The Clifton Strengths Summit in 2018 was an amazing experience. How could the Summit in 2019 be any better?
Clifton Strengths Summit 2019
Travelling from the UK to Omaha, Nebraska for the second time filled me with excitement to meet up with so many friends. Over 1500 coaches from 30 different countries made Omaha their home for the first week in June for the conference.
With so many highlights and memories to treasure, there are three main things that stand out. The learning, the people and the conversations.
International speakers from all over the world presented topics to enhance the strengths movement and inspire change. The most influential sessions for me were;
Strengths-Based Decision Making
Gallup’s Nate Dvorak and Austin Suellentrop broke down the process of making decisions into practical steps. It increased awareness of the bias our themes can bring and how to make more balanced decisions.
Navigating Conflict in 5 Easy Steps
Marc Otto’s entertaining and inspirational approach to navigating conflict was such an eye-opener. Introducing new ideas and concepts, he took managing conflict to another level.
Speaking From Your Core
Gary Rifkin turned the art of presenting on its head. Resonating with my Individualization at #1, he explained several ways to really engage a diverse audience.
Inspiring Clients to Stay Engaged with Strengths
Keith Dorscht’s incredible knowledge of how the human brain works, demonstrated clear strategies to really engage our coaching clients. It’s simple, it’s powerful and it elevates the coaching outcome.
Through my work, I connect online with 100’s of coaches from all over the world. Seeing them in person and meeting several for the first time adds to the meaningful conversations. It was nice to see the human element rise above the, sometimes impersonal, online presence.
Hanging out with coaches outside of the main Summit event adds to the experience. The Hilton is the place to be, where there is a constant stream of coaches to meet and reflect on the day. Despite travelling to Omaha on my own, you never feel alone or unwelcome.
Social organiser Charlotte Blair nominated the restaurant for each evening. There’s something special about eating with your friends and it adds to the enjoyment of being together.
We talk about creating Strengths-Based cultures within organisations. The CliftonStrengths Summit is a living Strengths-Based community. Experiencing the everyday conversations enhanced by the language of strengths draws people together in incredible ways. It makes it real.
At one point my Harmony was struggling to make sense of a situation. I had only just met Cynthia Stewart where she gently used her Strategic theme to guide my thought process. We openly shared how we were using our themes and experienced the joy of collaboration.
Going deep with the strengths language and discovering new insights is a great way to connect with the other coaches. There was a sense of a safe environment, allowing us to explore and develop our themes.
Coaches Meet Up
In addition to the main Summit, Soar and 34Strong organised a Meetup on Monday evening. Launching their new book ‘Play to their Strengths’ Brandon and Analyn Miller share a new approach for parenting your kids.
Our Cascade stand attracted a lot of attention as we connected with many more coaches. Giving away 300 star highlighters, we hope they ended up in good homes.
Will I be going next year?
Do come and join us, the dates are June 1st – 3rd 2020.
Clifton Strengths Summit 2018
The Clifton Strengths Summit is a highlight of the year for Gallup Strengths coaches. The inspirational speakers, the informative breakout sessions and meeting amazing people.
Travelling 3000 miles to Omaha, Nebraska, USA was well worth the journey to join 1500 other strengths coaches. There is so much we have in common, yet we are all so different.
As a Gallup Licensed Partner, the Cascade tool attracted some interest helping it to benefit more coaches worldwide.
Reflecting back on meeting so many people with lots of amazing experiences, it is hard to distil it down to just a few. My top five are;
1 Meeting the Global Strengths Mastermind (GSM) group IN PERSON.
We are a group of 17 strengths coaches covering three continents. Meeting over Zoom video link every month for the past two years we also interact closely with online communications. This is my strengths tribe where we support each other to grow as a diverse group of coaches.
Zoom doesn’t give the people justice and it was so nice to see them in person for the first time. We celebrated our togetherness with dinner on Sunday evening.
2 Meeting the Cascade Community, again in person.
Living in the UK I rarely see coaches using Cascade in person as most are overseas. The Clifton Strengths Summit let me meet around 100 people in the Cascade Community for the first time. This means so much more than emails or online chats. Hearing the wonderful stories how Cascade is making a difference was incredible. For me, it is not about the software, it is how it can help to transform a coaching business.
3 The keynote speech from Johnny C Taylor
Kicking off the Clifton Strengths Summit was Johnny C Taylor’s energetic message about disrupting the workplace. Let’s think differently and let’s make it happen!
He suggested that instead of working on Diversity & Inclusion, we work on Inclusion & Diversity.
4 ‘This is Me’ performance
A special choir including some of the Gallup staff performed ‘This is Me’ written by Justin Paul and Benj Pasek.
The words are so wonderful and so true. Let’s take off our mask and go back to how we are meant to be.
“I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me”
5 Chance Meeting
As I can only list my top five, I have to include this; meeting Jim Clifton, Gallup CEO, in the lift on the way to the Summit.
The two of us looked at each other in the lift, he saw my branded shirt and asked “Cascade, now I’ve heard about that – tell me more.”
What an incredible opportunity to give him my Elevator Pitch!
There are so many other stories and people who formed special memories in the action-packed week. The Pre-Summit MeetUps, the breakout sessions and sharing meals together. Thank you everyone for making the week so amazing.
The next Clifton Strengths Summit is from 1st to 3rd June 2019 in Omaha, Nebraska. Looking forward to seeing you there.
Clifton Strengths Summit Information
Gallup organises the strengths summit in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. Over 1500 coaches attend the 2-day event from across the world. Many coaches make use of the additional training courses and social activities surrounding the learning sessions at the summit conference. Further information is available at Clifton Strengths Summit.