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Called to Coach
Communication®: How to Feel More Energized at Work
Called to Coach

Communication®: How to Feel More Energized at Work

Webcast Details

  • What do people with Communication bring to their roles and workplaces?
  • How can you bring energy and motivation to work as you apply your Communication talent?
  • How can managers with Communication create more of an energized, thriving culture on their teams?

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


Productive employees want energy, motivation and drive to characterize their work life. Managers want their teams to possess these in abundance. And organizations envision an entire engaged, thriving workforce that overflows with these qualities. How can individuals high in Communication® bring energy and motivation to their workplaces? And how can managers high in Communication foster a work environment that is energized, motivated and thriving? Join Gallup's Jim Collison and Dr. Jaclynn Robinson and discover how, using your Communication theme, you can bring new energy and motivation to your role, your managing, your coaching.


Having someplace where you can verbally connect with others can be really reenergizing.

Jaclynn Robinson, 4:27

It is imperative [for a manager with Communication] to say, What's the best way that my team can facilitate communication with one another? And then as a manager, where is it my responsibility?

Jaclynn Robinson, 10:05

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is The CliftonStrengths® Podcast, Season 3, recorded on January 25, 2024.

Jim Collison 0:06
In this CliftonStrengths Podcast series, we'll look at how to feel more energized and motivated at work one theme at a time, and today's theme is Communication. If you're listening live, love to have you join us in chat. Or if you have questions after the fact, and many of you will after the fact, send us an email: Dr. Jaclynn Robinson is our host today. She works as a Senior Learning and Development Consultant and has joined me for Season 1 and 2 of The CliftonStrengths Podcast, where we looked at Wellbeing at Work in Season 1 and the CliftonStrengths role-based reports for Season 2. Jaclynn, always great to be with you. Welcome back!

Jaclynn Robinson 0:53
Thank you. Let's do this!

Communication: Questions for Individuals

Jim Collison 0:56
We are spending some time -- we are spending some time this season talking about bringing energy and motivation with your themes back to work. Today, we are talking about Communication -- one of my favorites. Let's talk about the, well, we're doing it right now, right. And so, let's, let's talk about the individual first. What, what are ways individuals with high Communication can feel more energized by focusing on their basic needs?

Jaclynn Robinson 1:19
I think once expectations have been delivered, or a request is made of you, take the time to work through your thoughts verbally, so you can ensure that you're aligned and you have that clarity that's needed -- just to ensure even that you have the right resources to carry out that responsibility. Do I know what my key priorities are? And then do I have the resources to do it? So take that time to process out loud with somebody.

Jim Collison 1:44
Basic needs -- I have Communication 4 -- and for me understanding Communication's basic needs, I was always told I talk too much or, yeah, no, I was just always told I talk too much. Knowing that I needed that talking for some of my thinking processes -- I talk, I think out loud. By trying to pull back on talking, I was actually squelching. And it was a wellbeing issue; I would get --

Jaclynn Robinson 2:11
That's a good callout.

Jim Collison 2:11
Right, I would get kind of, this is one of those, I don't know how it works on other themes, but this is one I understand particularly well in that area. And realizing, I now say, again, from a basic needs standpoint, I now say, "OK, let's talk about this for a second." And I need to just talk it out -- to, you know, I'd almost want to add to that, "Is that OK? Is it OK if I talk this out with you?" To get permission from the other person, right, to say, Hey, part of my core is talking. So I'm going to think through the way I talk, and that's the way we're gonna get -- I don't know, respond -- what does that, when you, when you hear that, what do you hear in that?

Jaclynn Robinson 2:54
I love that, because that resonates with what I would feel someone high in Communication would need. And to have to hold it back would just hinder your wellbeing and that energy, because you're not, you're, you're restricting something that feels so natural. But I love that you preface it first with, "Hey, I just need to talk this out." Or "Can I use you as a thought partner? Can I bounce some ideas off of you?" So the other person on the end knows what that need is for you and can even respond to it in the future, you know, in a way that's suitable for you.

