Benefits of Earning the Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach Designation – Certification Essentials

You know, our coaches make a significant
investment, both in time and in money, to get
certified and many ask – what’s the value in the certification? Jeremy, if I were to ask you that,
what would you say to that question? What’s
the value of a Gallup certification? Yeah. And actually I love the question, Jim,
because I think there’s a lot of courses out there
and our Learners, people with Learner in their Top Five, they go there’s something to learn,
something great. And although there’s a lot of
content, and I’ll kind of hit on this, there’s a lot of content that Gallup gives, but it’s more than
that. And I think when people think about the
financial investment, if you’re going to do the accelerated program, which is, you know, four
and a half days of your time, plus travel, it’s an
investment. And so that value question comes up and I think even when people are just saying
what’s the value and the benefits? And I was
thinking about this, and just even responses that we’ve written up, things we’ve talked to people
about, and even responses we’ve heard from
coaches, if you’re new to this whole coaching world or even maybe you are an existing coach,
a professional coach, but new to the Gallup
tools and CliftonStrengths and wanting to know more about that, one of the things that you’ll find
and you hear from other coaches is their own
testimonies, their reasons to why it’s impactful. And a couple things that I want to kind of share,
I think there’s really kind of three things that you
can summarize this in regards to what’s the benefit – I’d say it’s about impact, education,
and certification. And those three things, and
purposefully in that order, I think the impact piece is huge. One of the things, if you’ve been
around Gallup any point of time, you hear us
talking about, you know, that we exist, the mission of our organization is really to help solve
the world’s biggest problems. And when you
think about seven billion, over seven billion people on the planet and the desire that people
have today to live a life that’s full of purpose and
mission, there’s tremendous opportunity to help people to live their best lives. And it’s one of the
things that Dr. Clifton, the inventor of the
CliftonStrengths assessment, one of the things that he simply said is, “How do we help people
to be the best version of themselves?” And I
know for many of you as coaches, or many of you that are even interested in becoming a
certified coach, or giving your life to that, a big
part of it is your own personal mission to want to help people to be a better version of themselves.
And the interesting thing with that is it’s not just
about, you know, kind of hey, Jim, let’s just talk about you and let you feel a little better, it really
is about impact and business impact. For many
of you out there, you’re working with senior executives or individual managers or people that
are held accountable to performance goals
within their organization. Even their own personal goals. And so connecting who a
person is, kind of at their core, to what they do
and having the ability to actually sit with them; you know, we use the analogy a lot in coaching
of sort of like jumping into somebody’s car, not
grabbing the wheel and driving them there like an Uber driver, but it’s actually sitting in the
passenger seat. And so by becoming a Gallup
Certified Coach, you have the ability to help people navigate their way through life. Navigate
their way, and again sometimes they’re coming
to you because they have a challenge. Sometimes they’re coming to you because
things are good and they just want it to be
better. Sometimes they’ve got a big decision to make. Maybe they’re super successful where
they’re at, but there’s new opportunities in front
of them. And so that ability to sit with them and navigate, or we will sometimes use the analogy,
too, of helping them hold up the mirror. Or to
just be a thought partner to them. Often times I’m coaching people, I go okay, I was thinking
about that, but I just wasn’t sure. Thank you for
the validation or thanks for helping me dig into that. And so I think that impact piece-changing
people’s lives-it’s why, at Gallup, when we’ve
said, “We want to reach seven billion people” and if we started with even a billion people
knowing their Strengths, how do we get to a
point that we have a million coaches that are part of this network with us to help us do that?
So that impact piece is really critical.
The second thing is really around education. And kind of when you think about education,
there are a lot of you out there that, again, are
already coaches or some of you are new in your coaching journey; I know you maybe are even
interested because you’re saying I want to
become educated, I want to learn more. And although Gallup has a lot of great books,
resources, online tools, kits that you could
purchase that can help you on that journey, there’s something powerful about sitting with a
group of experts, and I say this because in my
own journey to Gallup, I knew the CliftonStrengths assessment, I knew as much
as I could gain from a book or some online
webinars, but there’s something about going through an intensive course with, in this case,
you know, Gallup experts that have, you know,
are very close to the research and the development of it. But it’s taking in as, Gallup
talks about kind of that journey toward becoming
strong at something, the journey toward becoming great. It’s not just about your talent
to be a great coach or great advisor, but what
are the knowledge and skills that you add to that? So what do you need to learn? What are
the tools that you can learn? And so with the
Gallup certification, I hear coaches all the time that just are saying things like I thought I knew
how to do this, but I had no idea the complexity
and the depth of all 34 Themes. Or what it looks like when you combine those Themes
together. And I know, even my colleagues on
the call today, Maika, I know you’ve experienced this a lot in the course – it’s day three and
people are like okay, too much and my brain’s
about to explode. There’s so much depth that I think people don’t realize until they get into it.
