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

Context®: How to Feel More Energized at Work

Webcast Details

  • What do people with Context bring to their roles and workplaces?
  • How can you bring energy and motivation to work as you apply your Context talent?
  • How can managers with Context 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 Context® bring energy and motivation to their workplaces? And how can managers high in Context foster a work environment that is energized, motivated and thriving? Join Gallup's Jim Collison and Dr. Jaclynn Robinson and discover how, using your Context theme, you can bring new energy and motivation to your role, your managing, your coaching.


What is it that you loved over this past year? What challenges made you feel especially proud, once you overcame them? ... Have you built those opportunities that you loved in the past year into [the coming year]?

Jaclynn Robinson, 4:18

Using your strength to mark special occasions and reflect on progress -- this is where this theme can come in and really inspire.

Jaclynn Robinson, 8:22

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is The CliftonStrengths® Podcast, Season 3, recorded on January 5, 2024.

Jim Collison 0:23
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 Context. If you are listening live, love to have you join us in the chat room. If you have questions after the fact, listening to the podcast, you can 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 and 2 of The CliftonStrengths Podcast, where we looked at Wellbeing at Work -- that seems like 1,000 years ago -- and our CliftonStrengths role-based reports for Season 2. Jaclynn, always great to be with you. Welcome back!

Jaclynn Robinson 0:58
Thank you.

Context: Questions for Individuals

Jim Collison 1:00
This season, we're spending some time talking about bringing energy to work with your themes. Today, we're talking about Context. And let's talk about the individual first. How can an, an individual with Context feel more energized by focusing on their basic needs?

Jaclynn Robinson 1:18
Oh, yes. Well, it's probably pretty natural for this individual to automatically think back on what process was implemented and materials used, anytime they're engaging in a task that they've had previously, or one of those rote tasks where you're doing it on an ongoing basis. But for any new tasks that emerge or projects that are coming up on your plate, rather than have a new list of questions that you're asking your manager or a team member each time, think about the need-to-knows, and then have that structure already put in place -- almost like a template that's going to make your time and other individuals' time more efficient. What can happen, and what I've seen happen, is in that need to acquire the context of something new, it might end up overtaking a conversation or having a meeting run long, or it might take up the entire meeting.

Jaclynn Robinson 2:18
But if you already have a list of those need-to-knows in place -- What's the problem? What's the information we have? Who's the stakeholder? What's our budget? What data do we need? as examples -- and you've provided that to individuals ahead of time, where they're starting to fill that out, by the time you meet together to reassess or recess or -- to reset or reassess or get started, you're gonna get to action a lot faster than if you were to, you know, just start to ask a number of questions in the room. So that's going to create just a lot more efficiency, I think, in the process.

Jim Collison 2:56
Yeah, a, a prethought checklist, so to speak, of kind of going through, of thinking -- I think bringing some, you know, when we think about being energized by basic needs, there is that need to be heard. We're going to talk about that here in a little bit, but, but also to be able to bring yourself to the, the idea of, Hey, there may be some things from the past that we can draw on. But also, today may not be that day where those things apply, either, right? I mean, thinking, setting some expectations or, or, or knowing about that. When we think about this individual with Context, How can I feel more energized by focusing on this individual's strength and development? You alluded to, I think, this checklist idea is one of those development ideas. But as you also think about development, what else comes to mind with Context?

Jaclynn Robinson 3:50
Well, thinking about Context and just that historical viewpoint, this might be something that you already do. But it's just very top of mind, since we're at the New Year. But have you reflected on the last year for yourself? And sometimes it's useful to look through your calendar or an agenda or journal, just to refresh your memory, because it's very easy to lose sight of all the different activities and opportunities that we've done and that we've loved. But then you can start to, you know, keep tabs on, What is it that you loved over this past year? What challenges made you feel especially proud, once you overcame them? And then when you think about this present day, and maybe even some of the goals that you've set, going into 2024 (most workplaces, we have to have those goals in place), you know, are, have you incorporated those? Have you built those opportunities that you loved in the past year into 2024? Or did they just get lost in the day to day, and you want to revisit it and maybe incorporate it into your, your goals for the upcoming year? So essentially, how can you incorporate what you loved and learned from your 2023 into 2024?

