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

Harmony®: Developing Your Leadership Skills

Webcast Details

  • Gallup CliftonStrengths Podcast, Season 2: Harmony
  • What is the power of Harmony in a leadership role?
  • How could Harmony 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 Harmony® 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 Harmony talent -- because everyone leads something.


For leaders with this theme, success is a team effort. So they're really adept at keeping people united through a purpose or a goal.

Jaclynn Robinson, 3:19

Someone with Harmony can start to get that early sense of conflict, as it's maybe simmering, before it hits boil.

Jaclynn Robinson, 5:59

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is The CliftonStrengths Podcast, Season 2, recorded on January 10, 2023.

Jim Collison 0:06
In this CliftonStrengths Podcast series, we'll look at the CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report one theme at a time, and today's theme is Harmony. If you're listening live, join us in the chat or email us your 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 of the themes. And Jaclynn, always great to be with you. Welcome back!

Jaclynn Robinson 0:47
Thank you.

Introducing Harmony

Jim Collison 0:50
So glad you are a part of it today. Happy New Year to you! And today, we're spending some time looking at Harmony. Why don't we dig in a little bit. Give us that, that initial intro of and definition of Harmony.

Jaclynn Robinson 1:02
You've got it! So those with Harmony look for consensus. They don't enjoy conflict; rather, they seek areas of agreement.

Jim Collison 1:10
We get a lot of feedback on that idea of "They don't enjoy conflict." And we don't normally spend an extended period of time on this definition. But I want to, because I get a lot of questions on that, this idea, can you expand out on that a little bit, Jaclynn? They don't enjoy conflict. Does that mean they avoid it, or what? Talk a little bit about that.

Jaclynn Robinson 1:32
Yes. So we know that typically, I feel like there's two factions of Harmony: those that don't enjoy it. And, and I should back up just to say when we talk about not enjoying conflict, what that really means is they find it counterproductive. It's hindering a team or an individual's ability to get things done. So that's why they don't like it. But it, just over time, there tends to be two factions that I've seen: those with Harmony that don't like it, but they will get in the middle of it and become that mediator or negotiator so to speak. So that they, they can say, Hey, let's agree to disagree here. This is what we do agree on; let's move forward. And others that might say, Hey, you know what, I'm going to continue to do my work. You all, you know, fight it out over here, so to speak. And, you know, I'm going to continue to be productive. So that is one of those themes where I think, as strengths coaches, we really have to ask, "How does this show up for you?" as we do with all themes. But Harmony, for sure. I'm always really curious how they manage conflict.

What Is the Power of Harmony in a Leadership Role?

Jim Collison 2:40
Yeah. And they may sense that as well -- that conflict coming, and to be able to do some things or insert themselves in a way that helps mediate that. It's different for everyone. I, you know, but it's, it's one of those areas, I think it's one of those mysteries for a lot of people, as we think about Harmony, and doesn't get probably as much conversation as it should. Probably an underutilized theme in groups and teams. We are talking about leaders and leadership this season on this. So let's talk some more about it through the lens of, of the, of a leader. What's the power of this theme in a leadership role?

Jaclynn Robinson 3:19
Yeah, well, for leaders with this theme, success is a team effort. So they're really adept at keeping people united through a purpose or a goal. And at the organizationwide level, that perspective can really encourage cross-departmental collaboration. It really is that "There is no 'I' in 'team'" perspective; I think they're really good at kind of bringing people together towards a particular purpose.

How Could Harmony Hinder Your Leadership of Others?

Jim Collison 3:40
Yeah. And I think we kind of expect that in all of our leaders, to be honest, right. When you're thinking about bringing people together and, you know, you said to navigate or steer conversation where they invite collaborative thoughts, right, this idea. And I think that's kind of the fundamental, it's kind of like the fundamental skill of team and team building in that. When we, when, when we think about the other side of this, then, without that Harmony being there, how this -- or maybe Harmony not used to its fullest extent, how it could hinder leadership of others. Talk a little bit about that -- how it could, how it could hinder.

Jaclynn Robinson 4:20
Yeah. So the way I think about that is they have to be sensitive to whether a conversation is creating conflict when they're talking with teams, or they're hearing some differences of opinion between departments. Or is this just the team's healthy way of debating and offering up different perspectives? So another thing I would also think about with this leader is, this theme might have a tendency to dance around topics at that organizational level or team level, instead of being more direct when the situation calls for it. Some people just need to hear it really clearly, or it can create more confusion.

