Giving Clients Valuable Information

Knowledge is power. The CliftonStrengths® assessment identifies natural talents and what we do best. How can you give your clients the valuable information from the CliftonStrengths assessment make a difference to a team?

Ken Barr Jr. describes how the Cascade strengths reports elevate his coaching and deepen the conversations. Watch the short video to hear about Ken’s experience.

Ken Barr Jr. is a Licensed Professional Counselor, career coach, and organizational consultant, living in Michigan, USA.

Catching up with Ken in Omaha, our reporter Eduardo Villavicencio captures the conversation. He asks how the Cascade reports make a difference to his coaching.

When working with teams, Ken describes the valuable information in the reports which help him bring out the best in a team. He also mentions how he identifies their motivators as a team. Often this leads to better questions to help the team progress.

He shares the best reports within Cascade which have the power to change interactions between colleagues. How they increase awareness and elevate workplace performance.

Going beyond the workplace, Ken shares one report in a family setting. It provides insights for any two people being together.

valuable information coaching workshop materials Ken Barr Jr.

Finally, Ken provides words of wisdom for those new to Cascade. How to quickly appreciate the power of the reports and the value they can bring.

Cascade was created by Releasing Strengths Ltd in the UK using the CliftonStrengths themes. Hundreds of coaches in over 40 countries across the world benefit from the Cascade strengths reports.

The reports Ken mentions in the video are;
Personal Insights
Team Summary
Bring / Need
The Power of 2

Find out more about the reports in Cascade here.

Coaching – How far would you go?

Why do we need a coach?
Hear how one pivotal coaching session transformed my perspective forever.

How far would you go to get a coach?

Taking the CliftonStrengths® assessment is one thing, doing something with the results is where the benefit lies. Back in 2014 I wanted to discover these benefits for myself. The five words from the assessment looked very nice, but how could I use them. There is lots of information about the talent themes online and I researched my top 5 themes of Individualization®, Learner®, Relator®, Maximizer® and Harmony®. The missing piece was how I could really use these themes in my life? How could they make a difference for me?

Many of the podcasts spoke of getting a coach and the importance of coaching. Living in the UK, searching to find a coach specialising in the CliftonStrengths (or StrengthsFinder® as it was then), revealed only two coaches in the whole of the South of England.

Setting out on a 200-mile round trip, I drove to Swindon for my first coaching session. Spending time with someone knowledgeable in each of the CliftonStrengths themes and helping me to unpack my top 5 was incredible. It gave me a completely fresh perspective of what the themes meant and how they can help me. Further coaching continues to help me get the most out of my themes and apply them practically to different situations.

The Power of a Coach

In August 2018, Becky Hammond kindly interviewed me to share my story. You can hear how coaching has transformed my life. Understanding more about my themes I can proactively use them to make a real difference.

Hear Richard’s Strengths Story on a podcast with Becky Hammond

Richard Sterry coaching strengths story power need coach
Click on the image to play the podcast

Passing it on

Following Gallup training, I studied to become a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach in 2015. It is a real privilege to help others understand more about themselves so they too can make a difference. I work with individuals, teams and leaders in a variety of business sectors and church environments.

Looking for a coach?

Talking to a coach is not a weakness, in fact, it helps you go further than you could on your own. See the Benefits of Coaching for more information.

Many of the phrases I hear after a coaching session include; ‘Having permission to be myself’ ‘Being liberated to be who I really am’ ‘Empowered to do more of the right things’. How could a coach help you right now?

To find a strengths coach in the UK or Worldwide search on the Soar coaching platform.

Collaboration of Strengths

Celebrating Two Firsts

Gallup first Cascade Releasing Strengths reports agreement collaboration UK USAReleasing Strengths is proud to announce the collaboration of a licence agreement with Gallup Inc for the Cascade strengths reports.

Reaching new heights, this is the first licence agreement from Gallup for a digital product. Other agreements are for books and items such as mugs, T-shirts and socks.  As Releasing Strengths is based in the United Kingdom, it is also the first agreement for Gallup with the UK. Throughout the process, Jessica Kennedy from Gallup Press managed the negotiations, seeing them through to completion.

