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Called to Coach
Student Strengths Partnerships at El Rancho Middle School
Called to Coach

Student Strengths Partnerships at El Rancho Middle School

Webcast Details

  • How can applying their Top 5 CliftonStrengths propel students' work, lives and goals forward?
  • What can managers or teachers do as they manage to people's strengths?
  • What impact can strengths coaching have on students, even at the middle school level?

Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series -- Season 10, Episode 17.

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

You've met the coach and middle school librarian who has taken on the impossible. Now hear from the students themselves -- how they have worked together, using their CliftonStrengths, to set big goals and then surpass them. Learn how students can profit from knowing and applying their CliftonStrengths to collaboration, goal-setting, academics and more in this inspirational webcast.

I know when I got my strengths, it really helped me out. And I'm sure for every one of the other students, it helped them out too.

Isabella, 5:43

The two of them together sharpened each other. Because ... when one would think of an idea, it would spark the other one to think of another idea. ... It was fun to watch ... because ... they worked off each other's sparks.

Carol Anne McGuire, 19:16

Having a strengths coach specifically was really, really helpful. Because they knew our strengths, they knew what we were good at. And they could look at those strengths and see how we can use them to benefit ourselves, to benefit others using the Power of 2.

Natalia, 43:56

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on April 13, 2022.

Meet Our Guests on This Episode

Jim Collison 0:18
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 on our live page,, there's a link right above me over there to our YouTube instance. Click on that; sign in to the chat room. You can ask questions live; we'd love to have you do that. If you're listening after the fact, you can always catch -- you can always send us an email with your questions: Don't forget to subscribe to Called to Coach on your favorite podcast app or right there on YouTube, so you never miss an episode. Carol Anne McGuire is my guest today. She is back, and Carol Anne is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach specializing -- and you'll see this today -- specializing in education, faith-based, and faith-based congregations. She's spoken nationally, internationally for companies such as Apple, Discover and Google. Carol Anne, great to have you back. We've got kind of a crowd with us today. This is going to be pretty awesome. Welcome back to Called to Coach!

Jim Collison 1:19
Let's, let's catch folks up really quick. We spent some time a few weeks ago kind of catching up on the program. But for those who maybe missed that, let's talk a little bit about what you're doing now. And then we'll bring the students in to interview them.

Carol Anne McGuire 1:30
All right. So I coach in a middle school. I'm a, I'm a Librarian in middle school, but part of my job is I do strengths with the students, the staff and the, and the parents. And so this year -- I'm always looking for something that I can do to teach the kids, you know, how to work with their strengths. And so this year, we had the opportunity to, we have a therapy dog at the school, and they were having a competition -- a fundraising competition -- with this therapy dog. So I was like, Oh, perfect! I'll put them in partners of 2. And we'll learn about the Power of 2 and how to use your strengths and how to use your, your partner's strengths for a goal. And so our goal was fundraising.

Carol Anne McGuire 1:30
We originally set our goal at $3,000, thinking, Oh my gosh, that's so much money, I can't believe it! And as they were working together, and were starting to hit their stride on how to tap into each other's strengths, it, we, our goal kept going up and up and up. And the kids raised $23,000 together. They're 13 and 14 years old. But they really did it by using the power of their strengths. So what I did is I made a callout in the Gallup coaching blog or Facebook page, and said, Hey, I'm looking for some coaches to kind of help these kids. This is what we're doing. And we got, the kids all got coaches. And it was amazing! Like these coaches were, it was so fun for me, because I'm also a coach, so to sit in on someone else's coaching session and be like, Ooh, that was a good idea! Ooh, you know, I'm writing stuff down. And they were getting great ideas, but just wow, what a, what an experience to be able to have that when you're just a kid!

Jim Collison 3:20
I was pretty excited to, when we started talking about this, to be able to kind of run the gauntlet with the students a little bit -- to be like, cause it's a big opportunity for them. Right? It's a big, and they, and they, they dreamt big; they went for it. I think that's, sometimes we think -- and I'm, I'm bad this way, sometimes. I think I had some experiences when I was younger where I went big, and I went home. Right? And, and so, good on them for really, you know, taking this and then really focusing on their strengths to take, to take advantage of those in the situation. In our next episode, we will interview the coaches, which I'm excited about, but we have students today --

Carol Anne McGuire 4:00
I can't even wait! I have purposely not debriefed with the coaches, because I want to hear what they have to say on your show, because I'm so curious to hear their side of the story.

Introducing the Students at El Rancho Middle School

Jim Collison 4:11
Well, we've heard, we'll have links in the description. And actually, in the description here on YouTube is the link to the prior show, where we kind of cover all the details. So we don't want to spend too much time doing that today. We want to leave as much time as we can for the students. Carol Anne, let's bring in the first two students. Why don't you introduce them as we bring them in. And then let's ask them some questions.

Carol Anne McGuire 4:31
This is Isabella -- Isabella, give a wave -- and Natalia. And they decided while they were talking to their coach that they were going to write to Gallup -- and not for a fundraiser but for something else. So I'm going to let the girls kind of tell you. Girls, why don't you just talk about, when you were talking with your coach, what was the idea that you came up with?

Natalia 4:55
Hi. OK, so we started talking to our coaches just, mainly first about our competition that we were in and talking about how we can raise money, creative ways to fundraise. And the more we got talking, we all kind of came up with this idea that we could contact Gallup to donate to this. And I think when all of us kind of heard that idea, we all kind of knew that it was definitely going to be bigger than just this competition. And I think that's really where it all started.

Isabella 5:32
To add to Natalia's idea, we really want to do a Teen Strengths Summit. And that is like our bigger idea. Because I know when I got my strengths, it really helped me out. And I'm sure for every one of the other students, it helped them out too. So we want to do that and try to get extra codes for the entire honors 8th grade.

Jim Collison 5:57
Let's I'll get, you know, I'll get hammered in the chat room if I don't do this. We should probably figure out your Top 5 or whatever you can remember from them. So Natalia, let's start with you. What -- can you name off your Top 5?

