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Called to Coach
Integrating Strengths Into the Architecture at The Lawrence Group
Called to Coach

Integrating Strengths Into the Architecture at The Lawrence Group

Webcast Details

  • What are some keys to integrating strengths into a multifaceted organization?
  • What are some keys to bringing out the best in your own strengths?
  • How can strengths help in conflict management?

Called to Coach Webcast Series -- Season 12, Episode 9

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


Becoming a strengths-based organization takes planning and strategy. It involves organizational buy-in. And it needs momentum to keep the strengths focus moving ahead. So says Tyra Duren of The Lawrence Group. Tyra has overseen the integration of CliftonStrengths into her organization, beginning just before the pandemic started. In this episode of Called to Coach, Tyra shares from her experience how she has applied her own talents -- to her role, to embedding strengths at The Lawrence Group, and personally -- and has seen powerful results. Join us and be inspired on your organization's -- and your own -- strengths journey.


Lean into your strengths and say, and do, and build your goals off of what you're good at.

Tyra Duren, 34:40

Accept [people] for who they are. They can accept you for who you are, so you can move forward together.

Tyra Duren, 44:35

Burnout comes from doing things that are not in your natural talents over and over again.

Tyra Duren, 48:45

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on March 28, 2024.

Jim Collison 0:18
Called to Coach is a resource for those who want to help others discover and use their strengths. We have Gallup experts and independent strengths coaches share tactics, insights and strategies to help coaches maximize the talent of individuals, teams and organizations around the world. If you're listening live, we'd love to have your questions in our chat room. You can join us there in chat -- either LinkedIn below me on YouTube over to the right. If you have questions after the fact -- maybe you're listening on the podcast or there on YouTube, you can always send us an email: Don't forget to subscribe on your favorite podcast app or right there on YouTube, so you never miss an episode. Olivia Curbeam is our host today. Olivia is a Workplace Adviser with Gallup. Her Top 5 are Empathy®, Relator®, Positivity®, Futuristic® and Significance®. And Olivia, welcome to Called to Coach!

Meet Our Guest on This Episode

Olivia Curbeam 1:04
Thank you, Jim. Thank you for the introduction and for having me today. And I'm really excited to share this episode with Tyra Duren, the Director of Talent at The Lawrence Group in St. Louis, Missouri, and to really just dive into their CliftonStrengths journey as an organization. And so Tyra, welcome. Thank you so much for your time today. And just to really start things off, I would just love for you to introduce yourself and give us a little more discussion around your background and your Top 5 strengths.

Tyra Duren 1:31
Yeah, thanks so much, Olivia. Thanks, Jim. Really excited to be here today. So I am once again Tyra Duren. I am going on 10 years in people and culture work. I started off thinking that I was going to be an attorney. That was the road that I went down. And, you know, it came from, what was that, "NCIS," "Law and Order." I really wanted to be in the courtroom, fighting the big cases like that. And then I started taking law school courses and realized that it was more paperwork than actual courtroom visits. And I said, OK, this, I don't, I don't know if I'm on the right path here. What is it that I should be doing? I hit, like, that, that, that weird state in between graduating from college and real life hitting. And so just after conversations with my mother, she was like, "You know what? You should think about HR. You like to fight for people, right? That's, that's what you should look at."

Tyra Duren 2:35
And looking into it. I decided to go back and get a dual master's in HR from Webster University here in, in St. Louis. And I loved it. I knew first semester, like, this is it. OK, I want to sit at the table. What I later found out from doing my CliftonStrengths, being an Influencer for people. And so that's how I got into it. Started off with a company called Convergence, being their employee relations intern for about a year, and moving into training so I can understand how to train and develop adults. It was a little bit of a pivot from HR. But that was my main focus. I need to understand how the adult workforce works, how to manage adults, how to develop and mentor adults. And so that, that training job really helped me with that. And then I went into nonprofit with the Gateway Region YMCA, learning more of the HR operations and administrative side.

Tyra Duren 3:42
And then there, I joined a group around engagement. What we call them today is BRGs or ERGs. And that's when I really found my passion to say, OK, I need to be more in the initiatives type, type of work. After staying there for about a year, I became the HR Generalist of the St. Louis Cardinals. It was cool. It was cool. I will not lie to you. That was a fun 3 years of my workforce. But that's when I really learned every other realm of people -- benefits, compensation, overall employee experience and when I really learned how to be an advocate for employees internally, I started doing DEI work and understanding how to coach adults really in that role. Concentrix bought Convergence, and then they called me back. They said, OK, great. Glad you had that experience. They called me back. It was during the COVID, you know, and it was a great opportunity. I hated to leave the Redbirds, but it was just a great opportunity for me in my career, where I ran the site of about 800 employees in between a few states in, in St. Louis.

Tyra Duren 5:03
There, I was promoted to Global DEI manager, and it was an interesting time trying to do DEI work for other countries and learning the legal system and things around DEI. But I ultimately landed here with The Lawrence Group that has been a wonderful time since 2022, where I'm the Director of Talent -- doing really everything people and culture, from identifying talent, from talent acquisition, as well as assessing talent. What do we -- in house and who can we promote in the future? What places can we put them in? DEI overall employee experience. Lawrence Group is also a part of a three-business-unit consortium. So we had New + Found, that is the commercial real estate investment side; Lawrence Group that does the design; and then Integrate Construction that does the build. So three companies, one building, one CEO. So doing work across all three. And if people look it up, if you look up, City Foundry is one of our flagship projects that all three business units have touched. So doing exciting work. That's my ... . That's how I got introduced to Gallup, and I just can see myself long-term continuing to be in the people and culture business. So --

Olivia Curbeam 6:28
Yeah, that's very impressive. And really, when you were going through all these kinds of different avenues in your career, how did you kind of lean on your strengths? Or what strengths did you lean on the most? And also, what are your Top 5?

