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Sylvain Rochon, June 8 2022

Bruno Zadeh – How to Perform Using CliftonStrengths

A CykoMetrix Spotlight production

Every week, the Spotlight shines on an amazing professional with a story to tell and lessons to teach.  Welcome to the CykoMetrix Spotlight.

The following is an adapted transcript of the exchange between Sylvain Rochon, CMO at CykoMetrix as host, and Bruno Zadeh, MBA, Coaching Community Lead, Asia-Pacific at Gallup.

Sylvain Rochon: Welcome to Psychometric Spotlight. My name is Sylvain Rochon, I am the Chief Marketing Officer at CykoMetrix, a SAS-based psychometric assessment company, where we focus on pulsing and benchmarking people, so that we can track them, how they progress, and how they improve over time, and do Delta analysis on the results. So, a manager in HR can know if a training works or not, and where to target all this good stuff. We're happy to set up this Spotlight Series. 

Today, I have a treat. I have Bruno Zadeh from Gallup. He is an MBA. He is the coaching community leader for Asia Pacific for Gallup. He's based in Sydney, Australia office. He leads the coaching community for Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. He specializes in developing and growing the Asia Pacific coaching community and strongly advocates for the strengths-based approach. In his role Bruno works hand in hand with Gallup strength coaches, focusing on guiding, supporting, and developing them throughout their strengths journey. 

Now, there is a lot of the word strengths in there. I know why because we're going to be talking specifically about CliftonStrengths, which in my understanding is an ideology, but also a whole assessment suite and a principal. You're going to be talking about, among other things, how to perform using that approach and those techniques. So, welcome to the Spotlight, Bruno. I'm so happy you're here.

Bruno Zadeh: Good afternoon, Sylvain. Thank you for hosting me on your show. I really appreciate it. So, you're based in Ottawa. For me, it's the start of the day in Sydney, with a beautiful sun behind me, and even the trees… 

Sylvain: Tell me a bit about yourself, Gallup, and then CliftonStrengths. Let's put down some of those definitions to start. 

Bruno: Okay. Let's start with myself. So, I will introduce myself. I am Bruno Zadeh. It's now 6 years since I've been working for Gallup and 12 years in Australia. In terms of background, my background was a sports teacher before I joined Australia, and also an athlete. So, I was a high-level athlete in karate. So, very competitive by natural adoration. Then with a little bit by luck, sometime, I filled an interview, and I joined Gallup 6 years ago. That was a different revelation in my life in terms of considering some different perspectives, working with your strengths, working with your talents. Where it's a revolution is if I could help people to know more about themselves, where they are good, and people in general… I mean, it's a coaching commitment, of course as well, because that's a professional aspect, but also children, students, either one will be much more engaged in their workplace, have a better well being, and also perform better because when you do what you like, it's just natural, just innate. So, that's a little bit about what I believe. 

Now, I'm a father of one daughter who is ten years old. She has not done CliftonStrength because with CliftonStrengths, it's a performance tool that you complete. We recommend around sixteen years old based on the language and also being developed enough to understand and know yourself. But there are many assessments or short assessments with some language that's more appropriate for the young people. It's called StrengthsExplorer. I couldn't wait to do that with my daughter. So, she had done her StrengthsExplorer at ten years old, recently. Her strengths are relating, caring, dependability, which means basically it's really accurate. What I observed is that from a young age, my daughter was very good at talking to everyone, very high empathy, to a point that she put the windows down and talked to someone in a car next, which I have never seen before. For me I was like, "Oh, what's going on here?" 

What about if it's a strength to be naturally talented to do some public speaking? To engage with a lot of people, which in my mind triggers a point to try to feed where she's good at instead to try to squash or reduce her expression. As a coach, what does that mean? How can I help her? What kind of situation makes her thrive? So, that's where I'm going on a strengths-based approach slowly. 

If you ask about my top five strengths as an individual, I'm a learner, achiever, disciplined, command, and activator. What does that mean? Each learner are people who are naturally interested to learn about everything, very curious. I'm a life learner. I did an MBA recently and I've just finished. I'm already thinking about something else. 

And, Sylvain, often it's a stereotype, but often you notice some people who have some list and some bullet points and tick the list and they constantly need to achieve, achieve, achieve. That's who I am. I never stop. Even on Sunday, I don't rest because what might be exhausting for others, energizes me to achieve. 

