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Called to Coach
How to Improve Your Wellbeing With Activator®
Called to Coach

How to Improve Your Wellbeing With Activator®

Webcast Details

  • Gallup CliftonStrengths Wellbeing Series, Season 1: Activator
  • If you have Activator, how does this theme relate to you and your wellbeing?
  • How can you use your Activator theme to support others, personally and professionally?

Below are audio and video plus a transcript of the conversation, including time stamps.


Your CliftonStrengths® can empower the 5 elements of your wellbeing -- career, social, financial, community and physical. But how does this happen if you are struggling in one or more of these elements? If you have Activator, Appendix 1 of Gallup's Wellbeing at Work book has Strengths Insights and Action Items that can move you from struggling to thriving as you apply your Activator talent to fuel your wellbeing. Join Jaclynn Robinson and Jim Collison on this CliftonStrengths Podcast to discover how.


What makes you [as an Activator] really excited, where you ... can't stop thinking about it in a positive way? [Pay] attention to where that energy is for you. ... And try to find more opportunities to do that.

Jaclynn Robinson, 13:27

One thing that I think Activators are great at is they can help people get that physical boost that they need, to feel a little bit more energized throughout the day.

Jaclynn Robinson, 7:15

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and welcome to the CliftonStrengths Podcast. On this podcast, we'll be covering topics such as wellbeing, teamwork, professional development and more. Now enjoy this episode.

Jim Collison 0:14
In this CliftonStrengths Podcast, we look at the Strengths Insight and Action Planning Items from Appendix 1 in the Gallup book Wellbeing at Work one theme at a time, and today's theme is Activator. If you're listening live, we'd love to have you join us in the chat room; link to that right above me there. If you're listening after the fact, and you have questions, you can always send us an email: Dr. Jaclynn Robinson is our host today. She works as a Learning and Development Consultant and as the primary contributor to Appendix 1 in the Wellbeing at Work book. And Jaclynn, always great to see you and welcome back!

Jaclynn Robinson 0:45
Thank you, friend. Thank you.

What's the definition of Activator?

Jim Collison 0:47
We today are looking at Activator, and let's just get started with what is Activator? Give us that definition.

Jaclynn Robinson 0:53
Activator is all about, you know, the first thing that comes to mind is they're a catalyst. They turn thoughts into action. They want to do things now. There's an energy and a spark about them that people can just feel. I think, physically and mentally there's the, there's an energy about them -- a fire about them.

Jim Collison 1:13
Every theme has an inward and an outward effect. So how does it relate to you?

Jaclynn Robinson 1:18
Yes, so Activators, they like to get things started. There's a lot of energy and enjoyment that comes from getting things going, getting people going -- if we start thinking about what that looks like outwardly. They can get people inspired to start moving: Let's not just talk about it; let's be about it. Let's go! So we see that personally within them, where they're just, you know, firing on all cylinders with different projects. And then we see that within teams as well.

Jim Collison 1:46
And how does that, what's the outward look like? How does that relate to others?

Jaclynn Robinson 1:50
Yeah, so to others, you know, they can be that -- I think about them sometimes as that cheerleader, that motivator. They're really good at inspiring people and energizing people to get started on a work project. Or, even if we relate it to sports, they might be that person on the sports team or intramurals team that gets people fired up for the game that's about the start, or halfway point or in a slump: "We got this! We got this!" So they are the individuals that can really help energize other people for goals for, you know, sports purposes, within the family -- they're the excitement.

Jim Collison 2:28
I have Activator 5, and I get energy sometimes just by thinking, like, if I'm low on energy, I'll just think, What, what can I do new? What can I start? And it's funny, just that idea, that thought can kind of spark some energy. I think it's even better when I think, What could I start for someone else? Like, What could I, how could I in -- it's an Influencing theme, right? So how could I influence others to do something? It's probably a thought I need to have a little bit more -- although in my role here, I do that a lot. How can we create new content for our coaches, our global community of coaches? So --

Jaclynn Robinson 3:05
And you're really good about that!