Tyra Duren 6:41
Yeah. So if I can, I'm going to do it backwards.

Olivia Curbeam 6:45

Tyra Duren 6:45
So my Top 5 are Futuristic®, Relator®, Command®, Significance® and Strategic®. And at the time, I didn't know the language behind that. I just knew, Why am I always wanting to know what my future is gonna look like 5 to 10 years? And one of my mentors would tell me, "You've got to learn how to live in the moment! You will achieve something and be like, 'Great, OK, now let me start planning for the next thing that's 5 years in advance.'" And I didn't know why I was doing it. I didn't know why I needed to build a 10-year career plan for myself and strategically think about the moves that I was making -- why I decided to be a trainer for that one year. But now, knowing the Gallup strengths language, I realized that I'm Futuristic. I have to solve problems of tomorrow, because the way that my brain operates is today will be over in 24 hours. So we need to be solving the problems of tomorrow. Or I need to be thinking about how to, you know, navigate for the future, in order to be ready for it today. And so that's the one that I really feel like I leaned into throughout my career.

Olivia Curbeam 8:01
Awesome. I think we have three of the Top 5 the same, which is really cool. And when did you first then take CliftonStrengths? Because you were kind of working on your strengths throughout your whole career, but you just didn't really have that language around it yet. When was your first introduction into you actually utilizing Gallup using CliftonStrengths?

Tyra Duren 8:18
Yeah, awesome. So I interviewed for this position with our COO Tim Rowbottom, and one of the things he was discussing during our interview, say, "Hey, have you ever heard of CliftonStrengths? Or, you know, are you a coach? Familiar?" And I'd say, "Huh. Not quite familiar. Let me do some research. Let me look this up." And the more I started to deep-dive, especially after being hired into the organization, I said, OK, we need to deep-dive more. I need to be an internal coach. We need to have some internal people that act as experts. So that's how I first became introduced, before I even took on the position, him introducing that to me in the interview phase and me starting to research that. Even if it didn't end up with me being here now, after doing my research and looking into CliftonStrengths I said, OK, this is something that I need to, to be connected to and that I need to deep-dive into more.

Olivia Curbeam 9:18
And with being certified as really being your first step of really understanding CliftonStrengths, how was that process, and what tools do you feel like you leaned on the most kind of utilizing it at Lawrence Group? Kind of just talking about your experience of getting certified?

Tyra Duren 9:33
You know what? It is so -- that, that experience was so eye-opening for me. I am an in-person type of learner, OK. I tell people, I have what I call squirrel brain. OK, Focus® is somewhere in my Top 10, but it is like right there, like 8. And so I told our CFO and she's like, "Can you do, like, the online learning?" And I'm like, "Oh, no. I cannot do online learning. I'm gonna, I'm gonna lose focus." But honestly, I did the online learning, and not once did I lose focus, because it was that interesting. It was funny because after day 1, I had my mother take it.

Olivia Curbeam 10:22
I did too.

Tyra Duren 10:24
So it's like, my mother was retiring. So it's like, OK, look, take this. And then by the end of the week, I'll be able to coach you on what this means. But it was a really eye-opening experience. It was enlightening for me, as an individual, to know, OK, as I move about my career, this is going to give me the correct language to use to say, Am I allowed to think Futuristically when I'm in this position? Can I Strategically plan? Or do you have me doing a lot of Executing? Because 6 of my Top 10 are Influencing themes, and I really need to be an Influencer. So it really helped enlighten me with that language and made sure that I was excited when I brought it back to the enterprise.

The Lawrence Group and CliftonStrengths

Olivia Curbeam 11:11
Absolutely, and I think one thing you really touched on that is important as being that internal strengths expert for your organization -- having someone that they can go to and really streamline and lead this CliftonStrengths within the organization. And having your CEO on board also is just amazing, especially when you're going into an organization and that's happening. But I know when we were talking, talking, you were talking about how you're all or nothing with bringing CliftonStrengths into your organization. So I'd love to just have you talk through your process of, OK, if we're gonna do this, let's do this right, and what bringing CliftonStrengths to The Lawrence Group look like.

Tyra Duren 11:44
Yeah. So CliftonStrengths have been introduced to The Lawrence Group right before the pandemic. So a majority of the company had taken CliftonStrengths tests or the assessment. And, of course, 2020 happened. So after doing the research and understanding that I needed to be a CliftonStrengths coach in order to best assist the organization becoming a strengths-based organization, it was really saying, How do we plan? You know, how do we rev back up, reintroduce it to the organization with intentionality? And that's when I leaned into my Strategic, OK. It's like, How do we map this out? What is the plan? And we really stuck to a four-part approach. And that's Prep, Launch, Execute, Stabilize, OK.

Tyra Duren 12:43
Prep -- Get people excited. Hey, remember, CliftonStrengths? We're going to relaunch this across all three business units. We're going to relaunch this across the organization in the next couple of months. We started introducing and getting people excited. We did a big relaunch at what we have is our annual retreat. That's all three companies, as well as Lawrence Group's network offices. So we have offices in Austin, Florida, New York. All fly in. And so we have this audience where everybody is there in person. And so we said, Look, we're gonna do this CliftonStrengths work. We brought in Dr. Peter Dry to do the motivational discussion and some entry-level workshop to what they should expect. And then from there, a week later, everybody got the links. Hey, I already have this group. If you're on this list, and you're highlighted, I need your assessment. We sent out assessments, and we made sure that everybody was assessed within the next 30 to 45 days.