Discipline means I'm very good in process. I will create some processes. When I engage with you, Sylvain, I already set up a kind of presentation on the back about what we will talk about. It was very structured. 

Command. It's the rarest term in the Gallup database. It's rare to find some people with Command. In general, it's people with natural charisma, natural leadership, who kind of lead naturally if it's less, and they will command. It will be a little bit bossy. So, it's something you need to learn to moderate. 

Activator. That's very easy to understand. It's people who are impatient with raw talent, but people who are very good to influence to start a project. So, what does that mean in my language? It means I will learn the thing, I will create the process, and I will activate quickly, I start and I need to finish it because I'm an achiever and I will lead, naturally. That's my lens. That's the way strategies work, with lens. That's the way I see the world. 

Why is it important to know that? Because once I know that, I can put myself in a situation in terms of performance, knowing that for me to achieve performance or to lead a project, I need to have a lot of information. Now I know that. I didn't know that when I was younger, but now if you ask me something, I say, “okay, I can do it but I need this information. Why? What do you try to achieve?” I will collect a lot of information because I know you led me to be set up for success. I cannot go short after being long. Okay? Does that help a little bit? 

Sylvain: Yes, it does. I mean, you defined a little bit without really going into the details, what is CliftonStrengths, the output of it. Since you describe yourself with five strengths and your daughter with a different assessment, highlights three strengths for children. A lot of people who are listening here may not be aware that this is… At least you can tell me to educate me. This is something that the company Gallup developed. 

Bruno: Yes 

Sylvain: Often, most people, at least in the US or in Canada, whenever we hear the word, Gallup, it's Gallup polls. Like, it's political polling.  Gallup does a lot of things. Can you just give us a sense of CliftonStrengths inside Gallup and what Gallup is about?

Bruno: Absolutely. Firstly, we have studied human behaviors for 8 years. So, from the Gallup poll, we have done a lot of things. Gallup is a global analytics and advice firm that helps leaders and organizations solve the most pressing problems. CliftonStrengths was created in the late '90s, around, I would say, '99 approx. Today, CliftonStrengths has been used by 90% of the Fortune 500 companies. CliftonStrengths is a development tool to achieve some performance, okay?

It's defined in four different… I call that a block, but we call that the real term, domain. In these thirty-four strengths, you have four domains. One is building relationship talent, okay? Relationship. It's where people engage. So, second one its executing talent. People who are able to do things, to execute, influencing talent, such forms of influence, and strategic thinking talent. When we know your talent, we know where you will fit as an individual and where you fit as a member of a team or as your leadership capability. But it's also a common language. The beauty is Gallup has set up a common language, easy to use. 

The beauty of using CliftonStrengths is most assessments… and I've done a lot of them. If you're not in HR or if you don't have a security background or if you're not in learning and development, you need a certification to understand it and to apply it. Here, you do not. Here, it's a framework that everyone can use. The beauty of when you roll out a strength-based approach is people will complete their own report. It's a self-assessment with 177 questions. So, it's really about yourself. It's not benchmarkable, okay? 

You complete your assessment, you finish your assessment. If you have been honest with yourself, you say, yes, it's me. From the assessment, you have a series of questions and some tools and videos to help you to develop yourself. Then you share that, you can share that on an organizational level with your manager, with your colleague. What helps people is to understand your lens. We talked about this lens. If I arrive at your office and I can see your top five strengths on your table or on the signature of your email or at the entrance of your door… I know my strength; I know your strength and it helps me see how you do things and how you see the world. So, the beauty here is to be an accelerator in terms of communication and two people interacting together. 

So, knowing I'm talking to you, if I know your strength, I will know if I need to give you a lot of details or not. I will know if I go on bullet points or not. I know if you need some time to process or not. Let's take an example and you will understand. A typical example you see in a lot of organizations is you have the CEO say to the CFO, hey, I need this finance report in two hours, and I want to know where we are in terms of growth. 

Sylvain: Sure. 

Bruno: So that's what he wants. The CFO will, in general, without putting people in the box, have a lot of analytical, a lot of input to be able to deliver this report. Say, yes, but to get this report I need to know how many this, how many that, where goes there, what kind of report, etc. You may have a misalignment and you have one who says, why? Then give you my report. The second one will think about, well, I cannot give you your report if you just give me some bullet points. I need more details to shoot the report. 