Jim Collison 3:06
It gives, I get a lot, I just realized that -- I get a lot of energy from that. Like that's something that -- thinking of a new series, we were getting ready for this series. Couldn't stop thinking about it. I was like, This is gonna be great, right? And now that we're in it, I mean, it's OK. But yeah,

Jaclynn Robinson 3:22
It was the lead-up to it, starting something new, wasn't it? And you're so good at that -- at coming up with new, new ideas and being really energized around it and getting other people excited.

How does Activator look when it's thriving versus struggling?

Jim Collison 3:32
Yeah. And roping others in, like I roped you in to do this -- is a great opp -- you can see it in my eyes. They get bright. When I get excited about this, my eyes brighten up and I get, I get pretty excited. How does the theme look when we think of thriving versus struggling?

Jaclynn Robinson 3:49
Thriving, I feel like it's that healthy energy. It's energy that might last even throughout the day, where you're constantly excited to be able to get started on, on something or to call someone up and share out something that you want to maybe get started on or something that you're, you're -- it could be a hobby or interest, and now you're going to dive into it. But it's, it feels, I feel like that energy that you can just have throughout the day that's sustained. And other people see it too. So if they need that pick-me-up because their wellbeing is down and out, they know that they can call you, and you're going to inspire them and reengage them in what they're doing.

Jaclynn Robinson 4:29
Struggling, I think, can look the opposite. So it's no longer maybe this excitable energy, but it feels more like the jitters so to speak. There's so many things that you've now started that you don't even know where to focus your attention. And so now it's just that nervous anxiety or that nervous energy or the jitters of like, OK, you almost feel like a hamster in a wheel. And you almost have to take that step back and go, "What, what have I started? And who else can I bring in to help me complete it?" at that point, for the work that needs to get done. And in the household, even if we relate that back to, you know, what it feels like around family or friends, they might even be able to pick up on that nervous energy or some of the jitters that you have. Or they can just see that you're not quite present in the moment. You're thinking about all the different things in your mind; it's just kind of spinning.

Jim Collison 5:24
I've actually had community people ask me, I, when I'm struggling in that -- maybe too many things going on or a lot of things happening at once, worry. I think as one, when we think about wellbeing, I think worry is one of those early warning indicators when we -- because, listen, when I start new things, I'm not worried about them. Like I don't, it's not, "Oh, I'm starting too many." I don't worry. But when I've got so many going and I have that, I have that emotion, right, I have that worry or stress, right, of like, oh, these things are weighing me down. I've, I've had folks see that through webcasts and say, "Everything all right?" like, you know.

Jim Collison 6:02
And so I think that's, again, that early warning indicator to listen for, as we think when it's not, when it's, when I'm struggling with it. Maybe I've got too much going on, or I've bitten off more than I can chew, and I start to worry; I start to get stressed. That can -- and that's just not a work thing. That can be in what's going on around us or with family members. Anything else that you want to add on that struggling side?

Jaclynn Robinson 6:25
Yeah, you're bringing up the, the concept of rumination too, where you can just be up at night, ruminating on things that you've started. And I love what Cathy even said in chat was, you want to start things and you can't. And that is going to deplete someone that has Activator high when you love being able to get things started. So that's a great point.

Jim Collison 6:43
Can you get, from the book, as we look in Appendix 1, there's some best practices for one of, for each one of the wellbeing elements. For, for Activator, can you, can you walk us through one of those?

Jaclynn Robinson 6:54
Yeah, so for Activator, one that I thought would be beneficial to look at today is just physical wellbeing, because so many people are experiencing burnout or maybe they had, you know, fitness, a fitness routine or regimen, or they were at least getting outside before COVID. And they've just gotten off track. Maybe they're, they've got Zoom fatigue because they're sitting for a long time. So one thing that I think Activators are great at is they can help people get that physical boost that they need, to feel a little bit more energized throughout the day.

Jaclynn Robinson 7:25
So, you know, when you see a team that needs that boost of energy, maybe encourage them to get up and start moving around. Or be that person on the team that says, "OK, this is we're going to take a stretch break. Everyone get up, let's stretch over" -- on, you know, on the Zoom call. Or "Let's take a walking meeting." But they are able -- because we see that physical energy, it's very kinesthetic, I would say, with Activators, they're really good at being able to boost people's energy. And we're seeing that people are needing that right now. There's a lot of just lethargic feeling throughout the day, if you're just on Zoom all day long.