Natalia 6:11
My Top 5 are Strategic, Futuristic, Maximizer, Adaptability and Ideation.

Jim Collison 6:18
That's pretty great. Because a lot of the adults that take CliftonStrengths can't do that. So nice job on being able to do that. Isabella, how about you?

Isabella 6:25
My Top 5 are Competition, Achiever, Focus, Command and Significance.

Jim Collison 6:30
Wow, Carol Anne, you, you drilled them well! Nicely done!

Carol Anne McGuire 6:34
They are amazing.

Jim Collison 6:35
Yeah. Do you want to add, when you think about, both of them talked a little bit about the project, do you want to add anything to that?

Accomplishing a Goal Using Complementary Strengths

Carol Anne McGuire 6:43
I do want them to talk about how they used their strengths together, because they really did -- once they realized what their strengths were, then we studied kind of each other, and how they could partner together to go forward. So what did you guys do? How did you, how did you use your strengths together?

Jim Collison 7:02
Isabella, let's start with you on that question.

Isabella 7:05
So Natalia has Ideation, so she like pops out all the ideas in her brain. And I have a lot of Executing Domains. So I'm very good at like shaping the plan and executing it. And I think having Competition and Natalia having like Ideation and Futuristic and Adaptability really, like, helped our strengths like pair together, because they're kind of opposite. So she helps me and I help her.

Jim Collison 7:30
Well, and opposite, we would say complementary, in some cases, right? They help each other from that. Because they're not opposing, right. Isabella, you, you kind of alluded to this -- Can you think of a situation where you specifically used Natalia's Ideation to take, to take advantage of it for your, for your benefit?

Isabella 7:51
Oh, yeah. So, during the Mojo competition, we have, we had an idea to do a "ruffle." And Natalia had like four different ideas on how we can do it. So I used her Ideation, because my Ideation is pretty low. I think it's in like 20 or something like that.

Jim Collison 8:11
Now you said a "ruffle." Did you, did you mean to say it that way? And why'd you call it that?

Isabella 8:16
So we called it a "ruffle" because raffle technically isn't allowed at our school, because it's considered gambling. So we called it a ruffle instead of raffle.

Jim Collison 8:25
Why, what's the what's the significance of a ruff?

Isabella 8:29
Our therapy dog.

Jim Collison 8:30
The dog. The dog in that. Natalia, you want to add, do you want to add to that? Let me, we'll flip that question to you. How did you -- by the way, you Natalia, you and I are a lot alike in that, that I have all these Ideation, Influencing themes. I can actually hear it in the way you talk. I, I have to rely on folks with high Executing themes to actually get stuff done. So talk a little bit about how that worked for you.

Natalia 8:55
Yeah, so in this competition, we, obviously Competition as a strength was definitely something that would be beneficial. And Isabella has that as her first strength. And I have it very low in my 34. So I definitely used hers, I guess, and I, I relied on her for Competition, because I'm definitely not as good in that area.

Jim Collison 9:22
I mean, you're OK if everybody wins -- like, let's all do this together. See how many people we can get to do this. Right. Right? And, and Isabella is definitely, "No, I'm going to win this thing," right. Yeah, you got it. Carol Anne, you saw this playing out between the two of them. Can, can you talk a little bit -- could you see that happening between them as they were working together?

Carol Anne McGuire 9:46
100%. So when, when they were originally talking with their coaches about all the ideas they had, and these girls, I mean, Natalia can whip off 5,000 ideas off the top of her head. When they were going through ideas, you could, you could almost see Isabella grab the ones that she was going to be like, Yep, that's the one, you know. And then once she grabbed the one that she was, that ended up being the ruffle, when she grabbed that idea, you could see Competition and Command pop up or immediately. You could just see like, OK, this is it. This is what we're doing. Now, let's figure it out. Let's put it together. And it was immediate.

Jim Collison 10:26
Did you guys ever come to a point of conflict, where you needed to take a step back and focus and say, Hey, maybe we've got some -- maybe my Competition, Isabella, maybe my Competition is overriding some things here, or it's getting a little too aggressive? Or Natalia, Did you get to a point where maybe it was too many ideas? How did you guys work together to kind of -- if you got to that point, maybe it was, maybe not -- but if you got to that point, how'd you work that out? I'll throw it to, Isabella I'll throw to you first. Any thoughts?

Isabella 11:03
So my Competition probably got a little out of hand sometimes. I really want to win, and I'll do anything to win. So Natalia was like, would like be like, OK, I know you have Competition high. We got to chill out for a little bit. And we got to just focus on this, which I got focused too much into the Competition and not in the project necessarily. So Natalia would like calm me down and be like, We got to do this.

Jim Collison 11:34
Yeah, good. Good recognition. Natalia, do you want to add to that? Or what was that like coming -- well, and maybe this is a better question -- Knowing that about Isabella, how did that give you an advantage in the working partnership? How did that, how did that help you?

Natalia 11:53
I think knowing that Isabella has Competition really high, I could help her, I guess, channel that into the, into this competition and channel that for like our success. Also, having Adaptability, I can just kind of, kind of move along with anything. I'm just pretty flexible. I definitely do think that my ideas probably go out of hand at some point. And Isabella was like, All right, we actually have to start doing something and stop just being in the planning process.

Jim Collison 12:22
That's never been said to me, by the way, but, you know, yeah, Natalia, as I get to know you a little bit, I think we may be the same person in that. Because I, no, right on, like, although I've had -- and Isabella, I think you probably know, there are certain situations where you need ideas. And you could go to Natalia and say, Hey, I need, let's, let's crank through something. How are we going to solve this problem? Or what, how can we approach this? Natalia, you said you also have Adaptability high. Is that, is that right? So how did that, throughout this, I'm sure things changed during this, this competition? How did you, how'd that help you respond to changes, and maybe even setbacks, in in, in this project?

Natalia 13:08
I think it helped a lot. Every time that something changed, like somebody's got ahead of us on the leaderboard, I could kind of just adapt and be like, All right, well, if this just happened, let's just try and do this instead. And see if that approach works.

Jim Collison 13:23
Isabella, you loved that leaderboard, didn't you?