Now strengths-based approach will be totally different. The CEO will look at the strength of the CFO and know based on this strength, what he needs to achieve something, how he processes. So instead of saying, I need this report, we say, I need this report, this is all the information you need to be able to do your job. Here we go. The CFO instead of shooting a 20 page of report that will not necessarily be read. We are having a discussion with someone who just wants a bullet point and the result. I will have the 20-page report, but I will do short summaries, something you can use it immediately. If he wants to know more, he will read the rest of the report. 

It's how communication works in strength-based approach. It's really inclusive. It's taking into consideration all their talents and what they bring. Now, what's interesting is we call that CliftonStrength. But in reality, at this stage, it's not really your strength when you start, it's more a talent. Your talent is an innate way where you just have some feelings and behaviors that naturally happen. It really becomes your strength when we do the Gallup's 20 questions, which is you take your natural talent, your natural way of thinking, feeling, and behaving. You invest on spending time, developing the skill, building knowledge around what you need. It becomes a strength when you have the ability to consistently provide a near perfect performance. Does that make sense? 

Sylvain: It does. Yeah. I like this. Like you said, it's because it's using words that are easy to understand. The strengths are just normal words in the English language that people can understand. 

Bruno: Yes. There's a lot of science behind it, but here I give you an answer for everyone to be able to use different strengths. The beauty is despite we have created a common language which is easy to use, behind we are the team in Gallup of PhD who spent hours. Strength is more than 50 years of research. If you talk about a little bit of data about strengths, well you have 25 million people who have completed Strengthsfinder, globally. I think it's almost every country in the world. Assessments are translated in, I think, around thirty languages. So, the beauty is if I can't complete the strength report in French, you click a button, you have the report in English to appear or reverse. So, it's very inclusive and helps to communicate and perform because it gives you something you can use.

I love to use CliftonStrength as a kicker when you have an agile project. You know, you always have this period of discovery with this new team and no one knows each other. They will have the talent, but it takes 3 months to know each other. Here you do a strength workshop. You put everyone in a room. It's extremely inclusive. You will learn about each other and you will understand what they bring on the table, how they can play a role in this project. The beauty is… I will give you an example. Working with your strength doesn't mean that you're not accountable for your job because you have the excuse to say it's not my strength. No, it's not that at all. You're still accountable. It's more about how you will achieve and the way you will create to be successful and set you up for success. 

So I'll give you an example we call that Gallup language, we call that a complimentary partnership. Okay? Sylvain: Okay. 

Bruno: I have one of my colleagues when I joined Gallup 6 years ago. I remember her strength. She had high empathy and communication. She didn't have a lot of executive team, but she was really about relationships and strategic thinking. One of her KPI was to complete the CRM. And she hates to complete the CRM, really hates that. That was for her a trauma. On my side, I'm a very high learner and love inputs. So, I need to collect information to be able to deliver. I need to be prepared, but for my activity she's very low. 

Each month we have this kind of briefing with some committee, where they shoot some questions without being prepared and she's very high in adaptability. So, I trade. I did a trade instead of working with my weakness, knowing that if I'm not prepared, I'm not really at my best. Her working with our weakness, about, she's not really executing. I say, "Well, if you do this thing for me, which is ticking your communication, your other activity and you go with the flow, me in exchange, will complete your CRM for you." 

Sylvain: There you go. 

Bruno: That's why we were still accountable for the same KPI, but we use a complimentary partnership. The beauty here is what was for me difficult and a trauma, I'm very intense in my work here. For her, it was natural and it was energizing. In reverse for me, yeah, I can do whatever, it takes me 10 minutes. For her it will take one hour. She hates that. 

Which makes me come to the next question. How you define weakness. Because we talk about strength, but people often say, "Well, what is my weakness?" Well, guys, StrengthsFinder is not an assessment that has been designed on deficiency. So, the big question here is when they designed this assessment a long time ago. It was a team of scientists, including Don Clifton, who is one of the fathers of positive psychology, who was thinking, okay, if we scored our own deficiency, parents took their children’s score and say, okay, you have a C or you can improve here. To be honest, if you're very bad at something, you become average, but you will still be bad. I'm a bad singer. I can take a lot of courses. You don't want to hear me sing. It's a disaster. 

