Lisa Cummings helps you lead teams & build your work culture with CliftonStrengths A.K.A StrengthsFinder.
The "Lead Through Strengths" podcast was created for you if you're ready to stop taking the "path of most resistance" at work.
Current episodes are educational snippets from Q&A with our corporate teams. They're usually questions we get in our StrengthsFinder corporate training sessions. Over 25 Million people have taken the CliftonStrengths assessment.
It sounds silly, yet it happens all the time when people get focused on fixing their weaknesses. It doesn't have to be so hard. Stop focusing on what's broken about you. Lisa Cummings, the host, is a Gallup Certified Strengths Performance Coach, so she brings you a wealth of corporate wisdom, combined with Gallup research.
You'll learn how to find your strengths and put them to work. If you manage a team, you'll hear ideas for leading your so your colleagues can come to work feeling more energized and engaged.
If you're ready to get your career mojo back, Lisa Cummings delivers it with straight talk and a fun-loving approach.
We publish by season.
Season 1: Career Q&A
Season 2: Strengths Interviews
Season 3: StrengthsFinder Q&A (also known as CliftonStrengths assessment)
Season 4: Team Building 12 Week Strengths Challenge
Season 5: One StrengthsFinder Talent Theme Per Week: Career Branding Adjectives for your personal brand, red flag situations for that talent theme, and action items to put that talent to use
Season 6: Nine Core Concepts of Strengths
Season 7: Facilitator Interviews (because, who needs Lisa only - we have lots of other great StrengthsFinder trainers for you)
Season 8: CliftonStrengths Customer Q&A
There's a lot of confusion about the name of the assessment because it is difficult to spell (or put the singular/plural in the right spot), and it has changed names. All of these are the same survey tool: StrengthsFinder 2.0, StrengthsFinders, StrengthFinders, StrengthFinder, StrengthsFinder, Clifton Strengths, CliftonStrengths, Clifton StrengthsFinder.
Despite the difficulty with the word, the content all points to Strengths Based Development and leadership using StrengthsFinder with your team.
In addition: here are some hot topic areas covered by audience questions so far:
discovering your strengths;
coaching and feedback;
marketing, branding, and promoting yourself;
developing your direct reports;
noticing what works on your team;
connecting and networking;
politics and perceptions at the office;
getting viewed as an A player;
building trust and influence at work or in your industry;
being a people-leader that you want to be, even when you're short on time;
how to get your creative mojo back;
understanding how your EQ (emotional intelligence) is more important than your IQ at work;
stuff you didn't learn in business school that's hurting your career; getting unstuck and un-trapped;
and being a better leader
Personal Branding Through Strengths
If you want to register directly, you can find the next CliftonStrengths training at https://leadthroughstrengths.com/events/ To stay up on the latest quarterly training events as they're posted, I recommend joining our email list at https://leadthroughstrengths.com/challenge/
Other resources from the episode:
Make your More Of List - https://leadthroughstrengths.com/moreof/
Hear the Ben Fanning Episode to tie your soul-filling work with your strengths - https://leadthroughstrengths.com/should-i-quit-my-job/
Free CliftonStrengths Training
To stay up on the latest quarterly training events as they're posted, I recommend joining our email list here: https://leadthroughstrengths.com/challenge/ Or, if you want to register directly, you can find them at https://leadthroughstrengths.com/events/
3 Ways To Focus on Strengths In A Staff Meeting
Also, come join our quarterly virtual training at leadthroughstrengths.com/events
New CliftonStrengths Manager Report
CliftonStrengths for Managers Report See your Top 10 talents, and how they might help or hinder your personal leadership
Attend our Open-To-The Public StrengthsFinder Training
Book a Private Training Event
He Refuses To Participate In StrengthsFinder — Should We Make It Mandatory?
If Someone Refuses To Participate In StrengthsFinder, Invite Them To The Session Anyway Maybe it was a bad experience with another assessment tool, or the thought that another assessment is unnecessary. But if someone in your team refuses to participate in StrengthsFinder, it helps to gather insights behind the “why.”
Chances are you can form or offer solutions that could win you into Team StrengthsFinder so everyone can experience the awesomeness of discovering one's true strengths.
In today’s episode, Lisa captures the top reasons some people pass on taking the Strengthsfinder survey.
Did they have a bad experience in the past? Can you convince them that you're using this to open up your understanding of each other - not to put them in a box? Is it possible to know your team member’s strengths without the assessment tool?
Listen as Lisa answers these questions. Here’s the full transcript of the episode:
You’re listening to Lead Through Strengths, where you'll learn to apply your greatest strengths at work. I'm your host, Lisa Cummings, and I gotta tell you, it's tough to find something at work that is more energizing than using your strengths every day.
Now, in today's Q&A episode, I got a question that kind of challenges that opening statement. It's from a person who asked, “As a manager, what to do when someone on the team refuses to participate in StrengthsFinder? They don't like assessments, and they don't want to be stereotyped.”
So, I'm saying, “Hey what's more energizing than using your strengths every day?”
And this person is saying, “I don't know what to do. How am I supposed to use that person's strengths? They won't even participate."