Tyra Duren 13:46
From there, we started the execution. Set up your one-on-one conversations with me. I had a rule that I introduced to the rest of the organization, and that was, if it's on my calendar, take it! If it's 1 hour, we'll need 1 hour, take it. And so people were setting up those one-on-ones and having conversation. And even if they had started those one-on-ones pre-pandemic, some of them did some follow-ups, to say, OK, I just want a refresher. So once we did those one-on-ones, we then started introducing it to the teams. OK. So we went through like the next 60 days. OK, now that we've pretty much got a good grasp, grasp on one-on-one conversations, let's start setting up team sessions. We need multiple, at least an hour and a half to kick it off, so we can start looking at your teams. Maybe it's not your immediate team of direct reports; maybe it's a leadership teams.

Tyra Duren 14:43
And now we are moving from the Execution stage to the Stabilization stage, right. It's a really, it's ingrained in the organization. We launched something last year called the Leadership Learning Series, in which I'll do any type of middle-management training or up-and-coming leader training. And everything is wrapped around CliftonStrengths. OK, we're going to talk about recognizing your employees right. How do you recognize your employees per their CliftonStrengths? Right? Because how I recognize my Executor is not going to be how I recognize my Influencer or how I recognize my Relationship Builder. We're engulfing it with strengths and performance reviews. How are we organizing our teams, based on their CliftonStrengths? So that's the steps that we're in now. And really looking forward to continuing those in 2024.

Olivia Curbeam 15:41
Yeah, that's awesome. And just knowing that you have a plan for rolling out CliftonStrengths and not necessarily just winging it within your organization; finding something that works best. And how long of a span of time would you say you've been from when you started, like, the relaunch of CliftonStrengths to where you're at now? Just maybe for some of our listeners, and, who are looking to bring CliftonStrengths to their organization? How long has it been since you kind of had that relaunch?

Tyra Duren 16:04
Yeah, May of last year. May of last year. So we built out a solid 6- to 12-month plan in order to do that. So yeah, that's, and it's been really successful.

Olivia Curbeam 16:17
Have a lot of employees kind of, who have been revisiting their -- bless you! Have a lot of employees -- you're good -- who have been revisiting their CliftonStrengths, has, have you heard any feedback of, Wow, like this has really surprised me! Or what has kind of been -- you said overall successful -- maybe some of the interactions that you've heard from employees on kind of their feedback on how this is going?

Tyra Duren 16:41
It's so funny, because it's different. It's different. It just depends on the group, right? So some, some coming into it, they say, "Oh, I'm really excited about it!" You know. "I started this process a couple years ago. And I want to follow up more." And then it's some that are a little hesitant, right? They say, "This seems horoscope-like, I don't know." And then we'll go through the process. And it's like that light bulb that comes on. So it just depends on which group, which set of employees. You get a different response; depends on who it is, for sure.

CliftonStrengths and Coaching Managers, Employees

Jim Collison 17:22
Tyra, I want to give you a second -- as I jump in here, I want to give you a second to get a drink of water. You've done a great job of getting through, getting through that. And it's OK. It happens, it happens during that. We did have a question -- you might know this individual. Javier asks this question: Can you give an example of how you use CliftonStrengths to make decisions when managing or directing employees? And I think you've talked a little bit about how you're doing it from an organizational standpoint. But when you think about in your own, kind of in your own role -- and I'm sure you're doing it a lot, but maybe something where you think you're most effective? Has there been a time or, you know, sometimes, like, for me, I lean into my Woo® for podcasting. I just do; it just works. Right. And I know I can do it over and over and over again. Has there been, for you personally in your time there or in your career, has been a theme that you might or a set of themes that you might lean on?

Tyra Duren 18:18
Absolutely. So for myself, there are some times, like now, I have to go more into my Top 10 than my Top 5. So right there at 6 and 7 are like Achiever® and Focus. And sometimes, when I'm having to get out there and help our Talent Development Generalists recruit, OK, I've got to tap into Achiever and Focus. I've got to dive into some inboxes. Or maybe, if I'm in a strategy meeting with my leader, I need to deep dive into my Strategic Thinking theme. Or if they're talking about Tyra, what does the talent landscape look 5 to 10 years from now? OK, let me start thinking Futuristically. It's more of that language, right? Think about the things that you're naturally good at.

Tyra Duren 19:07
When it comes to coaching managers, and if I'm coaching a manager and say, Hey, your person has Achiever-Responsibility® as a combination, and you're expecting them to automatically delegate. Look, you asked them to do it; they feel obligated to do it. Practice that patience, and use some language like, Hey, I put this on your plate, but you do know that's not, that's not immediate, right? I can wait on that. Or you can pass that to your other team member. You don't necessarily have to do that. Just understanding a person's strengths and knowing that there may be those barriers, right, that come with those strengths. That's the way of just leaning into those people having an understanding of how it works with others, and really just pointing it out.

Tyra Duren 20:01
If you have somebody that is a Learner®, I tell leaders, Hey, you have a Learner person. They're going to ask a lot of questions. That's one of the things that we implemented in the onboarding process. When an employee is now onboarded, they do a one-on-one session with me in their onboarding. And then their leader gets an email saying, Hey, here's your new hire's Top 5. Here are some phrases that resonated with them. So we look at some of those combos that we went in. And if you're a CliftonStrengths coach, you know what I'm talking about -- those phrases that come from those two combinations. And then there's a section that says, Hey, your person is a Relator. You have a team of 15. Don't do a group lunch that's 2 hours long, asking this person to meet all 15 of your new people; that is going to give them anxiety. Just instead challenge them to say, Hey, over the next 60 days, go out to eat with two or three people at a time, or reach out to them individually, because Relators need that individual relationship. So that's how I usually coach and manage and direct employees, based on those strengths.

