In this episode, I fly solo with information about how to use CliftonStrengths (sometimes called StrengthsFinder) to focus on your strengths in order to accomplish more in business and life. In early June, I became a Gallup Certified CliftonStrengths coach, and have added this to my current consulting and coaching business.
In the future, I’ll include more information on CliftonStrengths and how you can use it in your life. In the meantime, pickup up July 2019 issue of Spotlight Magazine in Brevard County and check out the article I wrote called Create Success Using Your Strengths.
In the Spotlight article, I promised I’d share my Top 5 Strengths and some of the ways I use them to help coaching clients. That’s all here in this episode.
Listen to Episode 24
Links and Images from Episode 24
For more information about Kim Shivler, particularly about her work when she isn’t podcasting, visit https://KimShivler.com. To see more about Kim’s strengths and strengths coaching, visit https://KimShivler.com/Strengths
Complete Transcript of Episode 24 Introduction to CliftonStrengths
00:01 You’re listening to Space Coast Stories, a podcast with interviews and stories from people and businesses on Florida’s Space Coast. I’m your host, Kim Shivler. Thanks for joining me.
00:16 Hey everybody on the Space Coast. Welcome back to Space Coast Stories. I’m your host, Kim Shivler and today I have something a little bit different. I have my second solo episode. I did oneat the end of last year and I’m going to start introducing a few more so that I can give you other information as opposed to just interviews. Next time I’ll be back with another great interview, but in today’s episode I’m actually going to be talking about CliftonStrengths. You may have heard it called StrengthsFinder. For the July episode of our local Spotlight Magazine, I wrote an article on it, so you may want to pick that up also and I’ll have links and more information of course in the show notes at SpaceCoastStories.com. So what is CliftonStrengths? Well, it’s a movement and an inventory that was created by psychologist Don Clifton. It gives us an overview of our strengths.
01:20 We take the assessment. It’s not a test. It’s an assessment or an inventory that shows us our top strengths and then urges us, that’s where the movement comes in to use those strengths in order to accomplish whatever we want to accomplish. Sadly, for a lot of people in school and business, we’re pushed to focus on our weaknesses. They say, “Oh, you’re not very good at this. Go spend a lot more time on just that.” The concepts behind CliftonStrengths are, yes, we need a proficiency in certain things, so let’s be proficient, but let’s really focus on our strengths because if we really are weak in an area, we may only be able to get so much improvement, small increments of improvement no matter what, but if we focus on our strengths, we can really expand that and take our success to the next level, whether that’s in personal life or in business.
02:26 I’m actually, I have actually now become a Gallup Certified CliftonStrengths coach, so within my consulting and coaching practice, I now have a new tool to work with you on to help you get to that next level of success. Just as with my consulting, I focus on business as opposed to life coaching. I work with small business owners and Solopreneurs people just going into business frequently. I help them succeed at whatever they want within their business and we’re going to use their strengths to do it.
03:05 So let me tell you a little bit about my strengths. My top five, and that’s where we always start is with our top five strengths. Mine are Communication, Maximizer, Activator, Focus and Positivity. What does that actually mean? Well, communication as you might figure, has to do with words and bringing together ideas and then presenting them.
03:33 People who are high in communication are often presenters or speakers, but it doesn’t have to mean that you want to be at a big public speaker. It means that you want to find the narrative. You want people’s stories, you want to share your story and you want to gather the stories of others. Maybe that’s part of why I’m a podcaster who wants to share other businesses stories. Communication or those high in communication are frequently good at words and putting their ideas into words. They tend to be good at conversation with others, but it doesn’t always mean extrovert versus introvert. This is completely different as far as with the CliftonStrengths. That would be something, a different type of assessment or inventory you would look at for introvert or extrovert. You could be an absolute introvert, not really enjoy going out and meeting people in public and getting energy from, for example, networking events, but still be high in communication, wanting to pull that narrative out of things and find the narrative and share the narrative.
04:45 My second one is Maximizer. People who are high on maximizer focus on strengths. We see other people’s strengths. We see that diamond in the rough and we want to polish it to make it better. We don’t want to move from good to better. We want to move from good to great. We push forward to greatness. Now sometimes these can have a little bit of a dark side. A Maximizer can push towards perfection and we have to sometimes pull back and say, this is really good. This is going to be good enough. Otherwise we might never publish anything, might never let go of an episode, etc. Because we would just continue editing.
