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Called to Coach
Current Workforce Challenges: Inclusion
Called to Coach

Current Workforce Challenges: Inclusion

Webcast Details

  • How does having the common framework of strengths help advance inclusion?
  • How can leaders make strengths discussions more purposeful and goal-setting more inclusive?
  • What questions can leaders ask to create a more inclusive workplace?

Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series -- Season 10, Episode 39.

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

The 21st century workplace is beginning to more clearly see and address the uniqueness of each individual, to include everyone and bring people together, but doing this effectively is often not easy. CliftonStrengths can be an important asset in these efforts, because it provides a common framework that values each person as an individual and fosters a feeling of safety in the workplace. In this webcast, Jaclynn Robinson, Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup, shares how CliftonStrengths aids workplace inclusion, how leaders can make their goal-setting more inclusive, and gives you 5 questions leaders and employees can ask to help create an inclusive work environment. Join her and become better equipped to bring greater inclusion to your workplace and the workplaces of those you coach.

We've seen through our research that whenever you start to incorporate CliftonStrengths into the workplace, you have employees that will start to score higher on statement items related to inclusion and belongingness.

Jaclynn Robinson, 3:19

First and foremost is trust, and what a great way to start to build it -- with understanding and appreciating the strengths someone has.

Jaclynn Robinson, 33:07

It's one thing to ask a question. But if you were asking the question just so you can talk over it right after, then we're not really doing the work.

Jaclynn Robinson, 34:39

Jim Collison 0:01
I am Jim Collison, and this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on September 20, 2022.

Meet Our Guest on This Episode

Jim Collison 0:19
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, and you don't see the chat room, there's a link right above me for it. Click on that and join us in chat. If you have questions after the fact, you can always send us an email: 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. Dr. Jaclynn Robinson is our host today. She works as a Learning and Development Consultant here with me at Gallup and was the host to Season 1 of the new CliftonStrengths Podcast. If you haven't gotten out and subscribed to that, we have more coming here in a Season 2, which, I think, I don't know if we've announced that, Jaclynn, but welcome back to Called to Coach!

Jaclynn Robinson 1:09
Thank you, sir! How are you, friend?

Jim Collison 1:11
I'm doing well. I'm super excited about, just as a side note for those, those that are listening, super excited about some of the work that we have coming this, this, our winter, so December through April of 2023 in some of the work that we're doing in Season 2 of The CliftonStrengths Podcast. If you haven't subscribed to The CliftonStrengths Podcast yet, you probably should. We've got, we're doing some great work out there, and just a lot of helpful stuff. Just search "CliftonStrengths" on any podcast app, and then get, get subscribed to it, so you never miss an episode. Today, we are talking about inclusion. I've been excited for this session for a while and thinking about what we're going to talk about today. I think we have some very practical tips. This may be one, if you're listening on the audio, you might need to sit down at some point with whatever writing device -- whether you're going to type it or whatever. And, because there's gonna be some things you're gonna probably want to jot down. But Jaclynn, as we think about inclusion and strengths, why don't you get us started with what, what we're hoping to achieve today.

Jaclynn Robinson 2:15
This is one of those topics that can be hard to discuss for managers or leaders. It kind of creates some discomfort, even though they want to tap into that space. And so what I love about CliftonStrengths is it creates a safe place and a safe space for everyone to be able to talk about it in a way that's pretty tangible. Because we know with strengths, if you start to even think through business outcomes, you can do the baseline of, this is what it was like before we had strengths; 6 months later, this is the improvements we're seeing with individuals and teams after strengths. So it is something that's more tangible.

Jaclynn Robinson 2:53
And so what we plan to talk about today is how you can use CliftonStrengths to support inclusion in the workplace. Because whenever you're using CliftonStrengths, it creates a sense of understanding and appreciation for the talents you bring to the table. But then it also allows you to have the communication to be able to share out with other people what it is you bring to the table, what you can contribute. And then you've got their partners that are doing the same. And so we've seen through our research that whenever you start to incorporate CliftonStrengths into the workplace, you have employees that will start to score higher on statement items related to inclusion and belongingness, I should say.

Inclusion and Strengths in the Workplace

Jim Collison 3:33
When we, you know, when we look at inclusion, you know, we, we oftentimes put diversity-inclusion, right, together in the conversation. And while, while we think about strengths by itself as being a component to that diversity and inclusion, as you see it, talk a little bit more about how that fits in. Put, put a little more, put a little more around that, just as our coaches and those listening think about this. How do we really structure that? Or how do we really lay that out in a way that makes sense?

Jaclynn Robinson 4:12
Whenever we start incorporating strengths into the workplace?

Jim Collison 4:15
Right, yeah.

Jaclynn Robinson 4:15
It's, it's the common language. That's what we call it. And so anyone that is familiar with CliftonStrengths, one of our guiding principles is that themes aren't labels. And I always say it sounds pretty counterintuitive, because we have 34 talent themes. But the idea behind it is it's giving you 34 vocabulary words that help you start to identify, through some relational shorthand, what motivates a person, what values they might hold, what it is that they might do really well. And so you can start to coordinate, collaborate and communicate with these individuals, based on what you know, and just learning those 34 talent themes. So through and through, it creates a common language. And then there's really 4 steps that we would -- I wouldn't even call them steps; I would just say 4 methods of incorporating CliftonStrengths into the workplace to start to bring inclusion forward.