Jim Collison 3:25
And maybe even call that out, you know, is, Hey, I need, you know, Jaclynn, I need some Strategic® from you right now. I'm going to talk about this, and we're just going to get, we're just gonna go some places. And then we're gonna figure some things out, right. And again, getting back to the basic needs of that -- I need that. I need partners who allow me to do that. You and I have done a lot of that together. And it, it really is a basic need for me. I, it, I struggled until I realized that. And then being OK with that actually was freedom, because I'm like, OK, that's part of the process of the way I think. What are some ways individuals with high Communication can feel more energized by focusing on their individual strengths and development around Communication?

Jaclynn Robinson 4:11
Ooh. So I think identifying outlets or opportunities where you have a forum for feedback or bouncing ideas or thoughts off of people in the workplace. And I would think that would be especially true if you work remote, or you're by yourself working pretty often. Having someplace where you can verbally connect with others can be really reenergizing.

Jim Collison 4:34
I feel like COVID broke this a little bit, where we went, when we went -- for some of us who were privileged to go remote -- when we went remote, we began to do a lot of text-based stuff. And for some people, that's awesome; that is death for me. Now again, high, that's, that's my, it's the way my Communication works. It may work different for you as you're listening to this, right. So I want you to think about your own way Communication works. But for me, I felt like, you know, there's this phrase that popped up -- maybe it was popular before the pandemic, but I remember hearing it during that, is "That meeting could have been an email." And I, for me, that email should have been a meeting; we should talk about it. It's a lot better, you get a lot better results, you get the best of me -- you know, we have that "Best of Me" exercise; you get the best of me. So from a development standpoint, you get the best of me when we're, when we're -- I don't know, anything, does that conjure up any thoughts for you? Any other advice you'd give on that?

Jaclynn Robinson 5:34
It is funny; it reminds me of the introvert versus extrovert that was also taking place at that time. No, introverts loving the emails; extroverts, not so much. But it was neat to see during the pandemic, how, you know, in a time when Communication-Woo® seemed to be a really good theme dynamic for you, to hear you and see you shift into your Communication-Relator®. And so, I think you even bring up a good point when there's times, and it might feel like Communication's struggling, what other themes can I use that I have in my Top 10, or my Top 5, that can support me through this and find a workaround? And that seemed to do it was OK, let me just schedule these one-on-ones with people, so I can get that need fulfilled of communicating out loud. It's pretty neat to see.

Jim Collison 6:21
And asked, I asked for those one-on-ones. Like Hey, I need some time to talk to you. And I know you're better off not, but I need it. Can you, can you bring that in?

Jaclynn Robinson 6:33
It usually wasn't work related too. Sorry to, sorry to cut you off, but it was like welcomed, because I think we were all so alone at that time, and meetings were just to talk work. And now, it was like, Wait! We can just connect and have a, you know, take 30 -- let's take 30 minutes and just catch up. So it was great.

Jim Collison 6:51
Yeah, it was super important, again, the way that worked for me. Love, if you want to drop that in the comments there in, on YouTube, love to hear how that works for you. What -- you alluded to this a second ago, but are, what are, what are ways that an individual with Communication can feel more energized by building partnerships and finding purpose in their roles, do you think?

Jaclynn Robinson 7:11
We did kind of allude to this. I think one way is by vocalizing the different ways that the individual high in Communication and the team can stay in touch, whether they're working in an office, or they're functioning as a remote team, what are ideas you have for keeping the lines of communication as a team? Someone with Communication might have some really rich ideas there, or at least invite and open up the space for people to ideate and think about that together. How do we stay connected?

Communication: Questions for Managers

Jim Collison 7:41
We're going to transition to the manager for some of the questions. But I do love this idea of thinking about teams taking strategic advantage of that person with Communication, however, that plays out, right? I mean, that Communication skill, that talent can play out in not just verbalizations, but visual, I always think in the visual arts; of course, in the written arts, right, some of those kinds of things, we have to communicate a purpose. Even, I would think, you know, an architect is communicating a design through a blueprint, right? And that could be the part of that talent. Just, so taking, figuring that out -- How do I get the best of you in your Communication? Because it can be a powerful talent. They all can be, but it can be powerful. Let's talk about the manager for a second. How can a manager with Communication support others in their basic needs? Let's flip that over to the manager now.