But what about if the philosophy was thinking about, okay, let's put where we are good at and let's invest in it. So suddenly, you will have what we call some real talent. I take this example of Michael Jordan because it's really easy to understand for people in the sports industry. It's very easy to point it out because it's obvious. In the workplace, it's much more difficult. If you look at Michael Jordan, he was a talented player. When he was a kid, he had all the ability. What they have done is the same as strength-based approach. They have two kinds of coaches who maximized and started to invest on his strength to become a talented person who has a perfect performance each time. So, we could do the same in the workplace if we spot the right talent. 

Now what is StrengthsFinder? It's a development tool. What is not? It's not a talent-based assessment. We cannot choose StrengthsFinder as a recruitment tool. It's totally different. Here we talk about how you see things. You have one chance on 33 million to find someone with your top five strengths in the same order. So, you cannot benchmark. 

Let's be clear. We don't recruit using CliftonStrength, but we use CliftonStrength if you recruit and you find your right talent, use CliftonStrength on on-boarding, to start to set up people for success and develop all the structure to how they will work and be at their best based on who they are. 

I'll give you an example. You have a salesperson who's accountable for, let's say, 100K per month. And part of their job is to do some lead generation. So, what I will do on performance coaching is I will have a look at their top five strengths and then the top ten and the ten to twelve because in reality you use between ten and twelve strengths. He will give me his information about what they need to be able to perform. If I see the person who's got communication, whose strength, which is maybe extrovert and orientated to interact with people, my strategy will say, well, why don't you try to join some event where you can network with a lot of people around you because you will do this lead generation on big volume much more quicker? But if I see someone who's got analytical… relates to one-on-one, this kind of strength I would say, well, don't go on big events, you will be shy and uncomfortable. Why don't you try to set up some quality lead on a one-on-one coffee meeting? He's still accountable for the same performance. Strength is the way you do things. 

By setting up and individualizing the way you do each individual, it's extremely inclusive. It considers people by who they are and how they do things. But they are still accountable for the same outcome. 

Sylvain: I mentioned this earlier. I consider this an ideology because you introduced something like CliftonStrengths into the workplace. It's not a training regime either. It's just like identifying who you are, where your strengths are, how you communicate, and the same with the other so that you can have, from my understanding, a fluid, dynamic relationship with the visibility of people's strengths, so that you know ahead of time. Instead of being frustrated about something the other is doing, you kind of know from the strengths, how. So, you approach that person with what they need to succeed and to satisfy what you need for you to succeed. That's how dynamics become organically solvable. The way I see it, for example like CykoMetrix, we're not doing that at all.

Our purpose, at least for our assessment is, let's provide a coaching tool for them so that they can train and improve on certain things because the purpose is different. It's not the same, right? For us it's to offer, where should you spend your next training budget. That's basically what we're doing. What CliftonStrength is doing from my understanding is, well, let's create a harmonious work environment so everybody can be enhanced and productive, and position the right people in the right places. That's my understanding of it. So, it's a different approach, it's ideological, it's organic, it has really nice bits to it and it's very successful from what I can tell. 

Bruno: Well, to reiterate the point you said here, because when you join Gallup, strength is the next step. First you need to identify your right talent. We have an equation to succeed. To be successful, doing ClliftonStrenghts will be fantastic. But if you stop there, you will be limited. You have to set up the right environment. So, the first thing to do is to do what we call a talent-based assessment, which has nothing to do with CliftonStrengths. You have a turn in the market and we also have our Gallup. We notify based on the role and what we want you to do, to see if you fit and to see if you have a natural talent in this role. That's the first step. 

The second step is, find the right manager. You have a talented manager in a workplace. The manager plays for 70% of the variance. We know that if you have the right manager who has some coaching capability and is a good manager… We talked about that in a different perspective earlier together about a teacher. Your manager is someone who is able to coach you, someone who is able to motivate you, someone who is able to set you up for success. He plays a big role in that. The person… when we use their strength and we develop them, of course, you create where they fit and how they do that, and there's harmony in the workplace. I agree but it works only if you have the right talent. That's why we cannot choose CliftonStrengths to recruit. You have to use some talent-based assessment at the start. 

Sylvain: Right. 

Bruno: Imagine if you recruit someone with 10 strengths. You don't have the guarantee that this person will perform because you haven't assessed first if it's the right fit for the job. So here with CliftonStrengths, it's really used at the onboarding point. Strength is a movement. What we don't want is a dull assessment. You do the assessment, you do it with me, you read the report, you put it in the drawer or in a bin, and you have no development. Here you will have development. Each week, your manager will know your strength. He's supposed to have a coaching conversation and ask, so, you have different kinds of coaching conversations. I'm coming there shortly because what we have done, we have done to drive performance, Gallup and design, what we call a model of the five conversations, which is first, you have what we call the role and relationship development. It's about how your role creates the expectation, what you are accountable for, working together collaboratively.

