The Art of Strengths Coaching

C is for Calmness Being A Clue To Your Strengths

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There are many ways to find your strengths. One way is to focus on the situations where you are calm, clear and deliver the required concrete results. Let’s explore where this may happen for you.

Defining The Situations
Where You Are Calm

The paramedic stays calm when arriving at the scene of the accident. Seeing the whole picture, they recognise what must be done to help people recover. Picking their way through the wreckage, they take the necessary steps towards saving lives.

Where do you experience something like this feeling? You may be facilitating a one-to-one session, leading a team, tackling a particular kind of problem or whatever. You may focus on some of the following things.

Calmness

You go into the situation and feel calm. You feel alive, alert and able to make a positive contribution. You may be doing something you find fascinating and which you have a feeling for.

Looking at the situation, you ask: “What is happening?” You see both the big picture and the small details. You use your personal radar to see patterns. Extrapolating these patterns, you anticipate what could happen.

Stepping back, you focus on what you can and can’t control in the situation. You then move on to the next stage.

Clarity

You establish clarity by asking: “What are the real results to achieve?” Settling on the goals, you list these in order of priority.

You consider the possible choices for achieving these results. You consider the consequences – the pluses and minuses – of each option. Casting your ideas wider, you look for potential creative solutions.

You ask: “What are the key strategies to follow that will give the greatest chance of success?” You then move on to the next stage.

Concrete Results

Committing to your chosen course of action, you do superb work. You are fully present – yet at the same time able to both ‘helicopter’ and be ‘hands-on’. You deliver the goods and achieve the required concrete results.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. Describe the specific situations where you are calm, clear and deliver the required results. You may be facilitating a coaching session, giving a keynote speech, solving a computer problem, working in Accident & Emergency or whatever.

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Doing More Work In The
Situations Where You Are Calm

How can you build on this strength? You probably have a feeling for the activity and a track record of finishing. Putting yourself into these situations can benefit both you and other people.

When working as a soccer coach, for example, I discovered by accident that one midfield player played better as a central defender. Suddenly he seemed to have more time and also marshalled the defence. Both he and the team went on to have an outstanding season.

Embracing challenges where you can use your top talent can produce mixed emotions. One person said:

“I like putting myself into such situations, because I feel able to grow and succeed. At the same time, it is as if I am living on the edge. I feel both strong and vulnerable.

“I am confident about doing my best, but the rawness of the situation can be challenging. Nevertheless, it a place where I feel alive.”

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. Describe how you can do more work in the situations where you are calm, clear and deliver the required results.

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Developing In The
Situations Where You Are Calm

So how can you develop in the situations where you are calm? One approach is to expand your comfort zone.

“But I was told you have to get out of your comfort zone,” a person may say. “I am supposed to put myself into places where I feel uncomfortable in order to grow.”

This is a well-known cliché, but it misses the point. Those who use it believe it is important for people to develop. But there are many ways to make this happen.

Peak performers feel comfortable following their passion and doing their best. They feel uncomfortable if they are not doing these things. Such people often take three steps towards fulfilling their potential.

They build on their strengths, whilst managing the consequences of their weaknesses.

They select a specific project that they find stimulating, stretching and where they have a reasonable chance of success

They perform superb work and, in the process, expand their comfort zone.

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A mountaineer feels comfortable climbing mountains and continually developing. They grow by climbing more challenging mountains and expanding their comfort zone sensibly.

A beginner may start by climbing relatively small mountains and then expand their range. It would be suicide for them to move from climbing a local hill to immediately climbing Everest. That would be the death zone.

Peak performers prepare properly before expanding their comfort zone. They focus on achieving a specific goal, rehearse the potential scenarios and then tackle the challenge.

They are alert, pay attention and recognise what is required in the new dimension. They implement these strategies and achieve success. This gives them confidence to tackle bigger challenges in the future.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. Describe how you can keep developing in the situations where you are calm. You can then keep giving your best to other people.

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