For me, there is nothing more rewarding than helping an individual discover their strengths. And once they do, and then have the chance to activate them, watch out—they will be ‘on fire’, making a difference in all contexts, personal and professional.
As an educator and career coach, I take a strengths-based approach. Focusing on areas of strength facilitates confidence and competence—qualities most of us need to thrive whether we’re learning, job searching, working, or transitioning our careers.
And it works. Through a series of coaching conversations with clients, I see their confidence shift and I witness individuals becoming more comfortable talking about themselves in positive ways—to themselves and also to potential employers, colleagues and friends.
Here are my top 5 reasons why the strengths-based approach makes sense:
1. Potential is based on strengths, not weaknesses.
At the beginning of our coaching sessions, clients seem to focus on what’s gone wrong in the past, what fears and doubts they have. After we do some reflection exercises and complete a strengths assessment, they start to gain insights into their strengths and focus on them and their potential, instead!
2. Knowing one’s strengths builds confidence and a positive sense of self.
It’s beautiful to witness the transformation that comes with a focus on strengths: changes in tone of voice, facial expressions and a relaxed enthusiasm starts to exude throughout our conversations.
3. Once identified and activated, strengths become even stronger!
Observe yourself for a few weeks. Watch when your strengths appear—in all sorts of contexts, not just work. You’ll be surprised what you notice—and then more opportunities to use your strengths will start to appear! Just like a muscle, the more you use your strengths, the stronger they become.
4. It helps counter that negative inner voice—many of us are our own worst critics.
Sometimes individuals want to focus on their weaknesses and find a way to fix them. They are so pre-occupied with what they could have done better, that they don’t see what they’ve done well. I see my job as helping shine a light on the strengths so that their focus on weaknesses diminishes.
5. Developing vocabulary about your strengths helps you talk about yourself.
Many of us find it difficult to write or talk about ourselves. It can be awkward and hard to find the right words without sounding arrogant. But having an elevator pitch and being ready to answer questions like “Tell us about yourself” or “Why does this job interest you?” are critical when navigating your career. The strengths-work I do with my clients helps to build the vocabulary to answer these types of questions both authentically and strategically.
Indeed, the world needs your unique strengths. If you (or someone you know) are losing confidence or not aware of your strengths, please be in touch. I’d be delighted to help you discover your strengths so you start to fully activate them right away!
P.S. Give the Gift of Strengths—email me to order a gift certificate for a friend or colleague!