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Lead Through Strengths

Podcasts

Lisa Cummings helps you lead teams, build your work culture, and improve relationships 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 and in life. 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. Many episodes are educational Q&A from our corporate clients. They're usually questions we get in our StrengthsFinder corporate workshops. Over 28 Million people have taken the CliftonStrengths assessment. If you're ready to get your mojo back, Lisa Cummings delivers it with straight talk and a fun-loving approach. Beyond CliftonStrengths training, she's also a coach, trained by the Life Coach School. With this show, 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. 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: Getting promoted; discovering your strengths; differentiating yourself; coaching and feedback; marketing, branding, and promoting yourself; getting unstuck; developing your direct reports; noticing what works on your team; connecting and networking; personal leadership; 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; being a better leader; solving problems; getting past confusion; aligning your mind, body, and purpose in life; managing major life transitions; and taking a minute to reflect on what you really want in life

Location:

Austin, TX

Genres:

Podcasts

Description:

Lisa Cummings helps you lead teams, build your work culture, and improve relationships 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 and in life. 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. Many episodes are educational Q&A from our corporate clients. They're usually questions we get in our StrengthsFinder corporate workshops. Over 28 Million people have taken the CliftonStrengths assessment. If you're ready to get your mojo back, Lisa Cummings delivers it with straight talk and a fun-loving approach. Beyond CliftonStrengths training, she's also a coach, trained by the Life Coach School. With this show, 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. 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: Getting promoted; discovering your strengths; differentiating yourself; coaching and feedback; marketing, branding, and promoting yourself; getting unstuck; developing your direct reports; noticing what works on your team; connecting and networking; personal leadership; 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; being a better leader; solving problems; getting past confusion; aligning your mind, body, and purpose in life; managing major life transitions; and taking a minute to reflect on what you really want in life

Language:

English


Episodes

Personal Branding Through Strengths

3/18/2022
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/

Duration:00:08:04

Free CliftonStrengths Training

1/7/2022
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/

Duration:00:04:28

3 Ways To Focus on Strengths In A Staff Meeting

9/16/2021
Also, come join our quarterly virtual training at leadthroughstrengths.com/events

Duration:00:12:12

New CliftonStrengths Manager Report

6/29/2021
CliftonStrengths for Managers Report See your Top 10 talents, and how they might help or hinder your personal leadership https://store.gallup.com/p/en-us/14216/cliftonstrengths-for-managers Attend our Open-To-The Public StrengthsFinder Training https://leadthroughstrengths.com/events Book a Private Training Event https://leadthroughstrengths.com/strengthsfinder-training/

Duration:00:14:51

He Refuses To Participate In StrengthsFinder — Should We Make It Mandatory?

5/2/2021
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 one in 33 million that would have the same as you, 1 through 5...

Duration:00:09:31

Team Is Under 10% On Influencing Strengths — Is This A Weak CliftonStrengths Lineup?

4/18/2021
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: RelationshipsStrategic thinkingExecuting 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 improve customer satisfaction by 10% in the...

Duration:00:08:19

Oh No! Class Is *Not* Full

4/12/2021
The 4/14/21 event link that seems to be working normally https://leadthroughstrengths.com/event/strengthsfinder-virtual-training-02/ If that doesn't work, email deena@leadthroughstrengths.com --- Where all of the future sessions are listed: https://leadthroughstrengths.com/events (yet this is also where the "Grab Your Seats" button is telling you it's full).

