- Gallup CliftonStrengths Wellbeing Series, Season 1: Focus
- If you have Focus, how does this theme relate to you and your wellbeing?
- How can you use your Focus 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 Focus, 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 Focus talent to fuel your wellbeing. Join Jaclynn Robinson and Jim Collison on this CliftonStrengths Podcast to discover how.
People that lead with Focus can take a direction, follow through and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. We like to think of this individual as someone that prioritizes, and then they act.Jaclynn Robinson, 0:56
If ... [you have Focus and] you're leading a team, ... you can help employees find clarity in the work they're doing by really helping them delegate, eliminate or, what I'll say, elevate certain tasks based on priority.Jaclynn Robinson, 6:08
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 book Wellbeing at Work one theme at a time, and today's theme is Focus. If you're listening live, love to have you join us in our chat room -- just a link right above me there. Or if it's after the fact, and you're listening in the podcast, you can send us an email: email@example.com. Dr. Jaclynn Robinson is our host today. She works as a Gallup Learning and Development Consultant and is the primary contributor to Appendix 1 in Wellbeing at Work. Jaclynn, it's great to see you, and welcome back!
Jaclynn Robinson 0:45
Thank you, sir. It's good to be here.
What's the definition of Focus?
Jim Collison 0:48
Good to have you. We are talking about Focus, which I have none of, so why don't you tell me what I don't have any of?
Jaclynn Robinson 0:55
Indeed. So we know that people that lead with Focus can take a direction, follow through and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. We like to think of this individual as someone that prioritizes, and then they act.
Jim Collison 1:09
Yeah, there -- I have a lot of envy around this one. I wish I had more of it, and I use it in others. Let's talk a little bit about How does it relate to you and how does it relate to others?
Jaclynn Robinson 1:17
If I think about how this relates to you, if you lead with Focus, you likely find it quite enjoyable to be able to set goals for yourself, prioritization and creating milestones to then achieve those goals helps you achieve them. How it relates to others -- others can depend on you to keep everyone moving in the right direction. So when the path seems unclear -- we've witnessed a lot of that in the last couple of years -- you might bring clarity by asking, "Hey, what's the outcome that we're trying to achieve here? Or what's the goal that we're trying to achieve?" And you can quickly bring everyone back into that -- the right direction or on the right path.
How does Focus look when it's thriving vs. struggling?
Jim Collison 1:54
Super helpful from that standpoint. We're talking this season a lot about wellbeing. And so we spend some time, you know, thinking about Focus in terms of thriving versus struggling. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Jaclynn Robinson 2:08
Yes. So someone thriving with Focus is when they have personal and professional goals in mind and can create stepping-stones to bring them to fruition for themselves or the team. And then almost alternatively, or on the other end of the spectrum, this person can really find it difficult to operate in unknown circumstances, or when the end goal is unclear or being established along the way, that can make it very difficult to set priorities and action plan. I would say that they also might struggle in an environment where distractions are prevalent or present, which could disrupt their thought process or workflow. It's more or less dependent on that person with Focus. Some will say, "Hey, that's white noise; I can block it out." And others say, "No, even hearing, you know, just a little bit of chatter in the office can be distracting -- or having my kids run around while I'm trying to work."
Jim Collison 3:00
Yeah, during the last couple of years, it's been a tale of two cities. I think some folks who had high Focus in the office came home and lost it or got even more of it. Right? They got away from the office chatter, so to speak, or the distractions that were in the office, right, and they were able to, it was better for them. And so I think it wasn't, it wasn't the same for everybody, right, as we think about that. We have some best practices in the back. In Appendix 1, we kind of break each theme down, and for each of the 5 elements -- pillars, I like to call them -- of wellbeing, we have one of those and some examples. Maybe Focus -- you're struggling with your wellbeing for Focus, it'd be a good, a good place to go. But Jaclynn, work us through -- which one of those did you pick for Focus?