Jim Collison 4:59
Context sits dead middle somewhere in there for me. I love it; I don't do it very well sometimes. And this is one of those areas where I struggle, and it may, as I think about, as we, a little bit later -- well, let's just talk about it. We think about developing partnerships, right? What are some ways an individual with this team can feel more energized by building partnerships, finding purpose in the role? As I look back to set goals for 2024, and I start looking back, this may be an area where I could partner with someone better to say, Hey, work, let's, let's -- because I have I Communication® -- let's talk through this. That might help me get some of these goals kind of out. What other areas, as we think about the individual and building partnerships and finding purpose in the role, what, what else? What are your thoughts there?

Jaclynn Robinson 5:49
I love that you said that! What a good pairing -- Communication and Context working together. Well, I think about those, those team meetings that, that folks have. If you're an individual with Context, and you're sitting in that team meeting, you really can help create and facilitate that culture of learning and camaraderie by initiating conversations about past successes or historical snafus or adversities that you've had. And having those conversations as a team, you can help everyone feel aligned and supported and celebrated, because you're thinking about your, you know, historical timeline. It's that year-end review, so to speak, and it doesn't have to be drudgery. Oftentimes, it can be fun to go, Wow, we've come so far! And it doesn't always require the leader to engage in that conversation; that individual in the room can create those gentle nudges or reminders.

Context: Questions for Managers

Jim Collison 6:40
Yeah, I took on a new team that was very, very high in Context and Deliberative® as well. And they were not being heard. And one, as we think about a manager, one, I felt like one of my roles, while I couldn't do it myself -- I was new. I didn't know. I didn't have any of the context, right; I didn't have any of the historical backdrop of what they've been through. But to listen to what they had to say, to just try and, to try and bring empathy -- maybe small "e" on that -- and then, and then use Communication to synthesize that back to the organization, to say, Hey, here's what I'm hearing from that. So, and that seemed, like, that seemed to, took a long time. You never know; it's very complex and complicated in those roles. But it seemed like I was helping them with their basic needs, so that they could be heard on this. How else can a manager, with, with, as we think about Context, support others in their basic needs? That's just a small example. I don't usually lead with an example, but I did here. What do you think?

Jaclynn Robinson 7:42
Providing regular updates on the team's progress for those current and/or maybe ongoing projects can be really helpful of just, Where are we in relation to where we need to be? I think it helps keep the team members informed and connected to their, if we think about it, shared history and work assignments. They're, they're collaborating together; it's just, Where are we at in this process? Yeah.

Jim Collison 8:08
Before you keep going, let me, let me bring this in as well, because I think this fits well, right. How can a manager with, with Context help others feel seen, heard and valued as an individual? Other thoughts on that?

Jaclynn Robinson 8:20
Yes. So using your strength to mark special occasions and reflect on progress -- this is where this theme can come in and really inspire and almost look like a Relationship theme, as we think about how these theme domains kind of transcend over time, you don't just, you're not just locked into one. But you can use this strength and celebrate anniversaries, work anniversaries, milestones that individuals or teams have had; past events that were successful related to the individual or the team. You can show appreciation for their dedication and their contributions as an individual or a team. So those are the ways that you can really create that, that sense of energy and synergy on a team.

Jim Collison 9:06
Yeah, the phrase that I have is, connecting, you know, successes from the past for future success, right, of being able to say, Hey, you know what? We were super successful when we did this. The situation may not be exactly the same today. But how can we take that, learn from that and then deploy that forward for future success? And, and being heard to say, "The things you did in the past are not forgotten. Let's bring the best of that forward, to see how we can, how we can get that done today in that area of -- " to me, we ask this question about, you know, How can a manager with, with Context build trust, inspire? -- you used that word just a second ago -- and deepen team collaboration and community? How else, what other, what are some other thoughts that we, we think of that recognizing that person or bringing that forward. Any additional thoughts on that, as we think about building trust?

Jaclynn Robinson 10:07
Yeah, they can create a culture of open communication, where, and you touched on this, where employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas, their concerns, their feedback, based on their own experiences. So we're really celebrating the lived experiences of others here. And, you know, an example could be, this looks like storytelling, storytelling or sharing in team meetings. And then act on their input, to demonstrate that you value their perspectives, whether it's repeating what you've heard or taking some of those experiences -- when you start to hear the collective experiences as each individual might be sharing out, you might hear some collective themes -- and then acting on it.

Jim Collison 10:47
How do you think we can use Context, or a manager with Context can use that? Oftentimes, we point, we point a lot back, right, in the things we said and things we do. Taking that from the past, bringing it forward for success. How do you think you can use that to support growth? Like, how can that, what can that be done, from a manager perspective? Where does that fit in to the manager conversations? Or where can that help, as a manager, in growing team members?

