In my previous blog, How to Build a World-Class Strength (September 1, 2020), we discussed that a strength is the ability to provide consistent near-perfect performance in a specific activity which becomes world-class.

One question I get is, what does that mean?  How do I maximize my strengths? BTW download Maximize Strengths Worksheet.

Over the next few weeks, we will look at one theme at a time and see the difference between the strengths when they are raw and when they are refined.  It is crucial for you to know what you are shooting for in your strengths and your team’s strengths.

This week we will look at the Executing Domain.  The themes in the Executing Domain of Strength tend to get things done, with speed, precision, and accuracy.  They put in the hard work now so that they are ready when it’s time to move. Putting ideas into action is the strength of this domain.

What do we mean when we say Raw to Refined? Raw talent is uninformed, inexperienced, more self-oriented, and unproductive. Refined talent is well informed, more practiced, more others-oriented, and highly productive.

Let’s take a look at what raw and refined looks like for each strength in the Executing Domain, so you will know what you are aiming for.

People with the strength of Achiever® are known as EXTREMELY hard workers.

Achiever Raw:  Busy doing anything.

Achiever Refined: Produce needed results.

Someone with the strength of Arranger® makes decisions from a bird’s eye view.

Arranger Raw: Shake things up because I am bored.

Arranger Refined: Manage the dynamic multiplicity of people, process & productivity.

The strength of Belief® looks like someone who has strong, unchanging, deeply held values that guide their life.

Belief Raw: Moves away from or against those with differing values.

Belief Refined: Moves towards and engages those with differing values.

People with the strength of Consistency® want to ensure people are treated the same.

Consistency Raw: Follows the letter of the law & predictability for security.

Consistency Refined:  Follows the spirit of the law, & fairness for efficiency.

Someone with the strength of Deliberative® wants to avoid risk when making decisions.

Deliberative Raw: Cautious because I scare easily.

Deliberative Refined:  Careful vigilance that protects and prevents harm.

The strength of Discipline® is like someone who would plan their vacation way in advance, right down to the minute.

Discipline Raw:  If my world is out of order, I’m a mess.

Discipline Refined: When someone’s world is a mess, I can help restore the order.

The strength of Focus® looks like someone staring at you for a long time without saying a word.

Focus Raw: My concentration causes me to be socially & intellectually isolated.

Focus Refined: I am intentional about important priorities including projects & people.

People with the strength of Responsibility® are dependable and reliable. When they say yes, you can count on it getting done.

Responsibility Raw: Feels external pressure to do the right thing.

Responsibility Refined: Feels internal pleasure when doing the right thing.

People with the strength of Restorative® are crazy good at solving problems.

Restorative Raw: See what is wrong, but lacks the solution or effort to fix it.

Restorative Refined:  See brokenness and contributes to healing.

What is your action plan to get from raw to refined?  What’s great about having everything listed down on one location is that it makes it easier to track progress and effectively plan things out. Planning helps you prepare for the obstacles ahead and keep you on track. And with an effective action plan, you can boost your productivity and keep yourself focused.

Now that you know what each strength looks like in its raw and refined form, you have a clear direction of where you need to go.

  • Have your goals written down and planned out in steps.
  • Highlight exactly what steps you need to be taken.
  • Track your progress.

Start by asking yourself the following questions about your Executing Theme strengths.

  1. Which of your top 5 talents are too raw in the workplace, and why?
  2. In what ways does the raw talent get you into trouble? In what context does it hinder success?
  3. What knowledge, skills, and practice could make these talents more refined?

This is challenging but very rewarding work.

Are you ready to have a conversation with me about creating your action plan or how to help your team members develop their action plan?

Then schedule your free Ask Brent Anything call. Check out my website at www.brentobannon.com for more ideas and classes that will help you on that path.

 Click here if you need to purchase a CliftonStrengths assessment code for you or anyone else. I am looking forward to working with you as you grow your and your team’s strengths from raw to refined.

Do you ever wonder if you are genuinely a strengths-based leader? Are you leading your team to go from raw to refined? In his book Strengths-based Leadership, Tom Rath tells us, “The most effective leaders are always investing in strengths.” If you ask most people what it means to be a strengths-based leader, they will usually respond with something about themselves that they need to be leading out of their strengths. Not that that is wrong, but there is more to it than that.