Isabella 13:27
Yeah. I liked being on top for the time that we were. We ended up getting third place, but when we were first it felt very --

Jim Collison 13:34
Did it hurt a little bit? Did third hurt a little bit?

Isabella 13:37
Yeah, definitely.

Jim Collison 13:40
Oh, that's so great. Carol Anne, I want to bring in some of the other students as well. But any other, any other thoughts or questions for these two before we bring in the others?

Carol Anne McGuire 13:46
No, because this is a perfect segue because as we're talking about being in first place, the next kids we, are going to come up are going to probably have a whole nother conversation about first place. Because as we were on the leaderboard with Mojo, we were also, I had like our personal leaderboard for my students. And so, as these kids are coming in right now, while we were talking with our coaches, Tayvin -- wave your hand, Tayvin -- Tayvin got the idea to write a grant, I guess, an ask of Coca-Cola for $10,000. And that was a game changer for the entire team, because our original goal that we thought was very high and scary of $3,000 immediately jumped to $10,000. And Tayvin really changed the game for all of us.

Carol Anne McGuire 14:40
And him and Mikenna -- where's Mikenna? Wave, so everybody knows who you are, Mikenna. There you go -- were the team together. And so they worked together. And then I'm going to tell you a little bit about Aashna in a second. But Tayvin really, and Mikenna took it, this competition, to a different level. Mikenna was the social media queen and getting things out social media. Tayvin was a go-getter on creating projects, creating experiences. I'll let him tell you a little bit about what he's done.

Jim Collison 15:17
Tayvin, let's start with you. Now, let me have you do your Top 5. Again, they'll, they'll kill me here if I don't get that out. So tell us your Top 5 And then let's talk a little bit about what inspired you to, to really ramp this up.

Tayvin 15:29
My Top 5 is Deliberative, Analytical, Responsibility, Achiever and Command. What, what I really --

Jim Collison 15:39
Yeah, keep going.

Tayvin 15:39
Go ahead, go ahead.

Goal-Setting: Thinking Big

Jim Collison 15:40
No, well, let me rephrase that question for you. So what, what inspired you, I mean, to think big on this? To take this from $3,000 to $10,000? And, and kind of, walk us through your thought process a little bit.

Tayvin 15:54
We, we had a meeting with Ashley Drew. She's a Pet Partners, like, executive -- or not executive, but like, somewhere up there really high on the fundraising. So she said we could write grants and go to the executive level and ask companies. So I was like, Hey, why not just get a list of companies that donate to fundraisers, just email them? So we did that. Coca-Cola sent me grant papers. So I filled those out.

Jim Collison 16:22
Did you have to do some research on that to find that, to figure that out, how do you get it done?

Tayvin 16:27
It took us I think, a few, 2 days of research? Is that --

Carol Anne McGuire 16:30

Tayvin 16:31
Two days of research? Yeah, 2 days of research to get that done.

Jim Collison 16:34
How did it, how did it feel to send that off to them -- to put all that together and then kind of think, OK, here we go. I mean, because there's a chance of rejection in this. Right? How'd that feel?

Tayvin 16:49
I want to say I was confident. But I didn't really, it's not that I didn't care; it just didn't affect me as much as I thought it would. It was like, OK, it's another one done; get some more done. I didn't really do any more after that.

Jim Collison 17:02
How do you think that Responsibility and Command that you have played a little bit into just getting it done, so to speak?

Tayvin 17:10
I think because my Responsibility works where, if I like say something, I'll get it done. So now that I already said I was like going to ask or go into the company level, I was like, let's do this.

Jim Collison 17:24
Might as well get it done. Mikenna, let me, let me bring you in to talk a little -- well, first of all, tell us your Top 5,

Mikenna 17:31
My Top 5 are Connectedness, Restorative, Command, Strategic and Futuristic.

Jim Collison 17:37
So a couple, a couple Commands working together. And that's pretty great. That's pretty great. You guys, I'm sure, took advantage of that. Your, your part in the project on this as well -- talk a little bit about your involvement in it.

Mikenna 17:50
I did a lot of social media work. I posted a decent amount of things on my Instagram. And I posted a lot on my mom's Facebook, because I knew that that would reach kind of a wider audience, you know, instead of middle schoolers who don't have any money. But I did a lot of social media fundraising. And I helped Tayvin here and there with some, like, when he wrote his letter to Coca-Cola, and, like, we kind of had different ways of approaching this. We weren't as much help -- we weren't helping each other as much. But we did end up having the same goal. And I think we both, our ways both worked.

Jim Collison 18:34
Carol Anne, do you want to talk about that as what you saw from the outside looking in for those two?

Carol Anne McGuire 18:40
With these two? Yeah, they, they didn't, they didn't share ideas in the same way that Natalia and Isabella shared ideas, but they were on the same page, working different angles. So Mikenna really took the social media aspect, and Tayvin took the, you know, another, the, the asking corporations and creating experiences, doing pizza parties and selling things. It's, I mean, he was like, on fire. But the two of them together sharpened each other. Because what, when one would think of an idea, it would spark the other one to think of another idea. And they would, it was fun to watch these two together, because they really did -- they worked off each other's sparks.

Jim Collison 19:34
Do you, Tayvin, did you feel like Mikenna was a similar partner to you or had a different set of skills there that you could, that you could use or work with? Talk a little bit about your partnership there.

Tayvin 19:49
I didn't feel like Mikenna was anything like me, because she had a lot more ideas than I did, because my Ideation's like 33. So that's not, I'm not gonna get many ideas. Soi I just swiped off her, and just used her ideas and put a spin on it.

Jim Collison 20:06
And Mikenna, same, same kind of question to you. What was, how was that relationship for you?

Mikenna 20:13
He has a lot of Executing skills near his Top 5, like his, and I have more Relationship Building. So he used, like, he used Responsibility to get to his goal faster, and he kind of helped me figure out the best way to get to something. Because sometimes I'll take like kind of a longer route to get to the same place. So I think he helped me get to where I was trying to get faster.

Jim Collison 20:46
Mikenna -- go ahead, Carol Anne -- go ahead.