Jim Collison 8:02
I love that, because we really need, sometimes we just need movement, and that influencing, that pushing forward of just going can be, "Hey, let's go grab something." "Let's go get a cup of coffee." "Let's go to lunch." "Can I spend -- can we can we do a 15-minute call?" Like we can't always, we're not always in person. I've been doing a lot of this lately -- didn't realize it was the Activator -- of, I just had one come in this morning: "Hey, I've got a question. Can I call you?" Like, literally, "Can I call you?" And it just has been one of those things that kind of keeps the, keeps it rolling, keeps it moving, keeps it happening. Any, anything else that you'd add to that?

Jaclynn Robinson 8:38
I love that. And I've seen so many examples of folks doing that throughout the, the last couple of years. "Let's go get a juice together," if they're working on site. "Hey, let's have a walking meeting. I don't care if you're out of breath. Like that's fine. Let's just, let's walk and move around as a team on this call and not just be on Zoom." "Hey, let's go do yoga together." "Let's go play tennis." So many different ways that I've seen people really activate and get their blood moving, or "Hey, let's just take a 15-minute break. I've built that into the meeting. Come back in 15 minutes and we'll, we'll get started."

Jim Collison 9:12
I don't know if you've ever harvested -- this is going to be really obscure -- a marigold seed. Like if you have marigold plants, you know, and when, after they've been pollinated, they dry up and just bend over. And then you just, you just kind of pull them off the plant. If you, if you put that in between your fingers and rub it, all the seeds come out, right. And it's super satisfying. Like it's one of those kinds of things. And so I've been taking breaks -- you know, I need a 5-minute break. I go to the backyard -- like, this is the season, right, they're starting to, it's getting cold. And I'll just harvest a few of those seeds. And it's incredibly satisfying. And it's an Activator moment because I'm just deciding OK, I'm just gonna go do this. And I put them, get them ready for next year. But it's that kind of movement for myself. And then I could also, I, I mentioned that to my daughter-in-law, and they have some plants at their place. And when she's walking with the kids, the kids now like to pick them and, and get the, get, you know, just kind of pull the seeds out for others, right, you know, doing it for others. So I think there's some great opportunities there, when we think about that.

Jaclynn Robinson 10:17
That's wise. You actually bring up a good point too, of just, some people -- because you were doing something that was tactile, it reminded me, but some people will just have things they can play with at their desk, to, worry stones that they can just rub on that just helps create some form of movement. Yeah. What else were you -- ?

For those with Activator, how can it be used to support others?

Jim Collison 10:36
I was gonna say, I was just gonna remind everybody, there's, the 4 other elements are in Appendix 1. And so if you want to go back to that, as you're thinking about that, if you have Activator, you're trying to help Activators great opportunity to go back through and review those. With Activator, then, let's, let's focus this. I kind of mentioned this, and we'll use it as a transition. When we think about helping others, how can we use Activator, either in, in managing or being on a team or as an individual?

Jaclynn Robinson 11:03
Yeah, I think, well, as a manager, one thing that can, that Activators can do is just pay attention to the energy of the team. Are you recognizing that people are in a slump or they're burned out? Are they wearing stress on their face? Are they not getting up and moving around a lot, and you're just hearing that they're just at their computers all day? And being able to take charge of that. And again, if you're in control of a meeting, and it's an hour long, can you build in a 10- to 15-minute break, where they can use that time within the hour to get up, move around, do something inspiring. And then come back, because they're probably going to have a lot of fresh ideas because they've had a moment to move around, and they haven't had that all day.

Jaclynn Robinson 11:42
Encouraging them, you know, "What are some things that you're inspired to do? And let me help you activate on that." And then last, but not least, I think is just if they have, you know, physical goals for themselves, being that cheerleader and that motivator: "Hey, what are" -- and you hear that. Maybe they're saying, "Oh, you know, I want to get back on my fitness track." "OK, I'm here. How about I check in with you in our one-on-ones just to see how that's going?" Those are the first three things that automatically come to mind if I think about a manager with Activator.

