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Called to Coach
I Just Discovered My Strengths. Now What?
Called to Coach

I Just Discovered My Strengths. Now What?

Webcast Details

  • What practical things can you do after you take the CliftonStrengths assessment?
  • How can you use your CliftonStrengths report to grow in self-awareness and self-management?
  • What resources are available to guide you in your journey to better understand and apply your strengths?

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

So you've taken the CliftonStrengths assessment, and now you have your All 34 report. How can you best leverage the report to grow in self-awareness and even manage areas of weakness? And what other strengths-based resources are available to move you to a place of not just naming, but claiming and aiming your strengths? Join Gallup Client Development Consultant Jessica Dawson for a helpful webcast that is centered on you and your talents.

In order to get to a place of strength, you've got to be in that rational mindset. And the best way to do that is folding strengths into your day.

Jessica Dawson, 6:05

Everything is in patterns when we think about strengths. And the more that you start to study your patterns, the more that you will be on the trajectory to self-management.

Jessica Dawson, 8:42

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. This episode was previously recorded on LinkedIn Live.

Meet Our Guest on This Episode

Jim Collison 0:18
I am here with Jessica Dawson. We are talking about, I just discovered my strengths. Now what? Jessica, let's take a little second to get to know you a little bit. Give us a little bit about you, your Top 5 and then your role at Gallup.

Jessica Dawson 0:31
Sure. Well, my Top 5 are Futuristic, Relator, Activator, Developer and Individualization. And I am a Client Development Consultant here at Gallup. I've been with Gallup now for over 8 years, which is a little bit hard to believe, but it's been a fantastic journey. And my role allows me the privilege of getting to develop human beings, which is really my passion. And I typically will do that via coaching, facilitating all of our different course offerings. And then I also do a bit of strategy work with helping organizations think through, How can we ultimately change and create some upticks in our culture, from a talent perspective, from an engagement perspective, etc. So very rewarding work. I will, I will say, out of all of our sciences, I am biased around CliftonStrengths, because I absolutely love it. And it's so rewarding to see how it transforms the way that people see themselves, the way that people see and interact with other people, and ultimately rolling up to the organization. So super exciting work. Yeah.

After You Take the CliftonStrengths Assessment: Practical Steps

Jim Collison 1:41
Thanks for coming out today to be a part of this. Let's get to the heart of the content for the next 20 minutes or so, kind of answering that question, "All right. So I took the assessment. Now what?" And so as we think about that, what are some recommendations that you have for -- and I think this is for both folks who have just recently taken it, or it may be a time to revisit. Like, yeah, I took it, and I put it in a drawer, and I haven't thought about it in a while. So what are some things that we can do. Walk us through some, some real practical applications of things we can do after we've taken the assessment?

Jessica Dawson 2:14
Absolutely. Jim, I just want to say, I love your emphasis on these things can be applicable if you just took the assessment or if you've taken it for a long time. Because the fact of the matter is, this assessment and understanding your strengths is a continuous process. Right. So when we think about some practical first steps, spending time reading and analyzing the report, this sounds like a very simple thing. However, you know, when I'm coaching people, oftentimes people have read the report once, or they skimmed it, but every time you go back and reread the report, you will get a new insight. Because what happens is, you're not the same as when you read it the first time. And so you will have different Ahas!, epiphanies, discoveries. And that's a great place to be in when you're in this, this, this place of development, which is really what CliftonStrengths is all about.

Jessica Dawson 3:11
The other thing that I will say is, every time that you are able to sit with it for a little bit and just kind of wrap your thoughts around what you've read, it's a great way to catapult yourself deeper into your development. I also like to encourage people to highlight the parts of their report that are really resonating with them. And this is something that you can do, whether you're working with the Full 34 report, the Insight Guide, the Signature Themes report, it really doesn't matter. But even just taking a pen and highlighting, and then reflecting on what you highlighted, is another way to go deeper.

