclynn. You haven't, we've been doing this now for 4 months, and every single one has been great. So thanks for your partnership --

Jaclynn Robinson 16:02

Thank you, friend!

Jim Collison 16:02

In this, it's been super valuable to me on that. That's how it works, coaches, by the way, that's, that's how it works.

Jaclynn Robinson 16:08

You're the best!

Jim Collison 16:10

Let's look, speaking of that, and I just sprinkled a little recognition for you in that, but let's look at No. 5.

Jaclynn Robinson 16:18

Yes. So No. 5 is what I like to call Celebration Station. So we've talked about partnerships; this can come right after, coaches and folks in the room. So we've talked about the characteristics that make these 4 people great partners. Has this individual recognized them? So one best practice that I heard from a client in Los Angeles was she created a Celebration Station in order to create a deeper and richer culture of recognition. And this was when everybody was on site, but a lot of organizations still are on site, and this could, this could work. She had a space, a dedicated space with greeting cards, markers, stickers, you know, all of these, these different creative elements, where someone could draft a greeting card and send someone a word of appreciation and drop it on their desk. Just a word of thanks. And if you think about some of the stores, they have those dollar bins, and you can get those really pretty blank greeting cards that can be used. But it was a crafty and creative way to get people excited to recognize one another.

Jaclynn Robinson 17:35

Now, what I've seen other people do in this interim of working from home is they'll ship kits to, you know, team members to say, Hey, you know, here's, it's, it's already stamped with postage. Send a note of thanks to those that you work most closely with that you want to recognize. So that's one way that you can fill, fill the bucket, as, as Robin said, exactly. It's, it's filling your bucket with that recognition. So I love this idea. She called it, the person on site that, the client I worked with, called it Celebration Station. I think there's all kinds of ways we can recognize one another. So it's celebrating our partners for what they bring to the table.

Jim Collison 18:15

Yeah. And I think really looking at the organization and saying, How can we slipstream recognition so it happens nearly automatically? Those stations, we had those set up at Gallup for a while, where there were just buckets of drops, bins. Like you could do it, we removed the, the barrier, which is, I can't find a "drop."

Jaclynn Robinson 18:37

Yes. Here's your markers. Here's your, here's your drops. And I love that in the chat, we're hearing that too. Yeah, you could use the drops.

Jim Collison 18:47

Yeah, no, it's a great way. And I've had folks, you know, we sold those for the longest time. You can make those. I always encourage organizations to make their own branded version of that, like, again, get cultural with it. Get in the org and say, What, what are some values that that work in the org and let's make our own. We do that; that's unique to Gallup, because we have that book, How Full Is Your Bucket? Which, if you haven't read that, by the way, just buy it and read it. It's such a great book on recognition. And I think recognition can completely change an organization. I mean, I think if you could only do one thing, start having people recognize -- meaningful recognition, and it, and it totally changes things.

Jim Collison 19:26

Many of the listeners know Lindsey Spehn, who, Lindsey comes on and does Called to Coach interviews with some of her clients. And Lindsey is by far one of the best recognition people I have ever met. She's -- it's meaningful, it's significant. She knows exactly, I mean, she really thinks it through. So when I get recognition from Lindsey, like, I know it's a big deal. And, and so there are folks in the organization like that. You probably see this too, Jaclynn, where they're just naturally good at it. Let's get them on a committee. Let's get them in a group. Let's get them helping others, right?

Jaclynn Robinson 20:02

Yes. Yes.

Jim Collison 20:05

OK, let's, and I think this ties right into it as well. Let's look at No., No. 6.

Jaclynn Robinson 20:10

Yes, the Power of 2. So this is something that we do at Gallup as well. And one thing that I would recommend is quarterly, even at that local level with intact teams, having them nominate powerful partners. Who's the Power of 2 that have gone above and beyond, have, you know, achieved goals, have brought in new business, have kept the team together? But nominating a Power of 2, I think the value in that comes from, to your point, it feels meaningful and authentic, because this is your team nominating you and saying, We appreciate the value that you bring; we recognize you. And then doing it quarterly. It's, it's a big event. But it's not something where it would just be, over time, you go, Oh, OK, we're doing this all the time; it's not meaningful. I think doing it quarterly is that happy window of time where people feel like it's, it's still a pretty big deal. And some people do that at the end of the year, too for end-of-year awards. But --

Jim Collison 21:11

I think in TR, we've done that, we've done it twice a year to recognize this. So that frequency, I love that you can kind of customize that, that frequency. Of course, Power of 2 is from a book that, that we put out 10 years or so ago. But with that idea of, just like you said, these powerful partnerships. One of the great things about my job is I've gotten that a couple times with partners that I have done this on. Ironically, Maika and I have never gotten a Power of 2 award.

