Gallup Strength Finder 2.0

Strength FinderWritten by: Clare Vaterlaus

This was originally posted on my work website.

I have often heard but never fully understood the sentiment -“a brave man acknowledges the strength of others.” At a recent training for Echelon Group this statement became clear to me. It is not hard to learn our own strengths and even our weaknesses, but it is more difficult to learn and acknowledge the strengths of those around us. Kim Schaff, Echelon Group’s Human Resources Consultant led us in a Group Strength Finding Activity. It is not often that our team members take time away from their work, but this was a special occasion that has proven to be very worthwhile.

Prior to the group meeting, each team member took the Gallup Strengths Finder 2.0. The survey included 140 questions that you had 20 seconds to answer. To answer the question the test taker was to pick the answer that fit them best. After the test was completed we received our personalized results, highlighting our top 5 strengths. I will use my top five themes as an example.

  1. Activator- Turns thoughts into action
  2. Empathy- Sense feelings of other people
  3. Developer- Recognize and cultivate the potential in others
  4. Communication- Easily put thoughts into words, conversationalist, presenter
  5. Individualization- Intrigued with the unique qualities of each person

Amongst the general top five themes were personalized paragraphs of information For example both Kim and I received the strength Individualization, but our paragraphs read two very different explanations. This test was spot on in describing my top five strengths. What made me feel better was they all apply to my current position at Echelon Group and what I graduated in at Utah State University.

After reviewing each of our strengths on our own, we spent time sorting our talents into four different categories that allowed us to see who we would work best with.

         Builds Relationships

    Influence on Others

       Working Hard

     Working Smart

My top five strengths fell into the top two categories, which focused on working with people. I have been able to see that as a strength in my professional career, but also a weakness when it comes to creating processes. This is a weakness that I would like to work on, but is not something I could do on my own.  This training showed me people in the office who could mentor me in this aspect. Todd Severance, our Business Consultant, was the only one to have the Analytical theme present in his top five. This indicates his attention to detail in any situation. Together Todd and I could use our strengths to get the job done faster.  Through this training we found who would be the “go to” person in a situation based on our strengths.  In the long run, it could be more time efficient and effective to combine your strengths with others instead of spending countless hours improving your weaknesses. It takes a brave person to accept help from someone who has a strength you are lacking, but the results are worth the uneasiness. The first training helped us create a trust between one another; our next training will cover conflict and how to deal with it in a positive way. If you are interested in using this training in your workplace or group, give Echelon Group a call for more details.

AUTHOR-ity

Nathan BarryA while back my boss, Don Reiman, attended an event that was featured local authors in Boise. Don is currently putting the finishing touches on his own book, RESET, and will be debuting it in early 2014. While at this conference he purchased me a book, Authority, written by Nathan Barry. This book is a step-by-step guide to publishing your first book independently. I am a Social Media Consultant and have had little experience with the book writing process… I have blogged, done press releases and some articles, but after reading Authority I learned that they overlap, and quite well. I sat down and read his entire book today, and was impressed by his ability to teach. There have been many times in the past few years where I have sat down to write a book. I even got up to 30 pages in my word document, but fizzled out because of work, and the Walking Dead. What this book did for me was inspire me, it helped me understand that anyone could write a book. It is just the matter of sitting down to do it. This book has some valuable websites in it that I had never heard of. I’ve already contacted my brother in hopes of helping him publish his book. What most people think is that you HAVE to have a HARD copy of the book, but it was apparent in this book and through Nathans experiences that even e-books make money. I have heard stigma’s about self publishing and e-books. However my perception was changed and my mind is much more open to the idea of self publishing on the internet. Now, I am not yet prepared to publish my own book, I would say I have a head start and will be there in the near future. However, I did find Authority to contain information to make me a positive asset to Don and his publishing team as we enter the final stages of his book. I was able to take notes, and change our plans to better fit Don’s book launch. It was well written and it was also a quick read. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for guidance in the publishing world!

