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

Includer®: Developing Your Leadership Skills

Webcast Details

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


[Leaders with Includer] can create a culture of acceptance and collaboration by ensuring everyone and every group has a voice in the conversation.

Jaclynn Robinson, 4:05

I would challenge the Includer ... who do you know that might be a little bit less engaged in the workforce that you can ... spark some positive reinforcement and engagement to that person so they feel seen, heard and valued?

Jaclynn Robinson, 15:23

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is The CliftonStrengths Podcast, Season 2, recorded on March 28, 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 Includer. If you're listening live, and you don't see the chat room, there's a link to it right above me there. If you're listening after the fact, and you have questions, you can always send us an email: Dr. Jaclynn Robinson is our host today. She works as a Senior Learning and Development Consultant, joined me for Season 1 of The CliftonStrengths Podcast, where we looked at the book Wellbeing at Work one theme at a time. And Jaclynn, always great to be with you. Welcome back!

Jaclynn Robinson 0:51
Thank you, sir.

Introducing Includer

Jim Collison 0:54
We are spending some time looking at Includer today, and this should be kind of fun for the both of us. I think we have some areas to grow in this as well. But let's get started with this. What do we mean when we, when we talk about Includer?

Jaclynn Robinson 1:09
So this individual accepts others. You show awareness of those who feel left out and make an effort to include them.

Jim Collison 1:17
Do you think -- unscripted question here -- do you think social media has made it easier or harder for us to practice inclusion? You know, because now we have ways, like now we have ways of communicating like we've never had before. Has this -- and let's, let's not call it social media; let's just say increased communication channels. Better? Worse? Any thoughts on that, as we think about including people in things?

Jaclynn Robinson 1:45
Yeah, I feel like people feel less included. Because there's that sense of the fear of missing out. They get to see someone else's life, and it's like, Ooh, I wish I could be doing that. Or, well, and we keep hearing spikes of depression and anxiety because of social media. Because you're less genuinely connected to maybe that community of folks that are around you, because you're spending more time on a phone than in person with people, having genuine conversations. I feel like it's almost more exclusive than inclusive.

Jim Collison 2:20
The challenge for Includer -- big capital "I" on this, like those that have Includer -- because we hear that we've never been more connected, I think, than, than ever in human history, the, with the technology being able, and yet we've, what we're hearing is we've never been farther apart in actually relating or spending time with each other or having those meaningful connections. And I think --

Jaclynn Robinson 2:45
More connected but more disconnected, from a relational standpoint.

Jim Collison 2:49
Think this is a challenge for Includers. Like, I think this is one of those, the culture has changed. What, how are we going to do this differently in a way that -- and I think we've always, we've been just following a default. Like, oh, yeah, all social is good, or all time on your phone is good, or all -- right, whatever; fill in the blank for whatever works for you on that. But I think as Includers, we've got the, we've, we've got a huge task ahead is how do we, how do we maybe bring the culture back together? Or how do we include, how do we do a better job of this with the new tools that we do have? I think that's probably, right? Every time there's a new technology, it gets abused, and it doesn't work very well, and people, and it takes a while for the culture to kind of figure it out. I wonder if we're in that phase.

Jaclynn Robinson 3:38
That's true. It really is this focus on more intention. How do we build an intentional community through the social networks?

What Is the Power of Includer in a Leadership Role?

Jim Collison 3:45
How do we stop just letting default always be where things end up, but be intentional, like, like you just said? OK, we're spending some time this season thinking about the, this through the eyes of leaders. We have this new CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report. And so let me ask you this question: What do you think the power of this theme is in a leadership role?

Jaclynn Robinson 4:05
They can create a culture of acceptance and collaboration by ensuring everyone and every group has a voice in the conversation. As a result, I think it brings this sense of belongingness, inclusion and a diversity of thoughts and perspective that's visible, and it's a, it's a part of the culture. I love seeing when leaders have this, because you just see that sense of inclusion and collaboration within their workforce.

Jim Collison 4:30
And it builds engagement, right? I mean, when we think about what teams have to do, whether that's formal engagement in a workplace, or engagement in volunteer activities outside of it or just informal groups that get together, right, of hearing those voices saying things and then bringing that together, kind of in a way where everyone -- and it, we just got done spending some time on Individualization, I was saying it's really hard to do for leaders. And Includer is, I think, equally as hard for leaders -- interesting that these two are together here as we're recording. You're probably listening to it out of order, but equally as hard, right, don't you think?

Jaclynn Robinson 5:13

How Can Those With Includer Lead Others?

Jim Collison 5:14
So Jaclynn, how, as we think about this, then, in the context of what we've talked about, how can this theme lead others?