Jaclynn Robinson 11:18
I think creating opportunities for employees to reflect on their own growth and development, giving them space to do that. You might get creative -- you know, if they had a highlight reel from the past year, what would be on that reel? And just see what they have to say. Ask them to share those career highlights and those challenges, the lessons learned. And then, as you think about them being in the driver's seat, and now you're the passenger helping them move ahead, they've reflected in their rearview mirror already, but where are they seeing themselves in the future? And then you can help put that plan together for them.

Jim Collison 11:53
If you were my manager, and we were doing that now, I would need you to start by getting me talking about that. Like, I don't naturally bring those things up; I need to begin to have some conversa- -- Oh, then I'd be like, "Oh, wait a minute. Let's, OK, don't, let's not forget about this." Because it's not natural. I think it just takes, for me, it takes some communication to kind of bring that out. That may also be, as a manager with high Context, that may be leaning into those team members, to say, How do they get to success? I think we think if we ask the question -- this may be an epiphany for me right now -- I think sometimes we ask, "Talk about your past successes," right? That's kind of a coaching question we ask to kind of get to some of these things. I don't think we often think about, How do we do that by theme? Like, what theme helps you get to those past successes? I don't naturally get to them just starting; I can't just rattle them off. I need to spend some time talking about them, right, to bring it out. And so that may be, you know, an addendum to the question of, What theme can you use? Or what theme do you need to use? I want to get to your past successes. But what themes -- theme or themes are we going to use to get there? I don't know, as we wrap this theme up, Jaclynn, any thoughts on that? And then, and then kind of put a bow on this for us.

Jaclynn Robinson 13:12
Yeah, I could see that. What, what themes contributed to your past success? And then, How do you want to apply those learnings or successes moving forward? Because sometimes we might drop the ball there too, where we might celebrate it but then we're not acting on it, to see how we can grow or further ourselves from it. So yep, this is one of those themes where, when you have Context, it might be easy to think about that historical piece. But you brought it up a number of times today: Not everyone lives there or sits there or naturally would think back to it. And so those with Context are really great and fruitful, and, you know, I think we should all welcome them with open arms, in helping us revisit the past and remember successes and performance and failures, even -- How do we, how did we learn and grow from that? And then how do we want to play it moving forward? Because you got folks that have themes with Futuristic® or Activator®. And it's just like, Let's go, go, go, or let's just think about the future. But they can be really fruitful at helping us just pause and say, "Yeah, let me think about that highlight reel." So you can do it for yourself individually. But this is also where that we comes up, when you lend that theme out to others. It can be great -- whether you're an individual or a manager.

Jim Collison 14:35
Yeah, help, help connecting the dots, maybe not necessarily from a Connectedness® standpoint, but a historical, say, What do you think contributed? What do you think, what was going on around you that contributed to that? Right? What are the, almost the, from a three-dimensional standpoint of, rather a success being a bullet point, it's more like a dimensional space where you're like, No it was these pieces. It was this piece and this piece and this piece. And all these things came together at the same time. In the fullness of time, that was successful. And so I --

Jaclynn Robinson 15:08
Wow! That's a great way of putting it. You just put a huge multilayer on what Context is, versus just, you know, one dimensional. There's so much dimension to what Context brings.

Jim Collison 15:21
Yeah, well, let's, maybe the, in that moment of Context, let's wrap it there. We'll remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we do have available around this in Gallup Access. Head out to -- just sign into your, your account where you get your Top 5, all those, there's a Resources tab and a lot of information for you there. For coaching, master coaching or if you want to become a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, we can help you with that. Send us an email: That's a good email address, just for any general questions anyways. If you want to join us for the 2024 Gallup at Work Summit, if it's, if it's past, we're probably planning another one. But head out to Love to see you in 2024, both in person and, and virtual options. Stay up to date with all our future webcasts by joining us in our Facebook groups, and they're on LinkedIn as well. Find us on any social platform just by searching "CliftonStrengths." Just as a side note, we've been getting more interest on Pinterest lately. And so there's some things -- yeah, kind of interesting. You can find us there. Just search "CliftonStrengths." If you enjoyed it, hit the Like and Subscribe button -- I'm contractually obligated to say that -- there on YouTube, and please share it. Thanks for listening to us today. If you're listening live, stay around for a little bit of a postshow. 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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