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Called to Coach
Conducting Insightful Strengths Feedback Sessions, Part 2
Called to Coach

Conducting Insightful Strengths Feedback Sessions, Part 2

Webcast Details

  • What is an effective high-level flow for a strengths feedback session?
  • What kinds of questions does the successful coach ask the coachee during a session?
  • How does the coachee's self-awareness factor into the direction of the session?

Strengths feedback sessions can rush by quickly, so it's important for a coach to "get to the heart of things pretty fast," according to Dean Jones. Dean shared the importance of good preparation for feedback sessions in Part 1 of this 2-part series. In Part 2, he expands on that. One element of your preparation as a successful coach is to have a hypothesis to help you focus your questions and guide the conversation. That hypothesis is subject to modification, based on the interactions you have with your coachee. A good feedback session will have a high-level flow, effective and varied questions that are informed by listening to the coachee, and a growing understanding of the coachee's self-awareness. Learn about all of this and more from Gallup's Global Talent Development Architect and Senior Learning Expert in this informative episode.

Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series -- Season 9, Episode 48. This is Part 2 of a 2-part series on strengths feedback sessions. Access Part 1 of this series.

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

I'm walking in [to a feedback session] with a hypothesis ... so that ... I can get to the action more quickly.

Dean Jones, 15:26

Don't go fast over the stuff that [a coachee] validated ... they're telling you who they are.

Dean Jones, 37:05

Sometimes I think we get worried about canvassing everything, as opposed to focusing. ... If you do a good job focusing, you're going to leave them with insights that are going to be meaningful.

Dean Jones, 43:03

Jim Collison 0:00

I am Jim Collison, and this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on October 1, 2021.

Meet Our Guest on This Episode

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 -- on our live page, there's just a link right above me there. That'll take you to the YouTube page. Sign in with your Google account. We will take your questions in chat. If you're listening after the fact, and you still have questions, you can always send us an email: Don't forget to subscribe to Called to Coach or any of the Gallup podcasts on your favorite podcast app. Or you can subscribe on YouTube right down there in the corner. Subscribe, and you'll get a notification whenever we produce new content. Dean Jones is our host today. Dean is the Global Talent Development Architect and a Senior Learning Expert for Gallup, as well as the chair of Gallup's Diversity Council. And Dean, great to have you back. These are always my favorite Fridays. Thanks for coming back on Called to Coach!

Dean Jones 1:10
Thanks, Jim. Thanks for having me here. I, they're, honestly, they're my favorite Fridays, too. This is always like a great wrap-up to my week. I just love being able to do this. It's just it. I always look forward to it.

Jim Collison 1:22
Well, it's always great to have you. This is Part 2 of the series that we're doing, a two-part series talking about conducting extraordinary strengths feedback sessions. And Dean, why don't we take a second, bring some folks up to speed, and then you've got an ask as well on this.

Recap of Part 1

Dean Jones 1:36
Yeah. So here's what I thought I'd do as we're going through this. I thought we'd start just by doing a quick recap of some of the things that we talked about in the prior session. I thought that'd be, I thought that would be useful for everybody is just kind of talk through some of that kind of stuff. As I go through that, if you were with us in the prior session and have some questions about that, I'm happy to take some questions. We did this kind of, so the topic is conducting insightful strengths feedback sessions, right. So last time, what we did was we talked a lot about, How do you prepare for the session? And I wanted, I wanted, the caveat in this, I want to make sure is, if you've got a way you're doing this that's working, don't change anything. Like, I don't mean this, this is not the "right way to do it"; don't get dogmatic about it. If you got something that's working, do, do what works, right. And this is just -- the thing I was sharing is some of the ways that I've done it that I think work and some of the ways in, in talking with other coaches that I've heard that work for them. So we're just kind of sharing this.

Dean Jones 2:39
This is not, it's really designed for coaches who already have kind of the basics of CliftonStrengths. So if you, if you're still mastering that or going through that, this is probably the next step after you've done that, right. And it's really the, these two sessions, we've really done -- it's really a dialogue around how to review and analyze a CliftonStrengths profile in kind of different ways or in ways that might be kind of deeper or a deeper cut than, than maybe you're doing right now. So that's the, that's the intent around this, right. So, in the first session, we talked about, What do you do to prepare? And here's some of the things that I think that we kind of walked through; I'm gonna walk through these fast. If you want the, if you want the really detailed version of this, go listen to the first half, I think. You know what I mean? Because we really walked through this in some detail around it.

Jim Collison 3:30
And Dean, I did put the link to the first episode in the invite for this one on Eventbrite. So folks, of course, can get those CliftonStrengths or in our Resources section there in the strengths area. So if they want to go back and review Part 1, those are great ways to do it. While you're talking, I'll look that up and throw it in the chat room as well.

Dean Jones 3:50
Ah, brilliant. OK, that's great. So in preparing for this session, there's some, these are some of the kind of basics that I suggested that you'd, you'd want to do as a process of kind of getting ready to coach somebody, right. And this is the, you know, this is fairly extensive, right? This is where, you know, if you're preparing and you're getting set, set, set up for a coaching session that you really want to, where you want to, really want to deliver great impact. Obviously, you start out by reading that person's whole report, right? So you go through, and I like to go through and just do one pass, where I'm just reading the report completely through it. Then the piece that I start to then look, and I start to break it down where I review the theme sequence, and I'm looking at, on page 1 of the report, I'm noticing what that person's Top 10 themes are; I'm noticing the Bottom 5 themes. I look at where they're at, you know, that kind of the, sometimes I call it the foundation, the 11 through 15 that sits under the 10. And I'm just jotting down my initial impressions.

Dean Jones 4:46
Then, for each one of the Top 5 themes, I like to go through and read each one of those Top 5 themes -- that's on pages 3 through 12 of the report -- and I'm, I'm just noticing the words and phrases that stick out to me. And particularly what I like to do is notice the words and phrases that are consistent with that theme that I, I would usually sort of associate with that theme. I look at the ones, the words and phrases that are sort of unusual for that theme. And so I'm looking at, as I'm looking at that how that theme has been influenced by the other, by the sequence of the whole 34. Right. So how it's been individualized -- I'm really noticing that stuff. I'm also noticing, as I'm going through this, the themes that seem connected to other themes, where you can kind of hear -- I always, I always call it "hearing an echo," you know, so you're reading about Learner, but you hear the echo of something else in there -- Communication or Deliberative or something else in that theme. Right. So I'm just noticing that down as I'm, as I'm going through that, right.

Dean Jones 5:45
Then I go through and read the theme descriptions for 6 through 10. So want to make sure that I'm, I'm clear about what's happening there. Right. Then I move typically to page, page 21. You know, I know page 21 is popular; I think it's one of the coolest things in, in the strength report that we, that we launched a few years ago. I think it's one of the cool enhancements. I always look at the domain intensity bar chart. I like to look at that. Sometimes people, I think, make more of that than it is. You know, I had questions about, Hey, does that mean, you know, does that mean that it's the way people process or should process things or like that? I think it just, it just gives us a sense of who that person and where, what their proclivity will be, in terms of leading with a particular domain, right.