Carol Anne McGuire 20:48
We also had two people with Command in the same group. So their Commands took over. Once they got their ideas, they were on a path. And so it was very interesting to see, I was, I was interested to see, How is a group with two, two leaders, two Commands in the same, in the same group? And for them, it worked. I mean, it really did work. It was really fascinating to watch how they would work off of each other's, you know, somebody would create an idea and then Tayvin would get it and run with it. And he would run with it before we were even done with the idea.

Jim Collison 21:30
Tayvin, Mikenna, do you guys feel like knowing each other's strengths gave you an advantage in some way in the work that you're doing? Was there, at any point -- and Mikenna see you shaking your head "Yes," so I'll let you go first. Any, any thoughts on that? How did that help you, knowing, you know, your teammate's strengths?

Mikenna 21:51
So like I said, I have Connectedness as my No. 1, which is a Relationship Building skill. And he has a lot of Executing skills in his Top 5. So I think that it was really helpful for me to know that he kind of lacked the Relationship Building area. And I think that was easier for me to help him kind of work on making his letters and asking people for more donations, like making it more, like reaching out to people. I think I helped him with that is what I'm trying to say.

Jim Collison 22:30
Yeah, no, you're doing you're doing a great job of it. Tayvin, it sounds like, though, once you've got the mission of what you need to get done, you pretty much just hammer it out and get it done. Is that right? Is that the way this works?

Tayvin 22:42
I mean, like, I come up with a plan. She would like adjust the plan a little bit to make it more doable and accessible -- not accessible -- appeal to people more, and I was like, OK, let's do this. I just ran with it.

Jim Collison 22:54
Yeah, yeah. How great is that to see those come together? We've got Carol Anne, we have one more to talk about. Talk a little bit about Aashna.

Using Strategic Thinking Talents to Aim Higher

Carol Anne McGuire 23:03
I do want to introduce you to Aashna, because Aashna was kind of our wild card in this. So Aashna leads with some heavy Thinking skills and Competition. So I'm gonna let her just kind of talk to you about her, what her themes are. But she definitely was the wild card in in this.

Jim Collison 23:23
Great. Aashna, start with your Top 5.

Aashna 23:25
My Top 5 are Competition, Intellection, Deliberative, Connectedness and Restorative.

Jim Collison 23:30
You got a couple of Competitions in there, Carol Anne. So that's pretty great. And talk a little bit about your role here on the project. What did you do?

Aashna 23:38
So I came in with $10,000 in matching. So I used my mom's company, which does a matching program. And I put in $5,000, and we got $5,000 back. So I brought in $10,000 for the fundraiser.

Jim Collison 23:55
And how did you, what, knowing your strengths or getting some clues to your own talent, how did that help you in this process?

Aashna 24:04
So I have Connectedness, which kind of build bridges with people. So I connected the fact that, Oh, my mom does matching. So it could have been, it could have been $5,000, because she had $2,500. And we could have done $2,500 plus $2,500 would be $5,000. But I connected the fact that my mom has a friend in that company, so we could do $5,000.

Jim Collison 24:29
You guys are gonna get some phone calls from some employers who are like, Hey --

Carol Anne McGuire 24:31
I'm not joking. Like I would hire these kids in a minute to do work for me. The funny thing with Aashna is she didn't really tell anybody what she was doing. It was, came out of left -- I mean, I knew what she was doing and her partner knew what she was doing. But for everyone else, it really did come out of left field. And I was asking her about it, and she has Deliberative and Intellection. So she was thinking about it, but she was not showing her cards until she came in with $10,000.

Jim Collison 25:04
Yeah. Yeah, and, and Aashna, you know, working in the strengths community a lot, that Deliberative, this idea of spending some time thinking about, taking the time to think through some things. How's that work for you? I mean, how do you find success in, in being one who thinks through things?

Aashna 25:22
So it came in really handy because we have some high Competition people in, like, our TAs are really high in competitiveness. And I know Tayvin is actually really competitive. So if I told him that I had $10,000 in matching, he would pull through with something immediately. So I really used my Deliberative to think of the obstacle that Oh, Tayvin might win. So I didn't tell anyone.

Jim Collison 25:47
That's super great. That is, that is super great.

Carol Anne McGuire 25:50
It was not super great for Tayvin. He was not happy; I'm not gonna lie.

Jim Collison 25:54
Tayvin, did that frustrate you a little bit?

Tayvin 25:56
It definitely frustrated me, sorry.

Jim Collison 26:03
Yeah, no, no, no worries. How did, so how do you respond, just walk me through your thought process a little bit of responding to that. What were you thinking in that, in a situation like that?

Tayvin 26:15
I found out and I was like, "What?!" I was like, I was like, "Repeat that like one more time!" I, like, I don't know what happened; my brain was like, not working.

Carol Anne McGuire 26:27
It was so high, he had so much, he had so many funds that he had done by himself. So it really did look like Tayvin was just gonna take the whole thing.

Keeping Students Engaged, Managing to Their Strengths

Jim Collison 26:39
And then not so much. And then not so much at the very end there. Carol Anne, as you, now, as we, as we look at, you know, all five, and you just kind of, you kind of think, you know, in a lot of ways you played the role of the manager in this setting. What do you think, what kind of, you know, what kind of advantage does that give you as a manager knowing this to begin with? And then, when we think about -- and we don't spend a lot of time on Called to Coach, and we do more in the corporate side, thinking about engagement, though, you've got to keep these students engaged in this, in this project. Can you talk a little bit about the advantage knowing this gives you as the manager, so to speak, and how do you kind of keep them engaged?

Carol Anne McGuire 27:22
For me, it was a lot of behind-the-scenes things that were happening. So I made sure like I had prizes for my students. So besides what Mojo was winning for the competition, we created our own prizes here. So I had put aside gift cards and different things for them. And we kept a leaderboard, like, it was just constantly letting them know where they're at. But here's the thing: They were all amazing. And you're just only hearing from 5 kids. I have other kids that could equally tell you an amazing story that they did. And so it was fascinating for me to just sit back and watch how they were thinking and what they were, how they were processing things, and what kinds of projects they were, they were all different. They were very, very different from the, from every team looked vastly different from the other team.

