The Art of Strengths Coaching

C is for The Confidence Approach To Getting Concrete Results  

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There are many models for doing superb work. This article draws on the confidence approach to helping people to perform at their best in sports. The approach can be applied, however, in many other fields.

A core element of this approach is to set goals from within. The stimulus may come from outside – such as playing a sport, performing in a concert or delivering by a deadline – but you set goals from your core.

You aim to do your best in the situation. You focus on becoming the best kind of person, artist, athlete or whatever you want to be. Here is an introduction to the approach.

Confidence

You have confidence in your strengths and the strategy you aim to pursue. You have confidence that you will do your best and focus on what you can control in a situation.

This is something that you can guarantee. You cannot guarantee that you are going to achieve the prize, because sometimes that depends on other factors.

Clarity  

You clarify the real results you want to achieve. You also clarify the key strategies you can follow to give yourself the greatest chance of success.

Commitment

You totally commit yourself to doing superb work. You concentrate fully and implement your action plan. 

Concrete Results 

You keep doing the right things in the right way. You find creative solutions to challenges and do your best to achieve the picture of success.

Looking back on your own life, can you think of a time when you adopted this approach? You may have been playing a sport, giving a keynote speech, doing a pioneering project, leading a team or whatever.

You developed the confidence to build on your strengths and do your best. Clarifying the real results you wanted to achieve, you settled on the key strategies that would give you the greatest chance of success.

Setting out on the journey, you committed yourself fully. You then did your best to achieve the desired results.

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

Describe a specific situation in the past when you achieved certain goals by focusing on confidence, clarity, commitment and concrete results.  

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

Describe the specific things that happened as a result of focusing on these steps.

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Let’s explore how you can apply this approach to helping people to do their best.

Confidence 

There are many views on what it means to have confidence. One definition is:

A belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities.

Bearing this in mind, there are many ways to help a person to start from their core and develop confidence. Here are some of the approaches it is possible to follow.

The Strengths Approach

You can help a person to build on their strengths. They can build on where they deliver As, whilst managing the consequences their Bs and Cs.

You can also help the person to follow their successful style of working and do satisfying work. You can discover more about this approach via the following link.

https://www.thepositiveencourager.global/the-strengths-coaching-approach/

The Vocation Approach

You can help the person to follow their vocation. Their vocation is their calling, it is what they are here to do.

Their vocation remains constant throughout their life, but they may express it through various vehicles on the way towards doing valuable work. You can discover more about this approach via the following link.

https://www.thepositiveencourager.global/v-following-vocation/

Whichever approach you take, the key is to help a person to build on their strengths and aim to always do their best. This mirrors the approach taken in sports by people such as John Wooden, the legendary American College basketball coach. He said:

Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.

John never mentioned ‘winning’, but his teams won more titles than any other in College basketball history. During his early career began developing what later became known as his famous Pyramid of Success.

This consisted of guiding principles that athletes could follow both on and off the court. The base of the Pyramid consists of phrases such as: Industriousness; Friendship: Loyalty; Cooperation; Enthusiasm.

Behind each of these words is an explanation. The word Industriousness, for example, is explained in detail. This includes the phrases:

In plain language, I mean you have to work – and work hard. There is no substitute for hard work. None. Worthwhile things come only from real work.

There are several levels to the Pyramid of Success. It culminates in the principle of Competitive Greatness. This is explained as:

Perform at your best when your best is required. Your best is required each day.

Clarity

Imagine that you have helped a person to clarify their strengths. They then want to explore how they can use these to perform superb work.

There are many approaches to goal setting. One model draws on studies of people who are happy.

Such people often aim to become the best they can be. They aim to achieve their personal best, rather than compare themselves with others. They aim to become the kind of artist, athlete, educator, carpenter, scientist or whatever they want to be.

