Welcome to the third edition of the Cascade Connection. A special welcome to our new readers this month, particularly several from Texas and Florida. I hope you all find something here of interest.
Here we look at a report to enhance conversations about collaboration and overcoming conflict. We see what is happening with the Strengths Twins and we also share a special event on 1st May.
The Power of 2
Improving collaboration and resolving conflicts often feature in coaching conversations. Here we discuss some practical steps to help two people increase their effectiveness when working together.
The points of discussion come at the intersection of the two themes. Explore how the themes can enhance each other so together they can make the result exceptional. It is a bit like 1 + 1 = 11. The online book Expanding Your Strengths provides suggestions for powerful partnerships.
Conversely, how can the two themes rub against each other and appear to be pulling in opposite directions? It is all about appreciating the differences each theme can bring. Consider the intensity of each theme relative to the specific situation.
This concept can help a manager understand each person in their team better. Outside the workplace, share this with a married couple to help strengthen their relationship.
Alicia Santamaria, a conflict resolution expert in San-Francisco writes “There have been times in my coaching and team facilitation, where two people (colleagues or supervisor/direct report) have benefitted from dedicated time talking together about their particular partnership. Cascade’s Power of 2 matrix is a simple but powerful tool to use to structure this strengths-based conversation. Several clients have expressed gratitude for having this resource to help them self-facilitate their partnership conversation. As a result of the conversation and time spent understanding each other’s strengths, they are working even more cohesively together.”
Alicia has created an activity guide to accompany Cascade’s Power of 2 worksheet. You can see her guide here.
Deon Rademeyer from Australia has kindly produced a checklist to identify the effectiveness of a partnership. It helps to highlight the areas working well and what needs to improve. It can also show up an imbalance of understanding between the two people.
Use the review to provide a clear benchmark at the outset of a conversation. Have each person complete the review independently, then compare notes. At the end of the coaching process, use it again to demonstrate a tangible measure of improvement.
Click on the image to see the full worksheet
Command® vs Harmony®.
Pippa Shaper a Strengths Coach in South Africa shares a recent coaching session with a business owner and his PA. She writes “Amongst the Cascade tools I used with them both was the Power of 2, to help explain how they could celebrate the strengths they shared in common, as well as see the huge possibilities arising from some of their other strengths, which were quite different.
The business owner has Command® as a theme in his top five, whilst his PA has Harmony® and Restorative®. Rather than regarding these particular strengths as strange and foreign in each other, the Power of 2 enabled them to see how Harmony and Restorative can solve problems and settle disagreements within the team when the business owner’s Command could have been a lot blunter and to the point! She was also able to see that the directness of Command could be very useful to take control of a situation when all else had failed to try and smooth things over with consensus.
Through the use of colour on the Power of 2 page, they were both able to see that the ‘boss’, being strong in the Strategic Thinking and Influencing domain, was wonderfully balanced by his PA’s strength in the Executing and Relationship domains. This session gave them both a new appreciation for the other, knowing now what strengths they should be ‘borrowing’ from each other as and when needed.”
Called to Coach
On Tuesday 1st May, Jim Collison and his team have kindly invited me on Called to Coach. I am looking forward to joining the session and sharing the story behind Cascade. If time permits, we may cover how the Strengths Twins initiative was born.
Please try to listen live where you can join in with the chat room to ask any questions. I would value your support for Cascade and how it is making a difference to your coaching practice. Let’s keep Jim busy with all of your comments!
As the event has passed, click here to listen to the recording.
Strengths Twins Reach 50
As more people join the hunt to discover their ‘other self’ the number of pairings increase and new conversations begin.
Read more in the recent blog post.
The most recent version of Cascade is v2.0r01d which adds enhancements to the Labels page. If you are not yet on version 2.0 it is worth getting in touch to take advantage of the latest features. (The version number It is on the Select Name page and at the bottom of the Welcome page).
You are welcome to request the latest version of Cascade anytime within 12 months of purchase. Likewise, if you have renewed your support cover after this period, you can receive free updates. We email you about your support renewals during the last month of cover. There is a generous discount if you renew before it expires.
If you would like to receive an update of Cascade, contact us quoting your product licence number. (C followed by 5 digits at the top of the Welcome Page).
Thank you to Alicia, Deon and Pippa for your contributions this month. We would love to share your experience and discuss aspects to help you get the most from the Cascade strengths reports. Please Contact us with any comments or your Cascade story.
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