LinkedIn Live- Boise Idaho

LinkedIn Live Boise

On Tuesday November 11, 2013 I attended the beta LinkedIn Live event sponsored by the Idaho Technology Council and the Boise State University School of Business and Economics. The event was in the Stueckle Sky Center, which has the most beautiful view of Boise.The conference had a great turn out and was an opportune time to network with others as you can tell from all my new contacts. The conference had three main workshops. I will share a few things I learned at each of them.

Personal Branding Checklist- 

Personal branding is all about you. The most important thing is to let your profile speak for you. If someone were to search it they would be able to know what kind of person you are from looking at your accomplishments as well as you written endorsements.By putting a face to your name and telling your story you are building up your own personal brand. In your profile, make sure that you have linked to your other social media accounts especially your blog/website. This is a place people will check out your professional skills and also see who you are connected to. Don’t just connect with anyone, but make sure you have had dialogue with them.

Marketing Checklist- 

A major part of marketing is establishing your company presence by creating a company page where you can showcase products and services. Having a LinkedIn Company page allows you to connect all of your web presence and creates another access point for a potential employee or customer. Once your page is set up, it is time to post information and begin engaging with your followers and your colleagues. LinkedIn also allows you to be members of different groups that you can actively participate in. The more you participate the more you will get out of it.

Hiring Checklist-

This workshop focused on Employee Value Proposition- allowing someone else to share your companies story on your LinkedIn. This can be done by allowing a 2nd party to help create and review your profile, as well as asking for written endorsements. You want to build yourself up on your LinkedIn, always be truthful but let the good things shine. The company culture, mission, and working environment should be implemented into a profile. As you build your profile up, the talent will find you.

 

I had a great time at LinkedIn Live and one of my tweets even made it in a storify by Jennifer Quinn. If you have more questions feel free to comment.

*All of this information was from the event as well as the checklists that LinkedIn Live Boise provided.

PART OF THE RISE OF MY GENERATION

 NYRM Missionary Clare VaterlausI can distinctly remember when my 7th grade teacher explained that when we grew up most of our careers would be jobs that didn’t exist today. It was mind boggling as I tried to wrap my head around the new concept, but all I could think was I want to be in one of those jobs. The rise of the social media profession has reached a new level and will continue to grow. In a recent study from LinkedIn it showed that there has been a 1,357 percent increase in social media positions posted on LinkedIn since 2010. I am part of the rise. I started my career as a blogger when I was in the LDS pilot mission for internet proselyting in Rochester, New York. We were encouraged to use both Facebook and blogs to reach those of our faith and of other beliefs. I used well known LDS bloggers as my inspiration: Al Fox, (who was baptized in my mission, known as the tattooed Mormon), NieNie (a brave plane crash survivor), and even the now abandoned Seriously So Blessed  blog. It was such an adventure as I continued to blog and see the number of views rise. It was a feeling that I anticipated more than opening presents on Christmas morning. I remember thinking to myself, if only this was a job…

When I returned from New York, I realized that this could be a job! I started Clare Vaterlaus Alaska Social Media Consultantto focus my time on learning the ins and outs of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram…the list goes on… so that I could turn this into something profitable. After a month, I received my first phone call to do some freelance blogging for a small company, and then another, and another. It was something I enjoyed. During the first month of my senior year of college I was approached by Don Reiman, a well-known business man in Boise, during one of my visits home. He had heard of my career goals and was interested in offering me an internship. I gladly accepted and started working for Echelon Group. I did about a 1 year internship (not on location) and then was hired on as a full time Social Media Consultant after graduating from Utah State. There were so many that helped me get here and believed in me, and I owe it to them. God works in mysterious ways, but He will use you and your talents in ways that fit you best. If I could go back and talk to my 7th grade teacher, I would have to tell her she was right, I found a career that once did not exist.