Dean Jones 6:33
And then I like to look, and I like, as I'm, as I'm looking at page 21 -- and, and obviously, I'm writing all this down, right? So I'm taking all these notes; I'm writing all this down. I look at the, I look domain by domain, right? So I'm looking at the individual strengths in each domain. Right. So I'm looking, as I'm looking at the Thinking Domain, what are their thinking processes and patterns? Right? How are they disposed to think? I'm looking at those Relationship Building themes, and I'm, and I'm looking at it, not just the themes in that domain, but the other themes around it, right? How are they inclined to relate to others? How are they going to naturally want to relate? I'm looking at the Influencing themes. What are the ways that they'll typically want to influence others? What are the ways that they'll have influence? And again, it might be the themes in that domain; might be the themes around that domain, right? I'm looking at the Executing themes, right? How are they inclined to get things done?

Dean Jones 7:27
It's interesting, I led a CliftonStrengths Discovery yesterday. And it was interesting for me just having people look at their page 21 as part of that CliftonStrengths Discovery and say, "Tell me about your themes. Tell me what are the themes that you use when you're going to go influence somebody or when you're going to go build relationships." And the beautiful thing is, is they could say, "Hey, these are the themes I use inside that domain. Here's the themes I use around that domain, when I go do that." And that's really what we want for people to understand -- all of us do all four of those things, right. And, and, but we want to be cognizant of, of what themes we're using to be able to do those, right. I always, as I'm doing that, I'm thinking about typically, the typical positive, attributes -- excuse me, let me say that, again -- I'm thinking about the typical positive attributes and negative attributes of each theme. So at this point, I haven't even talked to that person, right. So all I've got is the stereotype, right. All I've got is typically what we see as positive attributes with the theme; typically what I see as negative attributes with the theme. So I'm jotting those down, right?

Dean Jones 8:31
And the other thing I'm looking at is, What are the domains where there are a few themes present? What are the domains where there's a, where there's a number of themes, and somebody may be compensating? So sometimes you see a fairly even distribution; sometimes you see their, you know, once in a while, like, I had a guy that I was his manager here at Gallup, and he was all Thinking themes. I mean, he had all the Thinking themes in his Top 10. And so, sometimes you see that waiting, right, and you know, that they're gonna be, you know -- first of all, they're disposed to probably lead with that; and two is, you know that there's going to be things that they're going to use to be able to manage that around, with the other domains.

Dean Jones 9:10
And then, then the last thing I always think about as I'm going through this -- and these are the things that I, you know, as I'm, as I'm looking at the themes, I'm sort of pondering, What, what, what, where's their motivation going to come from? Sometimes I call that "the engine." What's going to be the engine here? And you can kind of hear, and that's part of what, as I'm listening, as I'm actually conducting the session, I'm really listening for, Where's the engine, right? Where's their drive, their energy, their determination? Where's the drive coming from? Where's the engine coming from here, right? Sometimes they're classic things like Competition.

Dean Jones 9:47
In this CliftonStrengths Discovery, there was this guy, I just love him to death -- Competition. No. 1, right? I mean, this dude, it was just classic, right? This guy is livin' to win. You know, and it's just such a cool thing. Lots of Achievers, right. And so you hear that typically. Sometimes you get the people that are high Significance, right? And that's a big engine for them. Right? And sometimes it's things that are where their drive comes from a place you didn't kind of expect, right? So it might be a theme you didn't kind of expect, like their, their Futuristic, right? So might be like a Thinking theme like that, where you see that it's coming from a different place, right? So I'm looking at, Where, where's the engine going to be?

Dean Jones 10:25
I also think about their work style. So I'm thinking about, How are they likely to organize and approach the work that they do? So as I think about, you know, I'm looking at those Thinking themes, I'm looking at those Execution themes, I'm looking at, how are they likely to do that? I also like to look at the temporality of their strengths themes, of their talent themes, right? Where are they likely to be focused in time? So is there going to be a heavy present focus? You know, you see that with like, like, a lot of heavy Adaptability and Arranger. Is there a heavy past focus? Is there, you know, like, with Context and other theme like that. Is there a heavy future focus, right?

Dean Jones 11:03
I'm also thinking about their energy level, where, you know, sometimes you see people that are really high tone; sometimes you see people that are really low tone, someplace in between. So, you know, so I'm looking at that, and, and, and thinking about, What might that energy level be? And then finally, I'm thinking about, How are they likely to connect and collaborate with others? So where are they going to build connections from? What, what are they likely to do, you know? So I'm thinking about all those things as I go through that; I'm jotting notes, you know, and I'm thinking through that. I think it's a useful way, so I've got all my notes, right.

Dean Jones 11:39
And then I'm starting to actually -- sounds weird to say -- once I've done all that and worked my way through that, I really start then thinking about how am I going to prepare for the session? Sounds weird to say, to have done, to have done all that. But I want to think about all those things as I'm going through it. Then I'm start -- what I'm doing to prepare is I'm starting to then synthesize all those observations into questions, right? This is the piece I think it's like, you know, sometimes, sometimes I, you know, it always feels good when you get on, on a coaching call, and you feel like you're, you're the psychic. And it's like, you know, you can do the coaching call: "You probably like to do this," right? Or "You probably want to do this," right? And that's, that's, that's, you know, that's great -- you know, if you, if you're in the psychic business, that's great.

Crafting a Hypothesis

Dean Jones 12:29
If you're in the coaching business, pretty awful, right? Because there's no self-discovery there, right, you know, for that person, right? All you're doing is just tellin', tellin', tellin', right? You know, and they think you're magical, right? But they haven't necessarily discovered anything for themselves, right? So part of it is being able to take all those observations now, all those observations, all those hunches that we got -- and remember, those are all just hunches based on our past experience; we don't really know if any of those things are true. We're just tapping into our experience to say, Hey, what might be true, what may be likely to be true? We're, we're tapping into that. And we're going to synthesize all those into questions that we can ask. Right? Now, we probably will not ask the majority of those questions. But they're questions that help us to start to think through, What could I ask or what should I be asking, given what I see here? What might be happening, and what do I want to probe about? Right? Part of what I think is useful about doing this is you start to come up with some working assumptions based on your observations.

Dean Jones 13:37
It's something like a hypothesis. Now, sometimes people get kind of screwed up when I say this, because it's like, it's like, you know, I think all of us subscribe to that notion that we want to be open to the client that we're working with. But that, but being open to the client doesn't mean, Don't have a point of view, right? Part of is we walk in, we, you know, we've got a, you've got a limited amount of time that you're going to work with that client. So, and you got to get to the heart of things pretty fast. So doing this prep work actually starts to give you a point of view.