It is great to be self-aware, know who you are, and what you value. To invest in your strengths for a clear leadership purpose and learn how to engage and influence others to follow you. But if all your efforts are focused on you, you are missing a large part of the story.

If it is all about you and your strengths, then you are a good manager if you work on those and figure out your strengths and apply them. But after facilitating over 27,000 coaching sessions and working with hundreds of managers, I have discovered that the best managers not only know their strengths but look beyond those to the strengths of others. They take the time to discover the people’s strengths on their team and then create a culture where those team members can thrive using their strengths daily.

This investment into your team members’ strengths and creating opportunities for them to shine is the other part of your story. This part of the story will develop a culture of engagement and contentment for you and your team.  

How do you create the right role fit? I could list a bunch of features and benefits, but instead, how about I tell you a story?

In 2014, the Triad Group, an injection molding and machine company, faced runaway turnover caused by a series of leadership changes, a lack of strategic direction, and poor communication with the production teams.

At this point, company owners Russ and Nancy took on the role of Strengths Champions. They began a sustained effort to turn the company around by creating a strengths-based organization and reengaging managers and employees.

Russ and Nancy used about every tool in the book.

First, they gave each employee the StrengthsFinder assessment and issued jerseys with the employee’s top strengths stitched in bold letters on the back. They then developed a six-week training and coaching program for all employees, handed out strengths calendars to help their people focus on their strengths every day, and created a bucket wall to remind everyone the power of strengths in promoting positive interactions. Russ and Nancy even posted team strengths grids on the shop walls to show off the diverse talents of each team.

Russ and Nancy did other things, but what’s most important are the results they achieved.

  • Monthly turnover fell from 85 percent to 8 percent.
  • Scrap rate dropped from 35 percent to 1 percent.
  • Productivity jumped by 200 percent.

And finally, profitability increased by 233 percent.

There’s no question that throughout this process, Russ and Nancy transformed from average leaders to two of the world’s greatest leaders. Their work as Strengths Champions empowered their team to build a deeper connection with the company, increasing morale, accountability, productivity, and more.

As you begin, like Russ and Nancy, to discover what your employees do best, begin to understand what motivates them, when you understand that you will know what they’re naturally drawn to do at work every day. Ask questions that will give you insight into them, who knows, and you might be surprised by the answers.  

You may find other motivations that you had never thought of because of the differences in your strengths. It is these differences that you can leverage to build a Dream Team.

How can you be like Russ and Nancy and step up and be a strengths-based leader? If you and your team have taken the StrengthsFinder assessment before, take a look at each of your team members’ Top 5 Strengths. If not, make sure you do the assessment with your team.

Think about their job performance. How do you see his/her strengths coming out at work every day? How can you create a job that will be tailored toward those strengths? 

Have a conversation with your team members about what they enjoy about their job. Your ability to listen well is key to unlocking your team’s potential and leading them to use their strengths every day on the job. Remember, these “naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior that can be productively applied” are the clues to our most significant value-add to the team.

Do you want more information on how Russ and Nancy created their dream team? Would you like to increase your profitability by 233 percent? Schedule a free Ask Brent Anything to talk with me if you have questions about doing this. Do you have great things going on with your team? Let’s talk about them in the comments below.

 

 

Do you find yourself asking: Who am I? What’s unique about me? How do I engage myself deeper to become amazing at what I do?

Many people are where you are, asking the same questions. The answers are waiting for you, and I want to help you with this exciting personal discovery.

The first step is through the CliftonStrengths ​assessment. It’s more than an assessment. It’s a way of life that gives you a language to live and communicate your strengths instead of focusing on your weaknesses. Shifting your focus onto your strengths can lead to professional and personal breakthroughs you’ve only started to imagine.

In an earlier blog, we talked about the theory that the CliftonStrengths® assessment is based on. Let’s take some time here and look at some other assessment pieces and how they work. 

The CliftonStrengths assessment reveals your success potential and can be taken on the Internet. The assessment measures your talents — your natural patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving — and categorizes them into the 34 CliftonStrengths themes. The assessment take approximately 30 minutes and you will be presented with 177-paired statements, then you choose which one best describes you and to identify the extent to which that chosen option is descriptive of you. 