Jim Collison 4:57
Yeah, I want to, so I want to break this down. I want to, I want to go off script a little bit with you. As we think about this from the past, the present and the future, Harmony, thinking of this in terms of being able to, 1) see it and be preemptive; 2) in the midst of it, like it happening, it happening in real time; and then maybe 3) Harmony used in, in the future to, as a preemptive strike. Like, to say, Hey, how can we do team-building today that would prevent this from going in the future? So as you think across those three, how do you think leaders can, with Harmony, can, can prepare for maybe each one of those scenarios or kind of think through that, as I say those things. What kind of thoughts come to your mind?

Jaclynn Robinson 5:47
Well, I've noticed those with Harmony, if Empathy sometimes isn't in their Top 10 or Top 15, they'll say, "Well, I swear, I thought I had it." And so we'll talk about, to your point earlier, someone with Harmony can start to get that early sense of conflict, as it's maybe simmering, before it hits boil, whereas those of us that might not have Harmony as high might not recognize that. So from that past perspective, they might have, you know, seen prior situations where conflict arose. And they're sensitive to that in the present moment, where they say, "Ooh, we know what happened before. How do we want to get ahead of this?" But they can also start to sense when it might be occurring before others do, and they can get ahead of it. So I think they're really good at being able to bring people together, get different perspectives. If people start to veer off topic, or it looks like it's too conflicting, and someone's just trying to poke the bear, they can help bring them back and recenter them to the topic at hand to say, "OK, OK, I don't think this is as constructive." So they're really good at being able to help people say, "Hey, I think this might be coming down the pipeline." Or "I sense that this is what's happening here. Let's talk about how we want to manage it or get ahead of it."

Jim Collison 7:09
I love that idea of thinking about it in the ways of conflict management -- across all three of those, right? And, you know, when you say, "poke the bear," really, argument for argument's sake sometimes or for, for those who just love to, you know, we all say in English, they just like to "needle." You know, they just poke and poke and poke, right.

Jaclynn Robinson 7:31
Just prod, prod at you to try and get a reaction.

Jim Collison 7:34
Yeah, and I think some, in a leadership role, we can be in a perfect position of see those things, right, to, to cut them off before they happen, or to handle them in the moment or maybe to do some things from a preemptive standpoint. When we think about those 4 Needs of Followers -- and I don't think I've done this for every single one of these themes, but I'm sure going to try -- those 4 Needs of Followers, for those with high Harmony, where do you think, where do you think that could be deployed on, in, in with those, using those four terms that really meets the needs of those, of those followers?

Jaclynn Robinson 8:05
Oh, that's good. I think they, they can create Stability where there's some tension. They can bring people back to a stable, comforting place. And that might be some of that Compassion, that thread too. If conflict makes them uncomfortable, they might kind of feel, this might be uncomfortable for other folks in the room too. How do I kind of ground everyone back, stabilize the situation, so that we can start to think about a solution moving forward?

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

Jim Collison 8:37
We're focusing this season on the CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report. And that's a role-based report made for leaders. But we're also, we have two other role-based reports: CliftonStrengths for Sales, CliftonStrengths for Managers. Harmony may not be one of those themes we immediately think of in the sales, in the sales role. But as we think of, as we think about those "report dynamics" is what I've been calling it -- TM; I trademarked it -- Report Dynamics. How could a leader use both the CliftonStrengths for Leaders and CliftonStrengths for Sales Report together for success?

Jaclynn Robinson 9:14
Well, I think the leader might be focused on building a constituency with their clients or prospects, meaning that they might be looking beyond that point of contact, that person that they're talking to, and ask them who else might be a good point of contact that we should pull into this conversation? Who else should we maybe connect with within your organization? And that enables them to see the different perspectives, the different challenges, and then come up with some solutions, having seen these various angles from the different stakeholders. So really, by the time they end up putting that proposal together, or they're architecting a solution for that prospect or the client, there's buy-in from many stakeholders. And I think that's going to create a more successful partnership. So it's, "Let's harmonize! Let's all come together and think about a solution together."

Jim Collison 10:02
Well, I think oftentimes when we're selling, we're not just selling products, which we can. I mean, you can sell -- product, it can be about product selling, but it's oftentimes about solutions. And oftentimes those solutions are conflict mediating -- if that's a verb. You know, they're, they're, they're being sold to help organizations with less conflict, to make processes run smoother, to make communication be better, to increase communication, whatever. And so I think that those with high Harmony have this, and maybe in that sales role, get the opportunity to bring that Harmony, that Stability that we thought about from the Needs of Followers just a second ago, and sell that into solutions. Right. From that persp -- any, any other thoughts on that before we look at the other one?

