The Competitive Advantage of Employee Engagement

Conventional employee engagement practices are failing to produce better business outcomes.

UK London strengths engagement England Britain competitive advantage flag union jackJoin the Gallup experts at this complimentary briefing where we will show you how to gain a competitive advantage by engaging employees through ongoing performance management.

Organisations that implement Gallup’s best practices have employee engagement levels 21X the rate of workforces globally.  They significantly improve their productivity and profitability.

Attendees will learn:

  • what leaders and managers can do to tie their engagement practices to business outcomes
  • how to go beyond a “check the box” activity to create a workplace where people want to show up, work hard and stay
  • how Gallup’s newest tools and resources will make managing employee engagement easier so your team can be more productive

DATE & TIME: This event has now passed

LOCATION: Gallup, The Shard, 32 London Bridge Street, 18th Floor, London SE1 9SG

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Gallup’s Engagement Survey

The 12 Elements of Great Managing

Note: This is a Gallup event with no connection to Releasing Strengths

4 Domains of Leadership – Part 2

strengths leadership domains needs strategic thinking influencing relationship building executingA team may have a good mix of talent, shared values and a high degree of trust. However there is one aspect we often overlook which may be holding your team back?

Previously we discussed in Part 1 the 4 Leadership Domains and their special contributions. We also looked at how the Domains interact and the importance of creating a balanced team.

A team with great potential and an awareness of strengths can still struggle if their fundamental needs are missing. Accommodating the preferences across the team can make vast difference to the level of contribution from individuals. Each of the 34 StrengthsFinder® themes have their own specific needs, here we look more at the needs of the 4 Domains. What do they need in order to thrive?

Strategic Thinking Domain

Themes: Analytical®, Context®, Futuristic®, Ideation®, Input®, Intellection®, Learner® and Strategic®.

The Strategic Thinking Domain sets the direction and the best way forward. They provide the ‘What’ of what we need to do.

Give them a challenge or a problem to solve and they will take the commitment seriously. They need the facts, the raw data and lots of it. They want to gather in all the information to make the right decisions so need answers to their searching questions. Often they need time to think, sometimes alone, to deeply concentrate on getting to the heart of the matter.

When they arrive at what to do and the reasons why, they want to be taken seriously. All the effort in coming up with the plan needs appreciation and action. The best people to broadcast the message and get things moving are the Influencers.

Influencing Domain

Themes: Activator®, Command®, Communication®, Competition®, Maximizer®, Self-Assurance®, Significance® and Woo®.

Described as the powerhouse of motivation the Influencing Domain needs two distinct things. A solid message to convey and an audience to energise.

Taking the ‘what’ and the reasons ‘why’ from the Strategic Thinkers, the Influencers deliver the compelling message. They want to bring everyone on board and get things moving. Without a clear vision or pathway, their message may sound hollow or they could set out in the wrong direction.

With such a powerful message they want to be heard and understood so they can engage their audience and share the way forward. They cannot operate in a vacuum, give them the space to get excited, the freedom to move, opportunities to expand their network and let them know that they are creating an impact.

Relationship Building Domain

Themes: Adaptability®, Connectedness®, Developer®, Empathy®, Harmony®, Includer®, Individualization®, Positivity® and Relator®.

Those in the Relationship Building Domain put people first. They value the people perspective and want to understand each person for who they are, then help them find their role in the team. They need time for social interactions and opportunities to help people grow. Emotions are important to them and they need the space for expression. They value each other and seek to do the right thing.

Give them the overall perspective so they can see how their work fits into the big picture. They want to involve the right people for the right roles and have the flexibility to customise a solution. They want to fully understand each person so they can smooth out the areas of friction and create a cohesive team.

Executing Domain

Themes: Achiever®, Arranger®, Belief®, Consistency®, Deliberative®, Discipline®, Focus®, Responsibility® and Restorative®.

The Executing Domain delivers the goods, they are the workhorse in getting things done, and they do it well.

They need a goal, a target or a clear set of objectives. Understanding the expectations of the task is essential to knowing when their work is complete so they can celebrate and move on. They work tirelessly and need to keep busy with time and opportunities to plan ahead. They don’t need detailed instructions as they can work out the best way to do the job. However, they do need the flexibility to provide structure and create an efficient process. Give them the autonomy to make decisions and get on with the task. Trust them to deliver on time without close monitoring and they will see the task through to completion.