Duration:00:03:44

Strengths Based Conversations – Get ROE (Return on Effort) Today

4/4/2021
Team Questions and Active Listening Impact Strengths Based Conversations At Lead Through Strengths, our StrengthsFinder events are designed to help you dial deep into your strengths so you can understand yourself better and strengthen team performance. What better way to launch this goal into action than through meaningful activities and strengths based conversations that are grounded in your natural talents! But how do you keep the value of these conversations when your reality hits? Maybe these conversations feel weird to you over Zoom or MS teams. Maybe you don't know where to start, and you feel a little too woo-woo kicking off strengths based conversations when you're usually the person who gets right to business. Or maybe you prefer to leave the CliftonStrengths kickoff to the experts, so you're waiting for that to happen. In yet another idea-rich episode, Lisa Cummings and co-host Joseph Dworak will take you through fun and engaging ways you can create strengths based conversations, whether in full-length or “bite-sized” sessions, in-person or virtual. Even the popular online game World of Warcraft was an important part of their conversation, so join in. Lisa: You're listening to Lead Through Strengths, where you'll learn to apply your greatest strengths at work. I'm your host, Lisa Cummings, also joined by your other host this week, Joseph Dworak (claps and cheers). Joseph: Hello, hello. Lisa: We're going to talk to you about Strengthsfinder activities and strengths based conversations that help you go deeper as a team over time. Now, of course, in your ideal world, you hire Joseph to come in. He's your facilitator that you request. It's easy, because he has a bag of great tricks, because he's been doing CliftonStrengths for 20 years. But sometimes people come to us and say, “Oh, gosh, you know, I don't have the budget right now, but I can buy everyone a StrengthsFinder 2.0 book.” So Joseph, if we were going to share some of our favorite kinds of things that might give someone a path to have solid strengths based conversations, what are some of your favorites? Joseph: Yeah, I have to give credit to Chip Anderson, who was one of the founders of the StrengthsFinder movement with Don Clifton back in the day. I saw him do this in 2001... I just started going through my own strengths and I was at a retreat with a bunch of USC and UCLA students that we were with, and I was kind of getting into their groove and Chip Anderson had everyone take our glasses. And he did this whole thing about strengths being the lenses that you see the world through, and we all have unique glasses. And so then he had people divide up into the four quadrants, so people who have strategizing themes over here, and people who have Influencing things over here, and people who have Relating themes and so on. And then he would have a little bit like what you and I talked about before with a strengths mixer, where he would say, “What's the strength that you really like of your Top 5 and talk about it.” The other person has to actively listen for a minute and the other person can't interrupt. They actually have to actively listen, which is his own skill in this day and age. And they would talk back and forth. And he would do that for two hours. And he would just, "All right, switch partners. Okay, what's the strength that gets in your way sometimes, and why? “What's the strength that fits you best, and why? “What strengths combinations do you see working together?” And he would just keep rotating and rotating and rotating. And I took that one. And when I became a strengths facilitator about a year later, I'd be some version of that for, as you mentioned, 20 years now. And that's a great way where it's one-on-one, because some people do well in the group setting, some people do well one-on-one... Some people will do well just reading the StrengthsFinder book on their own and doing it. But that strengths mixer, that's what came to mind when...

Duration:00:14:42

April Announcement & Strengths Tip

3/28/2021
https://leadthroughstrengths.com/events/

Duration:00:08:39

Using Strengths For Sales Teams

3/21/2021
Applying Strengths For Sales Teams Can Boost Performance If you look over those moments where you closed a deal or knocked out a killer proposal, you were likely in the zone. That whole idea of "flow" or being in the zone - it's a clue to your greatest strengths. Work feels effortless because either you were at your genuine best or you were dealing with a seller who was. In this episode, Lisa Cummings and co-host Joseph Dworak reveal how voracious learners study up on a bunch of popular selling methodologies. Yet, sometimes they fail because they're implemented as if each person leads through the same strengths. You'll find out more about using strengths for sales. It's an individualized approach, yet it's easy to do because you're amplifying each person's good spots. Here’s their conversation: Lisa: You're listening to Lead Through Strengths, where you'll learn to apply your greatest strengths at work. I'm your host, Lisa Cummings, joined today by Joseph Dworak, another host, Lead Through Strengths facilitator, and sales extraordinaire. Joseph: Hello, thank you. Lisa: Well, today I would love to talk to the audience about using strengths for sales teams - in the context of selling. So you have this unique position that I haven't seen in too many people, which is you've been a CliftonStrengths facilitator full-time, you've been a seller full-time, you've been a leader of sales people full-time, you've had a really wide array of these kinds of roles that allow you to know the philosophy behind strengths but also know how to put this into really practical application for a team. Now, of course, not every listener that we have is a salesperson or on a sales team. So as much as we can today, we're going to apply this and make it functional and useful for somebody who might be able to pitch an idea in a business meeting, make a business case, do some influencing, because everyone is selling ideas. But when you think about using strengths for sales, let me just kick it off and say, "Say more about that." How do you see this benefiting a sales team? Joseph: I mean, so many ways. I think, people buy from people who they like and trust. And that's debated in the sales world but I would stick with that. And I think, at a really baseline, if you know who you are, you know how you're wired and you enter into a relationship with people in a way that's authentically you, that will differentiate you as a salesperson. So if you're not authentic, I don't trust you, I'm not buying from you. Even if you have the greatest thing in the world, I'll find someone else to buy from. And one of the things in my current setting, which, I just absolutely love my company — they're fantastic, great culture — we from the top have been modeled to say, “We may or may not be a fit for you. If we're not, there's no drama with that." "If we are a good fit, great, let's keep talking. We know you have options. You could build something yourself. You could outsource, you could look at a solution like ours.” And we try to do that up front to say, “We're not here to push anything on you that doesn't work.” Our products take sometimes a year, sometimes four months, sometimes a year, and they’re with multi-billion dollar companies, and so it's very un-transactional that way. And if we're in a competitive situation, which we often are, if other people are selling in competition with us and they are not those things, we will stand out. And so I think the baseline “I know my strengths. I'm authentic in that. And I'm really upfront,” that can help. And I think, obviously, like you mentioned, that can apply to people who are not in sales roles — just being authentic and being you. So I hope I answered your question, Lisa, but that's what I think about. Lisa: You did, and you were taking me back to memory. So being in sales roles early in my career, where you had to memorize a script, and you were supposed to walk in and do a cold call, by opening a front...