Jaclynn Robinson 10:50
No, I love that. Yeah, I think they're gonna be good at the 5 whys whenever they're talking to a client, which, just in summation, you just keep digging and digging to identify what is the problem so that we can come up with that solution for you and remove that conflict, so to speak.

Jim Collison 11:06
Yeah, we've, we've also spent some time thinking about the Leader Report and the Manager role-based Reports together. What do you think putting those "report dynamics" -- TM me -- on that? What does that look like together?

Jaclynn Robinson 11:21
Oh, well, we know, we talk a lot at Gallup about having these two-way conversations between employees -- manager and employee. So it's not one directional, the manager saying, "This is what needs to get done"; it really feels like it's an active conversation between the manager and the employee. So in this case, someone that leads with Harmony is probably going to be focused on, you know, being tapped in and tuned in to that individual as they think about performance and development -- making sure that they feel like they're in alignment with their direct report. They're probably going to want to find consensus whenever they're in those performance conversations or goal-setting conversations or developmental conversations. So the leader that manages people with Harmony might say, "Hey, you know, I see this in terms of the upcoming year -- some things that I was considering for your workload or client hours or projects. Does that feel achievable to you?" You know, if "Yes," amazing. If not, you know, they can, they can work through it. So I think they're going to be really good at that two-way process as a manager.

Jim Collison 12:26
Yeah, and maybe even at the manager level, really, focusing in on individualization -- and maybe not the big capital "I" but the small "i" -- individualizing their approach that brings Harmony to the team, and being able to build consensus and Harmony from an individual perspective. I often think we think of this as jumping in in the middle of a fight and breaking it up, as opposed to working with individuals so that conflict never happens, right? Or if it is happening, stepping in and doing conflict resolution or doing mediation in the midst of it, but doing it with individuals, right, not just being in the middle of a shouting match, trying to mediate it like a courtroom. That's, which sometimes that's kind of probably be where you're going to need to be, but maybe as a sidebar, if we're going to stick with that metaphor, pull some sidebars and be able to have those conversations. I don't know. Any other, does that, does that, any other thoughts on, on Harmony, as we think about wrapping this time up?

Jaclynn Robinson 13:33
Hey, it's such a great way of putting it -- the sidebar. And it reminds me of the way I'll relate Harmony to conflict, is they kind of come through that side door. They're more interpersonal in the way that they manage conflict, as opposed to, you know, just opening up that front door and saying, "All right, let's, let's tackle it direct. Let's tackle it tersely." They're really tactical in an interpersonal way about how they manage through the conflict. So I like that sidebar piece. That's a really good metaphor.

Jim Collison 14:02
Yeah, no, and I'd love to have those with you, this is a theme that I don't, I haven't really dug into, and I don't have high, and I'm not really good at it. But I'd love for individuals, we'll, we'll spend a little time talking about this in midshow. But if you're watching this on YouTube later, put your thoughts down in the, in the comments. We'd love to get more information on that as well. Jaclynn, thanks for covering that for us today. Certainly more conversation around that to be had. But thanks for talking about Harmony with me today.

Jaclynn Robinson 14:30
You're welcome!

Jim Collison 14:32
We will, with that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we do have available in Gallup Access. Visit Sign in, and then go to the Resources tab. In the search bar, just put in this theme -- put in "Harmony" -- and you'll actually see 6 seasons of Theme Thursday and Season 1 of the CliftonStrengths Podcast that we did on Harmony. Tons of learning there; I think that's probably 4 hours of learning just on that, plus everything we've written about it. Head out there, get that done. Lots of stuff there for you if you want to dive into this. Stay up to date with all the webcasts by following us on Eventbrite. Go to Create an account. Follow us there, you'll get a notification whenever I publish something new. Find us on any social platform by searching "CliftonStrengths," and we want to thank you for listening today. If you enjoyed it, hit the Like and Subscribe button, so you never miss an episode. Thanks for coming out. If you're listening live, stay around for some midshow. 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:

Gallup®, CliftonStrengths® and each of the 34 CliftonStrengths theme names are trademarks of Gallup. Copyright © 2000 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.

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