- Gallup CliftonStrengths Wellbeing Series, Season 1: Context
- If you have Context, how does this theme relate to you and your wellbeing?
- How can you use your Context 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 Context, 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 Context talent to fuel your wellbeing. Join Jaclynn Robinson and Jim Collison on this CliftonStrengths Podcast to discover how.
We often think of this individual [with Context] as really that person that's in the driver's seat, looking in the rearview mirror, but still driving forward.Jaclynn Robinson, 1:12
If ... you're leading a team, you can help people connect their contributions to the goals of the team or mission of the company by addressing the successes the team has had in the past and how that's really set them on course for a brighter future.Jaclynn Robinson,
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 0:10
In this CliftonStrengths Podcast, we'll look at the Strengths Insight and Action Planning items from Appendix 1 in the Gallup at work -- I mean, the Gallup book Wellbeing at Work one theme at a time; today's theme is Context. If you're listening live, love you to join us in our chat room. There's a link right above us there. If you want to jump in there, you can, you can put your questions there in chat. Or if you have questions after the fact -- maybe you're listening to this as a podcast -- send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Jaclynn Robinson is our host today. She works as a Gallup Learning and Development Consultant and was the primary contributor to Appendix 1 in the Wellbeing at Work book. And Jaclynn, congratulations on that. I'm always proud to say that for you. It's great to see you, and welcome back!
Jaclynn Robinson 0:55
Thank you, sir.
Jim Collison 0:57
We are spending some time talking about Context.
Jaclynn Robinson 0:59
We're talking about Context.
What's the definition of Context?
Jim Collison 1:00
Give me, give me the definition of Context.
Jaclynn Robinson 1:02
OK. So if we think about Context, someone high in Context enjoys thinking about the past. They understand the past by researching its history. We often think of this individual as really that person that's in the driver's seat, looking in the rearview mirror, but still driving forward. And I think that's important to note, too.
Jim Collison 1:23
For me, I mentioned, I really, I envy this theme. And I think why it's not higher is because I often take it negative. I use it as the, "Oh, remember when we did this, and it didn't work?"
Jaclynn Robinson 1:36
No, Jim! They're like, No, stop!
Jim Collison 1:38
I'm sure that's why it's a little bit lower. But let's spend a little time -- How does it relate to you? And then how does it relate to others?
Jaclynn Robinson 1:44
Yes, so some, some thoughts I have here -- how it relates to you: when you understand the background information of the topic at hand, you likely feel more informed and able to converse with the individual you're speaking with, or to take action on the project that you're involved in. How it relates to others: due to the, due to the innate interest -- I can't speak today, team -- due to the innate interest in understanding the history of what or who came prior, I think individuals can frequently count on this person to pull in additional Context, quite literally, related to the subject matter or that individual.
How does Context look when it's thriving vs. struggling?
Jim Collison 2:21
I'm gonna lean on you heavy for this one, because I have no idea how Context relates to wellbeing. I think this is one of those we're going to kind of learn together. So how does Context look, when it's thriving, and when it's struggling? Then we'll spend a little bit of time thinking about the wellbeing element.
Jaclynn Robinson 2:37
Yes, this one's fun. Thriving, this person tends to thrive, firstly, when they have information to base their decision-making and conversations off of; and secondly, when others understand and respect the past and how that informs the present moment. I think those two are, really almost go hand in hand in terms of thriving; it's when other people also respect history and what came before, it can be, it's kind of like that sigh of relief, like, OK, they are remembering what's happened previously.
Jim Collison 3:10
Yeah, it's kind of like what I said early on is like, we don't learn, we never learn. You know, we, we've done this before; we never learn. And yet there is a balance with Context I think, at times, that sometimes the situation changes. We've been, we've been all on those teams with someone with high Context. And it may take an approach like, you know, that: We never learn; we've done this before; we tried it, that doesn't work. I think that has to be balanced with I think situations change sometimes. And we need to kind of, we kind of need to think through that -- challenge ourselves, those who have high Context, to say, OK, I know that happened that way in the past, but are all the conditions exactly the same today?
Jim Collison 3:54
Or even spin that a little more positive, to say, I know this is the way it happened in the past. How can I take the best of that and still apply it to us moving forward and not throw that in people's faces? Not, not be someone to say, Well, we can't do that, because it's been tried, and it can never be done that way. And I think folks with Context, especially in these, maybe in these areas of wellbeing -- and I'm, we're gonna ask you for an example here just in a second -- where we're in a world that's kind of different. And I think there's some opportunities to rethink and learn, maybe even learn from the past. So let's look at an example. In, in Appendix, in Appendix 1 we've got, we could kind of break this down by theme and best practices for this theme of Context by one of our elements of wellbeing. Jaclynn, what do you have for us?
Jaclynn Robinson 4:44
I'm taking it to the financial wellbeing piece. So I am telling you had so much fun with this theme, but from a financial perspective, they take the long view on how investments have performed over time -- from stocks to real estate to the extraordinary power of compounding interest. So whether this is you or whether you know someone with this theme, you could coach yourself or you could coach them to use this talent to see where spending and investing have worked or gone wrong in the past. Yeah, that's one of those themes -- I wanted to select financial for this one, because it's just one we might not think about. So we might automatically want to shift to career, and I think we cover that quite well in our series. And even with our Context -- I was like, I'm gonna go, I'm gonna go to financial this time; I'm going to surprise us all.
Jim Collison 5:37
Well, I think it's really, really important. This is an area where I, this is why I like it is because, if I ever were gonna write a book, and I never will, because I just, I don't want to; it's just too much work. Let's just be really clear.