Dean Jones 14:10
Now, I always like to call it a hypothesis because you, because sometimes "point of view" sounds a little rigid, right? With a hypothesis, it's, it's like in junior high science, right? You know, the, in junior high science, we all learned a hypothesis is a proposed explanation for an observable phenomenon. Right, you know. And somehow, you know, in junior high science, it was critical that we all memorize that, because somehow that was going to be the key to our success later in life. Right. But, you know, part of what you're building is a hypothesis. The one thing that's really valuable about a hypothesis is you know it can be proved or disproved. Right. And the way, and the way that we do that -- sorry, Jim, go ahead.

Jim Collison 14:55
No, no, no. Finish that sentence; finish that --

Dean Jones 14:57
I was just, it can, it can be proved or disproved, and the way we do that is by listening and tuning in and looking for the evidence, right. And that's what we're doing on the coaching call. We're listening. We're tuning in. We're saying, Oh, yeah, that seems consistent with some of my hunches going into this, my hypothesis. This -- oh, that's completely -- I, whoa, I was way off base there. Right. In fact, none of that's going on. In fact, this is what's, where all the action is, right? But, but it helps me to walk in having done that work. And I'm walking in with a hypothesis or a point of view, you know, so that I can start to, right away, I can get to the action more quickly.

Jim Collison 15:36
I like how the, how the hypothesis focuses your questions. Like it gives them a meaning and a purpose. But it's not leading the witness either, in the sense that you're not trying to prove yourself right; you're trying to have some questions that help -- Hey, this is what I was thinking; is it true? And not having that tends to send us off into some, like the conver-, you don't have anything to aim for. So the conversation can just fly all over the place. And so I like that idea of a hypothesis, as long as we're not leading the witness in the, in the conversation to just prove -- "No, no, I thought you were this way; you need to be this way." Like, and I've even seen at times or I've, I've, I've heard where coaches will sometimes badger the coachee in the -- No, no that way -- you need to be, right, you need -- because this is what I thought; this is what it says. Well, OK. Because the theme definition says that, we've got to, that's just a hypothesis. That's our hypothesis in a lot of ways.

Dean Jones 16:37
Right. Right. And we're, and we're mapping that. It's like, no, no, no -- you're this way; this is really the issue.

Jim Collison 16:42
I'm telling you, you have to be! No, no, don't do that. That's bad.

Dean Jones 16:45
Exactly! You know, it's funny, so one of my, part of my job is, is often training new consultants at Gallup, right. And one of the, one of the mistaken assumptions, a lot of these folks are either right out, right out of college or right out of business school, you know, or right out of grad school somewhere. And they are super excited to be in the consulting game, right? So they can't wait to go talk to leaders, right. And, you know, oftentimes they're, you know, they're going to go do a stakeholder interview; they're going to go talk with a, with a leader about their business. The thing that they, somehow doesn't compute is they've got 40 questions they think they're going to ask, right, and then they've got 15, or 20 minutes with a leader, right? So they're going to ask actually one question or two questions.

Dean Jones 17:27
So you don't, you just don't have all that warm-up time, right? And you're not going to be able to dive in; you got to figure out what are those one or two questions that are right at the heart of the matter, before you go in. Coaching is similar. Right? If you're gonna, if you're gonna come out with a, with a strengths feedback session or a coaching session that's really going to get to the heart of the matter, you, one is you got to be prepared. And you have to be prepared. And you got to be able to come up with those questions that are going to get right to the heart of it. You get to the action fast. You know, it's like the movie that starts off, you know, the movie that starts off with a car chase is the one that's more exciting, right? Because we're gonna get right in the middle of it. Right? The movie that starts with, I was born in a small town in Iowa. Right? That's, and builds, right, that's just, that's a much slower build. And for a lot of our sessions, we want to make sure that we're, we're getting to the action as quickly as possible. Right. And that comes from being prepared to run that. Right.

Jim Collison 18:25
Ralph make does make a good point in the chat, as we, as we're talking about these where he says, Actually, a hypothesis can rarely be proved. Right. It's turned into a theory. Right. So now we're in high school, and we're in high school science, turned into a theory, right. And so great, great clarification. He says, Great for a coaching call because person, a personality can't, cannot be proven; just discovered more and more. And I think that's just a great way. I think that's a great way of saying it.

Dean Jones 18:50
So when I've talked about this, Ralph -- I love, yeah, I love it. When I'm talking to this Ralph, sometimes people say, Well, do I immediately share my hypothesis with them? It's like, No, you're never going to share that with them. No, you're never going to share that with them. That's actually for you, not for them. Right. It's for you to start to focus and organize your thinking, right? It's for you; it's not for them. You're going to just ask questions and listen acutely and intently. Right? So one of the things -- yeah, go ahead.

Jim Collison 19:17
Dean, before, before we move on, can you give a specific example of turning those observations -- is it coming, is that coming up?

Dean Jones 19:23
Yeah, it's coming. Yeah, let me, let me, let me dig in a little bit. I just want to make one point. And then I want to talk about, start to talk about, and I'll get -- who was it that asked the question? That was Marina.

Jim Collison 19:32
That was Marina.

Dean Jones 19:33
Yeah, Marina, I'm gonna, I'm going to give you some example of kind of questions, some of the questions I might, I might use around this. And, again, every coach has favorite questions, you know. So everybody's got their questions that they love to ask. And so I'm gonna, I'm gonna dive into that, Marina, in a second here. I think one of the things, the only thing I will say about the hypothesis thing before we leave that, right. So you, so you're developing this hypothesis, you get the point of view, right?

Dean Jones 19:57
Here is the interesting -- I think it's sort of the dichotomy of being a coach, right, is, the longer, the more practice and experience you have as a coach, the more you start to recognize patterns. You start to see patterns within the, between the themes. You see, you see patterns across domains, which helps you with work with clients to generate insights faster. So the more experience you got, the, the better you get at formulate hypotheses, formulating hypotheses that are probably gonna, more likely to be relevant to what's happening with that person, right. So you're, you're going to start, you're going to start to do that, right?

Dean Jones 20:37
At the same time, the best coaches also have this thing about a beginner's mind, you know, this, it's that Zen concept of, I'm going to bring "beginner's mind," you know, as though I know nothing, to each coaching client and each coaching session. So at the same time, you're going to be more facile with all this stuff. And, and you're also going to each time come into it like it's the very first time you've ever done it. OK. So this is what we're going for, this is what we're going, this is like the near- impossible state, right? Bringing all your expertise and wisdom and history there that that makes you a great coach, with, at the same time bringing, going to each session like it's the very first time that you've done that, right. And that combination, I think, is a really powerful combination. So, and that's what experience buys you in this. Right. That's what experience buys you in this: both the ability to recognize things faster but also, I think, experience buys you, if you're good, the ability to set it all aside, you know.

Dean Jones 21:40
I love this, you know, this, my favorite quote about kind of preparation, right? I always think that preparation is what sets us up for spontaneity in these, in these elements. My favorite quote, I think I've shared this before is, from Louis Armstrong. He said, You know, the famous, famous trumpet player, he said, "First I learn all the notes. And then I just blow." You know, and I think that's, I think that's, I love that quote, because I think that's the way we are, right? We prepare, right? We, first we learn all the notes, and then we're gonna set all that aside and we're just gonna blow, right. So, like that. So you're formulating your questions, right.