Jaclynn Robinson 21:39

We need to make that happen! I don't know how that happened!

Jim Collison 21:45

But it's, it is one of those things. I love the fact that, especially when it comes from peer recognition, and it's not about nominating another person who's your partner, it's looking for the partnerships in the, in the org that have the, that you're seeing that have an enormous amount of value. And so it really is that meaningful. Again, that's what, this whole, I think magic around recognition is around meaningful. And, and, you know, meaningful recognition, not just saying it to say it. This is the drawback, too, and I want to talk about this for just a second. It can become kind of programmatic, right? It can become kind of too automatic. Have you seen that, where it's maybe forced into the system?

Jaclynn Robinson 22:28

Yes. And then people start to retract, because it doesn't feel as meaningful anymore. So I think it really does have to have that natural flow. And if you're celebrating one another regularly, people find value and in continuing that tradition of having the Power of 2 awards. But if it feels like you're being pushed into it, and that recognition isn't, isn't, isn't a strong suit of the team at the moment, then it tends to backfire.

Jim Collison 22:58

Yeah, it can just be fake and almost be worse than no recognition. That's like one of those things we, on a community call, we talked about last night: A manager who, who doesn't give any feedback is actually can be, it can be worse than when they give negative feedback. And so I think forced recognition could be worse than no recognition at all in this case. And so I think, be careful there. Let's look at No. 7.

Jaclynn Robinson 23:25

No. 7. Paired Up. So Paired Up on page 41 in the Activity Guide. What I like about this one is it helps you start thinking about how you belong with other people, the value that you bring to other people. So this is one of those activities where you're pairing up people into partners of 2. You can do this on site; you can do this virtually in breakout rooms. But before you get started, you could use Theme Insight Cards, Discovery Cards. If people know their talent themes really well, they could just share out what those 2 themes are that they want to use. But the idea behind it is that each individual is going to choose 2 of their 5 themes that they use most frequently with partners. And then they will share out what those 2 themes are with that partner.

Jaclynn Robinson 24:14

The partner is then going to write basically what value that person brings, as they think about those 2 themes, how they've contributed. What, what are some other ones that I'm thinking of here? How they can, how they maximize their effectiveness. So Jim, hey, you're my partner, you maximize my effectiveness XYZ -- in XYZ way. So I love that activity! And then they share out with one another. And then you can debrief as a room, too, to share the insights.

Jim Collison 24:44

Yeah, I love that idea of debriefing back to the room so that it -- others get to hear those pieces. We spent a lot of time in Season 2 of Theme Thursday talking about these theme dynamics that can add in. And we hear a lot of time, Hey, we've done a standard debrief. They know their strengths; they might even be well-versed in them. And then I think this can be the next level of it. I think these, of really beginning to talk through them and, and not just naming them anymore. But, but really the claiming and then getting to the aiming part of Now, what are we going to do with this, now that we know this? What are we going to do with this? How are we going to pair these to enhance, to accelerate, to produce, right, from that, so, so that is great. I love your, I love your No. 8 idea, by the way. So let's, I want to, I want to get right to that. Let's talk about No. 8.

Jaclynn Robinson 25:35

Yes, No. 8 is what I like to call Wellbeing Wednesday. I can't take the, I can't take the claim for that title. I think a lot of people are using it right now. But Wellbeing Wednesday is what I've seen some clients start to do. And what they're, they're focusing on is one wellbeing act, element, action, activity a week that brings the team together. So what I've seen some clients do is they'll, you know, do yoga with one another. Other clients have done tennis as a fun, socially distanced activity. Some are walking together.

Jaclynn Robinson 26:13

But it can be anything. It's not just limited to physical wellbeing; this could be financial wellbeing, social wellbeing, community wellbeing. Maybe they're doing something and giving back to the community. But this is, this is one of those activities where the team comes together and decides what they want to do as a unit. And then they go out there and they do that one day a week. Wellbeing Wednesday just has a nice rhyme to it, kind of, well, rhyme -- name to it, flow to it. So people like to do it on Wednesday.