Duration:00:13:46

First Step: Talking About Strengths To Get In The Zone

3/7/2021
What's the first step after the CliftonStrengths assessment? The StrengthsFinder Test, StrengthsFinder training, and the StrengthsFinder 2.0 book are all a wealth of resources for uncovering what your top talent themes are, and how you can apply them. After your team gets their results, the next step by many teams is to focus on learning about each of the 34 teams. They pour over the definitions, and want to learn about the tool. Yet actually, there's a better way to kick off this process. In this episode, Lisa Cummings and guest co-host Joseph Dworak emphasize the importance of having strengths-focused conversations with your team. If you're getting started with strengths and you're wondering what the next step is, well..., it's simpler than you think. The most important step is to get them talking about their strengths. They already know themselves pretty well. This tool gives them a lens to think through, yet the wisdom is already inside of each person. The CliftonStrengths assessment is more like a prompting tool to help them remember what they're like when they're operating at their best. Learn more from their conversation in the video version. Here's the full transcript: Lisa: 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 today, we have a co-host here. Joseph is here with me to talk to you about getting the team talking about strengths. Joseph: It’s so good to be here Lisa. This is super fun. Lisa: So good to have you back. Now I want to shower some praise upon you. You actually changed the way I think about training and facilitation. So years ago when I met you, we were with a bunch of other strengths practitioners, and you said something... We were just kind of talking about our approach and you said something in a way that wasn't intended to be an earth-shattering moment, but it struck me and it hasn't left, which is: when you get people started with strengths, one of the things that you think is really important is to get them talking about their own strengths, or their own natural talents, straight away. And as you were saying it I was kind of auditing myself and at the time I was thinking, “Ooh, you know, I was doing a lot of virtual training — this was probably five years ago I bet when we first had this conversation and I was doing a lot of virtual training — but because the time was short, it was 90 minutes, I remember thinking, 'I need to do a lot of output. I need to get people to answer quickly but move on to the next point.' And it was not getting them really thinking on and talking on their strengths in the way that I had in an in-person session." So talk to us about that approach. Why do you think it's important to get someone talking about strengths from the get-go? How can they talk about their own natural talents before they know all the definitions and they know all the nitty-gritty details and philosophy? Joseph: Oh well, first off, thanks. I'm glad that something I said resonated. Never know when something will hit, so that's awesome. I remember when I first started facilitating strengths discussions and introducing people to the tool, it was around 2001. I remember specifically, I went through the tool myself in 2000 and then I was certified and started doing it. In those early years I did a lot of, “I have to get through the material.” And I realized, over time, even in 5-6 years of doing it, it was like, it was less about getting through the material than actually having quality interactions. It was more about getting participants talking about strengths first. And just because we're getting through the material, that doesn't mean it was quality. And so I think I realized that as I was maturing as a facilitator/consultant of the tool, I started realizing that the more people were letting their guard down, and just even at a really basic level talking about how they were wired and what they...

Duration:00:15:21

Managing To People's Strengths

2/21/2021
Managing To People’s Strengths, A Simple Path To Better Performance This topic opens a series of interviews featuring Lead Through Strengths facilitator Joseph Dworak. Now this particular episode looks at the value of workplace conversations, especially when the team is remote. People have never been more hungry for human connection than today. In response to this challenge, Joseph models how a keen and intentional manager ensures that team meetings seamlessly incorporate business updates with open-ended questions about work or life — the answers to which become a goldmine not only for human connection but also for deeper insights into people’s strengths. Pick up some great ideas, such as examples of these open-ended questions, and see if you can apply them in your teams as well. Here's a full transcript of Lisa's conversation with Joseph: Lisa: 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 today we have another host here with you, Joseph Dworak. Joseph: Hello, how are you? Lisa: Wonderful! And we are so stoked to have you here because in this series of having other facilitators come in and do strengths interviews, our customers are really loving this extra perspective from our CliftonStrengths facilitators so that it is not only my voice on the show. We've been talking a lot lately about remote work, and how all of our spaces are combining work and life. Some of us miss workplaces and some of us love working from home. Some of us get in these awkward situations...you pointed out the fact that if somebody is looking at the video version, they see a U-Haul box in there. Because we're alive. Sometimes you move to a new house the day you have an interview. So how has it been for you as a leader hiring people remotely, not meeting people that you work with? Talk to us about strengths and how you even try to incorporate that into a workplace when you don't see each other. I know you value the idea of managing to people's strengths, yet it's tougher to do when you don't have any "incidental strengths sightings" around the office. Joseph: Yeah, trying to find that connection piece between teammates who are completely remote and virtual. So the team that I lead, we have people all across North America and some of those folks have never met. Some haven't seen each other since last January in person. And so when we do have precious time together, we're trying to find ways to make a human connection. And you know what doesn't do the greatest job of trying to find a human connection: just going through bullet points of announcements and things like that. It's fine, but to get people really to share and open up, I try to do something a bit different. So yeah, back in a management leadership role in 2020, I did not know that COVID would hit, but then I took that job and so... I remember one of my coworkers saying, “Well, now you're going to see how it really is to be back in management leadership with this kind of challenge.” And we didn't even know what it would look like. That was like in March. And I had this sense that we need to stay connected throughout this time. And so we've been asking those kinds of open-ended questions to start meetings. You know, simply like, “What have been shaping events in your life?” And I always go first with my team to try to like, say, “I can do this so hopefully you can do this as far as you're comfortable.” But then as they do it, other people will share and whatnot. And then as you mentioned earlier, like adding people to our team throughout the year, I think by the early January, we'll have hired 6 people to the team, so the team almost doubled in size or a little over doubled in size. And trying to incorporate those folks and making them feel part, and some of them have never met everyone else. And so they're coming on and they're totally new. And they're trying to figure out their teammates...