Jaclynn Robinson 3:47
I chose social wellbeing this time around. Yeah! I feel like we'll, we hone in and we'll touch on career a lot this evening. But with social wellbeing, this person can oftentimes become so fixated on personal or professional goals that they lose sight of their relationships. So coaching them to pay attention to who they are with in the moment can be really helpful. Just redirecting that Focus and being with that person -- focusing on the person -- using Focus in a different way.
Jim Collison 4:19
Yeah, well, I have so little of it. And when somebody actually does that for me, like it is, I, it's, it's, it draws me in. You know, Maika used to say that a strong, strong teams are a magnet for talent. And I think an individual who has Focus and can really kind of hone in on you in a conversation is very attractive, I think, for some people. In other words, because we just, we lack so much of it in, in social circles. Everyone's distracted, seemingly, checking their phone or, right, texts coming in or whatever, whatever we're trying to do. So I think, man I love that thought that in these areas of social wellbeing, both for the individual, right, and even for then giving back -- the "we" version of this, right, that we always talk about -- the "me" and the "we" of someone with Focus, thinking of "we" -- how could I really put attention on, I don't know, you want to add anything to that?
Jaclynn Robinson 5:15
No, I think that's spot on. And those with Focus, probably know, I know I'll be guilty of this too is, you know, you just get immersed in something and it's really hard to want to pull yourself away from it because you just want to finish that one target goal that you've set for yourself or that one task. So when you can just take a step back and find enough of the stopping point to just immerse yourself with that person, it just, it really does end up feeding you and those relationships.
For those with Focus, how can it be used to support others?
Jim Collison 5:40
Yeah, yeah, I love that. We have 4 other -- the other 4 elements are there in the back of the book Wellbeing at Work in Appendix 1. I, great coaching tool for individuals as you're working through. You can just open to that as we're thinking about theme and theme development and work them through with that. Jaclynn, so for those with Focus, how can it be used to support others? Because I think -- we alluded to this just a second ago, but -- what other else in this construct that we have? How can it be used to support others?
Jaclynn Robinson 6:07
Well, if you're a manager, you're leading a team, with a natural talent for prioritization and goal setting, you can help employees find clarity in the work they're doing by, you know, really helping them delegate, eliminate or, what I'll say, elevate certain tasks based on priority. Additionally, you can help them shape their personal and professional goals during those performance conversations. Some might already know where they're going, and some might really need some assistance. And that's where you can really come in.
Jaclynn Robinson 6:34
If you're on a team, when the team feels a bit confused or directionless, you can really help them refocus. Questions you might ask are, you know, "What are our top priorities and what isn't that we can just kind of let, let fall to the wayside a little bit or push down our list?" And then, "What obstacle or miscommunication has sidelined the team? What's the best course of action to stay on the path?" So you can help them find clarity by asking some of those questions and helping them sort.
Jaclynn Robinson 7:03
As an individual, when you are clear on your goals and responsibilities that you hold day to day, and they're all in alignment, that's when you tend to feel like you're on fire and you feel great. If that road becomes unclear, I would say remember to carve out time in the day or the week, or to look at your list to see what you need to sort through that needs to be moved or prioritized. Because sometimes if you're just too caught up in the day to day, and you don't have that time and space to just step back and say, "Wait, how have my priorities shifted?" That can create some, some anxiety or a little bit of discontent.
Jim Collison 7:41
There's a, you mentioned, we mentioned this kind of a little bit earlier, as we think about Focus in teams. And I said I was gonna watch chat. But Lisa had asked this question about agility. And I think it's good to add in because, you know, we've moved, a lot of teams have moved to this agile methodology. And, and, you know, pivoting fast, failing early, those kinds of things. But that doesn't necessarily mean a lack of Focus, right? I mean, as we think about agility, making a decision to change and then focusing in on it -- as we think about how it can be used to support others -- in, sometimes I think in those agile circles, we just think it means craziness. Like "Everybody does what they want, because we're agile." And I think it's actually the exact opposite. When the team makes a decision to pivot, everybody pivots together at the same time, doing the same thing. And I think someone with Focus can bring that clarity, right.