Carol Anne McGuire 28:20
And I think, as a manager, it wasn't so much about who was bringing in the most money, although that was important. For me, it was the fascination of every team being so unique and gifted and encouraging them in what they could do. Because I had kids who were very, very afraid to ask people for money. And so we would, and then you had Tayvin, who was not afraid of anything. You know, so I had, I had, you know, and Isabella, like, I had kids that were just not afraid of anything; they would just go out and ask anything. And then I had students that were literal, legit afraid to ask somebody for money. So those teams I had to work differently than other teams. But it was still amazing. And you still have to reward the teams that even did a little, because they came out of their comfort zone.

Carol Anne McGuire 29:13
One of my kids was so afraid to ask for money finally asked for money, and got a lot -- like a decent amount. And it was just, for me, the, the process was overcoming that fear, more than what the money was coming in. It was watching a student be afraid of something and really overcoming it and being to the point where, OK, the next time, if I ever have to do this again, I'm not going to be quite so afraid. That's a huge win for me.

Jim Collison 29:49
Yeah, and I love to see it through the framework of strengths, because I think it gives us that advantage. Right? It allows us to kind of lean into that in a way that, that's best for us. By the way, Mikenna, we have a Social Media Manager position open right now. So if you're interested, maybe in 10 years, but we'd love to have, you know, it's, for me, of course, being a Recruiter for so many years, I always see the talent and I start figuring out OK, I would, you know, I would put Tayvin here, and I'd put Isabella there. So, great opportunities.

Jim Collison 30:21
I want to open this up a little bit to the, to the audience that's listening now. Put your questions in chat, if you haven't done it yet. There's a link right above us there on our live page -- cliftonstrengths/live, if you're there. Click on that link. It'll take you to YouTube, and there's a chat room there. A few of you have jumped in and ask them questions. Catherine has asked, she says, I seem to recall that Futuristic shows up for at least three of the students. Who has Futuristic in their Top 5? Just raise your hand? So one, two, OK, two of you. So we'll, we'll ask you guys this question. How did Futuristic show up for them along the project's journey? So, Mikenna or Natalia, How did you see -- and just unmute and talk at this point -- How did you see that Futuristic showing up for you in the project?

Natalia 31:07
I think that during this project, having Futuristic, I could kind of look ahead and see where we were going. And I had, kind of had a clearer path of what I thought the competition, how it would go along, how it would end. I did think we were going to win, or at least be in second place. But I think we were still close, and Futuristic was definitely very, very helpful.

Jim Collison 31:33
Yeah, you have to have a hope. I mean, you have to have a hope that, to go towards this goal, right? I mean, it has to be there for that. Do you feel like you could see ahead in the, you know, in the future, so to speak, using that term, to, like, is it exciting for you to think ahead? Like, do you like to spend some time kind of forecasting what you think is yet to come?

Natalia 31:57
I do. I feel like I'm always thinking ahead, always thinking about the future. I think it's fun, but it can also cause a lot of stress and a lot of anxiety. But if I can keep it controlled, I think it's very useful. Very beneficial.

Jim Collison 32:13
Great. Mikenna, how about you?

Mikenna 32:15
Yeah, I agree with everything she said. It can be very helpful when you're working on a big plan, and you want to know, OK, well, once I'm doing this, like what consequences could come from this -- good and bad? And, like, if this happens, am I going to need to do this? And it can get stressful, but it's also insanely helpful to know that I have that. And like knowing my strengths is a lot, it makes it a lot easier for me to figure out when to use them and how to better use them.

Performance Increases via Applying Team Strengths

Jim Collison 32:49
Oh, that's great. That's great. We got another question from the chat room. Mikenna, I'm gonna have you watch your microphone. Because when you, I have you hitting it, and we just hear that. So just be careful with your mic there. So Michael asks the question for the students, As you worked together as a team and used your natural strengths together, did it excite you to see your team's performance go up? Who would be willing to unmute and share maybe an instance where you saw that happen, or you took advantage of that? We shared a little bit of that earlier, but any other thoughts on that?

Isabella 33:24
So I have Competition as my No. 1. So when me and Natalia went up on the leaderboard, it was very exciting because I, I like to win. So seeing our names like on the leaderboard, it went, it boosted my confidence and morale kind of because I have Positivity very low. So when we were up on like top of the leaderboard, it definitely boosted like confidence and stuff.

Jim Collison 33:52
Isabella, I have a sales position open for you too as well, when you get to that spot. We'll have to keep an eye on you guys. Who else, who else wants to share, as you think about that -- did it, did what did, how did it feel to see your partner or the team's performance go up? Any other thoughts on that?

Carol Anne McGuire 34:12
What about when, -- let me rephrase that question.

Jim Collison 34:15

Carol Anne McGuire 34:15
How did it feel when you were seeing Mojo's numbers go up? What -- because you were all working as a team in different ways for this one goal. How did it feel? Because we were like this until the very, very, very end.

Tayvin 34:29
I mean, I'm sitting over here doing math. Like I was calculating how much of this competition we are; how much ahead of them we; are the point gain; how much each point was worth. That was fun, just doing the numbers. That was a real experience.

Jim Collison 34:48
Others -- other thoughts?

Aashna 34:50
I think Mojo like being at the top kind of all boosted all of our egos; you know we were more driven to win, like especially because so many of us have high Competition. I know Isabella and I, we share Competition No. 1, so I know it definitely made us confident.

How Knowing Your Strengths Helps Academic Performance

Jim Collison 35:10
Monica has another question. I'm gonna make you guys uncomfortable for maybe just a moment here. She says, While continuing to discover your themes, have you found this information to be helpful from an academic standpoint? Like, how is this changing the way -- and IsabelIa, I see big, and Natalia, big smiles from you guys. Isabella, let's start with you: How's that changed your, your academic or your schoolwork?