The descriptors are placed as if anchoring the opposite ends of a range. You are then asked to choose the descriptor from the pair that best describes you, and to identify the extent from “Strongly Describes Me” to “Neutral” for the option you chose. You are given 20 seconds to respond to a given pair of descriptors before the assessment automatically presents the next pair. The reason for the 20-second time limit is that, along with your unfamiliarity with the statements that will be presented, it makes it challenging to over-think your responses and ensures your assessment’s accuracy.

Gallup studied human strengths for over 40-years. From these studies’ results, Gallup created a language we know as the 34 most common talents. To help people discover what their talents are and to give them voice, the CliftonStrengths assessment was created.

The 34 talents are referred to as “themes.” Talents are ways in which we naturally think, feel, and behave as unique individuals, and they serve as the foundation of strengths development.

After you complete your CliftonStrengths assessment, you will receive a report displaying your top five (most dominant) themes. Please schedule you free Ask Brent Anything call so we can begin to work to delve into those themes to discover your greatest talents. The CliftonStrengths assessment and the report of your top five themes were designed to help you learn about and build upon your greatest talents in order to create strengths that will enhance all aspects of your life.

Your Top 5 strengths are the best place to start, but you have 34 dominant talents, the CliftonStrengths Assessment measures all 34. You will expand your understanding of yourself (and help others do the same) by learning about your CliftonStrengths 34. When you are ready to delve further into your strengths you can purchase a code that will unlock your entire 34 strengths.

What questions do you have about the CliftonStrengths Assessment? How have you used what you learned in your life? Then schedule you free Ask Brent Anything call. Check out my website at www.brentobannon.com for more ideas and classes that will help you on that path. Click here if you need to purchase a CliftonStrengths assessment code for you or anyone else. Let’s have a conversation in the comments below about how strengths have affected your life.

 

A strength is the ability to provide consistent near-perfect performance in a specific activity which becomes world-class.

Building your strength in any activity requires talent and the investment of hard work. Talents are naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied.

Your first step to building your strengths is to find your dominant talents. Once those talents have been discovered, you then go about acquiring the knowledge and skills appropriate to the activities you need to build your skills.

I’m a tennis player and have been for much of my life. I picked up my first tennis racquet at thirteen, and intuitively knew the sport fit my body and personality. I secretly felt I had the natural talent, and now I knew the specific activity I wanted to apply my talents. Now I needed to acquire the tennis knowledge and appropriate skills to build on.

The next day, I quit football—no easy task for a kid from East Texas where football rules—and committed my efforts solely to tennis. Looking back, that was my Focus talent. 

I took lessons and practiced hard. In fact, long before I was allowed behind the wheel of my father’s truck, I drove our old tractor to town to the high school courts where I hit balls against a wall for hours. Hitting balls against that wall was the activity I had available to me to refine my tennis skill. This was my Achiever talent at play. 

The problem was few people in my small town of Grand Saline played tennis, and even fewer were any good at it.

My break came when our high school hired a new tennis coach, Jerry Slayton.

Thereafter, Coach Slayton became my coach and mentor.

He quickly saw something in me I didn’t see in myself. Above all, he saw a mix of raw talent and drive that, if focused, might mature into greatness.

In his own way, Coach Slayton was a pioneer in strengths philosophy. Coach Slayton, without knowing it engaged my Individualization talent. 

First, he thought long term, a challenge for any high school coach pressured to get results now, this match, this tournament, this season. In spite of the pressures, he suggested small changes to my game that, if repeated over and over, would reap massive benefits months or even years in the future.

Second, within days of working together, it seemed Coach Slayton had identified my core strengths—quickness, sharp reflexes, aggressive play at the net—all the skills of an exceptional doubles player. He pushed me hard to improve the things I was already good at, and in doing so, gave me the confidence to make shots I had previously given up on.

I recall how he didn’t spend a second fixing my weaknesses and instead drilled me on ways to enhance my natural talents until they overpowered any shortcomings in my game.

In the end, Coach Slayton’s strategy paid huge dividends.

My junior year in high school, he selected me and a partner to play first-team doubles. My Relator talent flourished, working with a complimentary doubles partner. By year-end, we had advanced to the Texas Tennis State Championship tournament. 