And so by becoming certified, we’re really kind
of unveiling the curtain and giving you Gallup’s best thinking around this. When you begin to
think about it, too, there’s a different approach
that Gallup has taken and, again, Dr. Clifton was named, you know, the Father of Strengths-
Based Psychology and the Grandfather of
Positive Psychology. So when you begin to help people using this tool of focusing on what’s
right instead of what’s wrong. Focusing on what
they do best and using their own Strength to the Strengths of their team members, it’s a different
approach. So know many coaches out there,
you’ve got a lot of tools in your toolbox and this is one more tool to approach people and helping
them impact their lives and impact their
businesses and impact individual performance in a new way. Actually, one of our coaches, and
Jim, I know you know her well, she’s been on
Call to Coach before, but Maureen Monte, she, one of the quotes that she gave, and it’s
out on our website, but she just says the
certification helped me gain confidence in my craft. I mean she was already a coach. She
was already certified in a lot of other tools and
resources. She loved Strengths. But by going through the certification, by getting trained and
educated, and having access to some of those
new tools and ideas, it helped her gain confidence, which, again, that serves you as an
individual tenfold when you not only are
passionate about it and want to help impact people, but you’re educated on it. You’ve
received the education to get there.
And then the last piece, like I said, very simply, certification. So impact, education, and
certification. And certification, it’s interesting as
I travel the world, too, if you tell somebody they’re certified or certifiable, kind of sounds like
you’re entering them into a mental institution.
They’re like no thank you and I don’t want to pay money for that. But what’s interesting is I hear
this from people all the time is I don’t, I might be
passionate about being a coach or I’ve done some other education, but how do I become
kind of an official part of this movement? How
do I gain, just like a doctor, how do I get the right credentials on my wall that do two things –
I think, one, it gives me that confidence that I’ve
officially been trained by this organization or around utilizing this tool; the second thing is I
think it instantly gives you some credibility. If
you went into a doctor’s office and they said, “Oh, I never went to med school, but I’ve gotten
pretty good at this.” There’s a lot of coaches
out there that you’re having impact, but I’ve had several coaches that I have interacted with over
the years and people that own their own
independent consulting practices that are very successful, but have said, “Hey, I’m working with
this client and they want somebody that is
certified by Gallup. That has kind of that stamp of approval.” And so in going through the
certification course and the process, you know,
that we’ll talk you through in regards to kind of what does that look like, you’re becoming an
actual certified coach. We’re going to give you
a digital, you know, logo. You can bear that title of, you know, a Gallup Certified Strengths
Coach. It lets you expand your brand. You’re
now part of that Gallup network and Strengths Coach’s community. And, again, there’s a lot of
people out there that use the CliftonStrengths
tool, that it’s something they’re familiar with, but you’re now becoming part of this small, but
quickly growing, you know, group of thousands
of coaches that are part of that Gallup brand and our mission of reaching a million coaches that
will help us, you know, impact a billion people.
So that certification, again, not only does it give you that stamp of approval, it allows you to be
part of something bigger than yourself. You’re
part of that network of coaches and that, an extension, as our CEO always says, of the
Gallup Tribe. That together, we’re changing the
world and, again, our coaches, our certified coaches get to be a part of that.
The piece that’s interesting, too, and some of
you out there, maybe you’re, as you’re still thinking about certification, you’ve maybe
jumped on to some of these online, you know,
kind of learnings that we offer or conversations that we have, some of you, too, have maybe had
a chance to come to our CliftonStrengths
Summit that we do every summer. And what’s really interesting, and you figure this out pretty
quickly, whether you’re on a chatroom, whether
you’re in person with people, there’s something different about this network of coaches. Some
people have asked me like aren’t they super
competitive? You know, aren’t you worried about somebody trying to steal a client from
you? And, although there can be that
competitive nature of wanting to grow your own independent coaching practice, when you’re
talking about seven billion people on the planet,
it’s less of a competition and it’s more about collaboration. And actually one of our other
coaches, Beverly Griffeth-Bryant said this, and I
love the way she said it – she said, “We don’t compete, but we actually complete each other.”