Open-Ended Questions

Dean Jones 22:18
So, and part of it is, you know, it starts with really being curious -- I talked about this last time. You know, and we'll talk about kind of the flow of this. But typically, you're going to start with some open-ended questions. So typically, I think it's helpful to start with kind of open-ended questions. You know, and all coaches have those opening questions that they, they typically use, or they typically love, right, I think that, over time. Things like, What did you notice in your report? Or What, what was confirmed, what confirmed what you already knew about yourself, right, in the report? Or was there anything that surprised you? Or was there anything that makes sense to you? Right. I'm going to talk about this a little bit, but typically at the, the flow, as you're formulating your questions, typically, you're starting with open-ended, situational kind of questions: "Tell me about this." And they're, they're open ended so you got lots of landscape to be able to kind of, kind of play with.

Dean Jones 23:19
And you're trying to kind of assess, I always think about it like being a doctor, you know, and walking into a patient and just starting with, "How you feeling? "Tell me, tell, tell me how you're feeling," right? You know, and so it's, it's big, it's open-ended. You want to just kind of let, because so the way to let the client lead you is to be able to ask those kind of open-ended situation questions so the client can take you where they want to take you in the session, right? Over time in the session, you'll move to more directed kind of closed-ended questions, more directed or directive kind of questions, through the course of the session, right. And you may be, by the end of the session, you're asking things, you know, very specific questions: "Are, are you going to follow up with that?" Or "How are you going to, how are you going to take that insight and, and, and, and apply it in your life?" Right? So, but in the beginning, we're starting with those big kind of open-ended questions, right.

Dean Jones 24:17
One of the things that I always think about is, as I'm, as I'm doing this, as I'm doing the preparation, I'm building the, building the questions that I, that I might ask or may ask, based on my point of view, is I'm always thinking about, What are the themes that I want to explore? Sometimes, sometimes at the end of this, you know, as I'm doing my preparation, I just make a list of some of the themes that I know I want to explore with that person -- maybe based on what you know, right; maybe based on, on what the client has said to you, right? So the client may have said something in the past like, Hey, I'm really excited about this because I want to _______. Or this is really, you know, I'm having issues with this. It may be what others have said to you, right? So you may have talked to that person's manager or colleague and, or, you know, the HR person who set you up to be able to do that. So what are those themes that I might, I might want to explore based on what I'm looking at? It may be based on your experience coaching others who have similar themes or theme combinations.

The High-Level Flow

Dean Jones 25:18
So you know, it's like, hey, you know, I got somebody who's got Maximizer, Significance and Self-Assurance in their Top 5. OK, that person's loaded for bear, you know. And so I want to make sure, you know, we got to, I want to make sure, knowing my history, I want to make sure we really dig in and see what's happening there. Right. So I've synthesized all that into a set of questions. Now, in the session, typically, I will tell you, again, this is typical, right? Typically, the typical flow for a session kind of goes like this. And Marina, I hope I'm getting to what you're, what you were asking here, but typically, the flow is kind of, what you start to see is they, you usually open by finding out, What do they want to accomplish in the session? Right? I'll talk about, I'm going to go through each of these, but I want to kind of give you the, the high-level flow, right? Typically, you're starting out -- What do they want to accomplish in the session? Right?

Dean Jones 26:12
Then next, you kind of start to talk about what's their relationship to the report? You know? And how do they see the report, how did it show up for them? You're trying to understand what's their relationship to the report, right? Then you start to dive into the how their talent shows up in their life. What's working? Where have they, where you can start to hear strengths being developed? Where do you see that there's issues, like that? Where are they, where, where might there be lack of self-awareness around something? So you're, you're kind of diving into how talent shows up in their life. As part of that, you start to look at what are the who, you know, like, what are the contribution, what is the contribution that they are, the contributions that they make? What are some of the opportunities for them to develop strengths in particular areas? Where do you, do you see any barriers or what are the barriers that you see around that? Right?

Dean Jones 26:58
And then usually, you're wrapping that with some, the session around that with some sort of commitment, right. And so -- and I'll talk about this before we wrap today, but typically, you're synthesizing what they've learned; you're talking about commitments that they would make; and then you're talking about how they're going to manage those commitments on an ongoing basis. So typically, at a high level, that's the flow. OK. So let me just pause there, Jim. I don't know if there's questions or anything around that. But I want to just, I want to, I want to make sure that high-level flow landed. If I need to say it again, just let me know, here.

Jim Collison 27:31
Yeah. And I took each of those and put them in the chat. So if you're watching this on video, and you want to get those, you can pull them there. Lisa asks a great question: How about using an intake form to ask some of those questions in advance?

Dean Jones 27:43
Yeah. So you know, it's, you know, it's so funny -- I have a funny relationship with intake forms. So our coaches at Gallup love intake forms. They love -- they've never met an intake form that they don't love, right. And for some people, it's great, because it has them start to think about it. Here's the thing you got to manage with intake forms. One is, sometimes, if you give people prework, they don't show up for the session. And so they get sort of buried by the prework, and they're like, OK, I'm not going to do this, right. And so, like that. Sometimes you get people who you ask questions in the, in the intake form, they -- and your intent is, Hey, well, I want them to think about this. And then we're gonna discuss this. They're like, "Hey, why are you just asking me all the same questions you asked me in the intake form? Right? Seems like I told you that already." Right. And so you have to make sure you're prepared kind of to go deeper around those things. Right. So I think intake forms are good.

Dean Jones 28:39
I think the thing I like typically about intake forms, is I think, I like giving people two or three things to think about. I always want to make sure people have read their report before they show up, right? Some people haven't; you just got to know -- that's common. Right? I also like to give people things to think about before it, but not necessarily to write down, right. And I, and I'm giving him the questions as much to signal, Hey, these are the kinds of things that we're going to talk about, right, in the session.

Dean Jones 29:07
And typically, a lot of the questions that I ask in an intake form, this is -- obviously, Lisa I have a lot to say here, so thanks for this question -- the questions I like to say, I like to ask are more about their relationship to the report than anything else. Right. So, you know, like what confirmed what you already knew? What, you know, what was, what resonated most for you? What, what, were there any surprises? Did anything that didn't make sense? Those are the kind of questions I like to ask, because I'd love to, I want to get on the court with that right away, then surface that so we can, we can sort of settle their relationship with the report and move on to, to how their talent shows up in their life. So that's, that's kind of like my 2 cents around the intake forms. Yeah.