Duration:00:12:41

Stop The Soul Suck — Get Assigned Work In Your Strengths Zone

2/7/2021
Work In Your Strengths Zone To Make Work Enjoyable How often you work in your strengths zone has a lot to do with living your best life. Here at Lead Through Strengths, we believe that choosing easy doesn't equate to choosing lazy. It means choosing efficiency and getting more of what works for you and what you enjoy focusing on. This may sound too good to be true. But what if the gap between you and your own strengths zone is actually shorter than you think? In this episode, Lisa Cummings and co-host TyAnn Osborn will walk you through some of the ways to get there. Read on and listen as they share stories and lessons that shaped their "work in your strengths zone" concept. Another spirited, inspiring and important discussion that you wouldn't want to miss. Here’s a full transcript of their conversation: Lisa: 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 you know, I'm always telling you — it's hard to find something more energizing than using your natural talents every day at work. Well, something that's just about as energizing is when I get to hang out with my other host here in the room, TyAnn Osborn. TyAnn: Hi. Lisa: So today's episode is all about using your strengths to make things easier, to make life easier. It's about doing more work in your strengths zone. There's actually a very high return on effort from using your strengths to get things done. However, many of us do things the hard way. TyAnn: So true. Why do we do that? Lisa: Maybe we don't know we are. TyAnn: Yeah. Lisa: I know that I've done it in my career or out of habit... TyAnn: Me too. Lisa: … where as a younger performer, and I wanted to prove myself, I would work the longest hours, I would, you know, you have the stuff to learn so you have to go through the learning curve part. TyAnn: Right. Lisa: But then you get in the habit of doing everything through brute force. And there comes some time when it doesn't matter if you work 72 hours a day. That isn't the thing that is going to get you to the next level. If you work in your strengths zone, you're way more likely to crush your performance goals. You have to figure out how to not do it through your hours... TyAnn: Right. Absolutely. I think you have to really keep an eye on: What's the end goal here? What problem am I trying to solve? Am I trying to solve for “I need to work a lot of hours," or am I trying to solve for actually getting an end product done? But you know, this kind of reminds me of when we were in school and we were learning math, because I don't know if your math teacher was like this, but mine was where anytime you learned a new concept, you would learn it the hard way where you had to do it all by hand and write it all out. And then the next day when you came in, the teacher would say, “Okay, and here's the formula." Or, “Here's the shortcut.” And then invariably, you're like, “Why didn't you teach me that the first time?” And then there was always some answer about, “Well, you might be out without a calculator one day and…” — which no one's ever out without a calculator now. So anyway, but it's just one of those “We can get to the same place, and you can get there the hard way or you can get there the easy way.” And it's interesting that as adults or are in our corporate world, we tend to think that the easy way, that there's something wrong with it. And it's funny how many times someone will kind of fight me on this concept, or say like — “That's cheating. I have to do everything the hard way." Or, you know, "Go uphill both ways, little brother on my back, in the snow with no shoes, or else it doesn't count.” Like, where do we get that message? Lisa: It does make people feel awkward. There was a time when I was talking about strengths, making you feel like work is easier, that you could enjoy it, that you could be energized by it, that it makes you feel excellent...

