The Art of Strengths Coaching

C is for Having The Capability To Tackle Certain Challenges Successfully

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Imagine you are recruiting somebody to lead a particular venture. They may be leading a school, digital project, crisis management team, mountaineering expedition or other mission.

Some qualities you looking for may depend on the field of activity, but there are certain qualities that it is vital for all leaders to demonstrate. People who tackle challenges successfully often display the following qualities.

Character

They have the character required to tackle the challenge successfully.

Clarity

They have the clarity required to tackle the challenge successfully. This calls for having the ability to clarify the real results to achieve and the strategy required to achieve these results. 

Competence

They have the competence required to tackle the challenge successfully. 

Looking at your own life, when do you demonstrate such qualities? You may do so when counselling people, competing in a sport, solving technical problems, leading particular types of teams or doing some other activity.

What are the character traits you show in such situations? How do you establish clarity regarding the real results to achieve? How do you demonstrate the competence required to achieve the picture of success?

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

Describe the specific kind of challenge that you may the capability to tackle successfully.

Describe some examples of when you have tackled these kinds of challenges successfully.  

Describe the principles you followed – and how you translated these into action – to tackle these challenges successfully.

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Character 

Character is crucial. A person must have the characteristics required to tackle a particular challenge successfully. These characteristics may differ, of course, depending on the specific venture to be tackled.

Imagine that you are looking for a leader who needs to transform an ailing organisation. They will need to implement the right strategy with the right people in the right way. Great leaders act as good models. They then build a positive environment in which motivated people can achieve peak performance.

Bearing this in mind, what characteristics would you look for in such a leader? If you wish, try brainstorming these in the following exercise.

The characteristics such a person
would need to demonstrate would be:

* 

* 

* 

Let’s consider another example. Imagine you are looking to hire a therapist to work in a unit specialising in helping recovering drug addicts.

Good therapists are often compassionate and enable people to shape their futures. They start by making a person feel welcome and clarifying their goals. They then make clear contracts with the person about:

The therapist’s responsibilities in helping the client to reach their goals. 

The client’s responsibilities in working to reach their goals.

The therapist also needs to be resilient. They will try their best to help a client, but they cannot tie their own self-esteem to whether or not the client succeeds. Bearing this in mind, what kind of qualities would you be looking for when hiring such a therapist?

Character is the foundation for any person, but they also need other qualities. Let’s explore the next theme.

Clarity

Clear thinking is vital when tackling a challenge. Good problem solvers get to the heart of the matter and clarify the strategy for delivering the goods. Such people often start by clarifying what is happening at the moment. They then take the following steps.

They clarify the real results to achieve and translate these into a clear picture of success.

They clarify the possible options for going forward – together with the consequences of each option – and clarify the strategy most likely to achieve the picture of success

They clarify how to implement the chosen strategy and achieve the picture of success.

Imagine that you are looking for a leader to transform an ailing organisation. How would you like such a leader to demonstrate clarity? If you wish, try brainstorming these qualities in the following exercise.

The clarity of thought such a person
would need to demonstrate would be:

*

*

*

Competence

Character and clarity are crucial, but the person must also have the competence required to tackle the challenge. This calls for them having the specific skills required to deliver the goods.

Imagine you want to hire a leader to transform a business. The skills they require will include the ability:

To be good at managing upwards.

To proactively keep their key stakeholders – such as their bosses – informed about the progress towards achieving the agreed goals.

To clarify the real results to achieve and translate these into a clear picture of success.

To clarify the strategy for achieving the picture of success.

To communicate the strategy and picture of success.

To make clear contracts with each department about their parts in achieving the picture of success.

To create a positive environment in which motivated people can achieve peak performance.

To give people the support they need to do the job.

To build on people’s strengths and put people in the places where they can make their best contributions.

To manage by outcomes rather than by tasks.

To ensure people proactively keep others informed about their progress towards achieving the picture of success.

To, when necessary, make tough decisions.

To do everything possible to ensure the organisation achieves its picture of success.

The competence that is required will depend on the field of activity in which the person is operating. They will need different skills if they are working as a leader, therapist, paramedic, sale person or in some other role.

Great workers know how to play to the their strengths, however, and surround themselves with people who can compensate for any weaknesses. They then work with these people to deliver the picture of success.

Let’s return to your work. Looking ahead, would you like to tackle a challenge where you have capability to do fine work? What would be the benefits – both for you and for other people – of tackling this challenge successfully?

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

Describe the specific challenge you would like to tackle that you have the capability to deliver successfully.  

Describe the specific things you can do to tackle this challenge successfully.  

Describe the specific benefits – both for you and for other people – of tackling this challenge successfully.

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