So you want to become a Gallup Global Strengths Coach, how do you get started? After investing in the Gallup coaching course, where do you go next and how do you manage your journey? Here we provide our top 10 tips to help you succeed and develop as a coach.
The first few tips help you to complete your certification and deliver your first strengths workshop. As you get established, the later tips help you grow as a coach and develop your business. Finally, we’ve thrown in a Bonus Tip if you make it to the end of this page.
0 Attend the Gallup Global Strengths Coach course
The rest of this page helps you go beyond the Gallup Global Strengths Coach (GGSC) course. So firstly, book yourself onto the 5 day course at one of the Gallup or Strategic Licensee offices. The in-person courses provide much more interaction and are well worth the travel. Alternatively, there are several virtual courses available. The cost may seem high, but the investment and the benefits afterwards are well worth the time and the expense. Many independent coaches self-fund the course, knowing the value it will bring.
1 Connect with your course colleagues
During the Gallup Global Strengths Coach (GGSC) course, you got to know your classmates and made some good friends. These are the first people to draw into your circle of supporters. Before the course finishes, commit to meeting up in person or online with at least two others. Make this a regular monthly event to encourage and support each other along the journey.
2 Complete your Gallup Certification as a Strengths Coach
Don’t leave it too long to complete your certification exam as there is only a six-month window from the course date. Gaining the certification is well worth finishing, as you can then receive the benefits of being a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach. It’s a badge of investment that brings credibility. You will also receive invitations to special events and get a discount on the CliftonStrengths® codes.
Before taking the certification exam, read through the course materials and get to know the CliftonStrengths® themes. Pay attention to the language used when describing the strengths-based concepts, then you should sail through the 100 multiple-choice questions! To gain confidence, watch the video How to Become a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach – Certification Essentials.
Also, collect feedback from six coaching sessions with the online evaluation. This will then complete the certification process and you will soon receive your certificate. Congratulations!
Don’t forget to download your certification badge from Credly.
3 Join the Coaching Communities
Keeping up to date with the coaching community and the news from Gallup will help your journey as a coach. Once you have passed your Gallup Certification, you can join the Gallup Certified Strengths Coach (Official) Facebook group. Look in Strengths Resources for other relevant Facebook and LinkedIn groups to learn from the coaching community.
Tip: There is a vast array of groups you can join and it is tempting to sign up for all of them. Soon you will be inundated with notifications, then will want to cancel the lot. Choose wisely in selecting those relevant to you. Later you can expand your selection.
Having said this, make sure you receive the informative Gallup Certified Coaches Newsletter. It arrives on the first Thursday of each month, or the 2nd Thursday if the month begins on a Thursday. If you are not receiving it and you have your certification, check your junk folder and then contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
4 Get to know Gallup Access and Gallup Cascade
Key to the administration tool for CliftonStrengths® is Gallup Access. It is the online portal for purchasing and managing the assessment codes, collecting the results, creating reports and discovering resources. Do spend some time getting familiar with Gallup Access as there is a lot of information available. The video guides are a good place to start.
Those with the subscription level of Access can download Gallup Cascade to create extra reports for your coaching and workshop sessions. Cascade was developed by coaches for coaches and saves so much time when preparing for workshops.
Gallup Access Dashboard
Gallup Cascade Reports
To see the options when purchasing the assessment codes see How to take the CliftonStrengths® / StrengthsFinder® Assessment.
5 Prepare for your first Workshop or Coaching Session
The Gallup Global Strengths Coach (GGSC) course provides a wealth of coaching material. Then you discover more in Access, and then another raft of worksheets in Cascade! How do you know what to use and when? It all depends on what outcome your client needs and your familiarity with the coaching tools. Identify a few key worksheets and reports to share in your session. Remember, less is more. Bombarding clients with too much information may overwhelm them and they won’t know where to focus.
Keep your first workshop simple, and draw from the experience of other coaches to help and guide you.
As you develop your workshop, Charlotte Blair shares her tips on Choosing a Team Activity. Also, Antonia Milkop offers her approach to Creating Training Course Materials. Don’t forget to see Ariela Freednam’s article on how to create a meaningful workshop evaluation survey.
Before creating your workshop and coaching materials, have a read of Gallup’s Professional Conduct Rules for coaches. We also have our interpretation on How to get Copyright Right for coaching materials.