Duration:00:20:46

Save Time At Work With Your Strengths — It's Easy, Not Lazy

1/24/2021
Take The Path of Least Resistance To Save Time At Work One of the best things that happen when you are aligned with your natural talents is that work ceases to feel like "work." This is that sweet spot where you accomplish your tasks feel like you're in a state of flow. This is when things on your to-do list energize you, rather than drain you. Since the work is easier and the results are more excellent, you save time and precious energy at work. It's totally different on the flip side when you work out of your weaknesses. You feel this inner resistance, which can lead to self-doubt and early exhaustion. As your energy dips, you feel like you have nothing to give. Which is not the truth, because you have it in you all along. Here at Lead Through Strengths, we want you to drive towards what you want to have more of, such as work that gives a sense of meaning, while managing all other tasks at hand. The more you use your strengths, the more you're able to offer your best to the world. But how exactly do you get more of what you want when your plate is already full of soul-sucking tasks, and for which you think there are no takers either? Certainly, you don’t have to get stuck in this situation for long. So, listen up as Lisa Cummings and TyAnn Osborn put together and share great insights that will help you build a career centered on strengths that you love. Here's their conversation. Lisa: 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 you know, I'm always telling you, it's hard to find something more energizing than using your natural talents every day at work. Well, something that's just about as energizing is when I get to hang out with my other host here in the room TyAnn Osborn. Today, the topic is, you know, stuff that happens at work, that is, a little weird or awkward "things that make you go, hmm." And that thing…. it's a ridiculous call back to Arsenio Hall. It was way back. No really, it's those things that make you go hmmmm because you can't figure out how to quit making work feel so hard. TyAnn: Yeah. Lisa: What if that thing is, “Hey, Ty, why is my manager keep giving me all the tasks that I hate? Hmm.” TyAnn: I think it's because they hate you. Lisa: (eyes widen) Hmmm. TyAnn: No, they don't hate you. That's what we're going to talk about today. Lisa: But this is a real thing. TyAnn: This does happen. This happens all the time. Lisa: I actually have an uncle who said from his corporate experience (shout out to Alan) he said that if you are doing a task that you can't stand, but you're the one who does it the best in the office, he's like, “Well, the next time they need to get that thing done, who are they going to come to to get the thing done? You, the one who did it the best.” TyAnn: Right. Doing A Great Job? Best If It’s On Tasks That You Love Lisa: So I do think this can happen because people get known for things that they don't even like, but they haven't worked on their career brand. TyAnn: Right. Lisa: They haven't talked to their manager about what they do like or hope for more of in their development. And I think that is one of the reasons you can be really good at something that you don't like. You're masterful because you keep getting it assigned to you. TyAnn: Absolutely. This happens all the time. This has happened to you and me. This happens to our corporate clients all the time and in a very innocuous way. There's no diabolical plot behind this. And especially when you're more junior in your career, where you might not feel like you can say, “I don't really want to do this, or, I don't really like this.” And so, here's what happens: Oftentimes, when you're smart, you can do a lot of things, and do it in a very proficient way. And actually, your product can be pretty good. And then guess what, because you did a pretty good job at that, next time, they have that horrible spreadsheet that...

Duration:00:27:34

Not Feeling Very Worky Today? Get To The Truth About Why

1/10/2021
If You're Not Feeling Very Worky Today, Your Feeling Is Valid If you woke up not feeling very worky today, you're not alone. All around the world, this happens for reasons that are either obvious or hard to dig. Being in a funk is a real struggle that can last from days to months and can impact many important decisions that you make. It happens in the workplace and beyond. Being in this situation may lead you to deliberate whether to stay in a job or not, to stay in a relationship or not, to adopt a certain lifestyle or not, and so on. This feeling is valid, but when it does happen, do you usually deal with it from a place of fear, or from a place of strength? In another fun and insightful episode, host Lisa Cummings and fellow StrengthsFinder facilitator TyAnn Osborn share their personal and professional take on what it means to be in a funk, and effective ways to turn that "funky monkey" situation around. (Expect some hints of Beastie Boys along the way too.) Here’s their conversation. Lisa: 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 you know, I'm always telling you, it's hard to find something more energizing than using your natural talents every day at work. Well, something that's just about as energizing is when I get to hang out with my other host here in the room, TyAnn Osborn. Today, we are going to talk about being in a funk. So very often, we go to strengths events, we get invited in to deliver training, and often it's from an inspirational standpoint. We want to get to know each other better, we want to communicate better, we want to get to know a new team... TyAnn: Right. Lisa: Team building... TyAnn: Very positive. Very fun. Lisa: And then the reality of the world is we have days when mojo meter is level zero. We have seasons, times, months, weeks, where sometimes you're just in a funk. Once, I had an entire, probably six months of a job where I was in a funk and I was like, “What is wrong with me? I like the people, I like the job, the pay is good. Life is good. Everything on paper sounds so right. What is wrong?" And almost never do people think, “Well, this would be a great opportunity to use my strengths!” It just doesn't come up for people. But I know that you have ideas for this, and you've talked about them being one of the best things you could do for yourself when you find yourself in a funk or you think someone else might be in a funk. Step 1: Acknowledge When You’re Feeling Funky Lisa: So, if you are going to even begin applying strengths to this concept, what would you start with? TyAnn: I think that's so true. And like Lisa said, often when we come in, we've done a big team building event, everyone's all jazzed up, this is exciting. And then you go back to your desk, and work happens. Or life happens. And you're like, “Oh, that was fun.” But meanwhile, Now my customer is upset with me. My kid’s upset with me... My spouse is upset with me... I have to make dinner... Whatever it is, and life just happens. Or, like she said, sometimes you can't really put your finger on it. And for whatever reason, you're just like, “Oh, I feel like a funky monkey, I don't know why.” That sounds more cute than you might actually be feeling. Lisa: Sounds like Brass Monkey. Makes me think of Beastie Boys. TyAnn: ‘Love Beastie Boys. Yes, that's my jam. Lisa: (sings) TyAnn: So I think it's really easy to use strengths when things are going well. But I think really a powerful application is when you're not feeling that great. And so what do you do? So I would say the first thing is, be able to recognize when you are feeling funky. And sometimes we don't want to intellectually allow ourselves to even go there. Or like you said, “I shouldn't be feeling bad about myself. I'm getting paid good money!" Lisa: "My thinking skills tell me that does not make sense and therefore I must feel great!" TyAnn: "This must...