Isabella 35:32
So I have Focus is No. 3. So I'm up super late, like putting my best work in. I have Achiever also as my No. 2. So I'm up like super late doing homework, studying for tests. I'm, like, really into school. Like, that's my No. 1 priority right now. So it's really helped knowing why I'm so into school and how big of a priority that is to me. Natalia, you can go.

Natalia 35:58
I'm actually, I guess, a little bit on the opposite. Because I'm definitely -- school isn't my favorite thing in the world; I'll say that. I'm not too into like academics and things like that. But looking at my strengths, and especially seeing my Top 5, I guess I kind of understand why. And I think it's because my strengths are more on the creative, I guess you could say like, like, crazy side. Like, I feel like my brain is always popping up with ideas and always kind of like going, always going. And I can also see that in certain subjects like English. It's like my better subject because it's more about, I guess, discussing. And then something like math, which is definitely more of a, I guess, analytical, definitely looking at all the data, I'm not as good at because my strengths don't really go with that kind of thing.

Jim Collison 36:56
Yeah. Natalia, don't let that get you down. You live in a world of high achieving, you know, I feel like it Isabella just above you there -- high achievers. I was, again, I think you and I are very, very similar. We're doing what we're doing today, because I had a crazy idea 10 years ago. Said, Hey we should start -- nobody was thinking about podcasting, or podcasts or webcasts, or whatever you wanna call it. And I said, Hey, well, I got this great way to reach the world. And we could just try to do this thing. Let's, let's give this a try. Right? And it's very social, very relational. Again, maybe you'll replace me at Gallup someday, right, be able to come in and you'd probably like, you'd probably enjoy -- would, would, you think, Natalia, do you think you'd enjoy interviewing people and talking to different people all the time and, and --

Natalia 37:45
You know, I think I would. I think I can definitely be a bit shy sometimes. But I've always found that I think I'm pretty good at talking to people -- not to, like, brag about myself or anything.

Jim Collison 38:00
No, it's not -- that's not bragging. That's just a statement of fact: I am good at talking to people. And not everybody's, not everybody's great at that. Right. Who else? When we think about changing your academic or, as, I was kind of thinking, as you're looking towards high school, you know, how can I take it -- now that I know these things, how can I take advantage of that? Any, anyone else want to add to that? Yeah, Tayvin.

Tayvin 38:24
So, we will do group, I had to take a class called AVID: it's Advancement Via Individual Determination. It's like a college prep class. And we do a lot of group projects there. And usually, it's either me doing all the work or telling everyone else to do the work because I have Command and Achiever. So usually -- I remember one project, I don't, I didn't really do anything except help others doing their things with Command and Achiever together.

Jim Collison 38:51
Well, you have Responsibility too, right?

Tayvin 38:53
Yeah, that too.

Jim Collison 38:54
Yeah. So I've, I've, we've had some students who've, similar to you, and man they make, I actually turn them kind of into the junior leaders in the course or in the stuff we're doing, to be able to help and lead. I mean, you'd be fabulous in a situation of a big group that you would take over a part of the group -- mentor, guide, help with, right, those. Carol Anne, you're shaking your head "Yes" as I'm looking at you. Do you agree?

Carol Anne McGuire 39:21
Yeah, as I, and you know, as I, because I get, I get a chance to see these kids differently, because I'm one of their teachers. But I also get to kind of like take a sneak peek in some of their other classes, via their teachers, you know, how are they doing? What are, you know, what are they doing? And it, I get to see them work in their strengths, sometimes when they don't even realize, you know, that that's what it is they're doing. And so it's fun to come back and have those conversations of, Wow, you led this group, you know, which, you know, it's always like, which one do you, which theme do you think is leading in that one? Or what, what do you think, you know, which, which, which one is firing off right now? And It's fun to watch them navigate through school. I'm very excited to see what they do in college and in their careers. I, I just wish I had this opportunity when I was a kid to for somebody to give me words that I could run with, you know, like that I could hold on to and say, you know, if all else fails, I have Focus, you know, or whatever it is, you know.

Jim Collison 40:25
Some real hints, some real clues, you know. 13 or 14, sometimes it's a struggle. It's like, What am I good at? Right? Or, and I think this is actually more important, is getting that confirmation that No, I am good at this. Like, Isabella, as you were talking about your sales strength -- by, by the way, we have a brand new sales report that's coming, and I think you're gonna, you're gonna want to look at yours at some point. But I think you've got some pretty good ideas, especially going into high school, of kind of how you can succeed based on who you are. Now, listen, you guys, the noodles still cookin' a little bit. So you guys have some time to learn and grow and do some things. Don't lock yourself in too much. But there was a question Sarah had asked -- How, how well did you know each, each other going into this? And did learning each other's strengths impact your friendship or relationships in that? How well did you guys know? Or Carol Anne, let me throw that question to you, and then we'll, we'll talk about the effects with the students. How well did they know each other going into this?

Carol Anne McGuire 41:29
I don't, some of them knew each other from elementary school. But I, they don't have any way that they can like partner up with a friend. It's just the luck of the draw, whoever ends up in the, as a partner with each other. So some of them knew each other kind of from elementary school, and some didn't know each other at all; this is the first time they've met each other.

Jim Collison 41:51
Better, better friendships coming out of this knowing these things, or did that help in the, in that? Anybody want to say anything about that? You can just unmute and say something.

Isabella 42:03
So me and, sorry, so me and Natalia didn't actually know each other going into this. And I've never hung out with Natalia. And a few days ago, like a few weeks ago, I think I went with her and her friends just to see like what she does and stuff. So it's definitely impacted our friendship because like we kind of grow together, if that makes sense.

Jim Collison 42:25
Yeah. Yeah. No, very much. Anybody else want to add to that? I got one more question for you guys. Yeah, go ahead, Mikenna.

Mikenna 42:34
The only person that I knew out, or before this class, she isn't here today. Like I met all of the people here just for this class, and we're all friends outside of this class now. And I think that, like, we've become pretty good friends during all of this. I think knowing each other's strengths and like all the activities we've done together has made us all pretty good friends.