Jaclynn Robinson 5:11
And that first is just to discuss talent themes regularly, or strengths regularly. What is it that you do really well? What would you like to do more of? Let's talk about your successes and your wins. What would you like to contribute to the team? Another one is setting goals based on the individuals' strengths. So a lot of managers already have performance development plans for their employees. In those conversations, it's just starting to incorporate CliftonStrengths. So what are some goals you have for the next 6 months? How do you see your talent themes supporting you with those goals? Another one is to help employees envision how to use CliftonStrengths, just in their day to day. So what is it that you're doing? What is it that you're doing today? How do you see your strengths play out? Or what we like to call "talent in action"; you're starting to spot the talent in action, and you're calling that out to an individual. Last would be having some conversations with employees and teams about how they can work together with their, with their strengths. How do we pair well, how do we start to have these partnerships?

Having Regular Workplace Discussions About Strengths

Jim Collison 6:25
As you talk about those relationships, I think about an article we just published on, about having a Best Friend at Work and some of the benefits. And you know, this is a, this is a question we get, you know, it's Q10 on our Q12® assessment survey, engagement survey. And we get a lot of questions all the time about, like, how valuable -- you know, it gets a lot of pushback. Like, and it starts a conversation about relationships in the workplace, and how those, how important those are and the value of having stronger relationships. I think for, for people who push back on that Best Friend -- those two words, "Best Friend," you might add in, in, in this, in the topic, as we're talking, "stronger relationships." Right, now, "Best Friend" in the context of the Q12 has been tested. And so we're gonna stay, we're gonna stay with that wording, because it works. Right? It works. Scientifically, it works.

Jim Collison 7:24
But in this context, thinking about inclusion and stronger, and building stronger relationships, let's go back a little bit and talk a little bit more. We, when we think about building stronger relationships and having regular discussions about strengths, Jaclynn, How can we help people -- like today, they're like, yeah, how do I do that? So let's think, from a leadership perspective, because I think this is where it needs to come from. How does a leader think about having more or having regular discussions about strengths?

Jaclynn Robinson 7:56
Ooh, well, first thing that comes to mind for me is just already thinking about standing meetings or preexisting conversations where they can bake in CliftonStrengths. Because the first thing that tends to come to leaders' minds, and those of, those of you listening in also know is, "I don't know if I have time. It sounds like I'm adding something new to my plate." So it's starting to say, Where are you already having touch-bases with employees and teams? And let's look at those specific meetings and conversations to start to incorporate CliftonStrengths. And we'll get into those 5 questions momentarily too about just some conversation starters that get people noodling on strengths. But that would be first. And then leaders set the culture for the organization, and so helping them see the power of strengths is a wise move.

Jaclynn Robinson 8:47
And it might be having all the leaders take their own talent themes and then have a team blend session, if you're a strengths coach, to help them think about how they can work more effectively together. As they think about their strategic goals for the year, How can they aim their talent themes at it? When they've had some hiccups or bottlenecks along the way, or some obstacles occurred, where have their themes maybe been at play? And how can they use their themes now with more intention to get over those bottlenecks? And so helping them sort through how strengths can be really effective, that's going to get them just naturally excited to start encouraging managers to do this with their own teams. And they'll do it with managers, and we know managers are really burned out right now. They need to have friends; they need Best Friends, Q10.

Jim Collison 9:40
Managers of managers need that support as well, in coming together. I think of, you know, we talk about having regular discussions about strengths, and I think about the, the 5 Coaching Conversations framework, which we've put out. If you want more information on that, literally just Google®, or search, "Gallup 5 conversations." We've done webcasts around these; we have all kinds of documents out there for you to read. But the 5 different conversations is a framework to get managers doing different, having these different kinds of conversations; being intentional about what they're doing in them. And I don't, I actually think, you know, we have this idea, I think the one that gets referenced the most is this idea of a Quick Connect. How do we get together very quickly, have a quick discussion and then move forward?

Jim Collison 10:28
Jaclynn, I've used that in a lot of, I've put it as a meeting title -- Quick Connect -- setting up the expectation that, hey, it's not going to be a long meeting. We're just going to get together, get it done, and move on. And yet there are opportunities to have longer meetings at times of setting a structure or getting some work done. In those, in the context of those, I think it's always important that we bring up our own strengths in those; that we have some intentional conversation in it to say, Oh, no -- I think in the preshow, just you and I talking, that probably comes up every single time, you know, a theme comes out of sort, or you'll hear me say something and say, Oh, that must be your -- whatever, right? You know, and so taking advantage of those opportunities to get to know someone with these regular discussions, I think is important. Anything else you want to add? I want to, I want to move on to goal-setting for a second, but anything you want to add to that?