Now, and digging a little bit deeper, this person specifically said they don't want to participate because they don’t want to be put into a box.
We've delivered training to over 20,000 participants. I think I can remember three people feeling like this, like saying, “These assessments are stupid.” Or, “I don't want to be put into a box.” Or folding their arms at the back of the room just not participating, showing up at the event but not doing the process.
So, that is good news, and most people feel like, “Hey, oh you want to talk about how I'm awesome? Let's go for it.”
But once in a while, you get people who don't want to participate. So first things first. I think that these kinds of tools and most training is best done in an opt-in kind of way if you're talking about personal and professional development.
If somebody doesn't want to opt in to their own personal development, if somebody doesn't want to opt in to an event like this, trying to make them do it...“I just haven't seen that go well...” So, I always invite them in to the session, even if they haven't done the assessment. I always make it a point that they can decide later on, that they can take the assessment.
I just tell them, “Hey, come on, try it and sit in the back. I won't bother you. See if you like the concepts. If you do, you can take the assessment later. There are some downsides to getting exposed to it before you take the assessment..."
But the reality is they weren't going to do it anyway. So, let them come in. If they feel like it's a safe enough thing or it's an interesting enough concept, then most of the time they'll opt in later.
Show The Appeal Of CliftonStrengths One of the reasons that they do change their minds is: if you think about CliftonStrengths, the chance that someone else will have your exact top 5 in the same order as you, it's one in 33 million. And I don't think it's lost on people that you do feel really unique when you're doing an assessment like CliftonStrengths. It definitely does not feel like putting someone in a box.
The language is really easy. It's easy to understand and have conversations with each other on the first day that you're learning about it, but at the same time, when you know that it's
Team Is Under 10% On Influencing Strengths — Is This A Weak CliftonStrengths Lineup?
Influencing Strengths Not Part Of Your Top 5? Chill, You're Not Alone It’s totally normal for you or your team to hope for a balanced distribution of themes across all four domains of strengths: strategic thinking, relationships, executing, and influencing. You may think that you are not as productive and effective if you lack the talent themes from one or more categories. For example, being low or bare on influencing strengths could make you feel you are disconnected, unconvincing, or misunderstood.
The thing is, CliftonStrengths assessment might surprise you. Ideal does not mean evenly spread. In fact, when you look at the database of all people who have taken the StrengthsFinder assessment, you'll see influencing strengths in 15% of the top 5.
If you're doing the math with us, you've already picked up on the fact that each domain does not get a tidy 25% count. So no worries. If you have 5% influencing strengths or 20% on your team, the secret is to work with what you have.
Here's Lisa Cummings to show you how (full transcript of the episode):
You're listening to Lead Through Strengths, where you'll learn to apply your greatest strengths at work. I'm your host, Lisa Cummings, and I gotta tell you, it's tough to find something at work that is more energizing than using your strengths at work every day.
Today we are in a season of the show where we are moving into question and answers from you, the listeners. Today's question:
“We're just starting CliftonStrengths with the team, and we noticed a lack of influencing strengths."
So she goes on to ask about how to address this as a team. They have already talked about how to address when you have a "deficiency."
I'm putting that word in quotes, about when you're missing a talent as an individual person, but how do you address these ideas as a team?
Now first, if you're new to CliftonStrengths or the book StrengthsFinder 2.0, when she's mentioning influencing themes, that is one of the four main domains of talent. Some people call these the four leadership domains. Sometimes I call them the four demands on our personal leadership. Beyond Influencing strengths, the other categories are:
Relationships Strategic thinking Executing So the first thing to know is — hey, good news, this means you’re normal!
When you look at the whole database of people who have taken CliftonStrengths — more than 24 million people — that instances of influencing strengths (talent themes) in the top 5 is 15%. So it's not an evenly spread dynamic.
So that is the first thing. If you are on a team and you're trying to make all four domains have a nice tidy 25%, stop trying that. It's not how the human population looks — at least the population inside of this database, which is quite large. And spend a little bit more time learning to work with what you got. Work with what you got. You know what I mean?
Let Desired Outcomes Guide You On How To Apply Your Strengths So, as I think through that, my answer is really to get a little bit more focused on the outcomes at work, rather than obsessing over the strengths.
So one of the things that I see teams do is they do an assessment like CliftonStrengths, and then of course all you want to do is talk about the strengths language and do things like, “Oh, I have the Focus talent, how can I go use Focus as talent? Or you lead through Relator — "How can I go use my Relator today?”
That's totally natural and there's not really anything wrong with doing that. But in a workplace and in a team setting, where I think you'll get extra bang for the buck, is to think about the outcomes you're trying to achieve as a team.
And then think, “In order to reach that outcome, how can I use the talent themes that I have?”
So we're coming at it a little different way, and it's using the themes as your easy buttons to get the outcomes done.
So if I make this a little bit more practical, let's say you have a goal as a team to
One of the best podcasts I’ve ever listened too. This has helped me to be a better leader.
Really enjoy this podcast! There is so much to learn about the 4 domains and 34 strengths and I like that the info here is actionable!
Highly recommended show!
Highly recommended and very unique content on strength. Well done. Keep up the great work! ;)