The Art of Strengths Coaching

C is for Control, Clarity And Concrete Results

There are many ways to do fine work. Great workers, for example, often focus on control, clarity and concrete results. They do this when working as individuals or when leading teams.

Different people take these steps in different ways. They focus on the following themes, however, both before going into a situation and then when doing the actual work.

Control

They think ahead and clarify what they can control in a situation. Moving into action, they then do what they can to take control and shape events when doing the actual work.  

Clarity

They clarify the real results to achieve and translate these into a clear picture of success. They clarify the key strategies they will follow and translate these into a clear action plan. 

Concrete Results

They then do their best to achieve the goals. This involves doing superb work and finding creative solutions challenges. It also involves focusing on constant improvement and doing what is required to deliver the desired results.

Great athletes, for example, prepare for a competition by focusing on what they can control. They can control their attitude and their physical and psychological preparation. They can control the goals they set and work towards achieving their personal best on the day of the competition.

They can’t control the weather, the other athletes or certain distractions. They can control their attitude towards these issues, however, and plan how to stay focused on their own performance.

They clarify their goals – such as to do their personal best on the day. They clarify the key strategies they can follow to give themselves the greatest chance of success. They also create a clear action plan for achieving these results.

Great athletes then aim to take control on the day. They aim to get enough rest, go through their usual rituals and warm up properly. They mentally rehearse what they are going to do and then click into action.

They will aim to consistently produce high standards and find creative ways to deal with challenges. They will do everything possible to perform superbly and deliver the desired results.

Looking at your own life, can you think of a situation when you went through some of these steps? This could have been in your personal or professional life.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe a specific situation in the past when you went through the stages of focusing on control, clarity and concrete results.

Describe the specific things you did to focus on these steps.

Describe the specific things that happened as a result.

Looking ahead, can you think of a situation where you may want to go through these stages? Let’s explore how you may want to take these steps in your own way.

Control

Great workers focus on anticipation, action planning and achievement. They aim to be proactive and anticipate events. They then make plans for doing their best to achieve their picture of success.

Imagine you want to take these steps. One approach is to look ahead and consider the possible things that could happen in your personal or professional life.

It is then to consider the specific things you can do to feel more in control of shaping the future. Looking ahead, it can be useful to consider the following.

The specific things you plan to do in the next six months;  

The specific things you know will happen – such as the activities, events, projects – in the next six months; 

The other possible things that could happen – such as the changes or challenges – which could affect you in the next six months.

Bearing these events in mind, you may then want to concentrate on one specific activity where you want to focus on control, clarity and concrete results. You may want to take these steps when doing a specific project, leading a team, tackling a challenge or doing another activity.

Looking at this activity, how can you prepare properly? How can you build on what you can control? How can you do your best to manage what you can’t control? Before going into the situation, how can you do everything possible to increase the chances of success?

Imagine you then go into the situation. How can you control the controllables? How can you maintain a positive attitude? How can you be super professional?

How can you buy time if you are thrown off-track? How can you then re-centre, refocus and rehearse what you are going to do next? How can you channel your emotions in a positive way towards achieving the picture of success?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things. 

Describe a specific situation in the future when you may want to focus on control.  

Describe the specific things you can do to focus on control both before going into the situation and then when doing the actual work.

Clarity

Great workers clarify the real results to achieve and translate these into a clear picture of success. They clarify the key strategies they will follow and translate these into a clear action plan. When working in a team, they make clear contracts about everybody’s part in achieving the desired results.

Different people do this in different ways. One approach is to clarify the What, Why, How, Who and When. This involves focusing on the following themes.

Great workers clarify their goals and practice pursuing their chosen strategy. One old saying declares that ‘practice makes perfect’. Another saying is that ‘practice makes permanent’.

Bearing this in mind, such workers repeat their chosen strategy until it becomes second nature. They may practice it both physically and mentally.

There are many different approaches to mental rehearsal. One approach is to take the following steps.

Let’s return to the activity you want to pursue. Imagine that you have clarified: a) The results you want to achieve; b) The strategy you want to pursue to achieve the picture of success. The next step will be translate this into action.

Clicking into action, you will pursue your chosen strategy and aim to perform superb work. At the same time, however, you will maintain clarity. You will keep checking that you are working towards achieving the picture of success.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things. 

Describe a specific situation in the future when you may want to focus on clarity.  

Describe the specific things you can do then to focus on clarity.

Concrete Results

Great workers get the right balance between consistency and creativity. They keep doing superb work and find creative solutions to challenges. They do whatever is required to achieve the desired results. Sometimes this involves adding that touch of class to achieve the picture of success.

Such workers keep doing reality checks. One approach is to build on what is working and also tackle areas for improvement. Looking at your own work, for example, you may want to explore the following themes.

Continuous Improvement

Building On Strengths

The specific things I am doing well and how
I can do more of these things in the future are:

*

Tackling Areas For Improvement 

The specific things I can do
better in the future – and how – are:

*

*

Continuous Improvement – My Action Plan

The specific things I can do to keep building on my
strengths and tackling areas for improvement are: 

*

Great workers are also good finishers. Imagine that you want to take this step in your own way. How can you make this happen? One approach is to focus on your successful pattern for finishing.

Looking back, can you think of a time when you finished something successfully? What did you do right then? How can you follow these principles – plus maybe add other skills – to finish your chosen activity successfully?

There are many ways to do fine work. One approach to focus on the themes of control, clarity and concrete results.

If you wish, try tackling the final exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe a specific situation in the future when you may want to focus on concrete results.  

Describe the specific things you can do then to do your best to deliver the desired concrete results.

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