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Called to Coach
Intellection®: Developing Your Leadership Skills
Called to Coach

Intellection®: Developing Your Leadership Skills

Webcast Details

  • Gallup CliftonStrengths Podcast, Season 2: Intellection
  • What is the power of Intellection in a leadership role?
  • How could Intellection help or hinder you in leading others?

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


Explore Gallup's CliftonStrengths® for Leaders Report and discover its ability to help you maximize the impact of your -- and others' -- unique leadership talents and strengths, in this Season 2 episode of The CliftonStrengths Podcast. Join Jim Collison and Dr. Jaclynn Robinson as they discuss the Intellection® theme, its power in a leadership role, how it can help or hinder you as you lead others, and how you can leverage it with the CliftonStrengths for Managers and CliftonStrengths for Sales Reports. Unlock the leadership potential of your Intellection talent -- because everyone leads something.


A leader with this theme is just not one to make rash decisions. So the value they offer is they take time to process and weigh information and/or different perspectives before taking action.

Jaclynn Robinson, 1:16

Someone high in Intellection [needs to make] sure they have the time to muse.

Jaclynn Robinson, 3:12

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is The CliftonStrengths Podcast, Season 2, recorded on November 14, 2022.

Jim Collison 0:19
In this CliftonStrengths Podcast series, we'll look at the CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report one theme at a time, and today's theme is Intellection. If you're listening live, love to have you join us in our chat room. If you don't see it, there's a link to it right above me there that'll take you to it. Or if you have questions after the fact, you can send us an email: Dr. Jaclynn Robinson is our host today. She works as a Gallup Learning and Development Consultant and joined me for Season 1 of The CliftonStrengths Podcast, where we looked at Wellbeing at Work for each theme. And Jaclynn, always great to see you. Welcome back!

Jaclynn Robinson 0:49
Thank you, sir. Let's do this!

Introducing Intellection

Jim Collison 0:52
We are diving into Intellection. Let's get started. What is Intellection?

Jaclynn Robinson 0:57
Intellection is characterized by your intellectual activity. So you're introspective and appreciate intellectual discussion if this is you.

What Is the Power of Intellection in a Leadership Role?

Jim Collison 1:06
And we've been -- we're going to spend a lot of time this season talking about leadership. So the power of this theme in a leadership role is what?

Jaclynn Robinson 1:14
Ooh, well, a leader with this theme is just not one to make rash decisions. So the value they offer is they take time to process and weigh information and/or different perspectives before taking action.

How Can Those With Intellection Lead Others?

Jim Collison 1:28
I like the, what I heard in that, there's, in previous seasons of Theme Thursday, we talked a little bit about how it sorts. And I like, I think, I think this theme has got that sorting kind of quality. As we think about how that theme could lead others, and maybe even too in the context of, of sorting and the benefit of that, How could this theme be used to lead others?

Jaclynn Robinson 1:53
Well, it's, it's, when you have a leader with this theme, they encourage opportunities to be more introspective, and they likely create space, I think, in a meeting for reflection or deeper discussions to occur. And as a result, it gives team members more confidence in that decision-making process. To your point, even with sorting, they could use that meeting as an opportunity to really sort through the different ideas or strategies that they have, versus just, you know, moving to action on one of those.

Jim Collison 2:25
For the, for the benefit of some, we think, with Intellection, the ability or we might want to give them time -- whether this could be the leaders themselves or leaders with followers -- long stretches of time where they can simply muse. And I love that word "muse," right? Because it, it kind of, it, for me at least, it conjures up these thoughts of just long, connected thoughts of, of working through things. I have moments like that. But they, they're not very often, and they're not always productive. But I do enjoy that. What do you think about that -- thinking about these moments of musing, where folks are just given time to think?

Jaclynn Robinson 3:09
I, I love it. And I think it's a need for sure for someone high in Intellection is making sure they have the time to muse. I call it "the quiet time" or "the think time," because that's how they're going to process so much information and the strategies that they might have as a leader or the people they need to develop as a leader. That think time is where the work is being produced, oftentimes.

Jim Collison 3:32
Yeah. And I think sometimes, it's needed for clarity, right? It's needed for, for confidence in that decision. I need to spend some time thinking through this to gain that confidence that I have -- maybe, maybe separated or that, that, that might sound a lot like Deliberative in some regards, right. But this thinking through processes, spending time doing that. Very, very valued. I've had some friends that I know are high in this, and I can give them an idea. And I'll say, "I'll follow up with you in a couple of days." Like I intentionally, Hey, just think about this for me. Like, and not right now. I don't want an answer now, which I think may be better for them in some regards. Not looking for you to answer this right now. But go spend some time musing on this. And -- that's not what I say, because those aren't my words. But --

Jaclynn Robinson 4:25
I'm like, Jim, who are you? That's a great callout.

