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

Individualization®: How to Feel More Energized at Work

Webcast Details

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


[People with Individualization] naturally see what's unique in somebody and where [they] might be able to benefit in a relationship or a partnership together.

Jaclynn Robinson, 6:31

If you're having a hard time deciphering, Do I need to pull back or lean in? Rely on those accountability partners that you have that are probably seeing signs of where you might be overdoing it.

Jaclynn Robinson, 17:10

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is The CliftonStrengths® Podcast, Season 3, recorded on February 9, 2024.

Jim Collison 0:18
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 Individualization. If you're listening live, love to have you join us in the chat. Or if you have questions after the fact -- maybe you're listening to it on YouTube or as a podcast -- send us your questions: Dr. Jaclynn Robinson is our host today. She works as a Senior Learning and Development Consultant and joined me for Season 1 and 2 of The CliftonStrengths Podcast, where we looked at Wellbeing at Work, the book, and our CliftonStrengths role-based reports one theme at a time. And Jaclynn, always great to be with you. Welcome back!

Jaclynn Robinson 0:53
Hello! Ahoy, mate!

Jim Collison 0:55
Ahoy. I like that! Ahoy, matey!

Jaclynn Robinson 0:58
Feeling quirky this Friday.

Individualization: Questions for Individuals

Jim Collison 0:59
Yeah, it is kind of an odd Friday, isn't it? Jaclynn, we're spending some time this season talking about bringing energy, and I'm feeling my energy kind of coming back. Not that it was low, but, but these podcasts help me do this. I hope, hopefully, folks that are listening are getting, are gaining energy by this as well. But today, we're talking about Individualization. And let's talk about the individual first -- small "i" on that one. What are some ways an individual with Individualization -- how can they feel more energized by focusing on their basic needs?

Jaclynn Robinson 1:32
Ooh, well, as someone who prefers to customize more than standardize, consider what resources are available and what resources would be helpful in order to accomplish your tasks and priorities. That way, you can complete each one in your own unique and respective way.

Jim Collison 1:51
Individualize and customize, I like, I like those, I like those thoughts of thinking about that. Because the individual is important, right. And yet, standards are important. We won't spend much time talking about that. But what are some ways an individual with Individualization can feel more energized by focusing on their individual strengths and development -- again, small "i" on that?

Jaclynn Robinson 2:12
Yeah, I think whenever you have those opportunities to invite in flexibility or a dynamic work environment. So if you have opportunities to have a flexible work schedule as needed, or your dynam- -- your environment feels like it is just dynamic and, you know, it's a, it's a flurry of fun and engagement. Or maybe you have a range of projects or people whom you can work with. That's probably when you're going to feel most on fire, most energized, because you have those different opportunities to individualize people or projects or your, your workplace schedule.

Jim Collison 2:51
The coaching role, the mentoring role plays nicely into this. We're going to talk about the manager here in a second, so we can't spend, spend too much time doing that. But, you know, as you think about building those, building those things, building custom plans for folks to be able to do things, I think that plays nicely into that. As we think about the individual, though, I think there's incredible opportunities for their own development, their own personal development, by building custom plans for themselves, maybe based on the situation, right? So it's not like, Yeah, I know, I've done this before, but the situation might be a little bit different, and I might need to approach it in a little bit different of a way. How have you seen, at the individual level, thinking about themselves, turning that Individualization back in on themselves? Any, any additional thoughts on how to use that to continue their own professional development?

Jaclynn Robinson 3:44
I like that approach. And then making note of it, whatever that looks like to you, because that would be a great conversation to have with your manager, where you can continue to have more of those days where you can make those tweaks or more development that is based on that energizing or exercising -- exercising? Energizing or -- let's just say energizing. It is a funky Friday. But yeah, you can put your time and effort with your manager's support into those projects or responsibilities or even partnerships that give you a lot of joy.

Jim Collison 4:22
Yeah. Just as we're recording these podcasts, I have Individualization 10. And I've noticed, you know, even the, the energy for me is a little off today, but I'm in the office, as opposed to typically, we've been doing these, I've been doing these at home, which brings a different kind -- an individualized kind of energy, you know, and you're kind of, just kind of thinking, Should I be doing this here? You know, cause that's an individualistic, it's an Individualization thought of, you know, does even the environment around me affect my performance? Do I need, do I need to think about on Fridays, I need -- no, I should probably be home on Fridays, doing this, this kind of. And I could have; I chose to come in today. So we'll see, we'll see in the end how that goes. What are some ways --

Jaclynn Robinson 5:08
It's true. New environment, new coffee for you today.

Jim Collison 5:12
Or just different -- yeah, different coffee. I make my own when I'm at home, versus sitting here, which, but that's an individual, you know, that's Individualization thought, I think, especially from a performance-management perspective is, what's the environment around me? And do I need different environments for different tasks? You know, am I better --

Jaclynn Robinson 5:33
Great callout!

Jim Collison 5:34
Right? Am I better in the car -- if I need thinking time, do I need a road trip? You know, again, it depends on who you are. But I think that those of us high in Individualization, maybe that's the kind of a thought process to go through of, like, hey, what's the best environment for me for these kinds of things?