Jaclynn Robinson 8:34
Oh, yes. Well, sometimes productivity slows down due to a lack of communication between teams. I think we've all been there. So when this barrier occurs, this manager can be the voice of the team and use that engaging Communication skill set to connect with other managers. Hey, where do we need to realign? Let's think about our key priorities and outcomes, so that we can have both of our teams achieve success, so they can really start to break down those bottlenecks.

Jim Collison 9:03
Jaclynn, do you think -- I think sometimes, and I'll, I think, ask you, do you think -- I think sometimes in the worst team situations, the communication starts to break down -- little c, little c communication in that, right? Just the communication begins to break down. How do you think, you know, a manager, as we, the basic needs to communicate, How do you think that plays into it? Don't you think a manager with high Communication would need to really use that power for good, to, because they're gonna have to force it in, right? They're gonna really have to really work in overdrive to keep the communication channels, whatever that is, open. I don't know -- respond to that. What does that, what does that make you think of?

Jaclynn Robinson 9:45
And probably with Communication so high, it's just a natural way of thinking to go, Ooh, there's a communication breakdown. A manager with this theme, I imagine, would be much more sensitive in recognizing it sooner than maybe others that might not have this theme high, because Communication is so rich for this individual. But I think it is imperative to say, What's the best way that my team can facilitate communication with one another? And then as a manager, where is it my responsibility? Because, you know, maybe it's a matrixed team. They work with me; they work with somebody else. They're hearing different feedback. It's going to be up to me to have my Communication skill play out and get alignment with this other manager, so that we're speaking the same language. So maybe it's, it's taking that step back to decipher, you know, where do I need to support them and open lines of communication? And then, where is it on me to actually do that myself, to support the team?

Jim Collison 10:41
Maybe even having a sixth sense about when communication goes dark, you know? Ooh --

Jaclynn Robinson 10:47
I like that term! Yes!

Jim Collison 10:49
Like, ooh, we need, we better, the lines have gone down. Nobody's talking to each other, right. In those, when we think about those basic needs, and this morphs in really nicely with this, with our next question, which is, you know, How can a manager with Communication help others feel seen, heard and valued as an individual? Can't happen in the darkness. Right? Those things are all products of the light. So talk a, talk a little bit about how we bring the light back.

Jaclynn Robinson 11:16
Yeah. Through expression and their way with words, of course, someone with Communication really does have an expressive way of making someone feel seen and valued -- particularly, I think, when offering gratitude or recognition for their contributions. So consider delivering recognition in a memorable way -- handwritten notes of gratitude that specify how an individual contributed in a meaningful way. Those heartfelt written words can create impact. And it's something that they can refer back to time and again for motivation. There's, I think, there's so much power in a handwritten word. And Communication, I always tease you all, your words come out like poetry. It's just natural. So when you apply your poetry to others, it's so warmhearted to receive it on the other end.

Jim Collison 12:10
You mentioned feedback. I never tied this into Communication; it may or may not be there -- I have to think about this. But I have a bucket, you know, we have buckets that we get at Gallup when you start here, right? And I've put every single bit of recognition that -- a drop or a letter or a card or whatever, from coaches, from internal folks. And I've filled up one bucket, and now I'm working on a second. And it's, it's a time, this, I had an old manager here. I had a man -- I shouldn't say old -- I had a manager here one time tell me, it was a while ago; that's why I said that. And he said, "When you have a bad day, you can pull that recognition out and, and read it and remind yourself, right?" And, again, I don't know if that's that Communication talent of keeping -- just what you said reminded me of that, of keeping that recognition. And not just for me, but then how do I replicate that for others who may need that, right? That may be a clue -- there may be a clue there. Dovetail that into this next question: How can a manager with Communication build trust, inspire and deepen team collaboration and community?

