The Art of Strengths Coaching

D is for Following The Dos And Don’ts For Delivering The Goods

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Great workers often go through the following steps towards achieving their goals. They take these steps whether facilitating a coaching session, writing a book, leading a project, tackling a challenge or whatever.

They clarify the real results they want to achieve – the specific things that will be happening that will show they have delivered the goods.

They clarify the key strategies they can follow – the Dos and Don’ts – to deliver the goods.

They follow the required Dos and Don’ts and do their best to deliver the goods.

One person I worked with took this route to work towards achieving their life goals. After clarifying their lifetime picture of success, they focused on how to achieve these aims.

They translated these strategies into certain Dos and Don’ts. The Dos included: Do be kind; Do encourage people; Do satisfying work that helps other people.

These sound obvious, but sometimes the simple things are hard to do. The person translated these themes into actions they could take every day. They also kept a journal of their adventures on the way towards achieving their goals.

Looking at your own life, when have you followed certain Dos and Don’ts towards delivering the goods? You may have been aiming to make a personal transition, do satisfying work, solve a specific problem, build a business or whatever.

What did you do to clarify the goal? What did you do to clarify the Dos and Don’ts for achieving the aim? How did you translate these into following good habits?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to start by describing a specific situation in the past when you followed certain Dos and Don’ts to deliver the goods. It then invites you to do the following things.

Describe the specific results you aimed to achieve that would show you had delivered the goods.

Describe the specific Dos and Don’ts you followed to do your best to deliver the goods. 

Describe the specific things that happened as a result of doing your best to deliver the goods.

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Looking to the future, imagine you want to use this approach to achieve a goal. The first step is to clarify the specific things that will be happening that will show you have delivered the goods.

Different people use different models for settling on these aims. One trusted advisor I know starts by clarifying the actual words they would like to hear the key stakeholders saying. So they do the following exercise.

The Senior Team Members

The actual words I would like to hear
them saying after the sessions are:

*

The Organisation’s Employees

The actual words I would like to hear
them saying after the sessions are:

*

The Organisation’s Customers

The actual words I would like to hear
them saying after the sessions are:

*

You may have other measures. If you work for a company, for example, you may want to see certain results being delivered in terms of its Profits, Products and People.

Perhaps you want to create something special – such as a book, beautiful garden, television programme, medical cure, concert, social enterprise or whatever. If so, you will translate your vision into a clear 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 follow certain Dos and Don’ts to deliver the goods.

Describe the specific results you may want to achieve then that will show you have delivered the goods.

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Imagine you are clear on the results you want to achieve. You know what will be happening that will show you have delivered the goods.

How can you do your best to achieve these results? What are the key strategies you can follow to give yourself the greatest chance of success?

Looking at these strategies, how can you translate these into specific Dos and Don’ts you can follow? How can you create momentum by getting some early successes?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. Bearing in mind the results you want to achieve, it invites you to describe the specific Dos and Don’ts you can follow to deliver the goods.

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Great workers develop good habits. They keep doing the right things in the right way. They build on what is going well and find solutions to challenges. Such workers encourage themselves and also draw on the experience of others.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter, for example, offers advice on what she calls the miserable middles of change. This is when even the most optimistic of people can experience doubt.

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, she provides the following checklist. You can discover more via the following link.

https://hbr.org/2009/08/change-is-hardest-in-the-middl/

Tune into the environment. 

What has changed since you began the initiative? Do the original assumptions hold? Is the need still there?

Check the vision. 

Does the idea still feel inspiring? Is it big enough to make extra efforts worthwhile?

Test support.  

Are supporters still enthusiastic about the mission? Will new partners join the initiative?

Examine progress.  

Have promises been kept and milestones passed? Are there early indicators, tangible demonstrations, that this could succeed? Can the next wave of results sustain supporters and silence critics?

Search for synergies. 

Can the project work well with other activities? Can it be enhanced by alliances? 

Too many No’s, and it might be time to cut losses and move on. But if the answers are mostly Yes, it is not over yet. You are still in the middle and still in the game.

Renew the dream, regroup to remove roadblocks, surround yourself with supporters who cheer you on, and stick with it.

Recognize the struggle of middles, give it some time, and a successful end could be in sight.

Different people use different methods for encouraging themselves and doing reality checks. If you wish, try tackling the final exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the specific things you can do to follow the Dos and Don’ts and do your best to deliver the goods.

Describe the specific things that may happen as a result of taking these steps and delivering the goods.

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