Tue, 20 December 2016
This Episode’s Focus on Strengths
Today's episode features Steven Beck, one of the top Gallup StrengthsFinder experts. In fact, he trained Lisa back in the day! This interview focuses on the concepts of peak experience, how to use your Top 5 to bring out the best in others, and great information on how to make a practical connection between your core strengths and the values that are most important to you. Listen in...you'll learn a lot today.
Steven's Top 10 StrengthsFinder Talent Themes: Communication, Woo, Maximizer, Strategic, Activator, Self-Assurance, Individualization, Ideation, Futuristic, Focus
Lisa's Top 10 StrengthsFinder Talent Themes (looks pretty similar, huh?): Strategic, Maximizer, Positivity, Individualization, Woo, Futuristic, Focus, Learner, Communication, Significance
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
Learn what your peak experiences are. Steven talks about the yearning he had to really do something different, yet he wasn't sure what that was. And he didn't know where to start with a career change. After reading the book, Never Buy a Hat If Your Feet Are Cold: Taking Charge of Your Career and Your Life, by Ken Felderstein, Steven asked the author to meet for lunch so he could ask him questions. Ken asked Steven this key question: What are the peak moments you've had in your life? These moments will give you a glimpse of excellence, and should show you what you really yearn to do. Once Steven answered this question, and figured out what his peak experiences were (clues to natural talent), he knew he wanted to be a speaker. Over time, he kept pushing himself out of his comfort zone, until he became a strong speaker and trainer. This was the first step that led him to connect with the Gallup team and the Clifton StrengthsFinder tool.
Use your Top 5 to bring out the strengths in others. Steven uses himself as an example of how to use your own strengths to get projects done, while bringing out the best in others. He figured out that, for him, his Communication talent theme is really a story telling strength. His Woo strength is his ability to find common ground within a group, and his natural Maximizer talent is his ability to figure out how he can use a thing in many situations - an efficiency strength. This helps him to pull others' stories out. It also creates his unique version of Woo, which helps him shape how a group interacts with each other. Then, once the group has been strengthened, his Activator strength kicks in, and stuff gets done. You can apply the same method to your own strengths, by figuring out how one strength affects the other, thereby bringing out the strengths in others.
Make a connection between your strengths and your values. Pick the values that are most important to you, not the ones that you think are correct, or that others expect. For instance, the values most important to Steven are passion, family, health, autonomy, and emotional well-being. Once Steven understood what his core values were, he used this to guide him toward establishing Steven Beck Consulting, and still helps him determine which projects he wants to work on, and whom he wants to work with. As a reminder to always consider his values, Steven has a sheet of plexiglass over his desk, and underneath it are things that remind him of each value. One values reminder is a postcard his daughter sent him of a food trailer in Austin, TX (because he loves his daughter and Austin, even though he lives in Irvine, CA). Another values reminder is the phrase "Learn, Love, & Live Toward Strengths," which was mentioned by the late Gallup StrengthsFinder coach, Curt Liesveld. He includes other items they discuss in the audio, and each one reflects important elements from his life. During the interview, Steven mentions this quote by Curt, which sums up this idea, "You live out your strengths through the foundations of your values."
According to social scientist, Daniel Kahneman, there are 20,000 moments in every day - pay attention to particular ones, to know how you are influencing your team members. Each time you interact with a team member, ask yourself, "Was I fully present and mindful of the other person? Did I focus on that person and the value she brings?" Look back, and determine whether a particular moment engaged the person or not. Steven lists three outcomes:
Lighten someone else's load for better teamwork and productivity. By this, we don't mean to take on that person's tasks, we mean to take away some of the emotional burden people feel toward their team members. When you listen to this interview, you'll hear a great example of how one team went from wanting to kill each other, to a place of acceptance of each other. The team learned to come from a place of fascination about each individual person, instead of from a place of frustration.
Read this article on Gallup's website, about how the Peak Moment Question changed Steven's life.
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