Jaclynn Robinson 5:51
I love that question!

Jim Collison 5:52
Where can I be my, be my best? What are some ways an individual with Individualization can feel more energized by building partnerships, which would seem to be a little, maybe an oxymoron a little bit, but building partnerships and finding purpose within their role?

Jaclynn Robinson 6:08
Taking, taking the time to understand the background, the interests, strengths and weaknesses of colleagues in the workplace. Those are opportunities to deepen those relationships and to find more intentional ways of working together towards that larger goal. And I feel like, every time I encounter someone high in Individualization, I feel like you all do this so well. You naturally see what's unique in somebody and where you might be able to benefit in a relationship or a partnership together. It's just an awesome theme. We naturally feel seen, heard and valued with this one, when you're around people that have this high.

Individualization: Questions for Managers

Jim Collison 6:49
Yeah, yeah. It's interesting to talk about it, again, from the me standpoint, because I think it naturally lends itself to the we conversation with managers. A person who develops plans, right -- we led, I led with this a little bit -- who, who builds individual development plans or looks at, looks at everybody differently or finds different ways to motivate everyone, even though it might be the same task, right? So as we think about the manager, how can a manager with Individualization support others with their basic needs?

Jaclynn Robinson 7:21
Offer flexible support to meet those individual needs. It could be adjusting in the workload; it could be providing additional training or resources. Maybe it's assigning tasks that align with that individual's strengths and interests, where it's even more weighted in one area than another, because you just recognize the value and the contribution they can make, based on their natural talents and behaviors.

Jim Collison 7:48
What about -- so how can a manager with Individualization help others feel seen, heard -- you alluded to this a little bit earlier -- and valued as an individual? A little bit more on that?

Jaclynn Robinson 7:58
I think, managers with Individualization are good at finding opportunities to celebrate personal and professional goals or events, achievements. But they, they ask a lot of questions to get to know that individual. And then, because of that knack for really listening and wanting to personalize, they bring it forward. So one example that comes to mind is I see managers that lead with this, if they're providing gifts at the end of the year, they personalize them for each individual, based on what they know about that person's hobbies or interests. But even just day to day, they might have been attuned to a team member saying, Hey, I'm celebrating, you know, my kiddo's first birthday this weekend. The next week rolls around -- "How was it? How did it go? Can I see pictures?" So it's celebrating personal and professional achievements.

Jim Collison 8:58
It's super strong in that, because recognition is so important. And so for folks with high Individualization that can nail that and do it well. By the way, I don't know if everybody with Individualization in the area of recognition has this, has this power. But if you do, one, use it! Right? Don't, don't hide it. Two, let other people know you have it and help, allow them to use you. Because it's, you know, to do it, it's so powerful in recognition. That individualized, they were thinking about -- I can't, they were thinking about me. And it, you just, you can't, you know, handing out $25 gift cards to everybody has a moment. But handing out individual recognition for individuals for a job well done is a completely different scenario. I struggle with it, to be honest -- I have it, I have it 10. I still struggle with it. I have to lean, I have to lean into this one hard. And I almost always now just default to get help. Because I'm like, you know what? I don't do this as well as I could. So it's just, I think it's really, as we talk about being seen, heard and valued, recognition covers all of those, right. And this is not just for Individualization, but it really plays nicely into that. How can a manager with Individualization build trust, inspire and deepen team -- we alluded to this too -- to deepen team collaborations and community?

Jaclynn Robinson 10:31
Highlight the value of diversity and problem-solving and ideating. So celebrate the differences and unique contributions of each individual team member's talents and thoughts, and then have them collaborate together so they can drive themselves towards success and deepen camaraderie at the same time.

Jim Collison 10:52
Yeah, it really is, for diversity, it really is a pretty valuable tool in that area, right? Looking, and looking -- yeah, I don't know -- any, when we think about diversity, any additional thoughts on that, of, of using that Individualization? You might have said it already.

Jaclynn Robinson 11:10
Well, and because there's the curiosity that those with Individualization might have to recognize what's unique in people, they could even pull into the room the, the perspective or value that each team member can bring, so that everyone starts to have a better idea of, you know, who that informal subject-matter expert is in relationship to X responsibility or X role or X topic. So I think they can naturally start to invite that layer of diversity in, where others might not necessarily see it, to break the ice and open up that conversation for team members to go, Oh, I didn't know that you did that. Let's talk about this further. Let's put our heads together.

Jim Collison 11:51
And allowing that conversation to happen. I think that's the key, right, is, we spent some time talking about Includer® in that, but also allowing those individual opinions to surface, right, in that. Last question, as we think about wrapping this up: How can a manager with Individualization support the growth of each team member?

Jaclynn Robinson 12:14
Have each team member self-reflect on their developmental goals. What is it that they want to learn and develop this quarter, this year? And then customize and really craft that individual development plan, based on their feedback and what you know about their, you know, developmental pathway. Is it feasible, or are there some steps they need to take along the way? But then you also might want to lean in with curiosity about how they learn best. Is their development plan going to be best suited through a mentor? Skills training? Do they prefer constructive feedback? Do they want, you know, recognition more frequently than not? Is it classroom learning? So once that individual development plan is together, I think the SMART goal comes to life by knowing how they want to learn or, you know, the ways that they learn best.