Throughout the tournament, my partner and I played our game—quick, aggressive play at the net—and we didn’t lose a single match. That year, 1981, we won the Texas AAA Doubles Tennis State Championship, a dream come true. My Competition talent intensely desired to win for Coach Slayton, who at that time had never had a state winning protege. 

I share this story not as an example of tennis prowess, or even the magic of dreaming big, but instead as an illustration of how an effective and consistent focus on individual strengths can lead to tangible, almost miraculous outcomes.

You need the combination of hard work and talent applied to an activity, one without the other is never enough. When you are considering where to invest your time, or are working with another to help them know where to invest their time, make sure you know and understand the talents you are working with. 

Want to have a conversation with me about applying your talents to an activity? To become world-class in the activity of your choice.

Then schedule you free Ask Brent Anything call. Check out my website at www.brentobannon.com for more ideas and classes that will help you on that path. Click here if you need to purchase a CliftonStrengths assessment code for you or anyone else. I am looking forward to walking with you through this exciting time of building your strengths.

My Strengths Champion Certified Coach® Masterclass and Mastermind is intended to turn a great leader into a Strengths Champion by giving you the tools to build a strengths-based culture within your workplace.

You may be an Executive Leader, HR Leader, Management Leader, Organizational Development & Talent Leader, Non-Profit Leader, Learning & Development Leader, Ministry Leader, or an Independent Professional Coach.

This leader—you, if you are up for the challenge—is your company’s Strengths Champion Certified Coach®.

Here’s the great news – the next Strengths Champion Certified Coach® Masterclass is now.  It is ongoing and you can start anytime you like.

Even more great news, to support Strengths Champions during COVID-19, we’re giving away one seat to our Strengths Champion Certified Coach® Masterclass 3 Star option.  Click here to enter to win.   The winner will be drawn on August 31, 2020.

Ultimately, the key to improving all of your metrics is to do what the world’s greatest leaders do.

And that is to know your individual strengths (and those of the managers and employees around you) and to actively encourage everyone in your organization to leverage those strengths.

Join me for this exclusive high-performance workplace training and coaching program, what I refer to as my Strengths Champion Certified Coach® Masterclass. I promise to help you and your organization lower employee turnover, increase employee engagement, boost collaboration & productivity between managers, and increase profits.

Just what can you expect from my Strengths Champion Certified Coach® Masterclass?

  1. 12-week Online Masterclass Training at your own pace.
  2. 3 Month Strengths Champion Mastermind (ongoing)
  3. 6 1-hour or 3 1-hour coaching calls or a 90-minute strategic planning session. (depending on package chosen)
  4. 2 peer strengths-based coaching sessions.
  5. Private Facebook group with access to tools and resources.
  6. Take a certification test.
  7. Create your FREE profile on our Strengths Champion™ Directory
    or upgrade your listing to strengthen your visibility by adding
    your photo, specialties, website, and more!

This training material is an array of successful strategies for helping leaders maximize individual and collective talents to reach desired performance outcomes. The videos, workbooks and guides include everything you and I need to address specific team-related issues and challenges using strengths-based development.

PRICING & OFFER

Training. Coaching. Certification.

3 packages designed to meet you at whatever level you’re willing to invest in, both with time, and money. Pick the one right for you. 

  • 5 Star
  • Online Masterclass
  • 6 – 1 Hour Coaching Sessions
  • 3 Month Mastermind
  • $3,750
  • REGISTER NOW
  • 4 Star
  • Online Masterclass
  • 3 – 1 Hour Coaching Sessions
  • 3 Month Mastermind
  • $2,000
  • REGISTER NOW
  • 3 Star
  • Online Masterclass
  • 90 Minute Strategic Planning Session
  • 3 Month Mastermind
  • $800
  • REGISTER NOW

If you are genuinely interested in introducing a strengths-based culture to your workplace, then I’m your coach.

To support organizations and Strengths Champions during COVID-19, we’re giving away one seat to our Strengths Champion Certified Coach® Masterclass 3 Star option.  Click here to enter to win.   The winner will be drawn on August 31, 2020.

I know this is a lot of information and you may have questions.   Want to talk to me about this or any other issues schedule you free Ask Brent Anything call.  Check out my website at www.brentobannon.com for more ideas and classes that will help you on that path.  I am looking forward to walking with you through this exciting time of building your business.