Jaclynn Robinson 11:31
I would, I would add that what you're bringing up is powerful and valuable. And so we know having one meaningful conversation a week, which frequently is just that Quick Connect 5- to 10-minute conversation can amplify engagement and wellbeing. But it sparks inclusiveness as well, because we would deem meaningful as frequent, timely and individualized. So you're really seeing that person for who they are. And you're asking a question with intention, as opposed to just saying, "Hey, how are you?" and then walking away. So I think that's a valid point that you bring up?

Inclusive Goal-Setting

Jim Collison 12:07
Yeah, no, super important. Andrea had asked, Can you, can you please share some examples of, of goals based on strengths? No. 2 is -- in this framework is setting goals based on strengths. Certainly, we have done a bunch of work, if you go to and search "goal setting," setting goals. We've done some webcasts on it, we've done some. So there's some, there's some more information out there in posts, but in the context of inclusion, as we think about goal setting, Jaclynn, what, what more would you say about that?

Jaclynn Robinson 12:41
Ooh, it's, so what I'm thinking about, I'm automatically leaping to one of the questions we have later today that's about goals. But it's, it's including people in your goal as well. So it's managers, you know, and employees coming together -- well, and I'll give a different example, one that I saw through COVID; it was a wellbeing goal. Because the team was looking for ways that they could actively still be together. So check that box on Q10, "I have a best friend at work." They felt kind of isolated. And so for them, they set a team goal where everyone was included, and they asked, "What do we want to do for our wellbeing this week?" So that particular team came up with the idea to do tennis, because they could be outdoors and still be 6 feet away. The next week, they had an idea to do yoga.

Jaclynn Robinson 13:33
And so that's that idea of inclusiveness, but from a team dynamic of, let me ask the team, What are some goals we have? Maybe that goal is wellbeing; maybe that goal is towards a genuine team performance goal. But getting everyone's thoughts and ideas and then coming together to say, OK, out of all the ideas we throw on the wall, so to speak, what do we want to take and run with? So everyone feels seen, heard and valued. So that's one way that I think about even setting goals based on strengths. And then how do you see your talent themes playing out? And that might be that follow-up question with each person.

Strengths as a Common Framework

Jim Collison 14:08
Yeah, there's a good conversation going on in chat. And I'm going to lump these -- the, idea 3 and idea 4, right, Helping employees envision how they use their strengths every day, and then Using strengths to build productive relationships together -- into this, this idea. Tamara asks this question -- that's the wrong one. Let's see. Nope, that's not the one I wanted either. Sorry about that. Did I have the right one first? Yeah. If there's a single language -- and for a second, I want to focus on that word "language" -- who gets to decide, right? And I've actually, what, so when we say strengths provides a single language, I've actually not used the word "language"; I use the term "framework." Because as I've done podcasts or webcasts now for strengths in 7 different languages -- literal languages that we're, they're talking about their -- building the bridge and the gap to those, as we think about relationships, and then using a translator and actually a translation tool, like we're using today; we have the translator turned on. I wanted to make sure, although, now that I said that, I muted that at first so that, because you and I were talking, and now I need to turn that back on. So that's a good, there we go. That's a good, that's a good reminder of inclusion, because sometimes, and I added the, see the, you can see the translator in the video right now, so we'll remove it.

Jaclynn Robinson 15:31
The translator's been included.

Jim Collison 15:33
It has, yeah, we have included the translator. Well, sometimes it's a good metaphor to, sometimes we intend to include others in, in the process. But then we get started and we get distracted, and we don't, right, it doesn't get started in that way; it doesn't get done. When we, when we think about a single language, the reason I like to use the word "framework" is because all languages have this, these individual concepts in them. And you translate so beautifully, although, even within the language, there are multiple interpretations, let's call it that, of what that theme means or the way it works or the way it responds.

Jim Collison 16:14
So I guess I want to encourage, when we think about this, of using and we've had a lot of term-changing over the last 5 years, as we think about changing terms over, of thinking of it more like a framework. And then languages plug into that framework, the idea that we have these representation of these talents that roll up into these themes. And these themes have value from a success factor. And we call them different things. So maybe strike "language" from the, as we understand the term "language," maybe in some other, in some other languages or cultures, that "language" means something different. I like to use "framework"; Jaclynn, what do you want to add to that?

Jaclynn Robinson 16:54
Yes, and I would strike "single" and use "common"; a common language based on that culture. One thing that I appreciated about strengths was, to your point with translations, Gallup was really careful not just to say, Oh, OK, we know what Achiever means in America. So let's use that that exact same definition when we're translating this in Spain or in Germany or in Puerto Rico, or etc. So it was more, what's the underbelly? What, what's our intention behind that word? And let's choose a word in that respective language that means that. And so it's, it's connecting more to the lived experience and that actual meaning of the word, versus just kind of copying and pasting a word in Google Translate, so to speak. So that's one thing, you just bring up a good point. So I think we could use "framework," and then I like "common language," too, because it is more applicable to, we're deriving the meaning from it, per each country or language that we've translated.