Jaclynn Robinson 5:22
Well, when it comes to decision-making or actions that impact the greater sum, this leader can include key, key stakeholders -- if I can speak today -- that represent the respective departments or teams, just to ensure that idea-sharing, feedback or actions are really heard and aligned. So I love the sense of collaboration that they can bring!

Jim Collison 5:45
There's almost, as I, as I hear you talk about that, I think of this idea of kind of rings of including. Like, OK, we have a team doing something. That team is affecting things around it. So how do we widen that communication so that those folks know? And then, how do we widen that again -- and how many steps out you go, I guess, depends on the situation, right. But that's what kind of makes me think, as leaders leading with Includer, not just that your team knows, but the team that is affected by your team then is affected by it, and so on, and so on, right, and so on.

Jaclynn Robinson 6:21
Yes! You hear a lot of cross-departmental, cross-department, departmental -- say that fast! -- cross-departmental communication happening with what you just mentioned with those rings, So I think that is good, because that's a missing element in a lot of workplaces. You see that miscommunication breakdown.

Jim Collison 6:40
Oh, for sure.

Jaclynn Robinson 6:41
Where there's just an assumption made, and they're not going to ask or bring those representative members over to just talk it out.

How Could Includer Hinder Your Leadership of Others?

Jim Collison 6:48
It's an area I fail in often, like I, this is, you know, as we think about how this theme can hinder leadership of others, I don't have this necessarily -- Cheers! -- I don't have this necessarily high. But as we think about it, how can this theme hinder the leadership of others?

Jaclynn Robinson 7:06
Finding consensus in all decision-making might not be the most effective way of managing actions or conversations or even other people's time at times. So over time, I think that can slow down the organization's pipeline, as people find themselves, you know, stuck in meetings or conversations that can generally be tackled with just a few folks in the room who have knowledge and the wherewithal to make that informed decision. And quickly, so it's not something that gets dragged out. So we don't want to have death by meeting, as they say. It's, you know, do I really need everybody here? Or can I bring the select few in?

Jim Collison 7:45
Does, does this also, like we think about the success factor of this theme of including, but is it knowing who to exclude that is also a part of this talent? Because, like you said, I mean, I can't hold meetings with the whole company all the time, to make sure they're always included in all the things that I'm doing. That's just not practical. So is excluding part of the talent? I'm kind of making this up, but I just, as you were talking about it, I thought, knowing who to exclude is as important as knowing who to include?

Jaclynn Robinson 8:15
It is! It's so important, but I think that's the crux of, of Includer, that probably just hurt their heart for everybody that has that in their Top 10, to go, I cannot exclude. This might be a case where you really are leaning into a different talent to recognize that not everyone can be in the room. And you won't always have consensus. It's just, you know, am I explaining the why so that people at least recognize why I'm going against what they might see, or why I can't include them.

Jim Collison 8:50
I think of that sculptor who, who was asked, "How do you know how to do this?" And I'd say names, but I can't remember the exact story, but, and they would say, Well, I just took away everything that wasn't the, you know, that wasn't supposed to be there. And I think sometimes, the magic might be in knowing who to, who doesn't need to be included in the circle is as much of the magic as who needs to be included in the circle. So --

Jaclynn Robinson 9:18
And not everybody wants to be included. So bringing them in might feel like a waste of their time, or they might be uncomfortable if they're introverted, and you're trying to include them in a conversation, and they just want to kind of sit back. Or they're cerebral, you know, or thoughtful in their approach and don't want to just converse; that could create discomfort,

Jim Collison 9:36
Yeah, no, right on. We are spending the season thinking about -- Oh, before I move on to that, I almost forgot: As we think of the 4 Needs of Followers -- Hope, Stability, Compassion and Trust -- want to make sure they're included in this as well; lots of opportunities for inclusion today. Where do you think, in this construct -- of course it can fit across all 4, but some thoughts on where you think it fits in?

Jaclynn Robinson 9:59
I like this idea of Stability; I'm going to sprinkle that one in right now. Because as you were talking about the rings of engagement and communication that they can have by including people, they create a lot of Stability, or they can create a lot of stability, because teams are communicating more effectively with each other, or individuals are communicating more effectively with each other. There's that sense of Trust, because they're inviting in the opinions and perspectives of others. Compassion, because they appreciate the diversity of thought and perspective and the different roles people have. Yeah.

Jim Collison 10:37
Yeah, you stole mine.

Jaclynn Robinson 10:39
I did?

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

Jim Collison 10:39
Yeah, Compassion is what I, Compassion, yeah. I think, to be included at the right time for the right thing shows a lot of Compassion. Right. I think that's just an area. When we think about this, we're also spending some time thinking about this in the context of our two other role-based reports -- CliftonStrengths for Sales, CliftonStrengths for Managers. When we take these Leaders and put them next to Sales, and maybe even physically, these two reports together, what would you pull from that?