Jim Collison 26:41

Well, and you get these, and it's easy to remember, you know, there's other things we've, you know, a couple, a couple of months ago, and during the leadership series, I would say, "Hey, it's Top 5 Friday." Like that rolls off, and, you know, what's, what are you doing? You know, Theme Thursday started that way. Motivation Monday, right. And so I think there's some great opportunities with teams to have these callouts; I call them Ebenezers, these, you know, these, these kind of signposts, whether they're virtual or you have a sign -- we actually have a sign in, you know, in the office or what have you -- that kind of remind us like, yeah, oh, yeah, it is Wellbeing Wednesday, OK. I can't wait for this! Like, what are we going to do, what's on the docket for Wellbeing Wednesday?

Jim Collison 27:28

So, I think some great opportunities to coach some organizations in coming up with these. And you don't have to do it every day; doesn't have to be something new every day. This ties in nicely to No. 9, and I, this is new to me, I haven't seen this one before. So let's talk about No. 9.

Jaclynn Robinson 27:46

No. 9 I'm coining the Evening Wind-Down after work.

Jim Collison 27:50

... happy hour, by the way.

Jaclynn Robinson 27:53

It is. It's the new happy hour.

Jaclynn Robinson 27:57

What some organizations are doing, some intact teams that I've connected with, is at the end of a day, the team will get together and share out successes and share out something that was just difficult. And what that does is it helps unpack both the beauty of the day but also something that might have weighed heavily on their shoulders. So by the time they go home, or, if you're already home, you turn off and you go into that family mode, you feel like you, you're not on an island by yourself; you have a team that feels and understands what you might be going through, or that's there to console you, at least.

Jaclynn Robinson 28:38

And you're also celebrating the magic of the day. So you have that, that memory that, that you're ending on as well, something more positive. But then you can turn off and really get into family mode. And that's been very beneficial for a number of teams. There's one organization in particular, where quite a few of these intact teams do that at the local level. And the frequency differs. You know, for some if they did it every single day, they would feel like it's just too much. Some love doing it the last 5 minutes of the day; they just quickly go through it before they leave the office. And these are on-site folks, but quite easy to do virtually as well, especially if you're doing it one time a week, just to say, Hey, let's have -- or at the end of a team meeting, a weekly team meeting as a recap, to say, All right, what's going well and what's on your mind?

Jim Collison 29:27

Yeah, let's, I love sometimes we do these stand-ups, you know, in the morning, first thing in the morning, and then the day runs away. And I love this idea of moving that stand-up with an opportunity for, and maybe not just checking in or a progress report, but, but maybe a little deeper than that. Because you're not doing it every day, it can be a little more open, a little more vulnerable, maybe, in that. And then I love that idea of really encouraging to turn off after this. Like, let's do that -- for one day a week, we're gonna do this, and it's, just close it down. This probably ties into your Wellbeing Wednesday, right, in some ways -- let's, let's close that thing down.

Jim Collison 30:08

Because I think some of the, we used to do happy hours at Gallup, where we'd get together at like 4 or 4:30 in, in, down in the atrium. Many of the coaches listening have been in the atrium because of the Summit. And, and it was just, like, just kind of wrap up the day. It was kind of a celebration, but it was just a great opportunity to get together. And I'd always work hard not to work after that. Like not to go back to my desk, right. And I just think it's a great opportunity to do that. We've got No. 10. And these are the 10 we're gonna wrap, or that we're gonna, we're gonna wrap with this one. But we want some -- and you're doing this already, but -- we want some ideas, or some things you've heard, in the chat room. We'll cover those here in a second. But Jaclynn, what do we have for No. 10?

Jaclynn Robinson 30:48

No. 10, we are going back to the Team Activities Guide. So this is what we would call the Team Testimonial. Very last page of the Activities Guide, it's page 74. What I like about this one, if we think about where we've come in these last 9 activities that we've shared, you know, we reflected on how our work has changed, our expectations might have changed, the value we're bringing to the table, habits that build us and break us down. We've celebrated partnerships with one another, we've recognized one another for it, we focused on our wellbeing. And now we're really closing to say, OK, we're coming out of recovery, we're going into, you know, summer, fall 2021. Let's reset and identify our mission, our values, our belief system.

Jaclynn Robinson 31:36

So with this activity, you've got the group together, and you're just taking a moment to say, Where are we heading in the new year -- new year, kind of; summer, summer, fall 2021. As a team, what do we believe? As a team, what do we value? And as a team, what will we always do? And then, now you've got your Team Testimonial, and that really might have changed, especially over this past year. I know, there's just been a lot on people's minds, both within an organization but outside in society as well, and with the economy. So I love this idea of bringing it back together to see what has changed. And now we've got this vision moving forward.