Jim Collison 17:58
We have some details on these 4 different areas that we've been talking about. I'm gonna put a link in the chat room right now. If you, afterwards, you want to go, there's some more information -- a very, I think a very helpful article to look at that we've kind of based this first half of the conversation on. And, you know, it's interesting, I was having a conversation -- who was I talking to? -- just this morning, I was making my way into the cafeteria to grab a little bit of coffee. And I think I was talking about the session we were having, and I said, "You know, even for me in English," -- oh, we were talking about translations. I was talking with Angela Davenport about translations. And I said, you know, "Woo in English is not, I would not have chosen that term," even though I, everybody knows, if you've listened to Theme Thursday, Woo is my favorite. Right? We talk about that all the time. I would not have chosen that. I don't think that's necessarily the greatest way of characterizing that. We hear that in all the different languages, people come and say, "Oh, that wasn't a good translation of this," or "Oh, that wasn't a good translation of that."

Jim Collison 18:59
And even in English, we have some moments where we go, yeah, I'm not sure I would have kept it that way. I think it's our place to then retranslate that again, in the current space and culture and context, right, of where we're at, to say, OK, what's the concept behind it? Where, and, and how does that concept fit into the individual? If we're really talking about inclusion, if I'm out talking with college students, their, their life experience has been completely different. Think about these college students that have gone to college through COVID, right, completely different college experience. And it's my job then to help them see these themes through their own experience. I think sometimes those strengths we become too, too, we become truth tellers. Right? We start telling people how these things fit, instead of letting that come out from them, right? Yes. Including them in the definition of these -- these themes don't define us; we define them. Right. Anything else you want to add to that?

Jaclynn Robinson 20:06
No. I would say that goes right back to themes aren't labels, and it was just a perfect example of it. It's a framework that we can use to better understand what might give someone energy and motivate them. But we can't forget the person behind it, and what they're bringing to the table -- their own personality and value system and interests and hobbies, etc. So I love that you said that, because we, I think we continuously, continuously have to go back to them to say, "What does this mean to you? How does this show up for you?"

Jim Collison 20:35
Yeah, and I don't think we're inclusive when we try to tell them the way it works for them. Oh, no, no, no, no. I've actually heard this in conversation. Someone will say something. And then it's like, "No, no, no, that's not the way it is for you." And you're like, you know, and so I think that's -- right?

Jaclynn Robinson 20:54
Don't label me! Let me have my lived experience.

5 Inclusion Questions:
1. What activities at work lead you to feel most connected to your own values?

Jim Collison 20:56
Exactly. And there's a fine line in between, in coaching and when we're trying to help people, of trying to help them understand the ideas and the concepts. But I think inclusion becomes a very, is a very important concept in the early days of learning what these themes mean. If we begin to narrow them in to just our understanding of them, I think we're not being inclusive in that, in that space. And I know it means a lot of other things in different areas. But I think it starts there. We've got some questions to create inclusion, and this is the area we want you in the chat room, if you're listening live, or if you're listening after the fact on YouTube, you can put them in the comments down below. We won't get the opportunity to do it in real time, but we love questions or successful questions you've used in some of the things you've done to help create inclusion, either in individuals or on teams or in group settings. But, but Jaclynn, let's, we've got a few to kind of prime the pump. If you've got questions, throw them in chat, and we'll bring them up here in just a second. We have 5 questions. Why don't we start with question No. 1?

Jaclynn Robinson 21:59
OK, question No. 1 is, "What activities at work lead you to feel most connected to your own values?" Let's remember how important mission and purpose is to generations, especially younger generations, right now. And so asking them that question is going to get, get at the heart of what drives and motivates them. When do they feel most connected? And how can you find more opportunities to connect what it is they love and do well with their, their value system in the workplace?

Jim Collison 22:30
Values, and values is an interesting -- and we won't spend a bunch of time on this, because we've talked about in other areas -- but wow, that value opens up another, almost like another dimension of, with our strengths, and then here are the things we value. And it's such a cultural question, right? Because different cultures have different shared values. And then those values break, kind of based on, on, on maybe the time at which they were raised in that culture. And so I love that idea of What, what, yeah, most connected to in your, with your own values? I think is a question where we have to ask and then listen, right? Anything else on that?

Jaclynn Robinson 23:19

5 Inclusion Questions:
2. What strengths of yours would you like to contribute to the team?

Jim Collison 23:20
No. 2.

Jaclynn Robinson 23:20
I won't muddle it. "What strengths of yours would you like to contribute to the team?" So again, going back to themes aren't labels, you might recognize someone on the team as Ideation, and they're the only person with it. Now everyone wants to flood them every time they need to think outside of the box or overcome a challenge. Maybe that person doesn't want to use Ideation for every single thing. So this is really someone's opportunity to raise their hand on the team, or in that one-on-one conversation with their manager or a partner to say, "This is what I want to bring to the table. This is where I think I can offer the most value."