Jim Collison 12:12
What about as being on a team?

Jaclynn Robinson 12:15
Yes. Activators are really good at just bringing the energy. Calling up an Activator, if you can, just to say, "Hey, I just needed someone to talk to. Let's take 5." And, you know, Activator, you've probably seen those people -- as an accountabilibuddy, you can tell they're in a slump, and you just want to be there for them. Your energy alone just kind of gives off a vibe to other people. And I think even just calling them up -- "Hey, let's take 5. How are you? What are you working on? How can I support?" can be that extra push to get them energized. And within a team meeting, just inspiring people through movement or through action, if people are talking and not getting enough done.

Jim Collison 12:59
And if needed, it's not always needed.

Jaclynn Robinson 13:01

Jim Collison 13:04
Activators, Activators -- my people -- just sometimes it's not needed. Just sit tight. You'll be OK. Right? What about as an individual?

Jaclynn Robinson 13:17
I think this goes back to a conversation you and I had even had last week: Where's the energy going for someone with Activator? Because there is that natural energy. But what makes you really excited, where you have that smile on your face, and you can't stop thinking about it in a positive way? Paying attention to where that energy is for you. So if you are experiencing some form of burnout and poor wellbeing, you can take a pause, which isn't always easy to do as an Activator. But take that pause and go, "Yeah, what does get me really fired up and excited for the day?" And try to find more opportunities to do that.

Jim Collison 13:52
In Appendix 2, we spent a bunch of time -- we have a framework for you there. I think it, like, there are some great questions in there in Appendix 2. Let's walk through that framework, as we think about the, through these elements, these 5 elements -- working through "Ask Yourself," Jaclynn, walk us through that, just as kind of a discipline of, of that section.

Jaclynn Robinson 14:15
Yes. So if I think about Ask Yourself, one great question that you'll find in Appendix 2 is, "How do I incorporate activity into my workday?" It has been, I would say, particularly difficult -- just in conversations I've had with Activators -- to have to sit still, if they're working from home on a computer all day, and they are typically in a role where they can move around, walk and talk to people on site, off site. So one thing to ask yourself is, "How do I incorporate activity into my workday?"

Jaclynn Robinson 14:45
One thing then to ask team members is, "How can we support each other's physical wellbeing?" So they can help you incorporate activity, but you can also help them incorporate activity. And then one best practice that, as an individual and as a team member, you might want to consider is building in breaks within your workday, so that you can get up and move around and get those fresh ideas going, get the blood flowing. You know, I wouldn't say, cure any anxiety or worries you have, but lessen any worries or anxieties you have. Because we do know, through science and research that walking really helps create new ideas and helps you problem-solve. And if you get outside and get that fresh air, what a, what a spark to your wellbeing that would be.

Jim Collison 15:35
I love that framework: Ask Yourself -- we have a bunch of questions in there. In the book, it's by, it's by each section, so by each element, the wellbeing element. But I love this, our opportunity, then, by theme to kind of drive that in and give you some, give you a little advice on that. So Asking Yourself, Ask Your Team Members. And then there's, there's some action items in there, how to take action. And so we encourage you to dive into that. No right or wrong answers, by the way, but some great opportunities, some great questions if you -- as a coach, I'd just ask those questions. Like that's what I, that's what I would do.

Jaclynn Robinson 16:12
They're by element of wellbeing. I mean, you just, you can't go wrong.

Jim Collison 16:15
Yeah, you just, they're there. So pick that up. Jaclynn, anything else we'd add before I close it?

Jaclynn Robinson 16:21
That's all that's on my mind.

Jim Collison 16:23
Thank you so much for listening to today's episode of the CliftonStrengths podcast. Make sure you like and subscribe wherever you listen, so you never miss an episode. And if you're really enjoying this podcast, please leave a review. This helps us promote strengths globally.

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

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

Gallup®, CliftonStrengths® and each of the 34 CliftonStrengths theme names are trademarks of Gallup. Copyright © 2000 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.

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