Jim Collison 32:18

I love the fact, like, team size may have changed; individuals may have changed in this, right?

Jaclynn Robinson 32:24

Values might have changed, as you were connecting with earlier.

Jim Collison 32:28

Right? Yeah, I love that idea of, and this may be a one-time or this could be a quarterly event, where you just bring that team back around together to kind of purpose, purposefully look at values, look at, you know, our purpose. What are we doing? That may be a time to continue to think through the team purpose statement, and what are you know, what are we doing as a team? How do we function in that way?

Jim Collison 32:54

You know, Jaclynn, Lisa asks a question, I think a really good question. I'll throw it up here. She says, As we think about going back to recognition -- and really some of these, any of these could fall into this, right -- How do you make sure it doesn't become like a popularity contest, right, that the biggest personalities are always celebrated, rather than people who have hidden successes? What would you, what would you say to that question?

Jaclynn Robinson 33:18

Ooh, that's a good one. Yes. I'd look for the people on the team that might highlight that. Sometimes I think about the Includers, who see the folks that are doing such great work, but they're not necessarily seen, seen or heard or valued in a way those larger personalities are. So is there someone on the team that identifies those folks and highlights it, brings it up in a team meeting and really celebrates the success so that it becomes front and center again? That's one of the first things that comes to mind for me is, coming from the team-member level to say, OK, who do I have around me that can really highlight the value of some of these other folks? Who's the other person maybe that's a cheerleader or can get people really excited about this work that other folks are doing? And can I nudge them to, to just share out what they've been visibly seeing in other folks, at the next team meeting, for example, where it's like oh! Then they're even being recognized for being that person that can motivate, inspire, bring value to the team, highlight who is doing, who is doing what and the great work involved,

Jim Collison 34:31

Sometimes Power of 2 helps with this, because then now we're adding in, you know, oftentimes dynamic teams are maybe comprised of, of a more upfront and a more behind the scenes. And so now you're bringing in the behind-the-scenes person as part of that Power of 2. I think it's a manager's responsibility to watch for this, to, to, because the manager should know in, in all cases, the manager should know the contributions of everyone on the team. And I think it's also the manager's responsibility to lead by example in this. And, and I like to use that term "prime the pump." You know, to get it going, the manager should be the one setting the pace for this, and then, and then pull back and let the team do it.

Jim Collison 35:14

But sometimes teams, giving recognition is a trust exercise, right, in a lot of ways. Like, I'm going to give you, Jaclynn, recognition, and I'm going to hope I'm doing the right thing in doing it, right. There's, it's not always a slam dunk. It's not, it's, and it's hard for some people to give recognition. They're just not naturally good at it. And so I think, I mean, I've learned some, at Gallup, we have some amazing people who give recognition. I mentioned Lindsey. Sara Vander Helm in our, you know Sara, and Sara is amazing at it, right? So looking to them to learn how to do that has been, has been something I've done; it just doesn't come naturally, right. Sometimes you need to learn it.

Jim Collison 36:00

Katie had mentioned in the chat as well, of using Google Kudos Boards to make virtual name boards and let everyone access the link. Write down the affirmations on each person's board, right. This is a great way to do it virtually; can save them as a PDF, and share them back. Trello, you could do the same, you could create a team Trello board, where instead of projects, you have people. And folks can go in and add recognition under those people on a Trello board. Like, no one ever thinks of using Trello for people recognition. But ... yeah, what else -- did anything come to mind as you were thinking kind of through that, through the technology?

Jaclynn Robinson 36:40

Besides "I want to steal all of these and use in the future"? Gosh, I love that. I think you all are spot-on with where you're going there. One activity, actually, that comes to mind, technology-based is in breakout rooms, it goes back to your your talent themes speed dating, which is to have each person have 1 minute where people just feed them with recognition. This is what you bring to the team. These are words that we would use to describe you and the value that you bring to the to the team. And then that minute's up and you move on to the next person. So if you've got a breakout room of 5 people, you just had 4 folks that, you know, filled your bucket in that speed round. And sometimes that's a really nice icebreaker before getting into the work. People are really uplifted and motivated.

Jim Collison 37:30

I've said this one before, but we, I've done it where it's somebody's birthday, we might be on a Zoom call, and it's somebody's birthday. And you say 3 words about that person. So what are the first 3 words, when you think about that person, that come to mind? And then you just go around and you just say 3 words.

Jaclynn Robinson 37:48

Oh, that's nice.