Jim Collison 23:59
Yeah, I love, I love that idea of, Where do you think you can contribute the most? This is, when we do team formation exercises in some of the classes I lead with college students, I really get them thinking about, here's the tasks, the roles that we have to have. Where do you provide the most value, based on what you've done in the past where you've had success? Where do you want to add value? I think the earlier we ask that question, the better. Like in the conversation about team formations, that, that would be my No. 1 question. Like how do we, where do you want to contribute? It's inclusive, in the sense that it then allows them to have some impact on that. And listen, listen, not all organizations can do this, right? Not every situation will allow for that. But I love to keep that kind of in mind. Anything else you want to add?

Jaclynn Robinson 24:52
No, I love that! But even if an organization has specific responsibilities that that role must carry out, they can use their strengths within that. And so it's, What strengths do I feel will bring the most to these responsibilities that I hold? So I think it always gives someone a, a say in how they want to show up to the workplace.

5 Inclusion Questions:
3. Where would you like support from the team?

Jim Collison 25:12
Yeah. Awesome. OK, No. 3.

Jaclynn Robinson 25:15
All right, No. 3: "Where would you like support from the team?" So this could be something that the person doesn't enjoy. Maybe they're not as connected to it as other people; maybe they don't see how it connects to the company's values, or they just struggle with it. So this question, "Where would you like support from the team?" is having the individuals now step in, understand and appreciate where they're coming from, where they're having challenges and say, "I'm here for you."

Jim Collison 25:46
Two and three are really What I bring, and What I need, right? If we break it down, if you're having trouble, like, you're like, I can't write these questions down fast enough! Well, one, they're in chat; two, Mark will make them available in the transcript, once we've, we've transcribed this. But, but three, it's really What I bring -- Question 2; Question 3, What I need. How can, you know what, what can the team, you know, what, Here's what I need from the team to have that, to be successful. Honestly, for me, this has been an area I've been more vocal on in the last 2 years, than any, at any time on my life -- going in and saying, "You know what? For me to be successful, I'm going to need these things from you." And just being really -- it's, it's not easy. That is not, I don't think it's easy, cause you feel vulnerable, right?

Jaclynn Robinson 26:37
It's a good point. And based on our research, only two in five people would give a 5 out of 5 that they feel they're able to use their strengths in the workplace. But of those two that can use their strengths, they're 4 times as likely to say that other people understand and appreciate them. So it's, it's, that actually is a great area of opportunity that we take for granted is understanding what people bring and what support they need. The way that that just starts to, again, amplify inclusion in the workplace -- now I feel seen, heard and valued for who I am and what I need.

5 Inclusion Questions:
4. What type of powerful partner would be beneficial to you?

Jim Collison 27:13
Awesome. Let's go on. Let's go on to No. 4.

Jaclynn Robinson 27:16
All right. "What type of powerful partner would be beneficial to you?" I'm a sucker for powerful partners. I love them so much. But now we're getting this person to extend their eyes and ears, so to speak, into the workplace to recognize the values and talents of other people and to pull them in to their partnership.

Jim Collison 27:38
Listen, I've made a living off of powerful partnerships. Like, that's, this is, this is what we do. Like, this is what we do, and creating the, creating a space for people to come and be successful to really pull the -- I don't know any of this stuff. I need to depend on others, right, to bring the content, to provide the value. It's my job to tease it out of them, to ask them good questions. Sure, I've learned in the process, right. But yeah, what, what type of powerful partnerships -- this may go back to even that, that Q10 idea of having a Best Friend at Work. Imagine how powerful that is when that Power of 2 begins to work, and those relationships begin to deepen. So I love that. I don't, I don't want folks to miss that. Because it's, this is a very intentional order. These 5 questions, as we think, you know, thinking about yourself, thinking about how you contribute, thinking about what you need, what do, you know, and then thinking about, How can I then now partner in this, right? And then I love this last one. Let's do No. 5.

5 Inclusion Questions:
5. What is a goal you have personally or professionally that we can support you with as cheerleaders and champions?

Jaclynn Robinson 28:41
Yes. No. 5: "What is the goal you have personally or professionally that we can support you with as cheerleaders and champions?"

Jim Collison 28:50
And "cheerleaders" may be a U.S. -- right, a U.S., a U.S.-centric idea from that, but --

Jaclynn Robinson 28:57
"As fans" might be another one that we could use too. And of course, you can frame it up in a way that really resonates and lands with your team and personality. But Where can we, where can we cheer you on? Where can we be or how can we be your biggest fan? Yeah, what else were you gonna say about that? Because I don't want to cut you off.

Jim Collison 29:18
Yeah, no, sorry, no, I maybe butted in on that one. But, so I apologize for that. But as we think about this idea of support, right, in that, How important is the recognition cycle in this? In other words, getting people to recognize each other for the value that's brought in the relationship?

Jaclynn Robinson 29:39
Oh, big. If they're able to share with the team or their partners what goals they have personally or professionally, and they're doing those 5-minute Check-Ins, because that's not just a manager's responsibility, but other people on the team can be checking in with each other 5 minutes a week to say, "How is your goal going?" And one step further, you almost naturally want to recognize that person and say, "Great job!" You're their accountability partner as well. So you feel like people value, not just what you're doing in the workplace, but if you're talking about something personal, they value who you are and the hobbies and interests that you have.