Jim Collison 3:49
I'm a tech guy. So I like to think through the technical solutions for this. You can take that report, save as a PDF, have it, email it to yourself, have it available on your desktop -- whatever, right. One of the, and even though I'm a tech guy, I also print out a copy and keep it on my desk. Now, this kind of went away during the pandemic time, the last 2 years. And just the other day, I was looking, I was like, I wonder where this is in my All 34? And I went to look for the report. And I had since moved the report. Right. It's no longer on my desk at work.

Keeping Your Strengths Top-of-Mind

Jim Collison 4:22
But it gives me an opportunity -- I think it's one of those things like, I need to have it available to me quickly. I mean, yes, I can open my phone; I can log in to Gallup Access, I can find it and get it. That's, in some cases, that's too long. I mean, think of the conversations we have with each other when someone goes, "Hey, where's Input for you?" Right. And it is nice to have it in a spreadsheet close by, quick. I've even seen some folks make it their lock screen on their phone. Right? So every time they have to unlock their phone or look at it -- now, it used to be, now that does it with our face, and we don't look at it as much as we used to. Have you thought of any other ways to think it, to keep it top-of-mind before we talk about the reports? Any other tricks that you've seen or that you, you, you consult on to help people keep it top of mind?

Jessica Dawson 5:11
Yeah, well, a couple of things baked in there that I love that you brought to the forefront -- we know that, you know, strengths function best in relationship to other people. So the more that you can be in conversations about talking about it, you will start to remember your Top 5, your Top 10. So I would suggest that; bring it into your conversation as much as you can, so it's top-of-mind. And then I know you and I did an episode where we, where we talked about some 10 ways that you can bring in your strengths on a daily practice. I love this idea about checking in and checking out with yourself, right. So a lot of times, we're just in this, this space where we're in the go-go-go mode. So the check-in-checkout is a great way to slow down and to, I'm going to bring in the word intentionality. Because in order to get to a place of strength, you've got to be in that rational mindset. And the best way to do that is folding strengths into your day.

Jessica Dawson 6:14
And so physically, love what you said, printing it out; maybe even putting it into your email signature is another great way to remember. Or if you are, if you're, if you're speaking with anyone, or for any of you that maybe manage teams, asking people how their strengths showed up for them today, or even sharing how your strengths showed up for you today, it's a great way to keep them top-of-mind and just keep the conversation going.

Resources and Reports Available Post-Assessment

Jim Collison 6:40
I love that, top-of-mind. We ask ourselves, I'm in a strengths conversation a couple times a day, because someone will say, "What, you know, what's driving that for you today?" Or "What are you having success with?" Or "What are you, what are you leaning into?" That's a phrase we use a lot. Let's look, let's talk a little bit about the specific reports that may be, that we do have available. I think some people maybe have only seen one, and there's some things there for them. Can you talk a little bit about some of the resources and our reports we have available for folks after they take the assessment?

Jessica Dawson 7:11
Yeah, absolutely. So there is some robust reporting, for sure. The CliftonStrengths All 34 report is the most robust report. And that's where you actually will have individualized descriptions of your top themes, as well as blind spots and also action items. Now, within the Blind Spots section, interestingly enough, lately, people have actually been really bringing that up on coaching calls and in courses, and saying things like, "I actually have been resonating more with the blind spots than with the description." And so I think the Blind Spots section may be one that maybe you find yourself gravitating to. If you find yourself gravitating to that -- to those places, the blind spots -- I don't think it's a bad thing. Part of it is I think that it's human nature to want to look at the bottom of your report, to want to understand what your weaknesses are, and let it propel you forward into your development. Right?

Jessica Dawson 8:14
So think about, perhaps, what is in resonance with you when you think about the blind spots? So perhaps there was some feedback that you got; perhaps you're just really self-aware, and so you're in resonance with it. But I would encourage you to not let yourself stay there. Start to think about when those blind spots have come up, how have you turned it around? Because that's a great way to start to study your patterns, right? Because everything is in patterns when we think about strengths. And the more that you start to study your patterns, the more that you will be on the trajectory to self-management. Because the thing about strengths is you don't want your strengths managing you; you want to be in a position where you're managing them. So the Full 34 report, super robust, look at those blind spots, don't stay in the place of lack.