Synergy Between Domains

There is a close correlation between the Strategic Thinking and the Influencing Domains where they need each other. One sets out the direction and the other provides the inertia to get moving. These are ‘Point and Go’ Domains.

The Relationship Building and the Executing Domains determine who is the best person for the job and how to do it. Working closely together they provide the engine room of the team. However if they ignore those in the Strategic Thinking and the Influencing Domains, they may function well and do things efficiently, but are they doing the right things?

Many people have dominant themes in more than one Domain so they can adapt according to the requirement. Be aware that their needs may fluctuate in line with the themes they are choosing to use most intently.

To boost the effectiveness of a Domain which may be lacking, focus on providing the specific needs for that Domain. This encourages the best contributions for that part of the team.

Recognising the specific needs for each Domain is an essential part of drawing out the best of the team. In Gallup’s Q12 Index the second question is “Do you have the tools and equipment to do your work right?” This is equally true for the Domains, let them know what is expected (Question 1) and provide the right environment and resources for them to thrive.


Ignite your Mind – Light the spark for your business

strong teams berkshire ark ignite strength discovery microsoft clifton strengthsfinder gallup gallop free

The theme of the seminar is: A Strengths Seduction!

  • Have you been seduced by the statistics on strengths yet?
  • Are you in the business of investing in your talent?Are you looking to spark a people revolution, whilst increasing employee engagement and ROI

If you answer yes to any of the above, this seminar is for you!

We are delighted to have secured Helen Duguid, former Head of Great Leaders, Microsoft, Founder of Do Good Consulting and Faculty Member of Meyler Campbell, as our guest speaker.

This breakfast event will include a light refreshments and an excellent opportunity to network with local businesses from West Berkshire, Hampshire and surrounding areas.

All attendees will be entered into a prize draw to secure a complimentary Strengths Discovery coaching clinic.

There is no charge for attending, but places are limited, so please register now to secure your place.

We look forward to seeing you at the Ark.

DATE & TIME: This event has now passed

LOCATION: The Ark Centre, Dinwoodie Drive, Basingstoke, RG24 9NN View Map

ORGANISER: Blue Lemon Training

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The first London StrengthsFinder Meetup

London StrengthsFinder meetup gallup clifton strengths‘In the Beginning’

It’s time to wake the London StrengthsFinder network up. This is the first meetup of many to take place in the UK. The purpose of our first meetup is simply to get together and see who is hungry for a regular meetup, what are common needs amongst the group? What do people want to talk about? What kind of environments and venues do we want to meet in?

“The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.” 

How can we tap into the vast network of StrengthsFinder in London to unlock strong and resilient connections, not just amongst coaches but across industries and communities?

This session is for the pioneers, the overly curious, and the people who like to get things moving!

Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2017  This event has now passed

LocationThe escapologist 35 Earlham Street London WC2H 9LD , London (map)

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4 Leadership Domains – Part 1

Strategic Thinking Influencing Relationship Building Executing Leadership DomainsUnderstanding all the 34 CliftonStrengths® themes of talent can be a lot to initially comprehend. Dividing them down into 4 Domains of Leadership, provides a clearer perspective of how the themes operate. A distribution of themes across the Domains creates a balanced team that can be more effective and deliver better results.

Here we look at each Domain in turn.

Strategic Thinking Domain

Themes: Analytical®, Context®, Futuristic®, Ideation®, Input®, Intellection®, Learner® and Strategic®. These are the thinking themes that deeply understand what is going on. Knowing where we have come from and with a fountain of knowledge they look to the horizon for inspiration to define what can be created. Supported by factual evidence they know which way we should proceed. They become the foundation for establishing the best course of action.

Influencing Domain

Themes: Activator®, Command®, Communication®, Competition®, Maximizer®, Self-Assurance®, Significance® and Woo®. This is the powerhouse of motivation and drive crafted with the art of persuasion. Delivering a compelling message to get everyone on board they know how and when to take charge, speak up and provide a voice for driving things forward. They bring the energy and inertia to get the party started causing others to think, act and want to join in.