Jim Collison 37:48

Like that is, I mean, I've seen people cry over that. Like, it's an amazing, it's just 3 words, right? All you're thinking through, so you don't have to, it doesn't have to be complicated, you know. And, and a lot of people, you know, they're, they're craving that. So a great, a great way of doing birthday recognition. Holly says, One of my managers does Water Cooler Mondays. They all jump on Zoom and talk about their weekends. No work focus.

Jaclynn Robinson 38:18

How fun! I love the name too, Oh, my goodness.

Jim Collison 38:22

Yeah, yeah, no, just to have, just to have a moment like, OK, guys, this is not. We did this, so at the recruiting group that I was a part of early in the year, we had a Monday and Friday 9 a.m. to 9:30, no expectations. This isn't a meeting. You don't have to be here; it's just a time to come and either tell us what you're gonna do or what you did over the weekend. And it was just kind of open for, for whoever, whoever wanted to, to do that. And, and it had its time, it worked for a while. The, the gal who ran it left the organization and it kind of dipped off because you need, you kind of need somebody to do that, right. And then focus changed a little bit. And so that became, the team changed, like the chemistry of the key the team changed and it moved in a different direction. It would be an equal mistake to try to continue to force that without the personalities there to kind of sustain it going forward.

Jaclynn Robinson 39:23

Then you have to get creative and come up with something new.

Jim Collison 39:26

Lisa likes Jamboard. We were talking a little bit about Trello. But you could use, you know, you could use a Jamboard for that. Lisa also says, Jim mentioned the question, What was the most meaningful recognition you've ever received? Can be a clue to help people know that they're recognizing others in the right way. I've seen teams -- you probably have too -- where there's a person who keeps a team profile. Like the, the, when you join a team, there's some questions they ask. Favorite color, birthday, what do you, how do you like to be recognized, right? And then that can be used by other people to be like, Oh, I want to recognize so-and-so. You can kind of look at their, their profile. By the way, not forced. I didn't want to fill out a profile. And they said, "That's, that's fine. You know, that's OK." So I wasn't, I wasn't kind of forced. Have you ever, have you seen other team tools like that that teams use that kind of help spur that, that connectivity on?

Jaclynn Robinson 40:28

I like that one. I'd say, to your point, that's what I've seen some managers use to recognize people when it comes to their birthday, or, or certain holidays where they want to gift them. I like the idea and play on having team members also see what that team profile looks like. So if they want to recognize someone in a meaningful and authentic way -- they know what their favorite candy is or they know what their favorite color is or what their favorite hobbies and interests are, and they can incorporate that.

Jaclynn Robinson 40:56

I have seen people do that with, I would say, gift cards. So less about using a team profile sheet, but identifying, What are the hobbies and interests of each of the individuals? I might be gift-carding everybody at the end of the year, but I want to make sure the gift card is specific and individualized to what that person actually enjoys. If they like fishing, it's going to be a Bass Pro gift card, versus someone that loves sports, where I might give them, you know, a Nike gift card, for example.

Jim Collison 41:24

Yeah, yeah, well, and I think sometimes the pressure is on the people, like we're supposed to just know these things. And I don't. Like I don't, I don't just know these things.

Jaclynn Robinson 41:35

It's fine to ask.

Jim Collison 41:38

It's super helpful to me to have like a team database of like, What do they like? What would be appropriate? And it'd be great if I could remember that. But that's not my, those aren't in my themes, those remembering those things. And there are people who can do that. And great, great for them; I can't. And so it's helpful to have some of those things as when I was a manager and we, I'd actually do this in the Four Keys Guide, which isn't available anymore, but it, it was, I would write down, there's some great questions in there. And I'd actually write that down and -- the, the recognition question -- and kind of hold on to it. So when I was in a spot where, like, I needed to recognize them for something, I could pull that out, open it up and take a look at it. So yeah, super great.

Jim Collison 42:22

Jaclynn, any other, any other thoughts as we, as we kind of wrap this? Appreciate the suggestions that we got from the chat room, and just some thoughts, but any? Well, let me ask you this question: What's the best recognition you've ever received? Like, as you think about this, let's just, let's just practice this for a second. As you think about, in your career and all the things you've done, and a shining moment, that, for you is, made you the most proud or you look to as the best recognition you've ever received. How would you answer that?