 

 

 

Are you an entrepreneur who is becoming a trained professional coach or a coach who is learning about entrepreneurship?

How about the idea that you are both and you can meld the two into one?   My Coachpreneur Masterclass is a program designed to help you see that you are a coach and an entrepreneur.
It will show you how to launch, leverage your strengths, and lead in your niche market.

Many coaches struggle and stumble to build their business without a coachpreneur who has gone before them and built a successful business.  I would like to be that experienced mentor for you and your business.

How do you know if my Coachpreneur Masterclass is right for you?  If you check off any of the items on the list below, then YES this Coachpreneur Masterclass is for you!

  • You’re starting to get your coaching business off the ground.
  • You may have taken some coaching courses in the past.
  • You don’t want to go it alone – you want a community.
  • You’re struggling to attract a steady flow of clients.
  • You’re making less than $150,000 yearly on your business.
  • You want to triple your coaching income faster.

This masterclass isn’t only about building a better business — one with a clear brand, niche, and strategy. You’ll connect with talented coaches, accountability partners, & a team so YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

This is a 9-module online masterclass & 3-month mastermind to launch, leverage, and lead a winning coaching business.

BONUS: In addition to the Online Masterclass, you get access to a monthly Virtual Zoom Mastermind for 3 months. The mastermind is on the 2nd & 4th Monday from 10:30 AM – 12 Noon Central Time. After your 3 months, continue the mastermind for $197 per month.

How do you know it works?

It helped Carol Anne McGuire create a marketing map that helped brand her business and leverage her books to create the first licensing agreement with Gallup, Inc.

Alex Wong, a Singapore Strengths Coach, learned how to leverage his hobby as a magician to create three new coaching packages, an effective pricing strategy, and a funnel using Meetup to drive traffic to his website.

I’ll share what propelled Anne Weber to become the first strengths coach in France, the same strategy that doubled her coaching income, and positioned In Men We Trust as a premier business in Paris.

And finally, but definitely not least, you will learn how to leverage new product development. Just like my coaching protégé, Scott Mackes, who created StrengthsMugs which has been leveraged by bestselling author Michael Hyatt.

What will you learn?

Module #1

Discover Your Brand & Niche

Discover your coaching niche, anthem, and write your story brand.

Module #2

Decide on Packages, Pricing, & Business Plan

I’ll share my best business practices and tools to help develop your own packages and business strategy.

Module #3

Determine Your Marketing Plan

Learn how to create a solid marketing plan aligned with your strengths to take you to the next level.

Module #4

Deploy Your Sales Strengths

Utilize your unique talents to sell authentically, write proposals, & handle inquiry calls with systems.

Module #5

Design Your Best Online Presence

Take advantage of my exclusive resources to build your best website and social media strategy.

Module #6

Deepen Your Professional Coaching

10X your professional coaching technique with mentor coaching & ICF resources.

Module #7

Differentiate with a Book

Become a thought leader, learn to write, edit and publish a book to gain exposure and clients.

Module #8

Double Your Speaking Income

Get my tips and tools that I have developed over my 25+ years as a coach, speaker and author to save you time becoming a world-class professional speaker and grow your audience.

Module #9

Dream Your Multiple Streams of Income

Finally, learn how you can multiply your income with masterclasses, masterminds, & much more.

How much does it cost?

You have 3 cost options:

5 Star $3,750

6 – 1 hour Coaching Sessions
3 Month Mastermind
Register Now

4 Star- $2,000

3 – 1 hour Coaching Sessions
3 Month Mastermind
Register Now

3 Star – $800

1 – 90 minute Coaching Session
3 Month Mastermind
Register Now

Are you ready to grow your business to the next level with the Coachpreneur Masterclass?

Here’s the great news – the next Coachpreneur Masterclass is NOW.  It is ongoing and you can start anytime you like.

Even more great news, to support coaching entrepreneurs, we’re giving away one seat to our Coach Business Builder Masterclass & Mastermind 3 Star option.  Click here to enter to win.   The winner will be drawn on August 31, 2020. *Current and past clients are not eligible for the drawing.