Jaclynn Robinson 30:22
But even going back to the Best Friend at Work statement item, if you hear what someone's personal goals might be, that might spark something in you. You're like, "Oh, I didn't know you liked that." And now you start to have, you know, some common ground where you can continue to discuss personal hobbies and interests with each other. Maybe you do that outside of the workplace. You have some people that might run a race as an example. It's like, "Oh, I didn't know you run. Let's sign up for a race together!" And now you've got these best friends that are running outside of the workplace. So I just I like that for so many reasons. But I think it's great for recognition. It's great for deepening partnerships.

Jim Collison 31:03
The, the story, we've told this before, but for others who haven't listened, you know, the very first time I met Maika personally was at a half-marathon that she was, she wanted to complete it in under 2 hours. And I was like, Oh, I -- and we knew each other, of each other. But we had -- and, and she's like, "I want to get under 2 hours." I'm like, "I can help you; like I can run 2 hours every time," right. And, and so I think that's a simple way of, I mean, certainly some of our goals are much more complicated. Or are they? I mean, in this sense, this was an event I'd been training for, for a long time. I knew I had the ability to get her in at that time. She needed help doing it. I said, "Just stay, stay close," right?

Building Trust

Jim Collison 31:46
How often in the, in the work setting or even in the home or family setting, do we know how to get it done? And can say, "Come with me; I'll help you get the conclusion of this." And then celebrate that. We celebrated at the end. And, and we celebrate it today by telling this story. I think it's a great way, as we think about these powerful partnerships, right. That cemented -- when I started working with her on Theme Thursday, then, we'd had that shared experience, right? That trust. And I think that's the, that's what all this, that's what all this develops is trust. Right? Trust. I can trust you because you made me successful at this point in time; you'll continue to do so, right. Anything you want to add to that?

Jaclynn Robinson 32:34
I think that's spot on. And then when you have trust, if it comes to a more critical conversation or something related to quality or intent, you feel that you have a safe space to be able to share that with that other person. And that's so hard to do without trust. And so even when we're looking at diversity and inclusion statement items on our Q12 engagement survey, if the trust isn't there, and we have some questions that signify that, it tends to be that those D, E and I questions are also lower. So first and foremost is trust, and what a great way to start to build it -- with understanding and appreciating the strengths someone has; the values and hobbies they have; how those correlate together and interconnect and just expand your relationship.

Jim Collison 33:23
I want to, we want to take some questions from the chat. By the way, if you put one of those questions in, do it again for me, and put a "Q" by it, so I know. We're looking for questions that you use that, that you use in support of inclusion in the teams that you're working with. Just do it again for me, because there's been a lot of water under the bridge since I asked that question in the first time. Jaclynn, Lisa asks, Are these questions published somewhere? Or are we the first to see them? And they'll be published in the show notes for this episode, but are they published anywhere?

Jaclynn Robinson 33:54
No, you all are the first to lay eyes on them.

The Importance of Listening Well

Jim Collison 33:58
We put them in chat. So I put each, so if you're listening to the audio, just look over the -- on YouTube -- chat room, they're over there. I put them out there for you. Again, we'll include them in the show notes, be available for you; it's a framework. We go through it, like, and write those down. We'll make those available for you that way. I think, Lisa says, has one more comment. She says, I'd add all to this -- intentionally very verbal. How we listen is, is, is at least as important, right? And make sure that we reflect on what strengths we use to hear things outside of our assumptions and this idea of listening, right. You want to, you want to respond to that, Jaclynn?

Jaclynn Robinson 34:36
Yeah, I'm just so glad that that was brought up. Because it's one thing to ask a question. But if you were asking the question just so you can talk over it right after, then we're not really doing the work. And so outside of asking that question, the next most-powerful piece is to listen to what's being said, which might drive you to a follow-up question that's entirely different than where you thought the conversation was going as well. So I just think global listening is so, so valuable.

Jim Collison 35:05
Wednesday, last Wednesday, we were doing -- Wednesday-Thursday, it was Thursday in Australia -- we had Joe Hart on Called to Coach. He's a, he was a former Gallup employee and, and now wrote a book. He was, he was talking about something, and, and I was listening. But then he, he said, the way he said this word, and you'll have to go back when we publish the podcast and listen to it. There was a magical moment where he said a word differently than all the other words in the sentence that he had said, right? And it just, all of a sudden, I realized that's important. It was important because he changed his cadence. It was important because he tweaked that word just a little bit. And I think sometimes that's a signpost. That's an indicator, like, someone is like, anytime we air quote anything, right? And see, I just did that I air quoted "air quotes," right? My cadence changed; the way I said it changed.

Jim Collison 36:03
I think we need to be listening in the conversation for those kinds of changes, and not let them slide by. Say, "Why did you" -- in the in the interview, I said, "Why'd you say it that way?" You know, just let them, and then just let them talk. You'll have to go back and listen to the interview. I'm teasing the interview. It's in the live channel right now -- Joe Hart, if you want to go see it. It was super fun.