Jim Collison 4:29
Do you think -- yeah, it's super helpful. And then they'll come back a couple days later and be like, Hey, I thought this through. It's so much -- because I can't. I mean, I thought about it for 5 minutes. That's 5, that's 4 minutes more than I normally would. So just being transparent there. What about, as they think about, with high Intellection and, and working on their own strengths, what, what do you think we could throw at them that would help them really dig into that and think about it -- their own strengths?

Jaclynn Robinson 4:54
Oh gosh. Using their own strengths? Are we, are we thinking theme dynamics here? What do you want to throw at me?

Jim Collison 4:59
Yeah, maybe, well, maybe in that sense, or just spending time working through what kind of, like, resources may be really available or, or beneficial for them, right, in thinking about this?

Jaclynn Robinson 5:11
And even having, I've noticed, leaders with high Intellection, if they have a coach or a thought partner where they can think about what it is that they might need to, you know, where they need to pull resources, or what conversation they want to have with another leader, all of that just helps them, I think, muse on the action that they want to take or the conversation they want to take. So oftentimes, I've found that really helpful in coaching leaders. And going back to your point about confidence, then it boosts confidence, because they've had time to think it out personally, and then they can bounce it off someone that's a trusted confidant for them, whether it's a fellow leader or a coach. So by the time they make that decision, it's, it's led with confidence.

Jim Collison 5:55
Yeah, yeah, I love that. I love, I love it when those who are leading have high Intellection. Because I can, you know, I can kind of, I can kind of lean into that, just kind of knowing I don't. And I, and I think it's also interesting, the, pairing leaders together that have high Intellection and letting them think through that. I usually try to leave the room when they do, because I can't go that, I just can't, I can't go that long while they're, right? Yeah. Maybe a little Intellection inception on that one as they go in.

Jaclynn Robinson 6:27
I'm stealing that.

Jim Collison 6:28
I think also then important, in some cases, as leaders in this, knowing I have it, of maybe partnering with someone who has some movement, right, who has some ability to get things going. Do you want to add to that before we move on?

Jaclynn Robinson 6:42
Oh, no, that's brilliant. Someone with movement that can take their thoughts to action, or someone with influence. Oftentimes, and we know all themes can influence, but those that I've spoken to that have Intellection in their Top 10 would say it really does help me when I've got someone else with greater influence, or knows how to really persuade people a bit more adeptly or naturally than I do to help me, you know, push an initiative through or to help me just act -- get up and start moving to action.

Jim Collison 7:22
Yeah. So those with high Intellection -- just stop the podcast right now; you're gonna need to spend some time thinking about this. Go ahead. OK, it'll be here when you get back.

Jaclynn Robinson 7:31
Go find your accountabilibuddy.

How Could Intellection Hinder Your Leadership of Others?

Jim Collison 7:34
That's right. That's right. Some practical advice there for our friends with high Intellection. How can this theme get in the way, hinder? You know, what, when we think about those ways in the, in leading others, how could this theme kind of, you know, get in the way, be a speed bump?

Jaclynn Robinson 7:51
I think we've done a great job of just starting to tease that out. A leader with this theme can spend too much time in thought and not move to action quick enough. And so, whether it's for the leadership team's sake or the organization's sake, some initiatives just require faster responses. And so who do they know and trust that is going to move them in the right direction more expediently than they might otherwise?

Jim Collison 8:16
I think for leaders who have this high self-awareness around this one is super important, right -- to know, going in, Hey, what are the parameters that I need to set, especially for my team or the teams that I'm leading or the areas that I have influence over or working with? I think self-awareness, I mean, it's important with all the themes. I think this is one of those, when we think about things that can trip it up, this may be one, may be one that gets tripped up often in, in group settings, in team settings. And I just, I feel like the self-awareness around that, and then some strategies. And this, this may be one, you've said this before -- we look back, what successes have you had with this in the past that you can bring forward to now? That may be a really, really important question to ask for folks who have high Intellection, just so they can think through that, put some things in place, so they're not caught off guard. Because there's a time element to this. It doesn't always have to be time. But there's time elements to this, you think, I need time to think through this. And so some plans in place when you don't have, when you're not given that time, I think might be appropriate. What do you think? Any thoughts? Any other thoughts?

Jaclynn Robinson 9:30
I like that. I like your direction. And I was just thinking too, the value of having partners around you or another theme in your Top 10 that would move with more expediency, because I think the last 3 years has probably really tested those with Intellection if they are in a leadership position. Whether it's a merger, an acquisition, layoffs, furloughs, a response to the pandemic, now what we're seeing leaders moving towards 2023 and what that can look like, it's probably tested quite a few with Intellection, in terms of moving quick and having a response, quick and not deliberating so much on the messaging you want for employees to have that it causes paranoia or nervousness or anxiety with the employee base.