Dynamic Reports and Charts

Cascade was born from humble beginnings as a means to manage the Clifton Strengths® themes for a few clients. Inspired and created by Richard Sterry, he gathered information to produce simple and informative reports for coaching. Through continual research and increasing automation, the strengths reports for individuals are very simple to produce.  Cascade is now a mature package running on Windows and Mac computers. Even those with minimal technical skills find it easy to use.

Collating information for a team, Cascade provides dynamic images of the theme distribution. The charts describe a team in a visual way, making it easy to compare the spread of themes for different teams. It just takes a few seconds to print a set of reports or name tents for a workshop.

Richard uses his experience as a Gallup Strengths Coach to reveal new insights with Cascade for coaching conversations. The worksheets are easy to print and enable clients to see their dominant themes in a new light.

“My passion is to help develop the strengths movement, enabling people to be more of themselves and to bring out their best. Sharing the Cascade tool with other strengths coaches helps them to be more effective when delivering their workshops or coaching sessions. The Licence Agreement with Gallup equips us to take Cascade to a wider audience around the world. Collaboration with the Gallup Press team helped us to overcome the additional factors with a digital product and international challenges. I am delighted to be able to make a difference to the strengths movement at a global level.”
Richard Sterry – Releasing Strengths, Surrey UK

Cascade is a Game Changer!

“Cascade has truly changed my world as a coach–this is not too strong of a statement!
From a business perspective, it has saved me countless hours of preparing reports, and instead has allowed me to focus on the data I can glean from the reports for any team or individual coaching client!
From a coaching perspective, I have received glowing reviews using Cascade as a tool to illustrate team & individual talent themes/strengths. This is without a doubt one of the best tools I have in my tool bag as a coach!”
Kathie Gautille Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, Texas USA

Cascade is ideal for coaches running their own business. It is also valuable for companies who want to track the themes of their staff and run reports across teams. In addition, the Cascade strengths reports are used by coaches in education, healthcare, charities and churches. If you are working with people who have taken the Clifton Strengths assessment, Cascade can help. There are two ways to expand the standard version of Cascade. The Bonus Pack takes some reports beyond the top 5 themes and includes extra features for teams. As your business grows or you get more clients, the Go Large module increases the capacity Cascade.


Follow the links to find out more about Cascade or visit the Cascade Shop. To hear what other coaches are saying about Cascade, read their reviews.

Clifton Strengths is a product of Gallup Inc, previously called StrengthsFinder. To discover your Top 5 Clifton Strengths, please visit the


4 Leadership Domains – Part 1

4 leadership domains strength strategic influencing relationship executing cascade

Understanding 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 balanced team has a distribution of themes across each of the Domains which can be more productive and deliver better results.

Here we look at the four Domains in turn.

Strategic Thinking Domain

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

The Strategic Thinking Domain is all about the What. They know what to do.

These are the thinking themes that deeply know what is going on. They assess the situation and understand the past. Using their fountain of knowledge, they look to the horizon for inspiration to define what can be possible. 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®.

The Influencing Domain is all about the Why. They bring why we need to do something.

This is the powerhouse of motivation and drive, crafted with the art of persuasion. Delivering a compelling message they can get everyone on board. They know how and when to take charge, speak up and provide a voice for moving 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®.

The Relationship Building Domain is about the Who. They know who to involve and who is best for each task.

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®.

The Executing Domain is about the How. They know how to do something and can do it well.

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 – What, Why, Who, How

Knowing where each Domain is coming from, helps to understand how they can interact with each other.

Does it matter the which order we consider the four Leadership 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 Influencers 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 Executors delight in the How, considering how to do it properly and ‘When’.

Going a step further, the Enhanced Team Grid in Cascade places the 4 Domains deliberately in this order to help facilitate team discussions. Seeing the link between the domains provides more meaning when creating fully functioning teams. Gallup places the Domains in alphabetical order.

 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.

Missing Leadership Domains

  • 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 than 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?

Dominant Leadership Domains

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 achieve the end result.

Effective working and collaboration come 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.

CliftonStrengths® was formerly called StrengthsFinder®, click here to find out more.

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 the 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 a vast difference to the level of contribution from individuals. Each of the 34 StrengthsFinder® themes has 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. Ask for their opinion and be prepared to listen, they will appreciate your interest.

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 and need an audience. 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 common good.

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 know 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, “I know what is expected of me”) and provide the right environment and resources for them to thrive.