Then after you have what we call the Quick Connect, which is you have a need to talk to me, it could be 5 to 15 minutes. What we call the coffee corridor or the office but it's important to connect. If you don't connect with your manager each week, you don't have a team who is engaged and you don't know your people. The manager needs to connect minimum once a week. That's a question about how many managers have the time to do it. How many people can we really manage if we don't interact as a human being? If you don't have communication, you cannot perform. 

Then after you have the checking, and then after you have another conversation that's more deep, which is the developmental coaching, where I coach you, where you need my help. The strength has a big part here because we talk about strength, but we can talk about… also in Gallup language, you have the weakness. The weakness for Gallup is not the same weakness for common language. It's about what's coming away for you to perform. 

Sylvain: Okay. Some people would call them barriers or blockages. 

Bruno: Yes, exactly. Absolutely. So, if I look at my strength, my barriers are not at the bottom of my report. If I look at my bottom, I have low adaptivity, low empathy. Well, I don't really use that, so it's not really a weakness. I know my weaknesses are probably my strength used in a bad environment or used to rule or some blind spots, et cetera. I can feel my French energy passion kicking here. So, I'll give you an example. As an activator, I have the natural talent to bring people with me on the project and keep the project. The raw talent and the weakness of that is I can be very impatient. 

So, the role of my manager and myself… Strengths movement. I don't apply just at work. It's who I am. It's not like I leave work, and my activator will not be here anymore. No, he will be here. If I arrive out of a lift, I will probably tick the button fifty times if the lift doesn't come. That's a very raw activator. But when you start to master that, you don't honk anymore on your car when the traffic light pass to green. You think inside you, is it really necessary? Okay, you're an activator, or you want to engage your impatience, but you don't really need to do that. It will change nothing. Same, do you really need to interrupt people in a meeting? Just slow down the pace and learn to develop your strength and use your strength as an ally instead of as a weakness. For someone with high communication, they might talk forever. 

So, you have a big piece about self-awareness, awareness of others, which will be linked to your performance, linked also to your wellbeing, and linked to know about what you need. How do you fit? What can you do? I know exactly based on my strengths, that if you ask me something without information, I will fall for failure. So now I'm in charge and I understand better what I need. So, I have more courage in terms of asking any of my managers to say, okay, you want that? That's fine, I will deliver. But you will give me that, that, that to be able to perform. Which is a very different game. 

Sylvain: How do you measure performance? How do you actually measure that? Is there a framework, for example, and things like that. 

Bruno: Okay. You have different metrics to measure it. Personally, in terms of coaching, I use a Q12 framework because the Q12 has been designed for the needs of the workplace. It's like the pyramid of Maslow. So, in Q12 if you start with the basic needs. It's on the bottom. The Q1 is, do I know what is expected from me at work? So Q2 is do we have the material and the equipment? I know these two basic needs. If someone says, no or maybe, well, they can not perform. So, I focus on this basic. It's what you need.

Then after I go a little bit above, so the Q3 to Q6. Q6 is the management support. It's what do I give? What do I do best every day? Here you play with your strength. Do I receive recognition in the last 7 days? Recognition is important because you know it's a way to see where you fit and to do some good things. When you do something that you recognize, you want to replicate, you want to do it again. And you set up an expectation but you also become a role model for others. 

Sylvain: Yeah. 

Bruno: And after you have, “Do I have a supervisor who cares about me?” We talked about the manager. It's very important that the manager knows you as a person. Your manager probably spends more time in the office than at home. We all heard that. I imagine I will ask you questions, Sylvain. Lot of people join the company for their brand, but they leave the company rarely for the company because the manager… 

Unfortunately. Yeah. So, here's our gap. We want to develop the manager, to help the manager, to equip the manager. The manager will make the difference between the performance team, on the condition that they recruit properly with the talent and development strength. So, the metric we use, I use a Q12 because I find this framework really easy for coaching. Also, when you coach, I will do two things. I will first ask what are the metrics used as a coach in the organization and look at the metrics. Then I will look if the metrics are aligned to the role and the description of the job because sometimes you have a gap. If there is a gap and then match where you cannot really look at performance. But when we talk about performance, we talk about measurement. We cannot perform if we don't have a measure. 