How Can You Use Intellection as You Lead, Together With the Managers and Sales Reports?

Jim Collison 10:18
Of course, a lot of other themes around that. And it's just, this is a great opportunity for you. We have some basic insights for you to kind of think through on this; this may get you or your thought process started. And then just we have lots more resources inside the report itself -- CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report is available for you, if you want to go in there. Some, some helps or some, you know, some action items, some hinders, some things that you can do with them. And love to have you interact with that report. Yeah, it's been, I've, I've really enjoyed having it so far. In fact, I mentioned to you right before the show, I'm gonna, I'm gonna go back and dig in across all the reports on Maximizer. I've, that's been one for me that I've just kind of come to really trying to figure it out how it works for me, and I'm going to dig in on these. Let's, let's dig in on Intellection a little bit with those two, the other two. So as a leader, how can I use that CliftonStrengths for Managers Report in combination, how can I put those two together, as we think about this, for greater success?

Jaclynn Robinson 11:16
Yes. I automatically thought about someone high in Intellection having enough time carved out in the day to consider the people and the projects that they need to manage. Because that time in the day, whether it's top of the morning before they even get started in the day or mid-afternoon check-in, but that time helps them think about the actions that need to be taken, the people they need to talk to or develop, the priorities that they need to attend to, etc. And without that think time, you can feel a bit like you're a hamster in a wheel, and it can create a lot of uneasiness or anxiety.

Jim Collison 11:51
I often think of thinking, you know, if you can't get it in a, in a block, maybe give yourself permission to have it in, in the breaks, right?

Jaclynn Robinson 12:00
Yes, the 15-minute breaks, yes!

Jim Collison 12:03
Right, or the commute or the train or the this is time, and then figure out some strategies to work through that time to spend. Because I think, as a manager, it's really, really important to be strategizing, you know, with small "s" on that, be Strategic, small "s," in how you're thinking about that time with the folks that you lead. And then, How does that lead to these actions, these manager actions, right? So I love that. What about the CliftonStrengths for Sales Report? And then this new, this new Leaders Report? What do you think if we put those two together?

Jaclynn Robinson 12:38
So I thought about their uncanny ability to pose questions and get others to really stop and think. It's like, Wow, I haven't considered that before. Or Wow, I didn't think of it from that angle. It's, I share those that have Intellection, I'm like, it's like you can just get into the soul of other people and have them consider something that is deeper than where they potentially would have gone. And so I think their attention to a given topic can help others see how beneficial an idea or strategy is for themselves and other people. And they can really kind of pose those questions and have them go, Wow! I didn't think about that angle. This could be a really good strategy or initiative for us after all.

Jim Collison 13:20
Yeah, throughout the sales process, thinking through that, as of having that kind of all pulled together. You know, just, this is the third one we've done inside this domain. And thinking about, we had Learner and Strategic, right, for the first two that we did. And how even that, even the thought of this, of thinking, like taking the, taking the Leaders Report, taking the, the Sales Report by domain and thinking through, like, what would that -- cause there's a lot of similarities in there, of things that think through that. So another exercise for Intellection, another exercise: Now, how does this fit at the domain level for me? How would I think about this? Yeah, no, some great -- Jaclynn, any other, any other final thoughts before I wrap it?

Jaclynn Robinson 14:09
You know, we just talked about wellbeing. So I would just go back to that briefly, to share with those that have Intellection or are coaching leaders with Intellection really kind of tap and tune into their wellbeing. Are they, are they pretty anxious? If so, maybe they do need to go take that walk around or use that commute time in a way that's going to be feasible for them. Or do they feel like they're firing on all cylinders, and it might be they've got that right balance of thinking and producing results?

Jim Collison 14:36
Love it. I love it. Well, with that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we do have available now in Gallup Access. Go to Log in. If you go to the upper left-hand corner and drop it down menu, choose Resources, put Intellection in, and there's, you'll get a whole list of everything we've ever done. All kinds of good stuff available for you -- most of the stuff, all the webcasts are there for sure. And if you want to check that out, again: And sign in there; check out the Resources tab. Stay up to date with all the webcast just by following us at Join us on any social platform by searching "CliftonStrengths," and thanks for listening today. Certainly hit the Subscribe button wherever you're at, so you never miss an episode. We'd love to have you come back as we, we'll work our way through this. And we want to thank you for listening today. If you're joining us live, there'll be a little extended on this. I've seen some good notes in the chat. So if you're listening live, hang tight for the mid-show. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

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

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

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