Duration:00:26:09

Special Announcement

1/6/2021
https://leadthroughstrengths.com/events/

Duration:00:05:35

Self Care Ideas: Simple Ways That Strengths Can Fill Your Empty Tank

12/27/2020
Self Care Ideas That Most Corporate Professionals Haven't Considered You can't go very far when you're running on empty, no matter how hard you push. And that's why we've come up with this fun episode for you — consider it a virtual "filling station." All you need to do for now is hit the brake, find clarity, and refill your tank with self care ideas that use your natural talents. Just like operating from your unique strengths, practicing self care makes a world of difference. Self care is not self-ish, because it results in giving your world the best of you [very punny, right?]. No matter your role in your team, your strengths can guide you in choosing the tasks that replenish you so that you can contribute your best - and achieve goals with less effort. Our host Lisa Cummings is joined once again by TyAnn Osborn, and together they will guide you towards the things that could re-energize you. As you'll find out, filling up on self care ideas doesn’t have to be limited to studying mindfulness, meditation, and massage. Surprisingly, self care can feel really practical in the workplace, despite the typical connotation, which seems to live outside of the office. There are many self care ideas that come right out of your natural talents - ways you can approach your work to re-energize you while you simultaneously get things done. Here’s their conversation: Lisa: 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 you know, I'm always telling you, it's hard to find something more energizing than using your natural talents every day at work. Well, something that's just about as energizing is when I get to hang out with my other host here in the room, TyAnn Osborn. TyAnn: Hi! Lisa: Today, we're talking about... We don't know yet what we're talking about, because we're doing a spin-the-wheel, where it tells us what we're talking about for the day. So let's spin. TyAnn: Okay. Lisa: Ooh, this one is talking about self care ideas... TyAnn: Self care. Lisa: When you run empty. TyAnn: Well... Lisa: No, you should just start this Ty, because you've talked about when the cup is empty, you have nothing to give. We definitely need some self care ideas up in here. How These Self Care Ideas Can Help You Avoid Burnout TyAnn: That's it. So I think this is a really important topic right now. And, you know, we're all facing different struggles, no matter what it is. Depending on when you listen, there can be any number of things happening. Maybe you've got a personal health struggle, maybe you're facing job troubles, potential job loss. Maybe you've got some family stuff going on, kids stuff going on. I don't know, maybe there was a global pandemic. There's all kinds of things happening in the world right now, and something is probably happening in your life. And here's the deal. You know, we have a lot of demands and pulls on our time and our energy. And often, we're trying to give so much to other people. If you're a manager, a people manager, you know, you're really trying to show up and be the best for your team. If you've got kids you're trying to give. If you're a volunteer, you're trying to give. But the truth is, you can't give from an empty cup. And so this is really where we've got to build self care ideas in our own life so that we can have our own replenishment - things that help us so that we can help give to other people. Because, believe me, if you're just gonna keep pouring, nothing's gonna come out. Lisa: That's a good point. It's kind of like, if you use your cup metaphor, I'm going to drink, there's nothing there. I'm trying to take a sip, there's nothing there. TyAnn: Yeah, you're still slurping on that straw, like (slurps)... Nothing happening. Lisa: And I, I see this with a lot of clients where we want to be it all. We want to give it all. We want to do it all. TyAnn: Yeah. Lisa: I have very high expectations of...