Jim Collison 29:52
Dean, I'm the guy who doesn't show up after the intake form. I'm just, I'm just being honest. I am, I am that guy. I get this -- if it's, you know, "Hey, can you write?" I'm like, "No. Actually, I, I'm coming to you because I want to talk. So let's, let's dispense with the intake forms." And I get it; I'm not trying to make fun of them. I mean, I think they work for some, and they don't work for others. Just, just realize you're gonna have some folks who are like, "Yeah, I'm going to give you two sentences, or nothing." And, and so it's a good -- I do, you know, with high Communication, I do like to process in real time. I, that's, for me, I need to talk through it, I need to talk it out, I need some time. This is why webcasts have been so effective for me, because I talk these things out in real time. And it's just a more effective forum for me. So I guess, be careful not to judge everyone by their intake form if, if that's something you do.

Dean Jones 30:44
And you know, if you, if you're gonna have an ongoing relationship with this client, right? So some of these, you know, I said this last time, but some of these are just one-and-done, right. I'm gonna do a strengths feedback, it's gonna be what it is, and then we're gonna move, we're all gonna move on with our lives, right? For some, it's the beginning of a relationship with a client, right? Where you're gonna, you're gonna talk with them on a regular basis. I am a big fan of leaving them with a question at the end of the session to think about for next time, right? Some people, I've had clients I work with that will, you know, I had a client I worked with recently who I just love. And I had to leave him with a question. He sent me 3 pages in a Word document of all of his thoughts and answers and everything around that. I, you know, I'd read that before the session, I'd jot all my notes down. And it was a great way to, you know, like, we would have really productive sessions because of that.

Dean Jones 31:35
I have people who think about those questions and, and come, you know, ready to share that, you know, like you, Jim. And I've had people, people that, you know, don't remember the question 5 minutes after I asked it, right. So, and you gotta love everybody, right? Everybody's gonna be in a different place. And, and that's good. And that's what makes us all great. Right? Was there someplace, something else you wanted to go to?

Jim Collison 31:57
No, I think, I think we're good for now. Don't, don't forget, chat room, to throw your questions in there. And we'll, we'll get them. What, Dean, what I, what I really like, and what I hear you saying is, Use what works for you. Be aware of what works for your client. And then synthesize those two together to make a great experience. You know, Lisa had mentioned, you know, she has a client who writes 3 pages of notes before each session. And that's, that's awesome, by the way. You know, I couldn't. But that's, that's me. They can; that's awesome. Right. And so, take, I guess, take what you're given, in that case.

Dean Jones 32:33
That's right. That's right. So, so where we were kind of is the high-level flow, right? So that's one possible high-level flow to the thing. What do they want to accomplish in the session? What's their relationship to the report? How the talent, how their talent shows up in their life. Digging into contributions, opportunities and barriers. Then some synthesis, some commitment, and, and, and some ways to be able to keep that all in existence, right? So let me just talk a little, I'm going to drill into each one of these just a little bit, right? And so starting with, with what they want to accomplish in the session. I always, I always just one want to ask people, you know, I love to ask people, Hey, you know, like, why are you here? Right? What, you know, tell me a little bit about what, what you wanted to accomplish in today's session, or in this conversation? What were you looking forward to? Or is there anything particularly you wanted to discuss as we go through your strengths today? I always like to ask that.

Dean Jones 33:25
Part, part of that is, you know, I'm listening for, Hey, where do we want to focus? And I'm jotting notes, you know, big, you know, big, big Post-it note guy, right, in front of me. So I'm jotting notes as, as we're going through this, so that I know, Hey, I'm going to hit on those things, right? Because, and again, I take that super seriously. My client just told me they want to talk about this. My client just told me; this is important to them. I got to make sure, if I'm going to ask that question that we're going to, I'm going to account for that, right? We're either going to talk about it today, or we're going to, or I'm going to do that in the future. Right.

Dean Jones 33:59
I also, as part of that I'm getting their commitment to being in the session being coached. Sounds weird to say, right? Some people showed up, and you guys, particularly if you work inside of an organization, some people just turn up for the sessions, because they were told to turn up, right. So they aren't there really to be coached. You know, they aren't there really to discover; they're there to be able to say, "Yes, I turned up when I was supposed to, and I made my way through it." Right. So you're gauging kind of what's the, what's the, what's their commitment or their intention in the session? And the more that you can get, use that time to kind of get their commitment -- part of that is you're sort of engaging them in being in the session, right.

Dean Jones 34:41
You know, so when they say, "Hey, I'd really like to understand this," or it's like, part of you're doing, you're doing a little bit of selling, right. "Oh, yeah, we can absolutely dive into that." Or "Yeah, that's, that's an important thing. In fact, I think we can talk about how that might relate to some of the other stuff you were telling me before, right? So you're, you're, you're getting their commitment to being coached, right. You also, during that time, I always sometimes -- particularly with people that I can see that are concerned about being in the session and are worried about confidentiality or worried about, worried, you know, haven't, don't have a lot of experience being in this kind of environment -- couple things is: I might need to reiterate that the session is confidential, right. You gotta remember, people have different levels of experience of being in a coaching or kind of counseling environment, right.

Dean Jones 35:30
So sometimes, sometimes people have had lots of sessions with lots of coaches. And that's a real comfortable environment for them. Sometimes they've never been in a coaching session before, or all they know about coaching is what they've seen on TV, you know. It's too many episodes of billions, right? And so, you know what I mean? And so, you know, they, they've got some picture of it like that. Some people have had a lot of therapy, so they think you're a therapist and not a coach, right? So you got different levels of experience in being that kind of environment, and so part of what you're doing is setting sort of the expectation for what we're going to cover, how this is going to work and getting them comfortable with being, with, with doing that. Right. So that's, that's the piece, that's the piece at the beginning. Right?

Dean Jones 36:14
Then, the, the next piece I want to do is, I'm starting to, to really dig into their relationship to the report. Right. So I always, you know, I'll always ask, "Hey, have you read your report? Tell me about your report." You know, and I, the kinds of questions that I, I want to find out is, is, What are the questions that really confirmed what they knew about themselves? "Gosh, when I saw that, that was really me," or what really resonated for you? I like to know, right up front, where did it land for people? What validated their sense of themselves? And sometimes I think that we skip over that, because we want to get to the piece where -- we want to, we want to make sure that the whole thing landed and we get to the piece where that anything people are confused by or concerned about, right?

Gauging the Coachee's Self-Awareness

Dean Jones 37:05
Don't go fast over the stuff that they validated. Right? That's the stuff that they go, they're telling you who they are. They're telling you, "This is me. This is how I see myself. This is how I know." Remember, as a, as a coach, one of your jobs as you're going through the session is to really have a good gauge of that person's self-awareness.

Dean Jones 37:26
One of your big jobs is, from, from Minute One through the whole session is you're really gauging, Where is that person relative to their self-awareness? Some people have really high self-awareness, and can talk with a lot of accuracy about themselves. Some people have very low self-awareness, and you see that. Right? So that conversation about, What did I see in the report that reflects that, where I saw myself, that's an important piece, right? So you're starting there.