The Impact of Having Strengths Coaches for Students

Jim Collison 43:02
That's fantastic. In a couple of weeks, in a week, I think it's in a week, Carol Anne, you and I are going, I think it's next week, you and I are going to spend some time talking to the coaches. And that's gonna be a fun interview to get it from their perspective. But I want to ask the students, How, what was the impact of the coach mentoring relationships that you guys had with those, those coaches? Raise your hand for me so I can see. Who, who will who go first, as far as, talk a little bit about the benefit of having a coach during this time. Who want to -- yeah, Natalia, go ahead.

Natalia 43:36
I think it was great. I think that having another person's perspective on things, opinion on things really helped. It helped, I guess, open our minds to like different possibilities during this competition, during just learning about our strengths in general. I also think that having a strengths coach specifically was really, really helpful. Because they knew our strengths, they knew what we were good at. And they could look at those strengths and see how we can use them to benefit ourselves, to benefit others using the Power of 2, our partner, and that was definitely really helpful.

Jim Collison 44:18
That's great. Aashna?

Aashna 44:19
Yeah, my strengths coach, my team strengths coach really helped me like understand why I was the way I was. And she was just awesome, because she helped us brainstorm so many ideas, which is what would the kick-start like this competition, we would, like, just brainstorm ideas, just write it all down. So I really love my coach and especially her knowing my strengths helped me a lot.

Jim Collison 44:44
Isabella, did I see you raise your hand?

Isabella 44:46
Oh, no, sorry. I --

Jim Collison 44:48
Well, even if you didn't, I'm going to call on you. How was your coach?

Isabella 44:51
So Natalia was like right on the money. Me and Natalia have like three different coaches. And they were all kind of different, but they all helped us work to achieve our goal. And I think we were with our coach Janice when we had the idea to email Gallup. And we all knew, Wow, this is gonna be something. And I'm so glad that we're here doing this. Yeah.

Jim Collison 45:14
Great. Thank you. Mikenna and then Tayvin, I'll call, I'll call on you. But Mikenna, your coach -- impact?

Mikenna 45:24
Me and Tayvin had kind of a off schedule, like the first meeting that we had with our coach, he wasn't there. And I think that I missed one of our last ones. But she was our coach, and she was really helpful. She helped put words to all of these, like, personality traits that we had when we were kids. And like all of these things that we've noticed about ourselves but don't know what they are, how to use them. And that was super helpful. She had us do this soundbar activity of like when our strengths are at their highs and lows; when we're using them; when we're doing two at the same time. And it was just super helpful to put kind of like a graphic image to that.

Jim Collison 46:06
That's great. And Tayvin, how about you?

Tayvin 46:11
Well, we also did a chart; it's like a wants and needs chart. That helped us a lot trying to figure out how to work together. Because, like, we could provide each other's, like, the, the wants that the other one would need, so it would be a lot easier to work together.

Jim Collison 46:28
Carol Anne, what did you see from, from a coaching perspective of these coaches working with the students? Did you see anything special or unique?

Carol Anne McGuire 46:37
Every single one was unique. Every coaching session was, it was almost like they were gifted with the coach that would match them. You know, we had, I have two kids that have high Positivity, and Cathy came on, "Hey!" You know, and the kids are, like, right with her. And you know, I have two boys that are very Analytical, and their coach was very quiet and calm. And it was, just seemed like the coaches' personalities just happened to match the kids'. And so it was exciting to watch them just connect. You know, still, I had just a student last night who -- this thing is all over, connected with his coach again, on his own, just to talk with his coach again. So it was just a nice experience to think that these kids are getting the best -- the best coaches in the world have come to my class and talked, breathed life into my kids. It was just so thankful, I was so thankful.

Carol Anne McGuire 47:43
And then when they got their 34, Charlotte Blair gave them their 34s. And so that was a whole nother fun discovery that we had and got to talk about that. And, you know, of course, everybody wants to know what's on the bottom. And, you know, when they see the bottom, like, Oh, that's why! You know, they, but, but it's been a fun, fun to be able to see all of those. So now, of course, all the parents are like, "I want my 34." And so we're going to have a parent night in May with all the parents.

Jim Collison 48:15
Great. Students, by the way, knowing and understanding your parents' Top 5 will change the way you respond and react to them as well. And so maybe a great opportunity. My daughter, my youngest daughter got into the, into strengths a couple years ago -- or more than that, like 5 or 6 years ago. We have a family strengths grid that we've put together that we actually spend time talking about. And it's been very, very beneficial from a family perspective. Carol Anne, I've got a question for you. But I want to thank the students for coming on today, all 5 of you for, we had to do a sound check early in the week. You guys came in early. I mean, it was, this started at 7 a.m. for you. Who can get 5 middle school students to show up at 7 a.m. for a crazy webcast?

Carol Anne McGuire 49:04
6:15 a.m.!

Dreaming: Business Mentorships

Jim Collison 49:05
Yeah, well, it's true, you guys, it was an early start, right? Because we started an hour or half an hour beforehand. So thank you guys for coming out. I'm gonna throw you in the back room. But I just wanted to say from, from, on behalf of Gallup, thanks for coming on and sharing and being a part of this. Excited to follow your futures. I will be following you now. So I'll be stalking you to, for jobs. So just watch out in the coming years. We'll figure out how to get you guys in for internships. But thanks a ton, and appreciate you guys coming out today. Don't, don't go anywhere, because I want to talk to you guys at the end, but I'm gonna throw you in the back room. So hang tight for me. Carol Anne, we got a question from the chat room. I got one more -- there we go. We got a question from the chat room, from Catherine, who said, As you follow the students through their strengths and academic journeys, is there an opportunity for them to participate in mentorship opportunities with local business leaders? What are your thoughts on that?

Carol Anne McGuire 49:57
Yeah, that's, that's kind of my next game plan. So what I do, the students that I have had previously, I kind of have a deal with them is that when they go for their first job -- and we practice, you know, their strengths and weaknesses when they're going to do an interview. So we practice what interviews would look like. And I say, you know, when you get your first job, I want you to send me a letter and let me know how that went. And I still get letters. You know, it's not my first job; this is my third job, but I just want you to know, I'm using my, I talked about my strengths and weaknesses. And, you know, or can you give me a recommendation? And we'll pull those strengths and weak, you know, their strengths up again. So it's been very interesting for me as an educator to be able to follow these kids way past when they're in middle school and just see how that's kind of helped in their life. So now mentorship with businesses, that's my next thing. That's what I want to do next.