But if they don't have any metrics or the metrics are not aligned to the job… I will try to use the Q12 because it will give me the information about the employee how they feel and what they need from us to be able to perform. I will focus first on the foundation because the foundation is the base of the performance. Here the Q12, basically, the beauty is it's only 12 statements, and it's short. It's a survey that's very short and designed on purpose. Very short. Because in the '80s, you had some questions, 100 questions. 

So, what happened with the survey? If I ask you a question and you do nothing about it behind, I create more disengagement because if I ask you a question, you expect the change. So, it's better to ask a few questions and afterwards try to focus on this question, and agree with the team as a manager and say, well, you have scored low here. Let's unpack and clearly do a workshop about what that means. Because if I ask you, do I have the material and equipment to do my work correctly? Well, for you, it could be a real tangible material like staples, or whatever, or computer, or for someone, it could be more complex. It could, well, I have the material, but I don't have the right software, or I have the software, but I haven't been trained on this software. So, I have no idea how to do it. Or we have the software, but the person I need to ask to deliver this material is too busy or not available to do it. So, you need to impact basically by having a conversation. What does that mean to the individual of the team? Then when we have agreed, we decide as a collective, what will be the strategy to improve that? What can we do to get that better? It's not necessarily required to add a lot of forms. You have the internal capability most of the time, but you didn't know, or you don't know where to go, or who does that, or how to do that, et cetera. 

Then after, as a collective, we decide the strategy and we decide to focus on one or two items because you already have your job to do. So, you cannot focus on everything. Otherwise, you don't do your job. But let's focus on one item collectively and self-aware. Say, okay, we try to improve that. Probably by correlation, if you improve the material, you will improve the performance and you will also impact all the other points with different variants, but it will be linked. 6 months later, we'll review the score and we see it's improved and we have a new conversation, and you might have an improvement if you don't have another conversation. 

The most important for all assessment, for all framework, the magic is not around the assessment. The magic is around people, the coaching capability, the workshop. Everyone collectively wants to have a change and really engage in this process. 

Sylvain: Yeah. Having done many interviews and also being in this business ourselves, interviews with people from all over the world, psychometry professionals, assessments, coaches, trainers… I've spoken with a lot of people. One of the biggest things that comes out as a gap or complaint, is that assessments are misused or training is misused or both. Like you said, assessments are cool, but if you're... I've been assessed. I was a high school teacher. We had the PD days, where we were assessed and we had these cool like DISC or whatever, like different psychological assessments. They were nice. They were fun. 

But we usually thought afterwards, because there was no proper follow-up or training, we always felt that, well, it was cool. It was fun. So, points for that, because that's something, right? But what's the point? How has that helped me progress or be a better teacher because there's no hand holding, there's no proper coaching, there's no follow-up afterwards. Are we getting measured a little bit later? Maybe, because I have changed something that I needed to change. Even the people that get tested, like the employee, in that case, don’t buy-in because they don't see the point for themselves, for the company or anything. It seems like just busy work. Right? From the company’s point of view, maybe this CEO thought this was going to fix the problem if we do that once... Maybe that's the way the person thinks, but the HR and the staff are looking at each other like, it was cool, but what a waste of time in a way, right? 

So, the proper application from what I heard from everybody, and of course ourselves internally, which is why we're in the business in the first place, is that you have to apply it to the right tool, the right time, the right follow up, and get engagement for everybody involved. If you have the engagements of everybody, then it becomes a tool for improvements in relationships, in processes, and performance. So, it's not a given just having the people around or the assessment around. It's really how you're using it. That's what you've been describing throughout this part of our talk. It's a usage of it, not just a test, right? 

Bruno: Yes. It's definitely not a test. The purpose is not to do a test, the purpose is to develop people on performance. Now you made a very valid point, and I know DISC, I've been accredited, and I worked for DISC company before, so I know. There is nothing wrong with all these assessments. Lot of them are extremely accurate and efficient. But if I compare most of the assessment and how it's set up to success employee and why, to sustain you have to create this movement. 

So you have different ways to do it. You start from the top. So, the leadership team. And as they do their assessment and you unpack with the coaching, this is of value, and then you cascade down and you create this movement by... there are a lot of small actions. You equip people with capability, you include in your performance, you include in many different components of the organization to make sure it's organic and you create this culture of strength, but you also have some champion inside. So, champion of strength. 