Olivia Curbeam 21:21
Thank you. And I think that's just so helpful that you take into consideration maybe the tenure of where the employee's at. OK, we're onboarding. But also the different relationships they'll have -- whether it's coworker to coworker, coworker to manager, and just having that understanding and infusing strengths with that. And, Jim, we have another question from Morgan in the chat that I think would be good for Tyra as well. That is, the chat has really great questions. I want to make sure they --

Jim Collison 21:45
Do you want to just read that, Olivia? Yeah. Go ahead.

CliftonStrengths and Hiring, Recruitment

Olivia Curbeam 21:48
Yeah. Hey, Tyra! How do you recommend companies utilize the data from CliftonStrengths when assessing the strengths within teams, from a hiring/recruitment standpoint? And do you have any strategies/best practices for addressing gaps within teams?

Tyra Duren 22:01
Ooh, this is so good! Because managers, and I'm not saying Lawrence Group managers, because I know my people are on here. Managers in general ask that question to say, Can I be deliberate about only hiring an Influencer, since we need Influencers? Or can I be deliberate? And so, as a CliftonStrengths coach, we know that, no, we don't encourage it to be used as a tool in that way; it's really to say, OK, the candidate that I love, I'm leaning into, after we hire, now, let's take those strengths and see how to make the best of the position, right? Because you can be in an industry or a job, and it look different for different people, right. And so, yes, I'm in a high-influencing job as the Director of Talent. But it doesn't mean that a high Executor can't do this job. It's just that it's going to look different.

Tyra Duren 23:00
And so I always encourage leaders, Don't look at it as so much I need to hire Influencers, or I need to hire this, this certain strength that's missing. No, let's look at the job description. Look at this person's natural strengths, and see how we can utilize those to still accomplish the needs of the position. And so that's how I would talk to organizations about utilizing that data, and the best place to address the gaps, right? You know, that coaching feedback would just be, don't look at where somebody's Bottom 34 are, or the Bottom 30, and say, OK, you need to work on these Bottom 30. Unless something happens, that is always, Empathy is always going to be my No. 32. It is always going to be my No. 32. And so the thing is, it doesn't mean that I can't be empathetic. I, and I'll get personal here, I put in my phone, "Encourage your husband." I have a notification that goes off every 2 weeks to just say something, like, sweet and nice. And so, to the other side, it's like, Oh, she's so empathetic. And it's like, no, I really have to try at it. But it doesn't mean that they can't do it. And so that's what I would just encourage is not too much just focusing on the gaps, but utilizing the, your people's strengths as best as possible to meet the needs of the team.

Diving Deeper Into Your Own Strengths

Olivia Curbeam 24:28
Yeah, and we really kind of say with CliftonStrengths, it's not if they can do the job, but how they do the job. And so you're right on the money when you're talking about, we don't use CliftonStrengths for hiring; this is really a people development tool. How can we develop our people so they can be best at their role? And you're talking a lot about how you're coaching your individuals, your managers, your people at The Lawrence Group. I'm wondering, who do you go to when you would like some coaching as the coach? Where do you go to, to kind of gain more information or kind of dive deeper into your own strengths?

Tyra Duren 24:57
Yeah, the person that I, automatically comes to mind -- I mentioned him earlier -- is Dr. Peter Dry. It's funny -- when he saw my Full 34, he was like, Whoa! He's like, OK, you're all Influencing themes with some Strategic and then like two Executors. It's like, how fast do you go? And it's funny, because Command and Relator are in my Top 2. And usually, one is at the bottom, one is at the top. And so there's some anomalies in there that, sometimes, when it creeps up, I'll call Peter and say, "Peter, I need your help! This is what's going on." But he's been a great resource for me. Shout-out to Peter!

Olivia Curbeam 25:41
Shout-out to Peter! Perfect. Thank you. And then another thing, too, when it comes to CliftonStrengths, utilizing CliftonStrengths, I know you talked about really your strategy on employee experience, employee engagement, how have you seen people utilizing their strengths, utilizing CliftonStrengths tie into the engagement, to the culture of your organization? Kind of those outcomes such as productivity, profitability, things along those lines? How have you seen that translated from utilizing and bringing in CliftonStrengths?

Tyra Duren 26:12
Absolutely. So from an individual basis, I'll talk individual and team ... out to me. From an individual basis, I've seen people come into my office and say, "I don't know even if I'm in the right field, if I'm doing the right thing." Or "I think I should move and do something different." And I say, "Oh, no, you have all Relationship Building. Be the encourager on your team to have more days in work, or go and visit once a quarter somewhere else and work from somewhere else, and see how that works." And it's like, "Oh, OK, I haven't thought about that."

Tyra Duren 26:44
I just did a, a Leadership Learning Series that talked about the stretch and recovery goals. Gallup released a article that talked about stretch and recovery. And so we referenced that article, and went through and say, OK, if I'm a Relator, you know, I'm going to be intentional about building those relationships around the organization. But in the team, everybody here still makes fun of me, because they know not to book me every other Tuesday after 4:00. I said, but every other Tuesday after 4:00 is girls' night. I am going out with my two friends, because my Relator needs it. I need to lean into those relation -- that's my recovery goal. My stretch goal is working with these execs on an individual basis; my recovery is margarita Tuesday. And so that should be just like, Look, you got to put that stretch and recovery.

Tyra Duren 27:42
And so a lot of people, when they look at strengths, they only think of it from a professional standpoint. No, it works as personal as well. And so you see that light bulb come off for an individual. For a team, so with our construction company, Integrate Construction, we did multiple team sessions with their senior leadership. And you saw how different ones say, OK, if we're looking to build relationships externally and internally, because their group makeup was mostly Execution, right. But if we're looking at building relationships to grow the business, who on this team is really good at doing that? And that's how they've been using it, I mean, and I've just seen tremendous growth on their end. So it works differently, depending on the team and the setup and the dynamic of the team and how they fall.