Jim Collison 50:55
Yeah, yeah, no, I think it's a great opportunity to, to, we, we had started, you know, I did a lot of internships that started with students that were freshmen in high school. And so we never were able to go all the way back to junior high and, or middle school in the way we do it. But it's great. You can see this potential. I see already, you know, just on the webcast, I called out several. I'm like, Oh, I would put you here, and you could be here, and we got some opportunities there.

Carol Anne McGuire 51:24
I do that all the time. Sometimes when, when I'm looking at them, I'm like, oh, you would be really good at this job really, kind of pinpointing them without saying it, because they're, they are so talented. And it, it truly is a game changer to have this language at this, at this age. Because when I was 13, I was not thinking of writing grants to Coca-Cola and who I'm gonna, you know, what business propositions I might have in the future. But these kids are thinking way far beyond what I was thinking when I was 13.

Jim Collison 51:59
13 and 14 is an awkward spot for CliftonStrengths, in the sense that it's, you know, we have StrengthsExplorer, which is really designed for 10 through 14, and then 15 or 16 and above for CliftonStrengths. I think some students, and you're seeing this today; I get this question in the community all the time. Can a middle schooler take CliftonStrengths? In some cases -- and I think you're seeing it here -- in some cases, that answer is going to be "Yes." These are students who were able to work through it. And there's a lot, like I said, there's lots of learning and growing that still needs to go on.

Carol Anne McGuire 52:30
There is, and it, we don't jump right into StrengthsFinder. We take a series of all kinds of assessments beforehand, because they have to unthink how to take a test in school. It's not about me; it's not about what I think is the right answer. It's completely about them. And so it does take a lot of time to undo that process in their brains.

Jim Collison 52:54
Yeah, I think you mentioned that on the last episode that we did is the reason you do that is because oftentimes, we've trained our students to get the right answers. Like what's the right answer? As opposed to what's the right answer for you? Like, what's the truth for you, not what we want to hear, right?

Carol Anne McGuire 53:11
Because it doesn't matter what I think.

Jim Collison 53:13
You have them taking those other assessments to kind of untrain, untrain that, right, which I think is just brilliant. So that is great. We're getting some amazing comments from the chat room. And I want to thank everybody who came out today. Carol Anne, any final thoughts before I, before I wrap this up today? Pretty great. And thank you for bringing the students.

Carol Anne McGuire 53:32
Oh, God, I'm so excited to hear from the coaches. I can't wait to hear what their side of it was. I know what our side of it was. I know the excitement that the kids had about talking to a coach and thinking like, Oh my gosh, this coach is in Australia, and we're here. You know, they're not even in our country or not in our state. Nobody was around us. We always, were always talking to somebody from some, from far away. And it was just exciting. I know what the kids felt. So I'm so anxious, I can't wait till next week to hear the side from the coaches of what they thought when they were talking to a 13-year-old, you know, especially when they first open up, and you're like, OK, this kid's 13; what are they going to know? And then talking to them, be like, No, they really know; they really get it, they really get it.

Jim Collison 54:20
Yeah. Some great recognition -- before we go -- some great recognition for the students. Sandee says, As a parent of one of these students, it's been amazing to watch and the strengths of my child possesses has come to light, and that they've had the opportunity to learn how to use those strengths! Sarah says, Thanks to these, to these amazing students! Ken appreciates all for all the sharing and the insights. Sandee's back to say these, What a dream these kids -- they kind of are pretty great.

Carol Anne McGuire 54:46
They kind of are a dream team.

Jim Collison 54:47
They are pretty great.

Carol Anne McGuire 54:48
Not gonna lie.

Jim Collison 54:48
Pretty great. It was great to hear from the students and hear about their growth. You are all amazing! And then Catherine says, I've always regarded teachers as being one of the most noble professions. Carol Anne, you've taken profession to greater heights. You are a life-changer and difference-maker, and so thank you for doing that. I too am excited about, and, and it's, it's great when all the things, when all these pieces come together. I got addicted to internships in this way, and that I just love to see the students grow. And, you know, we eventually give them the opportunity to maybe work for us. But it was pretty, pretty amazing. You know, I showed up every Saturday morning, we'd, 16 Saturdays in a year together to spend 4 hours a Saturday with these students, helping them learn to write software. Right. And that was, that was our mission and purpose, to get them done. And so, Carol Anne, thanks. We'll see you again in a week. So you hang tight for me while I get the coaches back. The bar is high, coaches! Like I'm sure they're watching this. The bar is high. These students --

Carol Anne McGuire 55:51
Some of our coaches are on here. I've been watching their names come through, so no pressure.

Jim Collison 55:55
I'm serious. I'd hire Isabella to be a salesperson tomorrow, tomorrow. No, today! Why would I wait till tomorrow?

Carol Anne McGuire 56:04
Why wait till tomorrow?

Jim Collison 56:05
With that, with that we want to remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources, everything we've talked about today, available in Gallup Access. Head out to For coaching, master coaching or if you want to become a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach like Carol Anne is, we can help you with that process as well. Send us an email: Stay up to date -- if you're wondering when this coaches' interview is going to be, you can register for and get the calendar invite for it. Go to gallup.eventbrite -- parents, you're gonna want to be here for this. So if you're listening to this now, go to It's already out there. Unlike last time, I was ready this time because I have no Focus. So it's out there, and it's available. It's there for you: And you can register for it there. Join us on Facebook -- and kids, not you guys, because you know, you don't do this anymore. But go to to continue in on this conversation. And of course, you can join us on any social media platform -- and this is for you, Mikenna -- you can join us on any social media platform just by searching "CliftonStrengths" Want to thank you for joining us today.

Carol Anne McGuire's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Achiever, Learner, Focus, Positivity and Woo.

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

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