I know this is a lot of information and you may have questions.   Want to talk to me about this or any other issues schedule you free Ask Brent Anything call.  Check out my website at www.brentobannon.com for more ideas and classes that will help you on that path.  I am looking forward to walking with you through this exciting time of building your business.

With so many assessments available, how do you know which one to use? In making that decision, you need to keep in mind what was used to create the assessment. Is it just this is what someone thought would be a good idea, or is it based on a solid framework?

There are a few key terms that are important to understand as you delve into the world of the Clifton StrengthsFinder.

Positive Psychology

The CliftonStrengths assessment is based on Positive Psychology. Positive Psychology is an approach to psychology from the perspective of healthy, successful life functioning. What are the differences in Positive Psychology from Traditional Psychology? Traditional Psychology focuses on people’s problems and how to deal with them directly. Positive psychology offers the chance to help find the inner strengths of a person focusing more on proactive steps to use their abilities.

This focus is what Donald Clifton was talking about when he said, “What would happen if we studied what was right with people versus what’s wrong with people?

Talent (a natural way of thinking and feeling) x Investment (time spent practicing, developing, and building your knowledge base) = Strength (the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance). This is a simple formula for a profound concept. It builds beautifully on the Positive Psychology principle of helping people find their inner talents and then proactively making an investment in that talent to refine it into a strength. This formula was introduced in the bestselling book StrengthsFinder 2.0

Talent is your natural way of thinking, feeling, or behaving. They’re the inherent natural abilities you can apply to your life. Once you uncover your talents, you must invest in them. This investment goes past knowing your strengths; you must practice using them and add knowledge and skills.

Neuroscience

The Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment is rooted in and based around neuroscience – “a scientific discipline studying the structure, development, function, and genetics of the brain.” Through the use of cognitive MRIs, neurologists can see the brain’s activity when subjected to certain stimuli. In short, your brain literally lights up when it’s functioning in an area of strength.

Assessment vs. Psychometric

A psychometric assessment is an “objective measurement of skills and knowledge, abilities, attitudes, personality traits.” In a psychometric assessment, you don’t know what sorts of questions are being asked, or why. The Clifton StrengthsFinder only gives you 20 seconds to answer before moving on to get your gut reaction.

The Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment is a psychometric assessment that measures the things you’re naturally good at doing – so good you may not understand your results because you think, “doesn’t everybody do that?

So what you may think. Why do I need to know any of this about Clifton StrengthsFinder? Our culture has, for so long, focused on developing or fixing our weaknesses. StrengthsFinder gives us an invitation to focus on what is right and strong about you. Because of this, anyone can use the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment to help build strong people, strong teams, and a strong culture. It is this place of strength that significant and long-term impact can be developed. Now, as never before, we need these strong people, teams, and culture.

How are you investing in your talents? In what ways are you practicing your talents and adding to your knowledge and skills? Let me know in the comments below.

Are you interested in learning more about how you can incorporate Clifton Strengths Finders into your life or business? Want to know how to put your strengths into practice and add knowledge and skills? Check out my website at www.brentobannon.com for more ideas and classes that will help you on that path. Want to talk to me about this or any other issues schedule you free Ask Brent Anything call.

 

As a strength coach, people often ask me about retaking the CliftonStrengths Assessment. Though it may seem like your strengths would change over time, the answer to retaking the assessment is – no need most of the time.

No matter why someone wants to retake the CliftonStrengths assessment, Gallup’s research shows that their first completion of the assessment gives the “purest and most revealing results.” Let’s take a few minutes and look at a couple of reasons why people think they should retake the assessment.

I was in a bad mood the day I took the assessment.

In the 1990s, Donald O. Clifton developed the CliftonStrengths to measure talent potential. The assessment measures natural recurring thoughts, feelings, and behavior called talent. Through much research, Gallup has discovered that your mood when you took the assessment will have little effect on the results you receive. This doesn’t mean that your mood will have no impact whatsoever on your responses to the statements. What it does mean is that this assessment based on positive psychology and neuroscience will expertly measure your recurring patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior. By doing so, the assessment sees through the mood you are in that time to reveal your most dominant themes of talent.

One thing to keep in mind about Strengths and mood is, knowing your strengths, you can use your strengths to help your mood. If you are in a bad mood over things going on in your life, focus on your strengths and use them to help you develop a strategy to move past the place you are. Strengths are not just an assessment you take and then put it on the shelf till someone asks you your top five. Strengths are a living, breathing part of your life, or they should be.