Dean Jones 37:53
I also want to know, Hey, what was surprising to you? What showed up that was unique or surprising or different for you, but it made sense to you? And so, you know, like, those are the pieces where it was like, "Oh, I'm gonna mine those a little bit for insights," right? Hey, like, because that was maybe a blind spot before -- some dawning self-awareness, or all of a sudden, something made sense that didn't make sense before. So anything sort of surprising, but makes sense, I'm making notes of that, because I want to, I want to think about that. I'm interested in the stuff that was surprising and maybe confusing for people. Like "I, this was a surprise. And gosh, I never, I never really thought about it that way, or I'm not really sure that's accurate for me." I want to know that stuff. Right?

Dean Jones 38:38
And then any, I'm looking for any aspect of the report that they might reject. OK? So anything that they go, "Yeah, it was all good, except for that piece." Right? Or that, you know, or, "It was mostly accurate, except these pieces were completely inaccurate." Right? You know, here's the thing is, that I always tell people is, look, you don't have to, as coaches, we don't have to defend the report. Right? You know, Gallup doesn't need you to defend the report; your job's not to defend it -- we know it's accurate, OK? So -- as accurate as any psychometric assessment is, right. So you don't have to, sometimes people get defensive or righteous or dogmatic about the report. You don't have to do any of those things. Right. If they reject the report, that's great. Let them do it. Right. And there's times where I just want to explore it a little bit.

Dean Jones 39:26
I, you know, so funny. Years ago, I had one of the funniest experiences, where I was leading a, leading a strengths workshop at UCLA. And it was at the business school at UCLA, right. And I had this gal that was, she was alumni of the school. She's a super high-power attorney, right? And I can't remember the theme -- I think it was like something like Significance. Anyway, she, she, we're talking about the themes and dah-dah-dah; she raises her hand and she says, she says, "It's all good, except this theme. This theme is not at all me. I'm very clear: it's not at all me. You know, this, I don't know why it's in my report; very confused about this," right? "Not -- but clear that there's something wrong with the report, because this is not it." I said, "OK, great." I said, I said, "Why don't you do this?" I said, "Why don't you just read what it says in the theme to me," right? And she said, "OK."

Dean Jones 40:17
So she starts, you know, like, OK, I'm gonna humor the guy, right? So she starts reading the theme. And she's like, I don't know, 3 or 4 sentences in -- she starts laughing, you know? And I said, "What are you laughing about?" She says, "Oh, my God, this is totally me." I was like, "I got it," you know? And sometimes it's reading it out loud like that, right, you know, it lands in a different way. So it's OK; we don't have to, you know, part of it is that, that we're starting where people are in terms of their self-awareness, right. And we're building on that. So wherever they are is the perfect place for them to be. Right. That's, that's where we should start. That's the work there is to do. We're going to work with the self-awareness we got. And we're going to start to expand that.

Jim Collison 40:59
I think the pushback gives passion. And I think we need to dig into that. Like, OK, so now we have some things -- people are, I think they're more open to learning in that area of passion, even if it feels like they're going, they're going against it. It's, it's an area that's going to open up. If you, I think if you miss that moment, you, you miss most of it. Like, it's -- Look for those. My favorite is college students. I just love doing Strengths Discovery with college students, and there's always one or two in a room of 50 who want to fight it. And I'm like, "OK, we're not gonna argue forever. But tell me, like, bring it on! Let's talk about this thing." And we get those things out, you know, get, get them out in the open. So don't, don't, don't gloss over those; don't miss those moments of disagreement. Because I think they're important.

Dean Jones 41:44
Yeah, I love -- and to your point, love that energy and love that passion. I think it's great. And we don't want to shy away from that. We want to, we want to lean into that. I think that's -- I think that's phenomenal. I think as you're, so as you're listening to them talk about their relationship with the report, right, one of the things that naturally, typically organically, happens is they start talking about, as they talk about the themes, they start talking about their life, right? So what you hear is, you see, you hear them start to talk about how this shows up in their life. Usually, it just happens organically. Usually, it's just a natural thing. And part of what you're listening for there is, Where do they want to go to work?

Dean Jones 42:23
I'm always listening for -- and there may be places that in my prep, I thought, Hey, I bet we're gonna go to work here; we may want to go to work there, like that. I'm, you know, a lot of times, sometimes they're exactly where I thought, right? It's, you know, we got a lot of this and we need to go to work on that because that's causing problems, right? Some -- or not enough this, and it's causing problems, because we're not generating enough there. Some, sometimes it's someplace where I just didn't, didn't even, I had no, no, no inkling of. And, but I'm listening for, Where do they want to go to work? And again, remember, you got, you don't have unlimited time. So you're going to have to focus.

Dean Jones 43:03
Sometimes I think we get worried about canvassing everything -- so we don't -- as opposed to focusing. So part of it is, is if you do job, a good job focusing, you're going to leave them with insights that are going to be meaningful, right. And the best way to build an ongoing relationship with somebody is to focus and make sure they generated something that was really a valuable insight, rather than trying to canvass everything and cover everything in the session. So as I start to do that, I, and I, and that, that has to be start to kind of move into the themes, right, and where they have the themes show up in their life. And so the typical stuff I'm moving in, in that part of the conversation is, I'm looking at what is their understanding of the themes, right? Is -- Do they understand what the themes are?

Dean Jones 43:50
And sometimes, as you hear people talking about the themes, you'll hear them collapse themes together. Totally normal that that's going to happen. They're going to collapse, they start talking about Achiever, and whoops, we're into Significance, right? You know? Or they start talking about Competition, and it's actually really Achiever, right? So there, whatever, you just feel those themes kind of get collapsed, right, particularly the themes that "travel together," you know, like Learner and Input, they kind of travel together, right? So people sometimes have trouble uncollapsing those. And one is, Don't worry about the precision too much at this point; it's OK if it's messy. You know, over time, if you're working with them, you can uncollapse it. As long as they've got a working understanding of each one, I think it's fine. But don't, don't worry about the rigor too much. That's OK. Right. But you just want to sort of know that. So one is, you're thinking about what's their understanding of the themes.

Dean Jones 44:40
The other piece you're looking at is their awareness around the themes, right? And remember, I've said this on, on so many podcasts, I can't even count, right. But I always think there's two levels of awareness, right: There's from the themes to your life and from your life to your themes, right. So one is recognition; one is recall, right. So first of all, can I recognize the themes in my life, right? Can I say, "Oh, yeah, I used my Activator yesterday," or "Oh, yeah, that was my Input." Right? So that's being able to recognize the themes in the life -- that's the first, the first level of kind of awareness. Right. The second level of awareness is, start with my life and come back to the themes. So this happened yesterday. What were the themes that had that happen, right? What was the lens I, what were the themes that were the lens I used on that? Why did I make that decision? What was that behavior present? I can start from my life and come back and explain it in terms of themes. That's a higher level of, of awareness, or of sort of theme awareness, right?

Dean Jones 45:42
I want to make sure, as I'm going through this, that I'm dealing with any issues around appreciation, right? Where sometimes you have, you have folks that you're working with that they get a, they get, they either are worried about their themes because of where they're going to be judged for something, you know. Famously, I've talked about this executive I worked with that didn't want anybody to know that he was high Empathy, you know, because he thought it made him weak or something, you know. We all have our, you know, connotations and past life experiences that, you know, or circumstances that sometimes make us, make us, pull us in, in funny directions, right. But you want to make sure you're dealing with any issues around appreciation: that people are really love who they are; love the themes that they've got; love, you know, that they're really embracing that, right.