Jessica Dawson 9:04
And then the other thing within the Full 34 report, the actions. So there's a section entitled, "Take Action." And in those, that section, it's really giving you practical ways to build and strengthen the muscle of your talent. So the Full 34 report, super robust. The Signature Themes report is another great report. The fun fact around that is, the chances of someone having the same Top 5 in the same order: 1 in 33.3 million. And so your Top 5 is almost unique as a signature, because of that fact. And so that's going to give you the generic definitions of the report, or of your strengths. And so if you have that report, great to start with. Many people like to start with the Full 34 report because it is so robust, and it gives you such great intel in it as well.

Jim Collison 9:57
I love that. We're getting some great comments that I want to share from chat room as well. So someone said, I repurpose last year's Gallup at Work box -- by the way, if you missed last year's Gallup at Work, Gallup at Work is happening again, June 7 and 8. Registration available right now if -- and you don't want to miss it! We're gonna have thousands there. So But this is a great, like, here, repurposing, anyways: I cut up and posted it on my bookshelf, with, which, which you can see whenever I'm on Zoom. I keep my strengths top-of-mind always. It's great conversation starter when people see it behind me on my background. I've seen folks take their backgrounds on Zoom and make them -- they put their Top 5. And, by the way, you can make that in PowerPoint; you can make that in Canva. It's pretty simple to make -- just put your Top 5 in there, then you make it a background on that.

Actions You Can Take to Maximize Your Potential

Jim Collison 10:49
Someone had mentioned, Anna had mentioned, I have the full 34 in notes in my phone. I pull it up frequently, often in the middle of conversations with others, because that's really, what's next, as we're talking about this, it's conversations too, right? It's having this, "Hey, Jessica, where is Communication for," you know, "Where is Woo for," you know. I was just having this conversation with my, with my daughter and wife last night at the dinner table. We were, she brought up her 34 report. And she said, "What's last for you, dad?" I said, "Well, it's Focus." And everyone, everybody went, "Ah." Right. And then we talked a little bit about how I use Arranger and Maximizer to overcome a lack of Focus. Right? That's just the way, that's just the way I do that. So I love your emphasis on the action planning, too, because, right, we need to, we need to turn these into something, right? Talk a little bit more about that, as we think about action planning. What are some things you've seen work, maybe both, for both individuals and teams, from an action-planning standpoint?

Jessica Dawson 11:50
Yeah, great question. Well, one simple thing that you can do, from an action-planning perspective on CliftonStrengths would be taking a look within that Take Action section, and honing in on just one theme. Sometimes, especially when we take an assessment -- this is a psychometric analysis; many of them exist within the marketplace, right, but -- there's a lot of excitement that comes over us, and we want to do it all at once. But I like the action, the Take Action section, because what it allows for is these small steps that you can start to fold in your day. And maybe you just start with a couple of steps from one theme. And then, once it becomes habitual, habitual, you can start to add on. And you can stay with the same theme or maybe move on to another theme. So that's one way that you can start to think about.

Jessica Dawson 12:41
When you think about from a team perspective, from an organizational perspective, maybe check in with some of the folks as you are putting some of these things into place, to see how things are going. Have they noticed any changes in your performance? See how they are appreciating some of these habits, these new habits that you're bringing into the fold. And maybe there's even a way to create some accountability partnerships within your, your efforts of further development as well. So I would say that.

Jessica Dawson 13:12
And then from a teams perspective, I know we've got a lot of great team resources. I think the most famous one is likely the Team Strengths Grid, and everybody always wants to get their hand on the Team Strengths Grid like it's the Holy Grail. There are a lot of people using that tool in a confident and incorrect way, I will say that. But that's OK. But actually one of my favorite tools is actually called The Best of Us. We use it all the time. But it, and it's just a way to talk about what is it that you bring and what it is that you need, from a team perspective, within a team environment. And even if you don't have that activity, you can start to think about this. And maybe there, there will be some opportunities to have some further dialogue.