Jim Collison 28:37
Tyra, you mentioned, it's construction. And you, you also, you have a law firm. Those are pretty different.

Olivia Curbeam 28:44
That's what I was gonna say, yeah.

Tailoring CliftonStrengths to Facets of Your Organization

Jim Collison 28:45
Pretty, pretty different spaces, right? When you think about introducing strengths to both. How individualized -- and you've spent a little time talking about this, but -- across those two organizations, do you have to kind of come up with a different plan to make some of those things work? Talk a little bit about that.

Tyra Duren 29:03
Yeah, it's great. Just, so Lawrence Group is actually a design and architecture firm. And so it's, it's funny, because you have the creatives in Lawrence Group, and you have the construction. So this is a great question. I noticed that when I came into the integrate team sessions, that, that wall is up, because they're looking at me, like, oh, she's getting ready to come in here and do this kumbaya session, and I don't have time. And so I started off using my Command, because I knew that that's what they would lean into and appreciate the most. I came in and said, "OK, if you think this is getting ready to be a kumbaya, froufrou session, it's not. Let's get deep. Let's talk about what's working, what's not working. What, what makes up a good team in your mind? What doesn't make up a good team? What are you missing? Who's not pulling their weight, according to you?" Using really direct language, because that first session was, like, let's get, let's get deep and talk.

Tyra Duren 30:08
And so, with the design side, especially since the makeup of Lawrence Group is mostly Relationship Building, it's more of a strategic language, OK, Hey, think about a team that you worked on before. What was really good about that team? What did you like? What characteristics did you like? Think about a team that you never want to be on again. What characteristics? OK, where does your team fall? Let's just focus on the good team. What pieces do you like? And what -- it's, it's a, it's a different approach. And that's what I feel led to the most success with the construction side. It was just very direct -- Let's get to it. Let's get to what we need to fix. What's going good, what's not? And let's talk strategic. So yeah, it was a very different approach.

Making Time for Strengths

Olivia Curbeam 31:00
Yeah, and going off of that, too, a lot of times, people might say, "I don't have time to do this," or "This isn't some" -- like, how do you make the time to have all these one-on-one conversations? And how do you really kind of go about that? Because obviously, with construction, you have a lot of front line, you have goals to meet. How do you incorporate CliftonStrengths without it feeling like something extra that they have to do on their to-do list?

Tyra Duren 31:22
That is such a good question. Sometimes I have to sneak it in. Now I'm telling all my secrets! I have to sneak it in, because if they come into my office, I've had some leaders that they don't really want to talk about it. And they will come in, and it's like, This is my problem. This is what I have going on. And I say, Hmm. This is why, is this person doing this, this, this and this? And I'm like, yeah, like, Yeah, let's go. Let's pull up their CliftonStrengths, and see right here. And then you start with what they're looking for, as far as a solution, and work backwards. That's how I've been able to sneak it in. And they're like, Huh. Oh, well, this is more than just learning their Top 5. And I'm like, Yeah, it solves some business problems and creates some understanding of where they're coming from. So yeah, sometimes I have to sneak it in, starting, starting at the solution.

Strengths and the Power of 2

Jim Collison 32:18
I like it! We won't tell them, we won't tell them that's what you're doing. This brings up a good question from chat. And Katka, watching on YouTube, says, How do you coach people that are not goal-oriented in a productive way? As some -- as an example, as someone with Deliberative® No. 3, I find action points stressful, right? And I need time -- goals, goals drive, I need some time to think about it. As you think about those individual conversations that you have, How much prework do you have to do? Or what do you do in advance of a coaching session to learn and know and understand that person in a way that you can work with them understanding the framework?

Tyra Duren 33:02
Yeah. So the easiest people, to me, have been the Executors -- like Achiever, that's their thing is to create a list. But like you said, when it gets to be Deliberative or Consistency®, it's like, I want to do, you know, some of the same consistent things, it gets to be a little more difficult. Or if someone is strong strategic planning, it's strategy, strategy, strategy, strategy, but it's like what gets you to the goal? No. 1, I say find a partner. So I am not -- I only have two little Execution themes, but the Talent Development Generalists on my team -- shout-out to Kiara -- is 7 out of her 10 is Executing. Seven out of 10 is Executing. She's a machine. So what I am like big, big, big, big vision, what I did was create a relationship of transparency to say, when I am too big-picture, pull me back. If I'm too big-picture about our department goals, she has the OK to say, "OK, Tyra. That's great. Can we put some goals on the board? Can we build some stair steps?" And I'm like, "Ooh, OK. OK, great. Oh, great. What you got?" Like, OK, all I know is this is where I want to be. Help me build those stair steps. So that's my accountability partner is saying, OK, you're really, really good at building the stair steps; I'm good at visionary and Influencing people. Help me! So that's one way.

Tyra Duren 34:38
And then I also say, Lean into your strengths and say, and do, and build your goals off of what you're good at. Right. So I mentioned that article that talked about stretch versus recovery goal. If you're a Strategic Thinking, high Strategic Thinking themes, you need some days in the year that you plan on just strategically thinking about your life or your career. I take off Thursday and Friday in January every year to strategically plan my personal and professional life. Just me. What do I want to accomplish in my buckets? What family do I want to -- do we want to do a family vacation this year? OK, Tyra, what do you need to do to get to your ultimate goal? Have you some strategic planning session using that accountability partner to build some, some, some stair steps, right. And then here's the thing: Everybody has All 34. It may take you longer, but just be intentional about that All 34. If you know that you actually need to build some goals, put in some of those reminders, Tyra; at least add one goal in the next 2 weeks. To do that, and be intentional about that. So that's, that's how I coach that feedback.