Dean Jones 46:29
And then, as I'm doing that, I'm starting to look at application. Right. So one of the things that is interesting, you know, over the years as I've talked with our coaches, you know, one of the things that our coaches feel really strongly about is that in a strengths feedback session, we should be touching Name it, Claim it and Aim it, right. We may not go deep in a lot of them, but we're, we want to make sure we're touching Name it -- they have that understanding; Claim it -- they've got some awareness and appreciation; and Aim it -- that we're starting to think about, OK, where are we aiming those themes around application?

Questions That Dig Deeper

Dean Jones 47:02
So -- who, who was it that had the question? Marina had the question earlier. Here's, here's some questions, like, this is, I built, this is like a, this is some of the questions that I'm asked -- and there's no magic to these questions, OK? These are just real basic questions that, that, that, that I would ask. But it, I would start, I would, the, but this is sort of the series of questions that I might be asking, right: "Tell me about your Achiever theme. Why don't you tell me about that, right? I'd just love to hear you talk about it. What are the aspects of it that really resonated for you?" You know, and I'm listening for any collapse they've got with their Achiever and something else, right? "Where did you see your, where did you see yourself using that theme in your life?" And I'm listening for them using it to build relationships, using it to influence, using it to execute it, using it to think or make sense of information. Right? So "Where do you see that you're using that in life? How are you using that?" And I'm listening for, through kind of the lens of those domains.

Dean Jones 48:02
"How" -- and then I'm starting to dig a little deeper -- "How do you think that theme shapes the way you look at life? I'm gonna say that question again. How do you think that theme shapes the way you look at life?" Now that is a very conceptual question, OK. So that may be deep water for some people, you know. For some people that have a high level of self-awareness, that's like, "Wow! OK. Let me tell you about that." Right. So that question is not going to, that's a highly conceptual question. So that question is not going to work for everybody. Right. But I think it's a great question to have in your back pocket, that with the right person or the right people, you know, they can start to see how they, that you're getting at that, that higher level of awareness. Right. "How do you think that theme shapes the way you look at life?" Right. "What do you like most about having that theme as one of your dominant themes?" Right? "What do you like most about having that theme as one of your dominant themes?" That's kind of an appreciation question, right?

Dean Jones 49:02
You know, a simpler version of that question is, "What's your favorite theme? You know, looking at the report, what's your favorite theme? Why is that your favorite theme? Tell me about, tell me about why that might be your favorite theme." You know? And then, then a question that's kind of an Aiming question is, "How could you more intentionally use that theme? Like, so if we were gonna go to work on that, how could you more intentionally use that theme tomorrow?" Right? I like to land it in time so we're thinking about that. Right? So those are some questions -- Marina, hope, hopefully, that's helpful. Right?

Dean Jones 49:34
Those are some of the questions, those are some of the questions that I might ask as sort of generic questions. You'll come up with better ones here that you'll use in your coaching sessions, right? But again, I'm, I'm using those questions. I'm moving through that kind of progression. Right. And I'm listening for their self-awareness. Where are they around that? I'm also listening for, Have we generated any insights? By "insights," I mean, have people had any epiphanies -- anything where they see something that they, about themselves or about their work or about their life or about their relationships that they didn't see before? Right? I think the, the, you know, the, the gold of, of coaching sessions are insights, right? If people come out of that session, and they go, "Wow! I never really considered that before." Or "Wow! I never saw that about myself before." That is big-time value for people. And it really opens up a place in their self-awareness.

Dean Jones 50:27
Sometimes I like to use leading questions. OK? You got to use these judiciously, but I might use these toward the end of the session. "Have you ever considered that you might _____? Right? "Have you ever considered that, that looking at your relationship through the lens of Competition is what's creating that dynamic with that person?" Right? That's kind of a leading question. Right? You know, it's kind of like, Hey, I'm poking you a little bit with that question, right. Now, under no circumstances would I open a session with question like that? But the those are ones as I get to the, to the end of a question, I might be asking some leading questions, right, that are designed to kind of provoke a little bit of an insight there. Right.

Dean Jones 51:16
The other kind of questions I might be using toward the end of a session is some projective questions. "Hey, you know, if you could have that relationship be any, be any way you want it, how would you have it be? How could, how could you use your themes to do that? Right? Or, "If you could have this kind of outcome in your work over the next 2 weeks, right, what would you have it be? How would you use your themes to do that?" Those are projective questions, right? They ask us to think forward in the future and imagine what it might be, right. Those projective questions help us to start to carve pathways, right, and, and create insights. So using those kinds of leading questions and projective questions are questions I would use toward the end of the session to kind of shape, you know, shape kind of our thinking so we start to generate insights there, right?

Jim Collison 52:04
Dean, you're, in the, in the progression that you're, you kind of worked us through, you get kind of basic, and then, in your progression, it gets deep pretty fast. In other words, I get to a spot and I'm like, Hey, I'm going to do some self-a -- this is gonna be a big self-awareness question. If that falls flat, would you have a backup question for that, maybe the, you know, for, for that person, it's too much, right? And they're like, Ah, you can kind of tell, like, the answers you're getting from them are superficial. Would you back up a little bit, then, and bring it back to something a little more reasonable for them? Is that a thought?

Dean Jones 52:39
Yeah, if I go too deep, too fast, of course, I'm going to back it up. Right. So again, think about the progression we did, right? So we did, we're starting with understanding, right? We're moving into awareness. We're dealing with anything around appreciation. And then we're starting to look at application, right? So some of those, some of those, as I get into awareness, I might notice, yeah, this person has actually really poor awareness, self-awareness, right? I'm not going to try to go deeper. You know, I may poke a little bit at it, you know, but I'll go as deep as they can go, right? Knowing that, hey, everybody's at a different place.

Dean Jones 53:16
My, my job is to get up to the edges. OK. And, and just push a little bit right on those edges, right? And see how far, you know, and sometimes you push a little on those edges, and there's a little bit more, right. And you can kind of keep, keep pushing there. Sometimes you get on those edges in and you're, you're done. You know, and, and that's OK, right? Because we're going to go as far as we can go and, and we're gonna go as far as we can go in the conversation, right? And we want to -- the one thing you want to do is I always want to leave people with application. Right? So I'm always looking at, OK, given what we talked about today, right? So one is, I always like -- and I think part of being a coach is being a good synthesizer, right.

Dean Jones 53:59
So as you're going through the session, you're able, you're taking some notes, I always like to, one of the things -- and I learned this from some great coaches -- is during the session, I write down exactly what they say, right? Not verbatim, right? But I'm, I'm trying to capture the words and phrases that they're using, right? Because that gives me the spirit of it. Then later, after the session, I go back and write my insights, right? But I'm trying to capture the words and phrases they're using, because that gives me their world and their language around it. Right. So at the end of the session, I want to do a little bit of synthesis. "Sounds like today we did this, we covered this. Looks like you, you've got some, some, some opportunity to be able to use your Activator theme in this way." A little bit synthesis, right.