Other Questions, Observations That Can Foster Inclusion

Jim Collison 36:27
All right, we got some things coming in. I want to make sure we, we are inclusive and get to them. Ken says, I always start every workshop with, What name do you like to be called by? That's a, that's a Don Clifton bedrock, right. What do you prefer to be, to call by? And I think now too, bringing in, What are your preferred pronouns, right? That, it becomes a very important element to what we're doing. And this is, this, Ken, this one sounds like something my mom would ask, "Where did you grow up?" That was her favorite question to get to know people. Like, tell me about where you grew up. And everybody has an answer to that, I think. I think everybody does. And then he says, What type, what type of recognition do you like? We would ask this as a manager; I would ask this for those that I manage, public or private -- bonus, What's the best recognition you've ever received? And that's, that is just a slam dunk.

Jaclynn Robinson 37:25
That's a gem.

Jim Collison 37:27
Yeah, that is a slam dunk. Anything else? Anything you would add to Ken's questions there?

Jaclynn Robinson 37:32
No. Well done. That bonus unpacks so much for managers and teams.

Jim Collison 37:38
Justin says, For workshop and teams, before I get going, after the briefest introductions, I seek to include by asking, What are your initial thoughts? And then I refer back to that to help and guide me. Like that.

Jaclynn Robinson 37:53

Jim Collison 37:54
I love jotting some of those things. You know, a question I'll ask students a lot is, What's your expectation today? Like early.

Jaclynn Robinson 38:03
Yes, yes.

Jim Collison 38:05
Like what are you expecting from me today? What would you, or what would you like to learn from me today? It's, gets some kind of, kind of gets the brain -- that way, they think I'm involved early. Write those, I write those on a board if I can or jot them down so that I'm accountable to those, to those questions. Anything, Jaclynn, anything you, when you're, when you're teaching, or you're doing that framework, and you do a lot of things where you're, you're new to the group, you're new to the group, you might be going, what do you do? Or what are some, any thoughts on getting people included?

Jaclynn Robinson 38:39
I love everything that was just brought up. And then it's my Positivity theme, I know a question I'll ask is, What are you excited for this week? And all of a sudden, you'll start hearing about anniversaries and birthdays or a new position and promotion; kids are back in school. But as a team, they might not ever be asking themselves that question, and they're starting to hear little pockets of personal or professional enthusiasm, and they congratulate each other. So it goes back to that recognition piece that you had mentioned. Whenever you ask about someone's interests or hobbies or goals, does that support recognition? And that question just naturally brings it up. What are you excited about this week? And it's like Oh, well, it's our 20th anniversary. You got the claps or the emojis on the Zoom, if you're on Zoom. So then it's just a full-on celebration. And I've had one person say, Hey, because we're in the session, I wasn't able to do anything for my employee. It's their 20-year; would you mind finding a place just to bring that up in the room? And so then we celebrate as a room. So that's one of my favorites.

Jim Collison 39:47
Tamara, and this is a good point. I, I kind of thought as we were thinking that, she says, Trauma-informed practice makes "Where are you from?" questions tricky, and that's true. Like it may, it may be, right, if, if the respondent connects to stories of harm at home or, yeah, absence of, of secure home space, absolutely tricky, tricky. I admittedly one time -- Nah, I probably shouldn't tell a story. So it, it violates the privacy of some of my kids, so I will not tell that story. But I think there's a, that we, we need to be aware of that as well. Continue to hone those. Other questions, as we think out there -- what other questions have you used, have you been, have you found successful? Or other, other things you've done for inclusion in, in this, with, with strengths and inclusion? Jaclynn, as I'm waiting for maybe one or two more of those to pop in, any, any other thoughts from you on this?

Jaclynn Robinson 40:59
Not necessarily from a strengths perspective. Oh, actually, you know, one that comes to mind, we're talking a lot about just individuals, and when we say "teams," it feels like we're speaking more of their intact team that they work with frequently. But there might be other teams that are in different departments or different countries and locations that they also work with. As we think about questions that we're asking, this is where having a collective team meeting with the team that is maybe in a different country or location, and the, the team that they work with day and day, those are just great opportunities for them to connect together.

Jaclynn Robinson 41:38
Kind of mixing up my words here, but I think that's valuable. And I've seen that a lot just over the last couple of years, where quality control or trust might start to dissipate if teams that you work closely with, you're not having those deepening communications. Where are your strengths? Where do you need support? From one team to another, we could be asking these questions to build better relationships and connections and bridges. Sometimes if you've got someone that's just, you've got teams that are based in the U.S., a team that might be based in a different country might feel excluded. So how do we bring them in? How are we making sure that we're scheduling meetings during, OK, well, I guess now I'm getting out of strengths a little bit, but how are we scheduling meetings that they can also attend, etc., etc.?