Jessica Dawson 13:12
Going back to what Jim said, strengths function best in relationship to other people. So having some of that dialogue within the team about your strengths, how they show up for you, and asking, staying in that place of curiosity, and asking other people, "How does Woo show up for you?" "How does Achiever show up for you?" "How can I be a better partner to you, given, knowing what you now know about your strengths?" So I also think that question-asking can take us to the next level, because oftentimes, we can make some assumptions based on a person's profile, and we never want to do that.

Jim Collison 14:34
Yeah. I love the, the exercise of, How did I have success with (fill in the theme) today? How did I have success with Maximizer today? And taking 15 minutes to just reflect on, or to say "I had some success today. How did, how did I have it?" And actually looking at your Top 5. I think a great way to do this, and Lisa mentioned this; she says, I wish people would spend more time in their fabulous Strengths Insight Guide. Another, the Signature Themes Guide that has the standard definitions, and we have a Strengths Insight Guide, which has these custom statements kind of built for everybody, based off their 34. But it really puts 5 custom statements together for them that gives us, them this uniqueness, right? This uniqueness and statements. We have an exercise that you guys teach about circling and underlining, right, those, underlining those statements that really nailed you. I like to have folks circle in individual words that pop out. Sometimes you read that report and these words pop out at you. You're like, "Oh, yeah, that word is me. That word is me." And then --

Jessica Dawson 15:40
Oh, I like that exercise.

Jim Collison 15:41
It's a great -- you can take that and move it into a goal setting. Right? You can say, "Oh, OK, I have a goal. Now, how can I point these phrases or these words to the goal?" And then you can start creating strengths-based goals, right, with strengths-based actions to complete those goals. Anything else you've seen, with that Insight Report, ways to use it? Or how do you like to use it?

Jessica Dawson 16:06
Yeah, for sure. And I love this callout about the Insight Guide report. It was the personalized report before that, that new and great Full 34 report came out. The other interesting thing to do is find someone else that has your same theme, and read your reports to each other. Just read that theme that you have to each other -- oh, my goodness, such great insight and takeaway. And you will see how the talent can manifest so differently, depending on, you know, the utilization of it, like the person and how the talent really shows up for them. So if you haven't done that exercise yet, it's a really fantastic one. I love, anytime that you can hone in on the words, phrases that really resonate with you.

Jessica Dawson 16:50
The other thing that we sometimes will do is have people select a picture that represents how their strengths show up. And you can do this, right, by going online. Right. To Jim's point about thinking about a goal, if you were to take his exercise of circling those words or phrases that resonate, and put it towards a goal, go online and also find a picture that sums up maybe how you want to feel. once you complete that goal, or maybe some inspiration, if you know you're gonna run into some hurdles along the pathway of achieving that goal. And then maybe you come back to that picture.

Other Helpful Post-Assessment Resources

Jim Collison 17:29
Those are some, yeah, those are some great-- again, what to do next. And I think for individuals, it doesn't, these are things that you can do on your own, you can do in groups. You can do them, you know, these are things you can do daily. You can add it to a weekly routine. Let's talk about some other resources folks would have beyond the reports. What else is available after they take the assessment that you've found helpful, Jessica?

Jessica Dawson 17:53
My goodness! Well, first, I will say there are so many reports. And if you're a person that -- I have high Input, so I love all of the resources. But, you know, sharing your report with other people that you know. And another exercise that I did was I actually asked my parents what I was like as a child, and I documented their answers. And then I found the linkages to my strengths. And what was so interesting is that a lot of the same behaviors that I exhibit today as a, as a fully grown adult, I was actually doing that as a child. So talk to people that have known you your whole life -- if it's your parents or a sibling or a spouse. And just, even before you bring into strengths, just ask them to talk about your behaviors or what stands out, and you'll find those linkages.