Duration:00:27:24

My Manager Hates Me: The 'Not Savage' Strengths Approach

12/13/2020
How Can I Turn Conflicts Around When My Manager Hates Me? Certain situations can highlight the stark differences within a team, especially when your strengths seem opposite of others' strengths. For example, you might think “my manager hates me” when they seem to value other team members' ideas and blow off yours. To conform or to stay true to your natural talents becomes a tough choice to make. When you’re the manager, it takes some skill to build a balance between honoring your team members' strengths and honoring yours, especially where you think the business priorities and values are at stake. And when you manage a team with a very different set of top 5 or top 10 strengths, how exactly do you do it? Welcome to this episode, the first in a series with TyAnn Osborn, who role-plays and reflects with our host Lisa Cummings on the difficult scenarios where team members may have conflicting strengths. How do they handle the situation and turn conflicts around? Here’s the transcript of the episode. Lisa: 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 you know, I'm always telling you, it's hard to find something more energizing than using your natural talents every day at work. Well, something that's just about as energizing is when I get to hang out with the other host here in the room, TyAnn Osborn. TyAnn: Hi! Lisa: Today, we're going to talk about a topic that we haven't decided yet, because I am going to use this spin-the-wheel thingy thingy, to tell us. *Spins the wheel* TyAnn: I like the sounds. Lisa: Oh, it says: ‘You don't like a teammate.’ When Someone On The Team Drives You Crazy Lisa: So today, we're going to talk about what you could do with your strengths when you don't like one of your teammates. Has this ever happened to you, Ty? TyAnn: No, I've always loved everyone that I worked with... No...[hint of sarcasm] Lisa: But I bet one of your clients has had this situation since you've never had it, 'wink-wink...' TyAnn: Of course, there's always someone that - for some reason - rubs you the wrong way. You just, you know, they're not your love language. And I work with clients all the time who have... there's always seems to be someone on the team who they just can't seem to get along with. Has this ever happened to you too? Lisa: Definitely. I mean, it's funny because I feel like a big thing about me is that I love people. And I love most people. TyAnn: Right. Me too! Lisa: But there are people that I don't jive with as well. TyAnn: Yeah. Lisa: And it takes some extra effort to understand where they're coming from, or really feel like, ‘Oh, I fully get them,’ or something like that. TyAnn: Which, you know, that's interesting when you're an individual contributor, when you feel that way, because you're like, ‘yeah, maybe that's just him’, you know. But when you're a manager, and you think, ‘Oh, I'm supposed to like everybody on the team’, or, ‘I need to not show favoritism but, eh, I kind of don't like that person. What do I do?’ It's kind of like being a parent; you're not supposed to not like one of your kids. So... Lisa: Or not have a favorite. TyAnn: Or not have a favorite. So, what do you do? Lisa: Okay, so let’s do a scenario? Let's do it like, you’re a manager. It will allow us to see the perspective of the manager thinking, "Ugh, that person is high maintenance on the team." And it will allow us to explore the flip side where a team member is thinking, "Ugh, my manager hates me. What should I do?" TyAnn: Yep. Lisa: You happen to have done CliftonStrengths as a team. TyAnn: Because you're a great manager. Lisa: 'Cause you're awesome. And there is a person on your team that you appreciate as a human, but as a performer, they feel very high-maintenance to you, they drive you kind of crazy. Let's pick some talent themes that might be seemingly opposite each other so we can make it a real...

Duration:00:23:46

Using Hobbies To Make Money (AKA Translating Interests To Your Job)