Relationship Building Domain

Themes: Adaptability®, Connectedness®, Developer®, Empathy®, Harmony®, Includer®, Individualization®, Positivity® and Relator®. These people build strong relationships deeply understanding the unique needs and feelings of others. They draw in those on the outside and bind the team together. They know how each person can play their part and smooth out interactions encouraging investment for personal growth. Realising a wider concept and through collaboration they recognise that together great things can happen.

Executing Domain

Themes: Achiever®, Arranger®, Belief®, Consistency®, Deliberative®, Discipline®, Focus®, Responsibility® and Restorative®. These are the people who can get things done and done well. Clarifying the purpose and setting out a structure they make the most of the resources available. They provide the stamina to reach the goal and take ownership of what needs to happen. They anticipate the risks, picking up the pieces when things fall down, so they can deliver consistent results every time.

Creating Flow

Does it matter the which order we consider the four Leaderships Domains? Maybe not. However, working out what to do and getting everyone on board might need to come before embarking on the task. Setting out the Domains in this order demonstrates the flow within a team.

  • The Strategic Thinkers establish the ‘What’ of what needs to happen. Gathering the evidence to deliver the ‘Why’ of why we should do it.
  • The Influences take the ‘Why’ to get everyone on board by embracing the ‘What’.
  • The Relationship Builders keep everyone together establishing the ‘Who’ of who can do each part.
  • The Executers delight in the ‘How’, considering how to do it properly and ‘When’.

Going a step further, the Enhanced Team Grid places the 4 Domains deliberately in this order to help facilitate team discussions.

 Team Balance

A balanced team needs people to work in all four Domains. If the presence of a Domain is absent or underutilised the team may excel in some aspects but fail in others.

  • Without the Strategic Thinking Domain the team may work effectively together and make progress, but are they doing the right things?
  • Lacking in the Influencing themes a team may understand each other but they could feel disconnected, undervalued or misunderstood by those in the wider environment.
  • Missing the Relationship Building themes may result in people working in isolation and focusing more on the task, than the people completing the task. It may feel like a functional group of people rather that a collective team.
  • A team with the absence of the Executing themes may have some great plans, buy into the vision and appreciate each other’s company. How efficiently will they achieve results?

Contrastingly, the over dominance of themes in a Domain may skew a team in a different way.

  • Strong Strategic Thinking themes would increase the seriousness and intensity of a team. This could result in lots of planning with not so much action.
  • Big Influencing themes provide bundles of energy and enthusiasm that some may find a little overwhelming, perhaps undervaluing their need to think. Occasionally the team may dart off in any number of directions, which could cause frustrations with colleagues who are not ready to proceed.
  • Lots of Relationship Building themes creates a very social environment which works well if everyone is in agreement. However, there may be the avoidance of initiating a change or challenging an issue, to save rocking the boat or causing an upset.
  • An abundance of the Executing themes will create a lot of detail with highly efficient processes, however the human needs may take second place to achieving the end result.

Effective working and collaboration comes from understanding what each of the Leadership Domains can contribute and how they depend on each other. In Part 2 we will discuss what the people in each Domain need in order to thrive.

Gallup Employee Engagement Briefing – London

employee engagement london bridge shard70% of your payroll goes to people who aren’t engaged in their job.

Engaged employees have less sick days, are more enthusiastic and productive at work, and can increase a company’s bottom-line. Gallup can help organisations engage employees – after all, most organisations are still doing it wrong.

Gallup research shows that engaged teams have up to 22% more profitability and 25% less turnover than less engaged teams. By attending this briefing, you will learn how the workplace has changed, why engagement matters and the three keys to boosting engagement at your organisation.

DATE & TIME: April 19, 2017  This event has now passed

LOCATION: Gallup, The Shard, 32 London Bridge Street, 18th Floor, London SE1 9SG

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learner theme strengthsfinder googleOne word I do not associate with the Learner® theme is ‘academic’. I love learning but hated school. So what is the Learner theme and what does it mean?

To me, the CliftonStrengths® ‘Learner’ theme is all about an enquiring mind. The curiosity to find out more and the satisfaction of achieving the next level of knowledge. In addition, its the ability to use or share the additional knowledge, enabling others to benefit.