Jessica Dawson 18:45
Another, another thing that you can think about just doing is listening into some of the podcasts. Maika and Jim have done such a brilliant job -- Jim did not pay me to say this -- but just such a brilliant job on those podcasts. I think that Season 2 is one of my favorites, because it's all about theme dynamics. Season 3 is all about teams. I mean, being a leader using the strengths in a leadership capacity. But it doesn't matter the season; they're all great. So check those out if you haven't. Another great series that's newer with Jaclynn Robinson and Jim Collison. If you're more of a reader, Mastery Mondays with Al Winseman, he just goes really, has really fantastic insights from a mastery perspective. So robust amount of resources, and then there's the blogs. If you haven't tapped into the blogs, tap, tap into the blogs; tap into, to Called to Coach. So the resources are helpful because they can be used as a spark to go deeper on your own CliftonStrengths. So it's all about the Ahas!, epiphanies, discoveries that can come up and aid you on that developmental journey.

Continuing Your Developmental Journey

Jim Collison 19:56
It always appreciate you saying those things. We spend a lot of time and effort, and there's a lot of great, there's a lot of great learning associated with that. Find that thing that works for you. Right? This is what I always tell people all the time. Get in a, get in a mode of learning based on your Top 5. What does it mean to be, have a strengths-based learning plan for you? Develop that and build it in a way that works best for you. OK, as we, as we kind of wrap up our time, we have about 3 or 4 minutes left. Some advice -- OK, so I've got, I've got the report. I've got access to all the reports. I've got all these resources that are available to me. Roll off some things, Jessica, what are, what are some final thoughts in this and some things we can do? What kind of advice would you give people to be able to continue this growth and learning for the future?

Jessica Dawson 20:40
Yeah, I think one of the most simple ones would be going on the developmental trajectory of Name, Claim and Aim, which is not a linear process, it is a cyclical one. So a lot of the activities that Jim and I have talked about have spoken about Naming it, and getting really rooted in that fund, that foundational components of your strengths; Claiming it is a deeper level of recall and understanding. So those moments that you can start to catch yourself utilizing your strengths, you know you're in that sweet spot. So continue to check in and check out with yourself as much as you can, and study your patterns. The ultimate goal is to get to self-regulation. You can only get to self-regulation if you go through self-awareness, self-appreciation and then self-expression as well. So study those patterns and implement, from the Take Action section, as much as you can. Ask for feedback from your partnerships.

Jessica Dawson 21:44
I would also start to think about, within your work very tactically, Are there other people that I can be intentionally partnering with that I'm not partnering with? Some things to look out might, look out for may be, This person does some things better than I do, and vice-versa. How can I proactively start to have some conversations to, to further build the muscles within my talents, but also help someone else out? So continue to talk about CliftonStrengths. It is a language; I can't emphasize that enough. So when, whatever you can do to create visibility, whether it's putting your strengths in your email signature, having them in notes -- all of that is going to continue to cement your learning, as well as continue to keep strengths top-of-mind. So those are just some final thoughts. You know, I could go on and on. But I'll take a pause there. I know we're very close to time.

Jim Collison 22:45
We are coming up on the end of time here. And let me say for, for, there were some questions about how to get access to these resources. One, they're in Gallup Access. So head out to and log in, where you get your reports. There's also tons of resources that are available for you there. If you're interested in listening to the podcast, you might be listening -- well, if you're hearing this on the podcast, you might already have been subscribed to the CliftonStrengths Podcast. It's easy to find. Just go to your podcast app and search "CliftonStrengths." Theme Thursdays, just search "CliftonStrengths," "CliftonStrengths" or "Theme Thursday" in any of the podcast apps. And those will be available for you as well. We have tons of resources. Jessica, thanks for taking 30 minutes to -- it's always too short. And it always needs to be more time. And it's always so great to be with you. But thanks for coming on today and being a part of this. And if folks have questions about anything, and they can't find the answers, they can always email us:, and we'll get right back to you with your resources. Jessica, thanks for being here today. for all the LinkedIn Live listeners, thanks for being a part of our program as well. The chat itself has a wealth of information in it. So make sure you get a chance to go back and review it on LinkedIn. We'll make it available on YouTube as well. Thanks for coming out everybody. Appreciate it. Have a great day and a great weekend. Take care, everybody.

Jim Collison 24:01
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.

Jessica Dawson's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Futuristic, Relator, Activator, Developer and Individualization.

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

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