Olivia Curbeam 35:54
Yeah, and I think what we call that, too, is the Power of 2, finding that, finding your person that you can really work through anything. And I think that's really nice that The Lawrence Group, you create that space that they can find their Power of 2, because they all know each other's strengths. So I think opening that up and giving them the ability to kind of seek out who their Power of 2s are is really helpful. And another thing I was curious about, and you kind of touched on it: How do you approach coaching a manager to CliftonStrengths versus coaching an individual? Because obviously, a manager is going to have a little more, or probably a lot more, responsibility when it comes to not only knowing their strengths as an individual, but as a manager, and how to coach to that, or even having individual manager conversations. Kind of what is your advice around that?

Tyra Duren 36:40
Absolutely. So I'll go back to the to, to me -- this is a personal opinion, not a fact -- to me, achievable, Achiever and Responsibility are like too intense. That's an intense combo. And so somebody that has Achiever-Responsibility that is a entry-level designer that's just pushing out work, that's gonna be great. Like they're just churning and burning. You can put it on my, my desk is churning and burning. I have to coach them, though, to say, OK, make sure you put some recovery time in there. I talked about my Talent Development Generalist being 7 out of 10 Executing, so I'm like, "Go home! "Go home! You were here before me, and you're here a whole hour after you're supposed to be gone, 2 hours after you're supposed to be gone. I'm looking at you sending emails at night. Stop! Like, go home!"

Tyra Duren 37:35
Whether -- and then with a manager that's Achiever-Responsibility, it's a lot different, right? Because now I'm trying to coach them to delegate more. And it's saying, OK, you elevate it from that doer to now a coacher or a mentor. And it's saying, OK, I know you used to do it, but go ahead and figure out how you can pass. Or how do you set expectations for that employee? Because that's usually where I see it. I know what I can do as an Achiever-Responsibility. I know how to produce this work. I trust me and what I'm bringing out. So I instruct them with the right questions. Think about what you expect to see. Before you pass it off, What would make you feel comfortable -- over and over again, say, Hey, I'm gonna give this to you on Monday. I feel like it's adequate enough time to produce me a draft by Friday. Can you do that? And making sure that they give their employees that, right? So the lean-in will be completely different from a, a, a employee versus a leader.

Olivia Curbeam 38:41
Yeah, absolutely. And I think just knowing that and whenever you're going into these conversations, understanding what lens you're having these conversations in, can be very helpful, even manager to manager, manager to employee, is just knowing that, OK, this is how I'm going to use this strength in this conversation, or I want to lean on this strength to talk with this person can be very helpful. And so at The Lawrence Group, what are some future, you're doing so much so far with CliftonStrengths. What's next, with your Futuristic? What are your goals that you have for the future of Lawrence Group with integrating CliftonStrengths? I know when we were talking before, you've been doing cool stuff on social media, and so just kind of what's next?

Tyra Duren 39:25
Yeah, next is launching that recognizing per the strengths, right -- doing some more leadership learning series around strengths. So the next three that we have up for the remainder of the year is Recognizing With Strengths; Conflict Management With Strengths; and then Performance Management -- just overall growth and how to set expectations for employees or yourself per your CliftonStrengths. So continuing to do that work, continuing to have them lean in. We also have the annual retreat coming up. So incorporating a CliftonStrengths workshop when we have everybody here in town.

Strengths and Conflict Management

Jim Collison 40:09
I know you haven't started it yet, but I think, I get a lot of questions on conflict management, conflict resolution from a strengths-based perspective. Just initial thoughts as you think about heading into that -- and again, I know you're not there yet, but what are your initial thoughts on, what are you thinking about how you might go about that just in a big-picture kind of way?

Tyra Duren 40:29
Yeah, if I had to start with that, it first all starts with understanding, I remember that there was a person -- and this is how I'll start off the training, just leaning into this data and work -- there was a person that I saw that their sole purpose every day was to drive me completely crazy.

Jim Collison 40:52
That never happens!

Tyra Duren 40:53
Oh my goodness, like, what is going on? When I saw their full 34, I said, Oh, my goodness! Knowing what I knew as a, as a strengths coach, I was like, Got it. This makes complete sense. I'm Relator. They're Woo. I'm -- all of my Top 5 was their Bottom 5. It was like, we were the complete opposite. So one, just even seeing that created a wall drop for me to say, Oh, no, no, no, no. This is this person's natural makeup. So the first part of conflict is recognizing, like, is this personal? Or is this just two different people trying to come together to make a team and make us get to a solution? If it is -- 9 times out of 10, it's just two different people trying to work together. So now that I understand that this is how I need to approach this person, now, how do I find the language in order to come to them, work together in these meetings, saying, Hey, I know you, you first want us to go to this networking event. That's not my strong point. Is there a way that we can schedule these about 2 to 3 weeks in advance? I can sit with you. Think about, take notes on what this networking event may be, so I can feel comfortable going into that event. And I'm not fussing that you threw it on my calendar right after work, right.

Tyra Duren 42:27
So it creates that understanding, giving you tools of how to address your strengths, like, Hey, we are two completely different people. This is what I need. You get the best of me when, right? Using those tools, like "You get the best of me when -- "; "You get the worst of me when -- ." I want to get the best of you; you want to get the best of me. How do we come together and organize ourselves so that we can both get to the end goal without any conflict or hardly any conflict?