Jim Collison 42:27
Justin says, From a practical perspective, I love mixing people up if I'm with groups -- not necessarily at the beginning, depending on cultural sensitivities, but certainly at various points after trust is built. And I, I have an advantage when I'm working with students of mixing them up right away, to get them -- especially, you know, we do that Strengths Discovery. We have them read through the Insight Report. They get their No. 1, they pull things out of it. And then I just immediately pair them up. They're talking about their No. 1 theme. They're generally pretty good at it. And so that gets them talking about some success things early in that. And so that's a pretty great way to get things kind of rolling. And certainly, like, this is where you got to, I think sometimes you got to engage your brain and not just do the same things. You got to kind of think through. At least for me, inclusiveness requires me carefully thinking about things before I do them, which I'm not typically good at, because Arranger-Maximizer, move forward fast, and oftentimes need some help. And then, don't, don't forget about inclusion from a remote versus in-person. We're back to that again, where you have a whole bunch of people in a room and a few people who are remote. And that's a terrible, that's terrible. You've got to be intentional about bringing those remote people in, right.

Jaclynn Robinson 43:46
And that's where CliftonStrengths comes in handy. So I think you just connected the dots much better than I did in my example. But how are their, how do their talent themes play out? If they have Woo, and they're working remote, are you going to have more of this Quick Connect conversations with them so that they can feel included in a part of the team if you're on site?

Jim Collison 44:07
Ken says, Because we meet remotely, we no longer have a group picture, right, voluntary group picture. I ask for everyone to share a picture of themselves or a pet or a scenic pic they took. Amazing group collages from this. Great way to do that. That's a good question. Brea says, What do you wish I or we understand about you? Not appropriate in every circumstance, but very powerful in the right situation. I think, I think we all know, if you've asked enough questions of people long enough you're gonna come, you're gonna stumble across a speed bump that you have to say, "You know, I'm very sorry I asked that question that way," and apologize and move on, right, with that. And, and we can't know everything; we can certainly try, though, to understand to the best.

Jim Collison 44:51
What do you get paid to do? These are questions -- and then Heather says, What do you get paid to do? Love this because everyone has an, has an answer, and people now have connection in other departments. Or you can say, What's your responsibilities here? What do you get paid to do or What's your responsibilities here? What's your proudest accomplishment? This, Brea, comes back to best recognition. Yeah, I think some great, some great tips on this. Yeah. Jaclynn, we're at time. Wrap it up for me. Final thoughts on this? This is, this is everything I was hoping for. And I'm sure we missed some things. But any final thoughts?

Jaclynn Robinson 45:31
So just tying everything up with a bow, the reason that we think through CliftonStrengths as just an entry point for building inclusion and belongingness in the workplace is because it is just a safe language, so to speak. It's a safe framework -- we'll go back to that term -- that managers and employees and leaders can all employ. So a lot of organizations now are hiring a Chief People Officer or Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. And they're going to be there to really help maybe change the framework or hiring, etc. But when everyone's looking for their own opportunities to kind of take up that space and be inclusive, I think CliftonStrengths is just such a great point of doing that, because it is opening up the door to understand and appreciate your strengths, but also the strengths of other people. And certainly in our research, going back to that once more, we do see that people will respond positively with strengths in the workplace, to say, It does feel like there's more inclusion and belongingness because I feel seen, heard and valued for who I am. So we hope that these 5 questions plus all the questions in the chat box will help you and any managers and/or teams that you're working on or with.

Jim Collison 46:52
Think that's a good way. I think it's good, and by the way, there'll never be a perfect, you'll never get this perfect. I think this is, inclusion is always a, I think is always a work in progress. And when we think we have it is the time we exclude. You know, that is the, this, it's always been the experience for me. Oh, I got this. And then I get there, and somebody's like, Well -- and you're like, Yeah, I'd stopped thinking about it. Right. I stopped thinking about being intentional about inclusion; about making sure everyone's got that, got those opportunities; everyone's being heard. So I think we just always have to be thinking about it. And we're never going to get it 100% right. But we got to be striving towards it. And maybe that's, maybe that's just life. Well, Jaclynn, always great to be with you. Always great to be back, and great to have a super strong chat room as well. And thank you for your, your comments, your questions and comments in there as well.

Jim Collison 47:49
I think that that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we have available in Gallup Access. If you haven't checked it out in a while, you might want to come, come back: For coaching, master coaching or if you want to become a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, you can send us an email: will get us set up with that. Stay up to date -- I mentioned this earlier -- stay up to date with all the future podcasts including, yes, Season 2 CliftonStrengths Podcast, the two of us. More details on that yet to come. It'll be, we'll be recording those live here towards the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 and make those available in early 2023 as a podcast. Follow us on Eventbrite: You should be doing that anyways. Just follow us over there. Create an account, follow us. Find us on Facebook: -- or on LinkedIn, on our LinkedIn page, just search "CliftonStrengths," and you'll see a page out there. 26,000 of you have already done that, and we'd love to have all of you -- speaking of inclusion -- we'd love to have all of you as part of that page. And so jump in there, if you want, on LinkedIn as well. Thanks for listening with us today. We won't do any postshow today because we did a big preshow. If you're listening to the podcast of this, and you want to hear that preshow, head out to our Gallup Webcasts Live page on YouTube. And all the live shows are there. You can see every single one, just as we make them, no edits. Some of you really like that. Maybe you want to join us on that, to be included in that conversation as well. Thanks for coming out today. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

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

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