Coaching & Business Development
6 Create sets of coaching solutions
CliftonStrengths® is a powerful tool, however, it is only a tool and is not the end product. Consider lots of scenarios that will help your clients, such as; building trust, conflict management, DE&I, wellbeing, resilience, and more. For each scenario, examine the core aspects then explore how CliftonStrengths® can make a difference. Building a library of coaching models will enhance the offerings for your workshops.
Think about the next step, how to keep Strengths alive and front of mind. Explore the resources in Access and Cascade to share with your clients after your workshops or coaching sessions.
When discussing a workshop for a client, make it one of a series to build an ongoing relationship. Strengths development is a journey, not a ‘one and done’ event. If they insist on having just one workshop, save several aspects for later whilst providing teasers for another session. See Strengthening the coaching relationship by cultivating trust.
7 Learning Opportunities
For Gallup Certified Strengths Coaches, the annual Learning Series is the richest source of coaching information. It is usually in February with the dates announced in the Gallup Certified Coaches Newsletter.
The biggest strengths networking event is the Gallup At Work Summit in June. Coaches from across the globe travel to Omaha, Nebraska to meet up and learn from Gallup. Spending a few days hanging out with thousands of coaches is a very special time. Where travel to Omaha is prohibitive, the next best thing is to watch the sessions virtually. The sessions at the Summit provide opportunities to expand your understanding of CliftonStrengths® and coaching techniques.
Explore the depth and breadth of the 34 CliftonStrengths® themes by watching the Theme Thursday webcasts. The 6 seasons, each covering the 34 themes will expand your strengths knowledge.
Every two months, Austin Suellentrop holds a Community Call to share the latest initiatives from Gallup. During the Zoom call, those attending can ask questions about the Gallup products and hear about the technical developments. The dates for the Community Calls are announced in the social media groups and in the Coaches Newsletter.
8 Know where you are going
Many coaches set up their own businesses prepared to coach anyone. Consider carefully whether you should start your own coaching business. Setting out your purpose and mission is critical in creating a direction for your coaching work. A clear focus will provide clarity when making decisions and guide you towards your ideal clients. Consider your experiences and the groups of people with whom you connect well. These may indicate those who you can best serve through coaching.
Similarly, in an organization, seek out the groups of people where you can make the greatest impact and build your expertise.
Having a clear direction for you as a strengths coach will help to describe your work concisely when meeting others. Learn how to engage your audience with effective business networking.
9 Develop your action plan
After creating your focus, set out a route or building blocks to fulfil your purpose. This can be a long-term goal with smaller milestones along the way. Dare to dream big and go for an impossible dream! It may take a while to achieve, and with the help of others, you could turn it into a reality.
10 Build your Network of Trusted Supporters
If you want to go fast, go alone, however, if you want to go far, go with others. This is so true. Build a close network of diverse colleagues to challenge and inspire you along the journey. Don’t try to do everything, as strengths coaches we help our clients focus on what they do best. Focus on what you do best, and involve others to help with the other tasks. Collaboration is key to developing a balanced way forward.
Connect with an Accountability Partner. This could be a work colleague or a fellow coach. Get them to hold you to account in keeping your commitments. You could offer to reciprocate the service, helping them. Consider a Virtual Business Partner with experience in the strengths world to help with the tasks you find challenging.
To accelerate your growth and development, hire a coach. Practice what you preach and reap the benefits of coaching for your business. A good coach will help to guide you along the path and show you what you need to know. Finding a coach with a different range of CliftonStrengths® themes will show you what you need to know, rather than what you want to know.
Develop your coaching skills with Coaching Supervision. A good Coaching Supervisor will help you facilitate better coaching conversations, deepening the impact with your clients.
Bonus Item: What can you give back to the Coaching Community?
The coaching community continues to thrive, because of the contributions from its members. Think about your own areas of expertise to consider how you can support and encourage other coaches. As you gain experience, what can you offer new coaches? Start by joining in with the conversations on the Facebook or LinkedIn channels, then see how you can encourage others.
After receiving your strengths training, following the steps in this guide will set you on the right path to success. Use your strengths to connect with colleagues that will inspire your business. Share the journey and together you will go far.
Remember, there will be times of frustration and challenges, use these moments to connect with your friends and work through it together.