Acronyms are in abundance in today’s world. When I hear a new one or don’t know what it means, I’m on the Internet or I annoyingly ask the person who said it. In fact Google is my friend, I am always searching for anything that interests me, to find out more.

Stepping outside of my comfort zone invigorates my Learner theme. Occasionally my Maximizer® theme takes a giant leap into the unknown, creating a lot of work for the Learner theme to catch up. Whether it is embarking on a new cycling challenge that is much further than I had ridden before, turning a few thoughts into a book and getting it published or taking on a huge project in a new environment. Each of these challenges required extensive research and a much higher level of understanding to make them succeed.

Years ago, I admired the great questions others asked and pondered why I was not able to think with their brilliance. Oh yes, I’m not an academic! Over time, since recognising my Learner Theme, I allow my inquisitiveness to speak up, supporting it with my genuine desire to know more. Exploring probing question types and learning to deeply listen are additional ways to increase effective learning. Now I just ask what is on my mind.

The Learner theme is often associated with having lots of books. I’m not an avid reader, but if there is a subject that interests me, I might buy the book. Having said that, my collection of books is steadily growing.

The Learner theme also has a desire for something new, be it a new way of doing something or creating a new experience. At times it can get frustrated with routine and may want to shake things up a little as part of continuous improvement. It embraces change and can be an advocate when implementing change.

Visiting a place for the first time or taking on a new activity, feeds my Learner theme. Drawing on its courage with the unknown helps me to overcome my Adaptability theme resting at #34. In fact the Learner theme is quite versatile, enhancing many other themes. My Strategic® theme is at #33 where I previously dreaded or avoided strategic planning meetings. I felt I had little to offer. Embracing my Learner theme, I ask those searching and provoking questions. This raises new possibilities and draws out the thoughts of others.

How can the Learner® Theme work across the Domains?

The Learner theme is in the Strategic Thinking Domain to pioneer new ways of thinking or bring a new perspective.
In the Influencing Domain, it can help to speak knowledgeably about a subject, providing a persuasive and powerful message.
For the Relationships Domain, it can learn about the interests of others or take the time to understand who people are, building up and fostering trust.
In the Executing Domain, it learns how to operate a piece of equipment or seeks out best practice, removing the fear of the unknown to get things done.

How can I develop my Learner® theme further?

Developing the Learner theme to be more effective can involve finding your preferred learning style or knowing at what times of the day your mind is most receptive. Use your other themes to concentrate your learning on the most useful or relevant topics.
Focus® – to direct your learning towards your goal.
Maximizer – to learn subjects that will provide the best return.

How to get the most out of Learner®.

The Learner theme can offer so much, however it needs to be fed. Food for the Learner theme comes in the form of room to grow and develop, exposure to new information, ongoing learning opportunities, times to share or apply the information learned and most of all variety.

Discover more about CliftonStrengths, previously called StrengthsFinder®, and how strengths-based approach can make a lasting difference.

Something Extra

Seach for someone who shares your top 5 themes at Strengths Twins. The Learner theme is the most frequent theme in the Strengths Twins database.


Richard Sterry

10 Talking Points to Refocus Annual Reviews

performance review form strengths based gallup strengthsfinderSometimes our internal people management systems don’t align.

Maybe your organisation has introduced strengths locally but still operates a competency-based system. And here you are, trying to work with strengths and what’s right with people while filling out forms identifying areas for development.

Read more …


By Jan Peters

Everybody Needs a Coach

coaching discover strengths everybody coachEverybody needs a coach to help them discover, understand and use their strengths.

Everyone is different. Everyone has a unique set of interests and talents.

But the world continues to focus on what is wrong with people versus what is right. This out-of-date thinking prohibits people from being more productive and having a higher quality of life.

Gallup has found when people find and focus on what they do best – and play to their strengths every day – they’re more likely to succeed.

Join us for this interactive briefing with Gallup experts and Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches to learn about your individual strengths and strengths coaching techniques to help others, as well as the latest CliftonStrengths courses and Gallup’s new coaching marketplace.

DATE & TIME: March 2, 2017 8:30 am – 10:30 am – This event has now passed

LOCATION: Gallup, The Shard, 18th Floor, 32 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9SG