Dean Jones 54:42
And I'm asking some application questions or commitment questions: "What is the thing you want to do in the next week?" Or "How do you think you could use that Achiever theme now in the next week to navigate this challenge that you've talked about today?" Or how, you know, so I'm asking some questions, and I'm, I always think about it in three, in three ways: What's the synthesis around it? Right? How we synthesize what we've, we're, the ground we've taken today. That's my job as the coach, typically, right? Sometimes I can ask people to do that. But typically, I have to do that as the coach. What's the commitment they're going to make? That's their job, right? And any, they get to make whatever commitment they want to make around this, right?

Dean Jones 55:20
So you don't, you don't have to push them for a commitment. You can ask them, "Hey, would, do you want to make a commitment about this," right? And then finally, how are they going to manage that commitment over time? Right? Are they writing it down? Are gonna, you know, are they gonna put a Post-it on their monitor? How are they going to remember that? Who are they going to share that with? Right? You know, who are the partners they're going to share that with, to start to engage with that and, and make sure that that's gonna, that's gonna have some meaning? So, OK.

Jim Collison 55:50
Dean, one of the, one of the things, when we're thinking about awareness, I want you to think maybe other ways to do this. But like, when I'm speaking with people, and I'm asking these questions and I'm looking for that, I look at their eyes. It gives me an indication, when I've hit, when I've hit something, they brighten up, or they, or they -- not dim in the sense, they don't understand it, but maybe it's emotional, right? I see an emotional reaction to it. And then I know we're making some progress. Are there other ways, other clues to that? And I'll look for questions in the chat room as well, if you have questions on this, but any, any other clues that you would use to kind of know you're getting there, or maybe you're not?

Dean Jones 56:31
Yeah, here's the thing -- you know, sounds funny, but, you know, for a lot of years, you know, we weren't coaching over Zoom, right? We were coaching on the phone, right? And, you know, I always liked to, when I was coaching on the phone, I'd close my eyes, right, so I could really just listen to what's happening with people. Sometimes what you get is you get, sometimes with, with, as, in coaching, sometimes you get the quick, superficial answer to satisfy the question. Right? So you ask a question. You get the, the quick, it's like, they've got an answer right there. You get the quick, superficial answer to the question. Sometimes you'll want to ask the question again, so that you are digging to the next level of, of what the answer is, right?

Dean Jones 57:12
So it's not about the, you know, the first answer that comes is designed to satisfy the question, right? The second answer may be, may give us a little bit more reflection. And so I'm listening for, OK, how much, how much reflection is loaded into that answer? Right. You know. And again, you know, I have to have -- one of the things we didn't really talk about today, but I got to have a sufficient relationship with that person, you know. The more relationship I've got with a person, the deeper I can go, right, because I've got, I've got that for us. So part of it, and we didn't really talk about that today, but we, you know, we certainly can talk about in the future is, I've got to have established enough of that relationship in the, in the, at the beginning of the call, or in the, in the conversations prior to the call to go do that work.

Jim Collison 57:53
Dean, do you do think in some circumstances, though, that that prior relationship may work against you, and not having a history or a background may allow someone to be more open because they're, this isn't, right, this isn't? I can, you can't manufacture that, right; that just has to happen. But I think having an awareness of that as a coach, of understanding, like, like, you're in the middle of this conversation, and this person is opening up to you, to realize, I may have some privilege to speak truth that wouldn't maybe not normally be received well by someone known. It's, it's an awk, it's a -- not awkward, but a different kind of situation, but I think one to be aware of, because you have a powerful moment in there to be able to create change, create healing, create trust, right, some of those things that need to be kind of as part of this. But, but also, as a coach, being self-aware in the moment. And how, Dean, Marina had asked this question a little bit earlier; I want to make sure I don't miss it: How do your own themes -- and this could be a whole topic -- but how do your own themes play into this as well, as you're, as you're coaching, as you're seeing, the understanding of your own themes in this coaching session play into this scenario?

Dean Jones 59:07
Yeah. I think we've talked about this before, and I want to be sensitive about time here, but I think that -- and we could do a whole session around this. I, the more you're aware of the filter through which you see the world; the more you're aware of how your themes influence your perspective, the easier it is to be able to see beyond them. OK. And I think we did a session early on about how strengths shape the way you see the world, right. I think that's a really good one. I haven't listened to it for a while. So it may not be as good as I remember. But, I think, I think it's really useful. You know, like one of the things for me, right, I, and I'm Activator No. 1. I'm a dude who loves movement. Right? And so I'm listening for movement. I know that the way I listen is I listen for movement. Right? And I have to manage that sometimes with myself, which is where sometimes we're just dwelling in something and that's OK.

Dean Jones 1:00:04
There may be no movement, right? And the Dean Jones, I might, I might be over here, my Activator's revving my engine over here. Right? I just have to go, OK. OK, thank you. Thank you for sharing, my, my little Activator friend, right? You know, it's time to dwell, it's time for us to dwell in this, right. And so we just have to, we have to, we have to be able to own our own, we have to own our own themes, and, and really have a deep understanding of how they shape our perspective. Because some of our instincts about what's right comes from our themes, right? When you can, when you're, when you've clearly distinguished what your own themes are, then you can move beyond them. And, and it gives you a much clearer perspective of that person and how their themes are coming to life there.

Jim Collison 1:00:51
Dean, there's a couple of questions still I want to cover, but I'm gonna, can you stay around for a few minutes?

Dean Jones 1:00:55
Yeah, sure. No, I don't.

Jim Collison 1:00:58
OK, we'll do a little postshow with that. So, so Marina and Ralph, hang tight really quick. For the, for the recorded part of the podcast, well this just, just means if you're listening to the recorded, recorded part, you should come out and join us live, cause there's maybe a little bonus content you're not going to get that will be in it. It's always there. It's always recorded on the live page, if you want to go back and do them. With that, we'll remind everyone take full advantage of all the resources that we have available now. And Gallup Access, Head out to By the way, if you want to sign up for the CliftonStrengths newsletter that comes out every single month faithfully now -- available to everyone. You don't have to be a Certified Coach for this; this is public for everybody. Go to the bottom of the page, and there's a newsletter signup down there. You can get that delivered to your Inbox every single month. For coaching, master coaching or if you want to become a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, you can send us an email: We'll get -- again, that's, I say that fast --, and we'll get someone back to you who can help you, help you with that. Stay up to date on all the webcasts that are coming up in the future: Follow us there, and you'll get a notification for me whenever I post something new. We do want to thank you for joining us live today. If you found this helpful, please share it. We'd love to have these shared all around to help others as well. For the live folks, or for the recorded folks, thanks for joining us today. For the live folks, stay around. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

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

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