Strength is very contentious because people love to talk about what they are good at. Is that human? And if you even go even further, Gallup as an expert in science company in the workplace. We have done it recently, and it was in 2016, if I'm accurate. What forms the millennial? How do millennials work and live? Because I'm high input, I even have here in the paper all the surveys, which is interesting. So, we have done this survey with a lot of people as Gallup does. We have Gallup Poll and this is what we do best. 

What's revealed basically in this survey it’s, in the past, people were going to a workplace for their paycheck. Today, millennials, it's about purpose. Before, it was about my satisfaction, today it's about my development. Before, it was a relationship with the boss, today, they want a coach. Before, it was an annual review. You know, the tough annual review where you talk about something six months ago, one year ago, you have no idea. Everyone is anxious and it's not productive. Today it's my ongoing conversation. 

Sylvain: Yeah, continuous. 

Bruno: Exactly. Before, it was about my weakness, which matched also when I was at school. My parents were looking at my low grade, never where I was good at. But probably today I walk in a sphere where I'm good at. We should have invested more in this area but we didn't. No, we wanted everyone to be well rounded. 

That was a philosophy. Today it's about my strength. Before it was about my job, today it's my life. Love, life, everything is integrated. Even more with COVID, people are working from home. Just before you, I was running to drop my daughter to school. An hour later, I'm in a meeting with you, and we have this fantastic interview. In two hours, I will go to my gym and I will work until 10:00 PM or 11:00 PM, which before, the work was 9 to 5. Very rigid. Now it's about learning about how you perform, when you perform the most, and how to integrate everything. It's where strengths fit deeply well. 

If you integrate strength in your company and you constantly coach, and you do this ongoing development, you start to have some people who are engaged. When people are engaged, they're more productive. For them, in terms of well-being, it's very beneficial, and for the company, it's very profitable. It's a win-win for everyone. So, I think it's important to invest in people. And it's where strength… I have a giant bias because I'm passionate about strength and you can feel it. But what I love with strength is I don't need to be an expert psychometrics assessment. I need to understand what it means. We also have a tool online where we translate it in super long ways for everyone. It's easy for the manager to use it with their team to implement. It's easy for me to bring that in my personal life and use it in my personal life. How can I talk better to my daughter? What can I do differently to develop her with my strength but also what she needs from me. Imagine if you take that on for private life or as a human being. 

I know that my empathy is 33, very low. She has empathy, which is not really empathy for now, it's caring, but I suspect when she does a Strengthsfinder, it will turn on empathy. I will see. But probably she's in the top five. When I deliver a message with high command, I'm pretty rough. So, I need to develop myself to be able to not think about my lens, but more about how she will receive the message. It's exactly the same for a manager. If you know your strength, you can help or you can hurt. You can develop someone or you can just be poor at management because you don't invest in your people. We have this corporate social responsibility. What do we do about that? I think strength plays a big part of this game because it's inclusive, because it's about people, and because it's positive, and it matters. 

So with all the data and what's from the millennials, and if I look now at the next generation they are even more in development. So now how you sustain it, you don't necessarily need to invest a lot of forms. You have an investment at the start, like every company, but after, you need to delegate and you have a lot of small teams, like when you go into a workshop… No, I don't have it here next to me. I carry a small lanyard with my top five strength and I arrive in a workshop and people who don't know me at all, look at my strength and say, "Oh, you got this strength. Same as me. How does that work for you?" You create some bonding and you break the ice, which is very inclusive. Or imagine I go to your office with one of my directors. He's deliberative, number one, and I'm an activator, number four. So, imagine the clash. People love to be surrounded by people who are the same. 

But if you talk about performance, performance happens when you have a lot of diversity. But diversity is challenging. So, we need to find a way to manage diversity. It's where strength plays a role because when I arrived to… This director, oh God. Deliberative, and I know he will recognize himself and that. He got deliberative. He got context. So, it's about thinking about the past and learning from the past. I was excited, I want to sell now, whether we slow down the pace. I will not think about my perspective, but more about what he needs for me to be able to make a decision. I will give him everything he needs and his decision will be faster because I certainly have more self-awareness and more self-awareness of other, which in terms of acceptance, it's the same. We have most people who believe in the strength-based approach and strength-based parenting. 