I don’t like the strengths the assessment gave me.

Identifying where you have the greatest potential for building strength is what your assessment is assessing. Knowing this information is a starting point for you to grow in the areas that you have the greatest potential for building strengths. Building and using your strengths will make you become the best version of you, not an imitation of someone who has the strengths you think you want.

Your strengths will help you understand the unique ways that you operate and maybe even discover things about you that you did’t see. One of the ladies I work with was surprised when Strategic came up in her top five. Of all the ways she thought of and described herself strategic was not one of them. When she talked to friends and family, their response was – of course, you are strategic. Their evaluation of her took her completely by surprise.

She preferred to think of herself in the Relationship Building Talents, where most of her top five reside. After seeing this and getting feedback, her new strengths-awareness opened up new growth. When she had her yearly evaluation, her manager commented that she didn’t know what happened over the previous year, but she saw more engagement with the rest of the team and more productivity in her role, along with taking on new assignments.

For over 40 years, Gallup scientists have been studying strengths. From all this research, they have found that our strengths do not change significantly over time. The way the assessment is designed intentionally force’s you to make a quick choice preventing you from overthinking the response. If you decide to retake the assessment, you could be familiar with the questions, and since you could be trying to manipulate the outcome, this could lead to less accurate responses and skew your responses.

These are just a couple of the reasons that people give for wanting to retake the assessment. What kind of reasons do you hear people want to retake the CliftonStrengths Assessment? How do you respond? Let’s discuss in the comments below. Want to become a strengths champion for others? Visit https://brentobannon.com/courses/ and please schedule your free Ask Brent Anything call, and Let’s Talk Strengths.

If someone asked you to tell them the top 5 things they were good at, could you? Most of us would struggle with that question. If someone asks the top 5 things you were terrible at, I bet you would give a laundry list. What we do well should be evident to us, it is something we should be practicing every day, but we have been conditioned to see what we do wrong and correct that instead of what we do good and building on that.

Donald Clifton said, “Your weaknesses will never develop, while your strengths will develop infinitely.” So how do we help others to understand their value through their strengths? How do we show them how to move from raw to refined?

I wish there were a bulleted list that I could just insert here, but people and their particular set of strengths are varied. Think about your Top 5. If you were looking for someone else with the same group of Strengths in their Top 5 is about one in 275,000. If you want someone with the Top 5 themes in the same order as yours, then the odds are 33.4 million. With this much unique talent, how do we lead? We lead each one uniquely according to their strengths and not try to put them all in a category.

In our world, today, people are losing sight of their value. If people know their CliftonStrengths themes, then they know their talent DNA. These themes explain the ways they most naturally think, feel, and behave. When you help people tap these strengths naturally in their makeup, they have authentic behaviors that they can hold on to. 

If you listen intently to what someone says, you will find a wealth of knowledge in what they say and what they don’t say. You have to listen behind the words. With your focus entirely on the person talking, you can listen to the meaning of the words and then choose how to respond specifically to this person, to uniquely lead them. As Stephen Covey says in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People:” Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

Once you have listened and understood the person and their strengths, help them understand. Strengths give language for someone to become aware of their strengths and have a way to talk about them. Most people know their top 5 or even their full 34, but they see them as being independent of each other. Just knowing what the CliftonStrengths assessment says are your strengths is not enough. You need to help people become fluent in this language.

As with any language, people have to understand what words mean. In the language of strengths, you need to help the person you are working with understand the definition of each of their strengths. I have run into people who can tell me their Top 5 but can’t delve into each one. Though theme identification is the beginning of the development process, it can’t stop there.  

People can’t be labeled with just one word. You need to know that if you are an Achiever® that explains the drive, you must continuously get things done. Why what makes you feel good is to achieve something tangible. In the definition on the Gallup Website for Achiever, it says, “Your relentless need for achievement might not be logical. It might not even be focused. But it will always be with you.” Understanding something like this about yourself can give a person not only insight into why they do what they do but permission to do it. Think about that for a moment. Once someone knows their strengths, they may discover things about themselves that they have never seen before, and it can open a whole new world of achievement for them. Help them find this.