Jaclynn Robinson 5:48
I like how you put it out there.
Jim Collison 5:50
It's just too much work. But I'd write a book on cycles. And I think in the financial space, we continue to see these cycles, you know, and, and not you, but I've been around long enough that, you know, I saw the dot-com cycle; I saw what we went through in '08 with the financial crisis, what we're seeing, seeing right now. And I think it kind of helps for someone who has high Context to be able to say, "Look, we've, we've been through this or something similar before. Here's what you can do financially right now to set yourself up for success in coming out of this." A lot of folks will say, "Well, we don't know we're gonna come out." Well, if we, if we don't come out of this, we have bigger problems. If we do, there's probably some things that you could set yourself up for and be ready for, from a financial wellbeing perspective, and just put yourself in a little bit better light, to be a little bit more comfortable.
Jim Collison 6:40
Our CFO at Gallup often says, "Cash equals options." And so, you know, it's a great, sometimes it's great kind of think, Well, maybe I need to increase my, the Context is, during these times, maybe I increase my savings, right, to make sure that I am secure and comfortable to be able to make great decisions, right. So I love, I love that idea of Context being a driver in that. You want to add anything else to that before we move on?
Jaclynn Robinson 7:07
No. Well done! Well said!
For those with Context, how can it be used to support others?
Jim Collison 7:09
We have 4 other, we have 4 other of those elements in that part of the book, a great tool to use when you're coaching and to work through that. So you can find that in the back of the Wellbeing at Work book. So Jaclynn, with this idea Context in mind, how can we really use it to support others?
Jaclynn Robinson 7:27
Well, if you are a manager, or you're leading a team, you can help people connect their contributions to the goals of the team or mission of the company by addressing the successes the team has had in the past and how that's really set them on course for a brighter future; so one way that you can infuse your, your interest in the past with mission and purpose and goals. If you're on a team, you can help ground the team with reason and pragmatism, when ideas or suggestions are made that do not take into consideration past implementations. In turn, you can help them avoid re-creating the wheel or even falling victim to some prior errors that were made.
Jaclynn Robinson 8:07
And then, I think, as an individual, when life feels uncertain or anxiety starts to creep up, check in with your day-to-day routine. Is there a task somewhere in there that, with additional Context or insight, would bring more confidence and certainty to your life? That might be that missing need that hasn't been fulfilled, and you haven't quite hit the nail on the head as to where it's coming from.
Jim Collison 8:30
I love this idea, as an individual, of using Context to build habits. So like, you know, what's worked in the past that, that I know I can go to as an individual that I know works for me? There's, there's a lot of Context in that. Right? This idea of, What's worked in the past?
Jaclynn Robinson 8:48
30-day calendar even?
Jim Collison 8:50
Yeah, no, I mean, I love that I think those who have, especially in their area of wellbeing and then can begin to -- by the way, it's hard to help others with their wellbeing when you're not, when you're wellbeing is suffering. And so sometimes we, we kind of need folks to kind of, you know, get in there, get healthy so that we can help others along with it. I think Context is one of those where it gives us this safe look, or it can be a safe look at the past, to say, What was the, what, what were the lessons, what was the best of that that we can pull out and then modify to move forward? Like what does that look, what does that look like today?
Jim Collison 9:28
The, you know, we mentioned the financial sector, the financial sector, the financial markets -- very different today than they were in 2000. Very different. That doesn't mean we can't pull some things out of that, as we think about comfort and security and the way doing that. In Appendix 2, we have a framework that we can kind of work through -- 3 points on that. Jaclynn, work us through those 3 points -- Ask Yourself, Ask Your Team and then Take Action. Walk us through one of those exercises from Appendix 2.
Jaclynn Robinson 9:56
Yes, you've got it. So Ask Yourself: What can I do today that will have a positive influence on my long-term financial goals? Going right back to that financial wellbeing piece. Ask Your Team Members: What physical wellbeing obstacles do we encounter at work? And then I've added this in parentheses: (What's worked in the past to support wellbeing as one way that you can start to create, create new habits in the workplace?) Take Action: At the end of the day, pause and appreciate your accomplishments. It's a helpful reminder of how those accomplishments are setting you up for success tomorrow.
Jim Collison 10:35
I had, in preshow, I had a big project that I was working on today, big project. And I knew from Context, if I didn't get it done today, I was gonna hate myself. Like, I just need, so I really, heads down, 8 hours, heads down, plowed through it. You know, it's gonna be a long day. It's been a long couple days. Yeah. But it was so great, from a wellbeing standpoint. I feel -- I told you, like, I just got after it today. And that made me feel good. I was pumped for this session, even though it's late. We're doing it late. So contextually or using some Context, I was like, you know, I know I am -- every day this drags on is, the propensity for me to get this done is going to get smaller and smaller and smaller because of Context.
Jaclynn Robinson 11:21
Know your talents. Know yourself, right?
Jim Collison 11:22
Well, no, right on, right on. And I think those with, high with Context have that ability to, to do that even better than help others. By the way, I think I've said this, but I've never really phrased it this way -- I think when we have these themes high, right, it, they're, we're great at it; we have this natural ability. But I also think it sets us up to be able to help others better with it. Right? I'm not sure I'm going to ever be a scholar on Discipline, Consistency or maybe even Context -- what we're talking about -- because they're super low. But there are others who have it super high. It's almost an obligation, I think, in some regards, to say, How are you using this talent for others, right? So anything else?
Jaclynn Robinson 11:40
A real sign of maturity with our themes to when it's not just about, How is it useful for me? But how is it useful for we? For others.
Jim Collison 12:08
Right. I love that.
Jim Collison 12:09
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.