Jim Collison 42:56
You say Best of me, and I love that question of, Here's what I need, though, in, like in our relationship. And I think that's where, in conflict, that really starts to get to the, to the heart of the matter is, Hey, in our relationship, here's some things that I need. And it's not just one-sided need, right? Both, both parties get the opportunity to say, once they've already positively affirmed that, "Hey, I'm really best when you're using me in this way. But I still need these things." And I always find in those, those situations, that's when the conversation starts getting real, right. It's what I need. And then things start, it starts getting, people start going, "Oh, I had no idea you were looking for that." And when, when that, when it meshes up from a strengths perspective, you're like, Oh, I could do that all day long!

Tyra Duren 43:56
Exactly, exactly. I'm going to use a analogy that, when I was engaged, our counselor told us, he said, "You're an orange; he's an apple. He's never going to be an orange. You are never gonna be an apple. When you get married, you better make sure that you want an apple for the rest, and don't ever try to convert him." That's always gonna be that fruit. It works the same way in your professional relationships. Just understand, as an orange, don't try to make that person an Influencer. They're not going to ever be an, an Influencer unless something dramatically changes. Accept them for who they are. They can accept you for who you are, so you can move forward together.

Olivia Curbeam 44:41
Yeah, and imagine if we were to have these conversations of, "This is what I need. This is what I bring," at the start of every project, at the start of every time you get to work with somebody. Just knowing that language right off the bat, I feel like, can really prevent a lot of conflict, because you're preventing that by talking about what you need within that person's partnership. And so, with all the work you're doing, and it might be hard to pinpoint one, but what are some success or one success story that you've seen, whether that's from a coworker that you've talked to on bringing CliftonStrengths into the organization? What are you most proud of? I mean, that might be hard, because you've done so many great things, but what is something that kind of stands out to you of like, OK, we made a difference here from this?

Tyra Duren 45:22
Yeah. I honestly, I go back to my discussion about the construction team. It was great that at the end of that hour and a half, they said, "OK, can you schedule another one? We're gonna need another one of these." And I was like, "OK, great." That was another hour and a half, and they were like, "OK, let's do one more. Let's do one more." I'm like, Oh, this is great. That means you're living it. We are getting somewhere. And that was about 4 months ago. So to see where they are now, it's just like, great. Like they are working together, they are leaning into who's responsible for what, splitting up those responsibilities based off who's good at what. That has been the biggest success for me. But I also see that working in some of the other groups as well, you know, across the enterprise, whether that be New and Found -- on Lawrence Group, we started to wrap up some groups. I just left New York, working with our New York team.

Tyra Duren 46:19
And so it was funny, because I let them vent the first day. I was there for 2 days, and I let them vent in the morning. And they kept saying, We can't get off the brown piece of paper. We sit together, we strategize and say we're gonna do all this stuff, and it doesn't happen. I pulled up their, their grid, and all of them -- a majority sitting in Strategic Thinking. Two people with two Executing themes -- I was like, here it is! You can't help it. You're so good at Strategic Thinking, you walk away and say, Great! We've got this big web of ideas. And then nobody takes it on to move it forward. And so they're like, "What?" And I'm like, "Yeah. It's nobody's fault. It's nobody's fault. It's that you all are good at the same thing naturally; it's your natural talent at the same time. And so now that you see this grid, lean into the different people that have some Executing themes to move you forward. So the, the success is coming all around; it's really great to watch the light bulb go off for all these people.

Becoming a Strengths-Based Culture: Where to Start?

Olivia Curbeam 47:24
And it's really cool to see, even in your own examples, how CliftonStrengths is for all industries. It's for all job titles, for all types of work. And like you even said, bringing it into your personal life. So this is something that you can utilize, no matter what you're doing, where you work and who you are, which is really awesome. And for all the people listening or people that are interested in starting to bring CliftonStrengths into the organization, what is some advice you would give for those who are looking to, OK, hey, we want to launch CliftonStrengths. We don't want this to be a one-time activity; we want to become a CliftonStrengths, strengths-based culture. What advice would you have someone if they were to just ask you, What should we do? Where should we start?

Tyra Duren 48:03
Yeah, three things: Strategy, Buy-in, Momentum. Strategy, Buy-in, Momentum. Create a plan. You just roll it out, and you're trying to wing it as you go, it gets to be difficult. People are asking, and then you'll have some people that get excited and, and say, "OK, what's next? I did that piece. What's next?" But if you have a strategy, and then you create that buy-in with your leadership, because your leader, your leaders have to be bought in; they have to, but they usually want to see, OK, why is this important? Why do we need to roll this out? How this, how can this help us solve business problems? How can this help us retain our employees? Because burnout comes from doing things that are not in your natural talents over and over again, and nobody's saying anything. You don't necessarily know that language to even speak up for yourself to say what it is. And so Strategy, Buy-in and then keeping that Momentum, don't let it drop, Keep doing it; engulf it into your organization at every stance, whether it's recruitment, whether it's engagement with your team's training and development, keep it going, and put it into all of your processes

Jim Collison 49:17
Tyra, one of the -- I think -- one of the most important processes is to build it into your onboarding. And it sounds like you've done that. What kind of advice would you give to other HR leaders, other organizational leaders as they think about -- because I get this question a lot. Where do we start? And I, I personally, I'm biased. I think onboarding is the place to start. Get 'em early, get 'em often, right, just like voting in Chicago, and that is one of those things. Can you talk a little bit about any advice you'd give when you think about onboarding?