Jaclynn Robinson 13:16
Well, this kind of ties back into what we were mentioning earlier, with the manager and basic needs, but using your way with words, look for opportunities to foster dialogue and bridge communication with your team members. This can be particularly effective for newly tenured team members who are seeking to build that connection within and across teams. We're certainly seeing that a lot in our engagement data, where maybe some of the newer members are finding that best friend connection a little slowly, because they might be remote, as an example. So observe where your team, I would say, observe where you hear your team members offering different perspectives, and then highlight powerful partnerships that can result from bringing people together.

Jim Collison 13:58
Yeah, monitoring those lines of communication and the effectiveness of them. I think that's one of those -- and seeing, you know, it's, again, not just words communicate; there's so many things that can communicate to a team. Even the way, the way a room is set up, right -- it can communicate a message. That might be a stretch for Communication, but it, just some thoughts, leaders, as you think about the way you're communicating your message. Is it the most effective? For those who have high Communication, help, help in areas where you can. Last question: How can a manager with Communication support the growth of each team member?

Jaclynn Robinson 14:42
Consider holding a team meeting that's designed to serve as a year-in-review highlight reel comes to mind here. So ask each team member to come to the meeting with one learning opportunity they experienced that helped them grow. And then after each person has shared out, ask them what highlights they'd like to see take place for the year ahead. So this can serve two purposes, because, one, you're gathering their insights on what's driving each team member. And then it's also a celebratory moment for the team overall. And maybe it's actually three, because after that, you're going, OK, now I know where the team wants to move in the future, based on the highlight reel they created in the room. So just a fun way to have the voice heard,

Jim Collison 15:20
I love that. I love that. I have had a career, at least the last 10 years, where I've made bank, when I go out publicly and get groups talking to each other and growing. Of having them get a concept, have them pair up, share from one side, share from the other, bring it back to the group. And, you know, you think that that's just the simplest form of communication. Doesn't take a lot; don't have to buy anything. You know, you can just, you can just do it. And it just, it, for me and what I'm doing, it just works so well, because it gets them talking, right; it gets groups. And that's, that's regardless of whether there's high Communication in the group or not. Lots of folks, again, they love to share out, and then you start to see it bubble out of the group, right. You've, you've done this 1,000 times, Jaclynn. You see that, right? You're in a group setting, all of a sudden, you see those high in Communication, maybe Woo a little bit, start bubbling out, right, and becoming the speakers for, for the group. But, but what a moment that is for, for team growth, that they get an opportunity to hear that from each other. I -- would add anything to that, before we close it up?

Jaclynn Robinson 16:28
That might be my final thought is Communication has a great way of sparking communication in a room or on a team or with somebody else. And that can encourage them and invite them to, to open up and share their own ideas and perspectives. And so it is a way of being very inclusive and getting diverse thoughts heard, if Communication is, you know, taking a pause to go, OK, I'm gonna maybe spark an idea and see if I can welcome other feedback. So now I'm going to take a listening part, because I want other people to also engage in this. And what a great way to have everybody's voice heard -- through your own talent.

Jim Collison 17:07
Yeah, love that. I think it's a great place to wrap it. And thanks for that great communication. It's, this is, this is what I love to do, and Commun-, again, Communication 4 in it. It has been, as I've done this, it's always a joy to spend this kind of time with you, specifically, and with our, you know, the folks that listen to the show. And, and I just, I never get tired of it, you know? So, great stuff. Anyways, appreciate that. So, with that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we do have available now in Gallup Access. Head out to While you're there, or if you go to, there's a Search button. Search on it, and then put the theme name in -- Communication for this one. All the resources we've done, we have done tons of content around this. It's available for you -- podcast form and some written form. Check it out today. For coaching, master coaching, or if you want to become a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, we do that as well. You can send us an email: If you want to join us for the 2024, or whatever year it is, Gallup at Work Summit, I'm sure we're still doing it. Head out to Stay up to date with all the future webcasts; join our Facebook and LinkedIn groups. You can find us on any social platform by searching "CliftonStrengths." And if you've enjoyed it, hit those Like and Subscribe buttons. Do whatever you need to do, but most of all, share it. We appreciate it when you do that as well. Thanks for listening today. We'll do a little bit of a midshow. And 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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