Jaclynn Robinson 42:51

That's a good one! Well, one that automatically comes to mind is the internal recognition from those that I work most closely with. So something we used to have, but, but we don't anymore was, was having our, our partners, you know, rate us basically, to, to identify our -- on a scale of 1 to 5, how effective is this person at being a partner? And there's a number of different questions. But when you get handfuls of people that are responding to that survey, that internal customer service survey, so to speak, and you're seeing all the feedback, the positive feedback and a high rating, you go, OK. Especially as a Relator, knowing that people find me as a valuable partner and someone that's genuine and really helpful to the work that we do, I would say that was, that's been the most valuable, where it's like, OK, I'm doing work; people appreciate it. They see me for who I want to be, which is quite genuine and authentic. So, hands down, that's probably it when it comes from those that I work with. And that survey in particular, which we don't do anymore, but --

Jim Collison 44:04

No, we don't, we don't. Well, it wasn't working for us internally, and they were like, OK, this is, we're not getting the value out of this that we once got. That same, for me, that same survey, when I first started at Gallup, I remember having a conversation with my manager. I had 7 raters in that. And in, in those days, it was, I think it was kind of set up automatically, but you could, you could add folks to it anyways. The more raters, the better. And I remember my manager saying, "We need to work on getting you more -- " Shoot, in other words, I need you partnering more. It's not always good, right? I mean, I think some people are surprised. I'm very open about times in my career when I've struggled. I don't think a lot of people want to mention those, but I think those, those, some really good things come out of that. And that set me on a path to be like, OK, now Maximizer [No.] 3; I know what I need to do; I need more raters! The very last administration of that, of that kind of survey that we would do, I had 82 raters, which was the most in the company, and it was a perfect 5. And I was like, Yes! Like, what a way to go out!

Jaclynn Robinson 45:12

Mic drop! Yeah.

Jim Collison 45:13

You hear this "Boom." But it, but it drove me, right. And so I think it's one of those things, we have to be careful with some of those. But certainly along the way, there was a lot of these, a lot of things we talked about. You know, the, the, the success that I had was not because I did anything different. It was because I partnered with teams and people to make them better. And when I figured out that was my real role was to make other people better, then all the other, the, all the pieces just came together, right. And so using these techniques, a lot of the things we talked about today have been on my journey for this. And, and coaches, I think, you can take this and start a culture of this, when we think about creating a strengths-based culture, these are the blocking and tackling exercises that need to be done, and not just in an event but every day inside an organization. Jaclynn, why don't you wrap this up for us?

Jaclynn Robinson 46:09

Yeah, builds trust and community. Thank you all for, for being here. Thank you for the best practices! I have even more in my back pocket that I'm going to pull from. We hope to continue seeing you in our series. We've got another series, or another series -- another show coming up for you in just a couple of weeks, I believe. Time is flying; we're in a different time and space continuum. So stay tuned; there's more to come. And, Jim, I'm gonna throw it back over to you.

Jim Collison 46:42

All right. With that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we have available. We talked about that Teams Activity Guide; you can purchase that now, both in its paper form and a digital form there at the store. So go to You can get access to a lot of the resources we're talking about inside Gallup Access now. So go to Sign in, go to our Resources section and start searching away. There's a lot of great resources that are available for you there. If you're interested in coaching, master coaching or want to become a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, or have any questions about coaching, you can send us an email: I just said "coaching" like 8 times in that sentence. Keep up, like, like Jaclynn said, keep up with all the webcasts; things that are coming up are being, posting those here almost daily. Head over to We're excited to announce, we announced our last keynote for the 2021 Gallup at Work virtual Summit, and now everything's kind of locked in. We have this sweet virtual box. I don't know if you saw what's in there. Not only is the, the, the wellbeing book free -- by the way, we're shipping this around the world, which is kind of crazy. Can't believe they're doing this. They're shipping this, this actual physical box to you. It'll have the new wellbeing book as well as this canteen -- that's not what they call them anymore -- water bottle, there we go. It's a water bottle, and it keeps track of how much you drink. It's a, it's a smart water bottle, so -- it's also Gallup branded. Everybody's always looking for Gallup swag. So you have to register by May 15. So get that done now and today. Head out to and get that done. You can find us on any social platform just by searching "CliftonStrengths." And we want to thank you for joining us today. If you found, I don't say this as often as I used to, but if you found this helpful -- and I think it was pretty helpful today; it was helpful to me -- share it. Just send the link to your partners, to your teammates, to your friends, to your family even; send it to your Mom. She would love to see this. So I want to thank you for joining us today. We'll see you back here next week. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Dr. Jaclynn Robinson's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Achiever, Strategic, Maximizer, Positivity and Relator.

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

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