Jaclynn Robinson 11:09
Yes. So this sales leader can ensure that the right stakeholders are represented in prospecting or client calls. So in the long run, having more than one stakeholder involved in that contract or deal means that if the person that they're talking to that's, you know, on the client side leaves the company, they still have other stakeholders they've involved in that company to keep the relationship going. So I think that's something that they would probably just naturally have top-of-mind and also be ensuring that their team is considering. You know, whenever you're on that call, are you asking who else might be key to have in this conversation? Who else should we maybe bring in this conversation that will be impacted by this or that would be interested in this? So that automatically came into mind for me with this one.

Jim Collison 11:56
I think keeping that in mind with project rollouts, you know, you think about a product that's sold, and you're rolling that out, having a project manager, someone in the organization who's got Includer high, this may be one of those where you intentionally like, OK, we're going to need some commun-, and hope, maybe if they have Includer-Communication (I'm living through one of those projects right now, and so it's very, very fresh, this kind of thing. Oh, I could probably have used some help in this area. We all have in the group, we all have a lot of Communication. I'm not sure it's necessarily pointed at this idea of making sure everybody's included. So we got some, we got some areas in that to grow as well. What about Leader and Manager Reports side by side? What could that look like?

Jaclynn Robinson 12:41
Yeah, so they could be really adept at identifying key partnership opportunities between the direct reports. So their direct reports probably feel pretty supported when they're looking for support, mentorship, a partnership, whatever it might be, because that Includer is going to know just the person for them to loop in or have other people, at least, in mind, to help support that individual.

Jim Collison 13:05
Yeah, I see, I see this almost like in an onboarding, like, making sure someone new in the organization knows or is, is in all the right groups, initially, right, to go talk with so-and-so. Have a meeting with so-and-so. Make sure this gets covered type deal. I see that being very beneficial in the onboarding process. Any other, you think, other things where that may benefit in that, in that cycle?

Jaclynn Robinson 13:32
I can really see that. So certainly onboarding, and then, maybe also, when we start thinking about kind of that 3- to 5-year tenure for folks, and they're in that existential stage of what comes next for me? What do I want to do? What do I seek out? This leader who manages people -- with Includer high -- might know who that person can go talk to, to think about next opportunities or to stretch their skill set. Hey, why don't you go connect with such-and-such, because you might be really good for this, or you might, you know, be interested in this type of responsibility. So I can see them really extending the branch to help them find other people to connect to, as they think about maybe what's next for them within the workforce. So that internal agility, if we think about that -- the movement that you can have internally, if, maybe you feel like, OK, am I being challenged enough in this role? Is there something more I might like, but it's in a different department? Includer knows so many different people all over the workforce, that they could really help with that. So that might be another opportunity for Includers to lean in.

Jim Collison 14:40
Love that. Love that, love that thought. I'm going to ask you to wrap it here in just a second. But I love, you know, as we think of the context of this in leadership, I think, again, it's another one of those key roles, and they really all are in the leadership cycle. But as we, as we talk about them, I just see so many great things that leaders who have high Includer can add, and teams need, from that standpoint. Jaclynn, final thoughts as we wrap up Includer today?

Jaclynn Robinson 15:06
I'll tie in something you brought up earlier with just employee engagement and how folks are looking for that role clarity; they're looking to make sure they've got the materials they need [Q12® item Q02]; they're looking for recognition; and make sure they're, they're doing the right role that feeds into their strengths. So maybe I would challenge the Includer to find that person that might be flying under the radar on their team. They might not even be a manager; you know, you might be listening to this, and you're an individual contributor with Includer high. But who do you know that might be a little bit less engaged in the workforce that you can draw into a conversation and just really spark some positive reinforcement and engagement to that person so they feel seen, heard and valued?

Jim Collison 15:51
Love that. I think with that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we do have available. We want to include you in on this, with all the resources. Head out to Log in to Gallup Access from there; you can, there's a couple different ways to do that, but you can do it from there. Once you're in Access, go to the menu, upper left-hand corner and drop it down. Choose Resources. Put in the theme; put Includer in. You'll see everything we have available in Gallup Access on that, and great way to learn more about it. Stay up to date with all the webcasts -- we want you to be here; I want to include you in this -- by following us at Create an account; I'll send you an email every time we post something new. Join us on any social platform by searching "CliftonStrengths," and we want to thank you for listening today. Regardless of your platform, if you want to, if you enjoyed it, share it, hit Like, Subscribe, all those things, so you never miss an episode. I want to thank you for listening today. For those listening live, stay around for a little bit of a postshow; we got to get Jaclynn off to an appointment. But 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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