(Here is a cool infograph on the rise of the Social Profession)

rise-of-social-profession

Anti-Cyber Bullying Awareness Month

Clare Vaterlaus-Anti Cyber Bullying Month

Clare Vaterlaus- Cyber Bullying ChartToday marks the start of one of my favorite months of the year, October. There are many who share this love. Perhaps they love scary movies and feel the need to watch even the Human Centipede (don’t Google unless you want to throw up). There are others who take obsessive amounts of pictures of gourds (follow kenzilawlor on instagram) and let’s not forget our Pinterest pumpkin flavored obsessed friends. For me, the smell of fall means ANTI-CYBER BULLYING AWARENESS MONTH!!! I have a deep passion for putting a stop to cyber bullying. Many are still unaware of what cyber bullying is, I have included Google’s definition. As the death toll of cyber-bully victims rise, it is evident something needs to be done. Cyber bullying is often questioned because it is “behind the scenes,” sometimes the things that are hidden are what hurts the most. Having the ability to sit behind a computer screen and type whatever one feels, especially in anonymity is dangerous. It is vital to THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK, once something is sent, it can never be taken back. There are many great resources available for those being bullied that will be discussed throughout October. Together we can raise awareness and help spread the knowledge to end cyber bullying.

Clare Vaterlaus- Cyber Bullying Chart

Save the 300

Clare Vaterlaus-Social Media Tip- Echelon GroupOver Labor Day weekend 300 teens decided to create some memories they would not soon forget. In Stephentown, New York Brian Holloway’s second home was broken into where the teens partied all night long. Brian, who is an Ex-NFL New England offensive lineman decided to handle the situation in an unusual way that has caused controversy. My first reaction would be to call the police and press charges; instead Brian gave a call to action for these youth, by creating a website www.helpmesave300.com. The website was compiled of pictures, tweets, and posts that he gathered and re-posted. Brian offered the opportunity to the wrongful youth to seek redemption by attending a picnic where they would work together to clean up the estimated $20-30,000 worth of damage. Only one teen showed up to help. Instead of accepting this offer graciously, parents broke out in rage and are looking into suing Brian because re-posted their information on the internet. As a Social Media Consultant, I looked at this and thought about how ignorant these teenagers are, not only their physical actions but what they felt was okay to post online. There is a distinct disconnect for Social Media users and the idea of permanency. Social Media users are uninformed of the toll their social presence can have on their present and future lives. I attended a Social Media Conference on September 25, 2013, led by Corey Smith, who stated that everything he posts is strategically calculated before hitting send. I cannot agree more. What goes onto Social Media sites can be searched by future colleges, employers, spouses, and those already intimidating future in-laws. It is vital in this digital age to think before you click. My intentions of this piece were not to encourage other teens to hide their indiscretions better, I am merely using this as an example of what social media can do to your life when you are not careful.

Clare Vaterlaus-Social Media Tip- Echelon GroupEchelon Group Brian Holloway Save the 300Brian Holloway came out on Thursday September 26th stating that their chance for redemption was over. Only 4 teens came forth and will not be pressed with charges. Brian handed all of the information to the local police who begin pressing charges to the youth that remain hidden. Brian expects a wave of arrests in the next few months. This is a reason why we need to think before we click. On a lighter note, I wonder if they will let the teens take a selfie behind bars…

Clare Vaterlaus-Prison SelfieThis is me in a jail cell in Alaska, I asked the officer if I could see one. I got there and he literally asked me if I would like to take a picture… Prison Selfie!

I also published this post on Echelon Group Inc.

Can I have your number?

Today Show Kathie Lee and Hoda- Echelon GroupSkip the coffee, and turn on The Today Show and listen to Kathie Lee & Hoda, they are a duo that can surely wake you up. Kathie Lee & Hoda are always capturing the new trends, and reporting on different social media outlets. On September 5th 2013, Hoda was showcasing a new Samsung watch phone. To demonstrate, Hoda used her cell phone to call the watch. She was even careful not to make her own cellphone visible while dialing her number. Kathie Lee reminded Hoda not to show her number on camera. Kathie Lee who had learned her lesson from a previous incident earlier this year when she broadcasted her daughter’s phone number on National television. She reported she was only in the doghouse until 6 p.m. that night… When Hoda tilted the watch towards the camera, you can see her face expression change when she realizes that her number popped up on the watch. Only minutes later she started to receive phone calls and texts from her favorite fans. This is a great example of how careful we need to be with our personal information. We are all not going to be on National television soon, however we need to remember that people are always watching us.

I originally posted this to http://www.echelongroup.com