Once you have discovered the language and meanings together, look at their lives. What do they do? What do they want to do? How can they take what they know about strengths and apply it to their lives? This is a most incredible and rewarding journey that you can walk with someone through.

Who do you know that needs to better understand their value? How can you use the language and meanings of strengths to grow your team? Let me know in the comments below. Want to talk with me about how you could monetize your strengths or other business-building questions you have? Please schedule your free Ask Brent Anything call, and Let’s Talk Strengths.

 

You may think of the Relator® as someone who has never met a stranger, but that’s WOO—winning others over. People with WOO believe that each stranger is a friend they have yet to meet, but Relators are selective about their relationships. They tend to be more guarded and cautious when they first meet people.

Relators may not immediately come across as relationship-oriented people because their strength lies with in-depth relationships, not shallow connections. Relators are always looking for an excuse to get together with their friends or their colleagues because genuine relationships fuel them. Relators are not interested in job title or status; they are interested in their relationship with you.

Relators are skilled at building better friendships and relationships, not only in their families and friendships but in the workplace as well. It is important for Relators to find and develop deep, trusting friendships in the workplace. The Gallup book, Well Being by Tom Rath, demonstrates how people enjoy better well-being when they have at least one good friend in the workplace. So, if you have a great relationship with your boss, your supervisor, or a colleague, count yourself blessed.

People with the Relator strength have the gift of creating loyal, trusting, sharing relationships that will never break. Guess what? My wife has this strength, too. We have been married for over thirty-six years (and have known each other for thirty-eight), and I always say that any woman who can put up with me for thirty-six years has to have some serious relationship abilities. Many of my wife’s attributes—like her loyalty—come from being a Relator.

Mervyn Davies is the former Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank and is an example of an executive monetizing his Relator strength.

Davies was the chairman of a British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London, England. This bank operates a network of more than 1,200 branches and outlets across more than 70 countries and employs around 87,000 people. In the world of business, he is known as one of the world’s most influential. Being the chairman of such a large bank, you would think he would be a stubborn, bottom-line first businessman, In fact, British newspaper The Guardian calls him “that rare breed: a banker [whom] people like.”  How did Mervyn Davies gain the reputation as this rare breed of banker?

His top 5 Strengths are Achiever, Futuristic, Positivity, Relator, and Learner. Davis knew that to be successful in leading this organization; he had to use a Strengths-based leadership approach. He needed to build a leadership team with the same diversity as Standard Charter Bank has in the networks they operate. To that end, he developed an incredibly diverse leadership team focusing on different backgrounds, personalities, and strengths. Knowing his strengths well, he wanted to surround himself with other strengths that would allow them to do things he couldn’t do well.

Once he had his team in place, Davis leaned into his Relator strength to find a way to build trust between himself and his leadership team. According to Gallup.com, “The Power and Edge of Relator: Those with Relator among their Signature Themes form deep relationships and are most productive when they are working alongside colleagues they know well. As a result, they can be great collaborators and bring encouragement to others on their team.” So he set out to form these deep relationships.

He made a point to over-communicate with his team. He would send communications to his top leaders with details about why he was making the decisions he was making. Some of his decisions were considered controversial, and he wanted them to understand where he was coming from to build their trust relationship. He also shared more than work; he shared his personal life too. When his wife developed breast cancer, he sent an email to his top 4oo executives, letting them know what was going on with him and how it would change his schedule for the next several months. His Relator strength makes him value authentic relationships, and he was an example of that.

In addition to being open about his life, he was widely known for helping others put their family first. The result of leaning into his Relator strength created a culture where the employees had an unprecedented level of trust in their CEO.

How are you using your Relator strength to build your team and organization for greater trust? How can your organization become more profitable from building deep authentic relationships?

Here are three questions for you to ponder in order to build deeper relationship with your team:

  1. Which talent themes can help you ask better questions to explore strengths?
  2. When can you help clients turn their strengths inward and outward for success?
  3. How could you better help employees understand underusing (coasting) and overusing (speeding) with their strengths?

How can you use your Relator to build a firm of endearment?  Let me know in the comments below. Want to talk with me about how you could monetize your strengths or other business-building questions you have? Please schedule you free Ask Brent Anything call, and Let’s Talk Strengths.