11/29/2020
Using Hobbies To Make Money And To Uncover Strengths Outside Of The Office Your personal hobbies — those things you do outside of work for fun and creative expression — are most likely a mirror of your talent themes. That's why discovering your top strengths through StrengthsFinder often leads to that aha moment where it becomes crystal clear why you do those things you are so passionate about. Many even get to maximize and thrive with their natural talents by using hobbies to make money, and you could be one of them. Often you're good at what you like, and you like what you're naturally good at. Sara Regan talks to our host Lisa Cummings in this fun conversation, where Sara shares what arts or passion she’s most drawn into, as well as her reflection on the link between those hobbies and her talent themes. What's cool is that using your hobbies to make money doesn't have to mean that you do something drastic. Often, people think that they should quit their current job and go chase their passion. But then they don't know what the passion is, so they live in this state of dis-ease. Or, they know their passion, but it's not going to earn much cash. For example, Lisa was obsessed with beach volleyball. She loved it. She'd be over the moon to get paid to do it. However, she's short, and doesn't have the best vertical jump in the world. So if she spent decades using hobbies to make money - in this case, she would have made none. Lisa tells on herself with this example because so many people are all-or-none on this topic. In fact, your hobbies don't have to directly earn you a living. You're still using hobbies to make money if you learn from them and re-apply themes from them. For example, Lisa loves to be active, so being a corporate trainer is great because she can stand and deliver while moving around a lot. She also loves to pump people up. She could have done this as a volleyball coach, and she can also do it when she inspires people to see their greatness in corporate life. See, the beauty in all of this is that there isn't one answer. It's rarely about one single passion. It's about watching your energy, and using your "energy makers" in any role. That's emotionally freeing. Imagine the difference in "I can use this in *any* role" (yay), versus "I am eternally hunting for *the* role" (disappointing). Here’s the transcript of the show. Your Hobbies Feed Your Strengths Lisa: Hello, hello everyone! I'm Lisa Cummings from Lead Through Strengths. So excited today to be joined by Sara Regan, one of our facilitators from Lead Through Strengths. And I'm psyched to bring you some new fresh thinking and tips on applying your strengths at work. It's an interesting outcome you can get from strengths — it’s remembering the things that are really fun to you and how they are clues to your talent. When you're remembering what's fun to you, and where you lose track of time, you might be simultaneously figuring out how using your hobbies to make money is possible in your existing job. So Sara, will you, by way of being the model example, will you tell us about some of the things that you personally do for fun, a hobby or two...those kinds of things? And how, when you look back on them, you think, “No wonder I got involved in that thing, because it totally lines up with my strengths.” Sara: Oh, that's a great question, and it's a question everybody should reflect on themselves. That’s great. One of my hobbies, one of the things that I've always been drawn to is music. So I enjoy music. I play piano at home. I play pretty often. And what I have found that I need and I'm drawn to even more so is singing and singing with a choir. So, the idea of going to karaoke or going to sing in a wedding, you know, I've done those things, but I actually don't enjoy those. They give me panic. I can talk to 500 people but I don't really want to go to karaoke. [Side note from the editors: isn't it interesting to see Sara's Relator (her #2) and...

Duration:00:05:22

What Is StrengthsFinder Training? Can It Kickstart Productivity At Work?

11/15/2020
What Is StrengthsFinder Training Like? Get A Glimpse Of The Lead Through Strengths Style. So, what is StrengthsFinder training really all about? What will we talk about? What makes the training any different from other strengths courses around? Can we do this for a team building event? Is this like DiSC or MBTi? Does it even work in a virtual environment? These may be some of the questions that you are contemplating before joining a strengths training. Well, this podcast episode is the preview you need if you're exploring your options, or if you're looking for the learning event that can truly help you (or your team) to harness your natural strengths. Here’s Lisa’s interview with Sara Regan as they reveal how fun and career-changing it can be - even if it's only a one-time StrengthsFinder kickoff event. Lisa: Hello, hello, everyone! I'm Lisa Cummings from Lead Through Strengths. I'm so excited today to be joined by Sara Regan, one of our facilitators from Lead Through Strengths, and I'm psyched to bring you some new fresh thinking and tips on applying your strengths at work. As you go into an event you might have this big picture, hope of: “What can we do as a team?” “What is possible for us to become?” And the world feels opened up to all these new possibilities. And at the same time people say, “Okay, if you're going to do a half-day event (or 2-hour virtual training) to kickoff strengths, what can we really expect as takeaways? Because we're not going to change everything about every conversation we have in the future. It can't change the whole of how we act from a couple of hours together at an event.” So, Sara, give us the idea of: What's the big picture that people can aim for if they do this over the long-term? What's the practical takeaway they could expect after they've done a kickoff half-day event? What could they expect for takeaways? What Can I Expect From StrengthsFinder Training? Sara: First thing that comes to my mind is that it's fun. There is a powerful learning that comes out of this, but it's like getting kids to eat their vegetables but putting them in brownies. It's just, there's a way that it's baked in to the experientials and the interactions that people are laughing. There isn't a time that I'm working with a group where they aren’t just having a good time. At an in-person event, people are up and they're moving. Whether it's virtual or in-person, I really try to make sure that there's a little bit of something for every different kind of learning style. Some people want to it to be engaging, and some people want that one-on-one, deeper conversation. Other times, people just wish everybody would stop talking for a minute so they could put their thoughts together and do a little writing. So there's some variety in there, but I would say, people are going to find it to be engaging and fun. What Is StrengthsFinder Training Capable Of? Sara: For the learning takeaways, I think, for the half-day, what I try to promise and deliver on is, you will walk out and that you will know and love your own themes. There occasionally be a time when somebody's still struggling and that's when I say, just be in touch with me, or listen to this podcast or talk to this person. But I want them to know their top 5 for sure, and to love them, and to also have a sense of knowing that there is value in the difference, and to be set up to have conversations that are even more so aligned with their work. Some of that within the context of the facilitated workshop, but that there's a plan for what comes next. And so, that helps people grow in their understanding. I think oftentimes at the end of the workshop, they’ll say, “That was great!” “I love this stuff!” But what are we actually supposed to do? What is StrengthsFinder training to us...after the event? So I love our activation program that follows so that people have the tools to carry it forward, and that it makes me feel confident that we can deliver more...

Duration:00:13:55