And it was really interesting where she was
actually saying these other coaches make me better. They push me to be better. Now, there
might be clients where another Gallup certified
coach or somebody who’s certified in a different assessment might win the business. But the
reality is, with, again, with eight billion people on
the planet, there’s opportunity for us to come alongside countless numbers of people. And so
being part of something bigger than yourself,
especially if you are an independent consultant, coach, even somebody that’s within a large
corporation, to have this network of people that
are likeminded. And so that certification gives you access to not only saying I’m a part of that
and that official brand, but there’s online
learning, other components, that we continue to offer from a Gallup standpoint that enable you to
support the people that are around you. So that
piece of it, again, kind of from when you think impact, wanting to change the lives of people,
education, just learning more to become an
expert on the tool, and then that certification that gives you some of that credibility and allows
you to be part of something bigger than yourself
is key. And one last thing I’ll say and then if you guys have questions or, Jim, if there’s any
questions from chat, too, we can chime in on
this. But one last thing I’ll say, and I hear this a lot from people, you know, the cost of the
program to become certified, to get the
education, it’s an investment. Especially if you’re an independent coach, even within an organization, it’s a big investment. But think about anybody you go to for advice. If you went to a doctor and said, “Hey, I’d like for you to give me some advice on this.” Or you went to a financial advisor or you went to… You would hope that they, again, were not just educated or good at it, but they had invested in themselves and in their practices to do what they do. Now the reality is, for many of them, if you use a doctor, as an example, or a financial advisor, you know, the cost of business school, or all these other components is, when you think about that compared to, you know, what Gallup’s charging for our courses, it’s, you know, we’re charging a fraction of that. But it’s still a big investment. But when you think about the investment in yourself, the investment in your clients, I hear people say all the time it’s totally worth it. Even people that have gone through other certification programs, it’s, I’ve yet to hear somebody say give me my money back, this wasn’t worth it. I hear people say I don’t necessarily want to pay double, but it was even worth more than what I paid. And so the impact piece into themselves, into their clients, is a huge component, from what I’ve seen. So Maika, Angela, anything else you guys would add? Or Jim, any other questions from chat on that? Jeremy, I have a question about readiness. I think sometimes when coaches are thinking about, they’re just sort of on that bubble of do I or don’t I, you’ve taught a lot of these courses and coached a lot of the coaches that come through the certification, how would you describe what coaches could do to prepare for certification? Or maybe where they need to be even in, I mean this might be a content place or like a personal discovery place, but how do you enter certification at sort of a readiness aspect? Where do you need to be? Yeah. What I like about thinking that way, and even, again, like anything you’re going to attend, what do I need to do before I get there? Even if you’re taking a trip for vacation, what do I need? What’s the weather? How do I need to pack for this? And so the readiness piece, I think it’s, I think even doing what Maika just said of asking yourself what can I do to prepare is going to help you to hit the ground running. The other thing I’ll say on this, though, in regards to what to do, I think there is a very wide variance. For some individuals, I know they’re in the course, very new to even CliftonStrengths, they may even be working somewhere else, but thinking and kind of really processing through becoming a coach. And then there’s other people that have been coaching and, again, owning their own coaching business or consulting business and have been doing it for decades. So there is a variance of who might be in the course with you. But what I would say is hold up the mirror to yourself before you get there. What is it that I need to know about me? And I think even just that simple piece of you’re brand new to Strengths or you’ve, you know, been using the CliftonStrengths assessment for decades, hold up the mirror to yourself. Dig into your Strengths. Be refreshed by what are my Strengths? How am I going to coach? Who are the types of people that I want to impact? And I think even asking that, answering that question of why is this important to me? Fast forward a little bit, I often say, because I have Futuristic in my Top Five, if you don’t have Futuristic, you can borrow mine, but think about what do you want to accomplish after the course? Who is it that you want to impact? And I think if you can do that, if you can think about your own Strengths and you can begin to think about who you want to impact, part of that preparation then will help you come in with a readiness. I know for many of you, you’re going to say I wasn’t, again, by day three you’re going to go I wasn’t ready, there’s so much information. But I think that can help you to prepare a little bit. Anything else you would add? Yeah.
Jeremy, you mentioned earlier the ongoing education. I think, talk a little bit about, you know, after you get through the initial coursework and certification and you’re a Gallup Certified Coach. The benefit of that ongoing education that we provide, say, for example, through the Learning Series, what do you hear about the value that provides to coaches who are certified? Yeah. And, Jim, you could chime in with this too, it’s just kind of almost connecting the dots on the library of resources that we have. But back to the value piece, Angela, I think, again, people don’t just want the one and done. It’s even where, again, in a lot of professions that I mentioned with people that are advising around health, around finance, they weren’t just educated a decade ago and now they’ve been doing it, they’re constantly sharpening the saw. And, again, I like that hospitals have doctors, you know, and nurses and others continue to get ongoing coursework and things that keep them sharp. And I hear from our coaches often about the importance of that. Not only being exposed to what Gallup’s learning, but being exposed to best practices of others. So that whole idea of it wasn’t just we trained you, good luck, go do it. But being part of that learning community, I think you used that word, too, Angela, being part of not just a community of coaches or a network, but a learning community where we’re constantly learning from each other. And I’m, it’s interesting the number of people that when they go through the course, these are almost kind of new family and friends. You’ll see them when they get together, you know, at the Coaches Summit, they’ll go, they’ll go out, you know, for dinner or cocktails or, but they’ll connect with people because of that sense of learning from each other is just as important as learning from Gallup. So I think by providing that, we’re giving them that continuous piece for both of those. And let me jump in and say, for those of you who have been out, maybe you haven’t been keeping track and you’re in this community – 5,000 certified coaches now in our community – some 10,000 that have been through the training, we’d love to see more of those that have been through that haven’t certified, Maika’s going to talk about that here in just a few minutes, get that certification for these reasons. Those resources, actually Maika helps me make a lot of those, we make them available to you through programs like Theme Thursday. We interview dozens of coaches every single year on their best practices and what they’re doing, so you don’t have to go out and if you can’t make contact with them, we make them available virtual. In three or four different countries by the way. Not just U.S. centric, but we think about India, Australia, what’s going on in Asia, and Europe is going to be coming online this year, so we’re super, we’re really, really excited about that. So, Angela, you mentioned the Learning Series-every single year, seven or eight sessions-we go hardcore into your professional development. So lots of benefits to being certified when we think about them.

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