Tyra Duren 49:50
Yeah, absolutely. After we roll it out, when we get to that execution phase, every, after the offer letter, and before they even get in on Day 1, they come in, have already received a link to that exam. When we are sending them -- the assessment -- when we are sending them, Hey, welcome to Lawrence Group Integrate, New and Found, here is your link, We're going to set this up. And we put it in their first week agenda. Within the first week, maybe if we need to push it to week 2, they are going to do a one-on-one session around that report. OK. Once we do that one-on-one session, I don't get throughout the end of the week before I say, Hey, I just wrapped up your new hire's one-on-one session. Here is their Top 5. Here are the things that resonated. Here's what you should know. OK, your person needs that positive feedback. So don't wait 3 months to congratulate them; let's try to get a regular rotation of, of feedback sessions, right. So I give them advice based on that one-on-one conversation. And I'm also really transparent with the new hire, saying, Hey, I'm gonna share this with the leader so they can make sure that they get the best of you. And I even encourage them to say, Let's do another one-on-one, to see how you can get the best of your leader. Because that matters too. Like, Hey, your, your, your leader is high Execution. They don't mean to just be driving work, but this is, this is, this is how they operate. Right. So that's how we've engulfed them into an onboarding process.

Jim Collison 51:31
Olivia, I'm gonna give you a shot at one more question as we kind of wrap this up. But as a follow-up to that, are you doing anything to measure the success of the onboarding, so that you kind of know? Because it's, you know, you bring them on, you do all this work. You turn them over. You get them on the teams. Is there any way you're able to kind of measure Hey, is that working? Is it continually working with them? How do you feel? How do you feel about that?

Tyra Duren 51:56
That's awesome. So we have a 30-, 60- and 90-day onboarding survey. And not only is it survey, we also do an in-person follow up to say, Hey, how are things going? How are you utilizing your strengths? And then, now we've added it to the performance review process. What are your Top 5? How are they being utilized? How would you like them utilized more in the next year?

Jim Collison 52:18
Awesome. Olivia, last question to you. One more -- what's the most important question you were gonna ask?

Olivia Curbeam 52:24
I know! I'm like, I could just talk to Tyra all day, honestly. But I think one thing that I would maybe ask is, If you could pick one -- this is kind of a fun question, just to end it -- but if you could pick one strength that you wish that you had, or that you, do you think you find to lean on someone with, what would it be?

Tyra Duren 52:47
Oh, I wish I had [Analytical]. I do. I, data and really analyzing data, what could go wrong? It works directly against my Significance, because I take risks. And they catch things a lot more. So I do have to lean on somebody with high Analytical skills, because I'm like, OK, well, we'll jump, and we'll figure out the landing later; let's just do it! That has worked out for me. But there are some times where I probably should have analyzed some things a little more. So I would lean on that one for, lean on people with that.

Jim Collison 53:34
Olivia, you guys share some themes. What would -- let's turn that question on you. What, what, what theme do you -- and we, sometimes we say "theme envy," right, that you wish you had, Olivia? How do you answer that?

Olivia Curbeam 53:47
Definitely, just even with, speaking with Tyra, Command. I love, I think that, I have Empathy No. 1. And I know you talked about you have it 32. So I think that's really where I'm like, Oh, was I being too direct? Or was I -- like, I don't, conflict is not my favorite thing in kind of taking that action. So I love to partner with people that just say it how it is, command the room, really get that buy-in and kind of lead the pack in that way. So that's one I really envy and love to partner with. Because, for instance, I have a friend, it's like, if there's something wrong with my meal, I'll be like, Hey, can you tell the waiter that this is wrong? Or can you go ask them this question for me? And so I think having that partner in Command is very helpful.

Jim Collison 54:32
That's awesome. Olivia, take a second -- Tyra, you've been a great guest. But Olivia, would you take a second and thank her for being here?

Olivia Curbeam 54:38
Yes. Thank you so much, Tyra. It has been so great getting to talk with you this afternoon, and just all the advice and the expertise that you've given around bringing CliftonStrengths to your organization with all different levels of construction, architect, all that design, and it was really helpful and always a pleasure.

Tyra Duren 54:54
Awesome! Thank you so much. This is exciting. It's such a pleasure to be here. Thank you both. I really appreciate you.

Jim Collison 55:01
You are very welcome, and Tyra, I told you, it goes fast. And it always does. Right. And it's like, all of a sudden, we're done. But thanks for bringing your expertise. Great to hear your story. Great to hear background. And just always great to hear, like, as you talked about these things, you just brought life to all the things that we put on paper. And so thanks for kind of being a living example of this, doing it so well and, and paying attention in the coach, in the Coaches' Course! Very good. Well, thank you -- Tyra, thanks for being a part of our program today. Appreciate it.

Tyra Duren 55:39
Thank you. Thank you.

Jim Collison 55:40
You're welcome. You guys hang tight for a second. I'll remind everyone to take full advantage -- if you're listening to this, full advantage of all these resources, a lot that we talked about today, available now in Gallup Access. Head out to, and you can sign in there. If you haven't taken CliftonStrengths yet, you can purchase that and, and, and take your assessment, get a coach and get that done as well. For coaching, master coaching or if you want to become a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, we do that as well -- Tyra mentioned that several times during the program. Send us an email: Same email, maybe you want to get your organization involved in this as well. And you're like, Oh, this would be awesome. Send us an email: Someone, we'll get somebody to call you back and, and work your way through that. If you haven't already, you might want to join us for the 2024 Gallup at Work Summit -- And we'd love to have you here in Omaha. If it's after the fact -- maybe you're listening to this in 2025 or 2026 -- I bet we have something for you -- Stay up to date with all the webcasts by following us on LinkedIn and on Facebook. You can find anything CliftonStrengths-related on social just by searching "CliftonStrengths." We want to thank you for joining us today. Thanks for coming out, for those -- especially the, for those who joined us live, thanks for being here today. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Olivia Curbeam's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Empathy, Relator, Positivity, Futuristic and Significance.

Tyra Banks' Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Futuristic, Relator, Command, Significance and Strategic.

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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