Pete Carroll, the American Football coach, explained this approach in his book, Win Forever. Below is his view of helping people to become the best they can be. You can discover more via the following link.

http://www.amazon.com/Win-Forever-Live-Work-Champion/dp/1591844169

Competition for me it not about beating your opponent. It is about doing your best; it is about striving to reach your potential; and it is about being in relentless pursuit of a competitive edge in everything you do.

The essence of my message about competing has nothing to do with the opponent. My competitive approach is that “it’s all about us.” If we’ve really done the preparation to elevate ourselves to our full potential, it shouldn’t matter whom we are playing.

Once I understood that we were competing with ourselves, it changed my view of future opponents. Many people confuse ‘opponent’ with ‘enemy,’ but in my experience, that is extremely unproductive.

My opponents are the people who offer me the opportunity to succeed. The tougher my opponents, the more they present me with an opportunity to live up to my full potential and play my best.

Bearing this in mind, how can you help a person to set specific goals? One approach is to ask some of the following questions.

What are your strengths? What are the deeply satisfying activities in which you deliver As, rather than Bs or Cs? Which of these specific activities would you like to focus on in the future?  

Let’s move on to establishing clarity. Bearing in mind what you can control, what are the specific goals you would like to achieve? What are the real results you want to achieve? What is your picture of success? 

Let’s move on clarifying your strategy. What are the key things you can do to give yourself the greatest chance of success? How can you translate these principles into a clear action plan?

Commitment

Imagine that you have helped a person to clarify their strengths and specific goals. They have also translated these into a concrete action plan. The next step is for them to keep doing the right things in the right way.

“Peak performers are different,” we are told. “They actually do what they say they are going to do. They are committed to the commitment.”

You may have attended workshops where people concluded by making action plans. They may also have rated the probability of them carrying out the required actions. The ratings need to be at least 9/10 for there to be a reasonable chance of success.

Different people choose different routes to demonstrate commitment. Kiran Bir Sethi, for example, developed the Design For Change programme that has inspired children around the world.

She and her colleagues educate children to take charge of their lives. Here is a video that describes this approach. You can discover more via the following link.

http://www.dfcworld.com/

Kiran says that the programme enables children to realise the following things.

They can make choices in life. They can shape their futures by moving from saying “Can I?” to “I Can.” They can do this by following the design process of Feel, Imagine, Do and Share.

They can find something that bothers them and choose to do something about it. They can be persistent and make change happen. They can then share their learning with the world.

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Young people who go through these steps say they learn a great deal about themselves on the route to delivering the goods. Here is a paraphrase of what they say about commitment.

The first two stages are relatively easy. There are many things we feel we want to do something about. It is also fun to research good practice around the world and imagine the dream.  

But then comes the hard part – developing the persistence required to do the work. Our generation enjoys being stimulated.

If we get bored, we go onto our mobiles or click to the next web page. We learned that sweat is required if you are going to reach a goal.

A person can explore as much theory as they want, but real commitment comes from within the gut. This provides the power to keep working to achieve the goal.

Concrete Results

Imagine that you have helped a person to set out on the road to delivering the goods. It can be useful to help them to do the following things.

To keep following their chosen strategies for achieving the goal.  

To build momentum by getting some early wins and encourage themselves on the journey.

To focus on: a) The specific things we are doing well and how we can keep doing these things; b) The specific things we can do better and how. 

To find creative solutions to challenges. 

To keep doing their best to achieve the goal.

Let’s return to your own life and work. Looking ahead, can you think of a situation when you may want to use the confidence approach to get concrete results? This could be in your personal or professional life.

You may want to build on your strengths and aim to become the best kind of gardener, painter, educator, leader or whatever you want to be. How can you set specific goals, do superb work and achieve your picture of success?

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

Describe a specific situation in the future when you may want to work towards achieving certain goals by focusing on confidence, clarity, commitment and concrete results.

Describe the specific things you can do to focus on these steps.  

Describe the specific things that may happen as a result of focusing on these steps.

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