05:32 My third Activator is about making things happen. We are those ready, fire, aim people. We want to get in there and get going. Action is critical for us. If I’m working with someone on coaching, I’m able to help them find that activation within themselves and move forward. This is an excellent strength to have in a coach. If you’re someone who sometimes suffers from procrastination. This person is going to help you activate and get moving and get going.
06:07 My fourth one is Focus and for people who have focus, we see the end. We see where we want to go, and we are going towards it, and don’t get in our way. That’s why those of you who know me know that when I’m working, my phone is off, my email is off. I have very set times for those, but when I’m taping or I’m working on something, I have to get it through to the end, move forward and be done. That’s focus and then positivity is just that. It’s someone who comes to everything with a positive outlook, we can get this done. It’s not as bad as we think. Let’s move forward and successfully get to wherever we want to get. Sometimes people think it’s kind of rose tinted glasses like we just deny that anything’s ever wrong. That’s not true. We aren’t living with our heads in the sand, but we look at the glass and we say the glass is not only half full, but how can we fill it all the way to the top because we have that can do attitude that it can be done and be done successfully. This is a great person to have as a coach. If you sometimes are the doom and gloom person and you see more of that. Now when we say we look at our strengths and in actuality from the assessment, there are 34 themes that that you can find out about yourself.
07:45 We start with the top five because otherwise it could just get overwhelming and some coaches will start with the full 34 but that’s not the way I work. I start with the top five and let’s really see some success and see some change around that top five and then we’ll move to the top 34 or the whole 34 I should say, because that’s all there are. Then you start looking at some things that, oh, maybe I’m not as strong at X, Y, and Z. How do we use our strengths to still accomplish what we need to accomplish?
08:21 Just because I have something that is a lesser strength. We don’t actually call them weaknesses, but that were not as strong in how do I then still get to what I need to do around that. So for example, my very, very bottom one is adaptability and people who are highly adaptable are those ones who they live in the moment. They go with the flow. A last minute change doesn’t throw them at all.
08:50 Well, as you might imagine, from what I explained about focus, that’s not me. I’m focused. I have my set schedule, I know what I’m working towards today, and if anything throws a monkey wrench into that, I don’t handle it well. And yet at the same time, every day, things change. We all have to be able to adapt. Maybe our plane is canceled or somebody is running late or a client calls and really has a significant need that everything else needs to be set aside. So we can work on this one thing today. That’s for all of us. I can’t just say, well, I’m not adaptable. That’s my lowest strength. If let’s even consider it a weakness. So everybody has to deal. That’s not reality. What I do is I take the ones that are my core strengths and I use that to actually become adaptable.
09:54 Say something happens and I need to move with one client in front of another or another project because something happened. What do I do? Well, first I use that activator, that action. Let’s move into action on this and let’s switch our focus to that task and get that task done with the positivity that I know we can make it work. So I was explaining. It’s not about just ignoring what we’re not good at, but about focusing on how we can use the strengths to accomplish whatever we need to do.
10:31 Funny, I was explaining to you about adaptability and as you can imagine as I’m taping this, focused on completing it and yet I had to stop because the lawn people showed up next door and I didn’t want you having to listen to the blowers and the mowers and my absolute pet peeves for noise in neighborhoods, so I stopped recording, went off and did a few other things that I could focus on and get them done and then the mowers moved on. I can still hear him in the distance if they come back this way. I’ll have to take another quick break.
11:09 I hope that this helps you understand a little bit about strengths. If you are interested in strengths coaching, please visit me https://KimShivler.com/Strengths, or if you just want more information, you’ll find some of that there also, and of course it’ll all be in the show notes at https://SpaceCoastStories.com.
11:28 In the next episode, I have a great interview for you, so check in, then. Everyone have a wonderful 4th of July and I’ll see you next time here on Space Coast Stories. Bye.
11:45 Join us next time for another episode of Space Coast Stories. You can find the show notes and other information at SpaceCoastStories.com. The views of the guests on this show are their own and don’t necessarily represent the views of the show owners, host or company. Thanks for listening to Space Coast Stories.