It's very interesting because in Gallup… I joined Gallup, and the first thing I did was to take the assessment at home and ask my wife to do it. I asked my colleague and they all did. We learned a lot, a lot, a lot, why people behave this way, why they feel this way. At the end of the day, we are human beings. That doesn't change that much. But if we find a tool and find a way to... It's not about the tool, it's about how we improve our relationship to achieve a goal. The goal could be the workplace and the performance, but the goal could also be to have a better relationship with your partner, or your children, or with your friend. I think that the magic is about when you do the assessment, after, invest in your strength everyday. Think about what you need to be successful. 

Sylvain: That's it. I was going to think about how we should end this interview. That is it. We should think about how can we be successful and how can we interact with others and balance in our work and our life, including the wife, the children, create a better environment, better understanding, better communication. To our point earlier, not like the old days, try to make everybody the same or normalized in some way. Instead no, encouraging the differences, but how we will interact richly with each other and positively with each other in all our differences. Statistically, we know that in the majority of cases, the majority of companies and departments, diversity wins to create productivity as long as the environment is healthy. And that takes a little bit of work to do that. 

So, I'd like to close on this because that's a brilliant idea. I love CliftonStrengths. I'll have to investigate a bit more, maybe do my own assessment one day, but I've never done. I could share with you, so you can tell me. 

Bruno: Absolutely. I would love that. In conclusion, I will say, look, if you have any questions, you can contact Sylvain or you can contact myself, but do your CliftonStrengths. If someone wants to know more, I'm very happy to jump on a Zoom, on a call for 15 minutes and have a conversation about your strength, because it's really changed my life in the way I learn about myself. I really hope I could have the opportunity to do it much more younger. 

Sylvain: Well... 

Bruno: We talk about that together but today we have some fantastic tools about learning about ourselves. If I did that earlier, when I was sixteen or seventeen, I would probably be much more confident and I would have invested in myself in a different way, which I didn't know, because you know only what you know. 

Sylvain: You don't know what you don't know, and we learn. Excellent. Well, you heard it here, folks. Bruno Zadeh, right? I was going to use a different word. Bruno Zadeh in Australia at Gallup offers phone calls to talk about CliftonStrengths. I know he's honest about it. I'm a big fan of assessments and growth and learning. So I'm all for that. The information is in here below, inside the blog, if you're watching the blog or in the description of the video, there's a bio, there's a link to Gallup. And of course, if you contact me, I'll put you in touch with Bruno. Bruno's going to have hundreds of requests. 

Bruno: I hope so. 

Sylvain: That would be great. Thank you so much for participating in this. This was very enlightening. 

Bruno: Thank you so much, Sylvain. I was glad to be with you today. 

Sylvain: Thanks a bunch.

About Bruno Zadeh – https://www.linkedin.com/in/brunozadeh/

Bruno Zadeh is the coaching community lead for the Asia-Pacific region, based in Gallup’s Sydney, Australia office. He leads the coaching community for Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. 

Bruno specializes in developing and growing the APAC coaching community and strongly advocates for the strengths-based approach. In his role, Bruno works hand-in-hand with Gallup strengths coaches, focusing on guiding, supporting and developing them throughout their strengths journey. His mission is to set coaches up for success while delivering a meaningful experience. He is passionate about maintaining and supporting relationships with the large pool of Gallup-certified strengths coaches across APAC. Bruno has helped grow the Australian and New Zealand coaching community from 113 coaches in 2016 to more than 1,470 in APAC overall.

As an expert in the strengths-based approach, Bruno brings a wealth of knowledge, consulting and experience to Gallup clients. Bruno consults with business leaders, HR experts and coaches to help them improve their people’s performance, engagement and strengths.

As a learner, Bruno is constantly expanding his depth of knowledge. He is a Gallup-certified strengths coach and has completed Gallup’s Leading High-Performance Teams course, the CliftonStrengths Discovery Train-the-Trainer course, the Advanced CliftonStrengths Coaching course and the Coaching Builder Talents course.

Bruno has earned accreditation in Gallup’s CliftonStrengths, Thomas International DiSC, Genos Emotional Intelligence and he has completed his MBA in human resources from the Australian Institute of Management.

About CykoMetrix - www.CykoMetrix.com

CykoMetrix is a leading edge combinatorial psychometric and human data analytics company that brings the employee assessment industry to the cloud, with instant assessments, in-depth analysis, trait measurements, and team-based reporting features that simplify informed decision-making around recruiting, training, and managing today’s modern workplace.

 

Written by

Sylvain Rochon

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