NAME IT! That’s the first step in coaching. It seems like such a simple thing, but it lays the foundation for coaching, maximizing potential, enjoying your work, and becoming more productive. By going through coaching or training – whether for the purpose of self-development or organizational development – you are entering a whole new world of possibilities. In this new world, we use a new language. In this case, our new language is made up of Gallup’s StrengthsFinder vocabulary, filled with words such as “themes,” “talents,” “strengths,” “maximizer,” “woo,” “activator,” among many others.
In the process of learning more about your innate talents, we need to begin using the same language. In the “NAME IT! step, we are using decades of research by Gallup, Don Clifton, Tom Rath, and others to group the themes of talent found in the most successful people throughout history. By understanding and using these new naming conventions for talent, we are able to be more specific when talking to each other in the context of coaching. When we become more specific, we are able to be more intentional. When we become more intentional, we are able to be more effective. When we are more effective, we are able to accomplish more and enjoy life more!
Ultimately, the idea of the “NAME IT!” phase is to give us all the same language to use and for the coachee to be able to put into words exactly what makes them talented. When someone asks me why I liked to meet many people and become friends with every person in the room, I tell them “My most dominant talent is ‘woo!’ Woo is about ‘winning others over,’ and I get a great deal of satisfaction from becoming friends with everyone.” When someone asks me how I can always see the bright side of things, I tell them “One of my top five themes of talent is ‘positivity,’ which means I naturally see the glass as half full and see the good aspects of life, work, and relationships.”
Once you’ve understood what your signature – or top 5 – themes mean, are able to describe them to others, and you’re familiar with the naming convention Gallup has set in place, you’ll be able to see how these themes have helped you be successful in the past (CLAIM IT!) and intentionally use them to be even more successful in the future (AIM IT!).