Jim Collison 13:08
Yeah. And you say the what, sometimes, of OK, here's different ways to learn the what. But also what I heard in there is the how -- what's the method? And the when, when do we do this? Certainly, what we just experienced over the last 4 years with COVID and the way it's kind of changed the workplace, that idea of when, and maybe even how, has completely changed. And it's kind of an Individualization dream, in some ways. I think, I think the greater corporate model has struggled with it in some ways, to, like, Oh, you can be individualized -- sort of. And it's just a lot of, like, I don't know if we can do this. You can, but it's a, it's a struggle. It's a good struggle, by the way. I think we're really asking some good questions, and the battle is real on this of what -- how much Individualization is good Individualization? And how much -- cause some, you do need Consistency®. This is the battle. This is the battle. You have to have both; both have to exist. They have to coexist in harmony in some way -- small "h" -- in Harmony® -- or maybe big "H."

Jim Collison 14:21
So, yeah, it just, it's a battle. I think it's a good one. I think we need to continue to struggle and push against it. It's not a bad thing that we -- some are pushing for more; some are pushing for less. It's a good battle to have and to talk about this, like anything, as long as it doesn't get toxic. But it's a really good conversation to have, especially for those high in Individualization. They love to have those kinds of conversations, right. So Jaclynn, wrap us up. Any final thoughts on Individualization?

Jaclynn Robinson 14:52
All right, well, I think you teased it out. Individualization loves to individualize people or projects. That custom piece is so fun. I've also seen the extreme of this, where you burn yourself out, because some things can be overcustomized. And you might need to standardize or think about the best environment for you, as you even teased out earlier, Jim. Maybe there's a particular environment where this task is where I'm at my best. And that becomes your standard approach, even though you're customizing by project. So just think about the balance and the Harmony that Jim had just mentioned. If you're stressing yourself out over a project or a person, take a step back and just ask yourself, "Is this -- am I overcustomizing? You know, is there a way to make this more simple and have a little bit more of a standardized approach in this particular event or project or with this person?

Jim Collison 15:52
Yeah. There comes a point in time where efficiency -- yeah, there comes a point in time where efficiency is important. And it's a struggle to figure out when to do that and when to individualize. These, this is the hard part about all of this is it's not clear in the moment always, like, should I? Should this be individualized, or should this not? And it's not always clear. I think sometimes you think, Oh, yeah, no, it'll just be super clear. And you're like, well, it's not in the moment. It's, it's --

Jaclynn Robinson 16:19

Jim Collison 16:20
It's super hard to know, even though Individualization, from a task perspective for me, as we think about, again, we always think about this in the context of other people, the way we treat other people. Think there's some, some of it bleeds back into how we do stuff. And I think about my own Individualization at times. And there's great comfort in standard, of saying, No, this is the standard way I do it. I don't have to do it different every time -- right.

Jaclynn Robinson 16:49
For yourself.

Jim Collison 16:49
Yeah, for myself, to keep that -- well --

Jaclynn Robinson 16:52
For yourself, for yourself. And I think you brought up a good point that we could even, you know, use retroactively for the other podcast sessions we've had so far on strengths. But we can't always see what we're doing, because it's our talent. So really, if you're having a hard time deciphering, Do I need to pull back or lean in? Rely on those accountability partners that you have that are probably seeing signs of where you might be overdoing it. They could be a good checks-and-balances system.

Jim Collison 17:25
For sure.

Jaclynn Robinson 17:26
Sorry to interrupt you there, but you had a really good nugget. And I wanted to make sure we, we, you know, called it out.

Jim Collison 17:33
Not gonna ruin the moment. With that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we do have available in Gallup Access. Check it out: You can go to There's a search bar, upper, right. Put in "Individualization" -- the long, I think this is the longest one we have, the longest theme name that we have. Put that in, and you get all the resources back, available to you on that -- many of these webcasts. For coaching, master coaching or to become a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, send us an email: If you want to join us for the 2024 Gallup at Work Summit, we have both in person, which -- I'd love to see you here in Omaha -- or we have virtual options that are available for you as well. By the time you hear this, we're pretty close; if you're listening to this in the podcast, we're pretty close. You're gonna want to make that decision. Head out to, and love to have you join us for that. Stay up to date on all the future webcasts by joining us in our Facebook or LinkedIn groups. You can find us anywhere by searching "CliftonStrengths." If you enjoyed it, hit the Like and Subscribe. All the kids are -- that's, all the kids say that these days -- hit Like and Subscribe on YouTube. And, of course, share it. We make these things for you to share. So get, get it get it out there, and share it with others. Thanks for listening today. If you are listening live, stay around for a little short postshow. We're gonna get out of here early today. But with that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Jaclynn Robinson's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Achiever, Strategic, Maximizer, Positivity and Relator.

Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:

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