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Life and Work Blog

How to Prepare for the CliftonStrengths Summit

Jul 10, 2018 11:14:46 AM / by Chris Heinz

The CliftonStrengths Summit is almost upon us. This will be my third one, and it’s always a bit magical for me, starting with stellar keynote sessions, awesome breakout sessions, plenty of networking opportunities, and memorable closing sessions.


(image copyright Gallup Organization)

The information is first-rate, the connections even better, and I always leave feeling it went way too fast. If I’m not careful, I get sucked up in the wonder of Strengths enthusiasts from all over the world and I buy out the bookstore and I forget in a few short days I must return to work.

I can easily lose my head at the CliftonStrengths Summit, which is fun when I’m there, but not when I return. I must account for my time away and the money I spent and have more to show than selfies with Brent O’Bannon and Rhonda Knight Boyle. (Our controller isn’t that impressed.)

In an effort for me to be more responsible, here are some ways to prepare for the CliftonStrengths Summit. Maybe they can help you, too, so we can make the most of it. There’s also a worksheet to help you think through these matters.

Envision your ideal experience

Which words describe your ideal Summit experience? Do you want it to be insightful, practical, and enriching? How about fun, light, and relaxing? Are you looking for deep connections, understanding, and sharing? How about all the above? Envision your ideal experience.

Plan your connections

Which attendees do you want to connect with and why? The Summit app makes it easy to see who’s coming, connect with them, see their top five strengths, and meet with them. With the growth of the Summit, it’s hard to just bump into each other. Plan your connections.

people talking

Identify your goals

What goals do you have for the Summit? There are reasons you’re coming, what are they? There are certain outcomes you want to achieve, what are they? What does your organization or supervisor want for you? If you don’t decide on your goals, you won’t know when you’ve hit them. 

Define the difference

What difference will meeting your goals make for you? Why does accomplishing these goals matter to you? If you can envision life and work with your goals met, there’s a greater chance you’ll push to achieve them. Define the difference your goals will make.

Imagine your obstacles

What could get in the way of you accomplishing your goals? Your goals are important, so what could foil your plans? Lack of planning, timidity in meeting people, staying out late, getting lost, feeling insignificant, etc. If you imagine your obstacles, you can be ready for them.

Aim your strengths

How will you use your strengths to accomplish your goals? Just as in strengths coaching, mobilize your strengths to do your work. How can your top themes help you meet your goals and overcome your obstacles? Aim your strengths at the Summit. You get extra points if you do.

Enlist your support

What support will you enlist to help you follow through on action steps after the Summit? You’ll walk away with lots of to-dos, tasks, and action steps. How will you ensure they get done? Ahead of time, create a support system to help you follow through. Enlist your support.

The Summit will still be magical, but now we can be prepared. I look forward to seeing you at the Summit! We can even meet at my breakout session, Wed at 11 AM. See you there.

Download Summit Coaching Worksheet


Topics: Strengths

Chris Heinz

Written by Chris Heinz

Chris Heinz inspires personal and professional growth to help people love life and work. He writes and speaks on employee engagement, self-awareness, strengths, and coaching. He's the Chief Human Resources Officer for EnergyCAP, Inc., where he created the ROSTER engagement program. Chris holds coaching certifications from Gallup and the International Coach Federation, and is a Learning Partner with Penn State. Chris' writing has been featured as "Best of the Week" by "Human Resources Today." He’s also the author of the “Made To Pray” book and prayer assessment, which helps people find their prayer strengths. Chris lives with his wife and three children in central PA. He blogs from www.ChrisHeinz.com.