Jim Collison 8:35
We used to talk about this in Theme Thursday about sorting. And so folks with Focus can sort to the priority and then keep individuals or keep a team or keep a manager on task. I mean, I'm not saying that managers don't always stay on task, but they don't always stay on task, right. And so I think someone with Focus can, can help out in that way. Anything else you'd add to that?
Jaclynn Robinson 9:00
No, I think, I think that's, that's true, too. If there's a goal or an intention in mind of why that change is being created, someone with Focus can -- they have the flexibility to go with the obstacles and stay on track. It's just, what's the outcome we're trying to achieve? Or what's the North Star so that I can make sure we're, we're continuously walking that path, even if we have to go down this walkway instead of this walkway.
Jim Collison 9:28
Yeah, yeah. No, I love it. In Appendix 2, we have a framework that we're working through some, just a simple framework. Again, coaches, I'd encourage you to grab that framework as you're spending time coaching individuals. It's a great one to work us through. With Focus, work us through that framework, Jaclynn.
Jaclynn Robinson 9:44
Yeah. So, if you are looking at the back of the appendix, I selected from career and financial for these two, so, or for these three. So for Ask Yourself: What goals will I achieve today? Makes sense with Focus -- something that's gonna be on their mind. Ask Your Team Members: How can we support each other in our pursuit of our financial goals? So for this one, I will just kind of create a caveat here. Some of you probably have some, some great friends at work. And, you know, someone is about to celebrate an upcoming wedding or someone's about to celebrate a child or they want to buy a home. And so just knowing that naturally about each other, with your Focus, you can really help them stay on course and then celebrate when it comes to seeing those achievements come to fruition.
Jaclynn Robinson 10:36
So that is the best-practice piece too is once, you know, everyone has or, you know, as you're going along, folks have achieved their financial achievements, celebrate with each other. Celebrate with the baby shower or celebrate with a housewarming once that goal has been seen. There's ways that we can make financial wellbeing fun and a little more carefree than -- sometimes we think that it's really stodgy or cold, and we shouldn't talk about it.
Jim Collison 11:05
Tax time here in the United States. And I always fret that. What you're saying to me is I need to have a party after I do my taxes, right?
Jaclynn Robinson 11:13
Find the person with Focus that will make sure you do it -- do your taxes and file on time and --
Jim Collison 11:18
I know, I know. Or borrow that from some friends or, you know, figure out a way to get it done. I love -- listen, I love that you kind of highlight -- oftentimes, I think, and especially with Focus, I think people see this who have it as a burden, right? They have been beaten down by non-Focused people in the past. Like, "Oh, don't be so rigid!" Right? Or "Don't be so controlling," right? They don't want to be kept on task. And, and I, listen, I think we, in groups, in our circles, we need those. It's a superpower I covet. I mean, I just, when I find that in someone -- Ryan Wolf is, who's been on the program before, he's my Discipline-Focus guy. And I just, I just love it. So it's a great opportunity. Any last thoughts on this, Jaclynn, before we wrap it?
Jim Collison 11:19
No. That's all for me over here.
Jim Collison 11:24
Jaclynn Robinson 11:24
What a time to use it. What a time to lean into it, when people are looking for direction and where are we heading into 2022?
Jim Collison 12:18
There's always times to use it. That's the great thing about these 34. There's always, right, there's always opportunities. And I think, you know, it just, I think, let me encourage, just because all these themes have a way of being beaten down by others. And I think we just, we need to find positive ways to reinforce them. Your key of recognition -- I just got done teaching some students a leadership seminar last week. We talked a little bit about using recognition on teams as an accelerant for, for team growth. And I just, I think, especially on this one, we see Focus in the wild. Let's celebrate it, because I think it's, I think it's pretty great. So --
Jaclynn Robinson 12:57
Cheers to that!
Jim Collison 12:59
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.