The Art of Strengths Coaching

E is for Encouraging, Educating And Enabling People To Grow

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There are many ways to help people. One approach is to encourage, educate and enable people to shape their futures. Let’s explore how it is possible to follow this route.

Encouraging People

Looking back on your life, who have been your encouragers? What did they do right? What were the principles they followed? How can you follow these principles – plus maybe add other skills – to encourage people in your own way?

Many good teachers, for example, create a stimulating environment in which people feel welcome. At the same time, they believe that ‘the learner learns what the learner wants to learn’.

They begin one-to-one sessions by always asking the person what they want explore. They then offer ideas and tools that the person can use to achieve their goals.

Many encouragers follow this path. They ‘start where the person is at’. They clarify what the person wants to talk about or learn. They then help them to explore the topic and, if appropriate, to achieve their goals.

Good encouragers often have positive eyes. They look for when a person ‘comes alive’. They also help them to build on their strengths, set specific goals and achieve their picture of success.

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

Describe the person, team and organisation that you want to encourage.

Describe the specific things you can do to encourage them.

Describe the specific benefits of encouraging them.

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Educating People

Looking back on your life, who has helped you to learn and develop? What were the principles they followed? How can you follow these principles – plus maybe add other skills – to help other people to learn and develop?

Good educators often start by clarifying the results that people want to achieve. They then offer knowledge, models and tools that people can add to their repertoires. People can use these ideas in their own ways to get the desired results.

Good educators want to pass on knowledge that offers people more options. In this way, education is the ultimate democratic activity. It provides people with more choices – and hopefully more freedom – to shape their future lives.

Good educators often pass on knowledge by taking people through the stages of inspiration, implementation and integration. They create an inspiring environment and provide implementation tools that work. They then help people to integrate the ideas in their own ways.

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

Describe the person, team and organisation that you want to educate – in the widest sense – by providing knowledge they can use to learn and develop.

Describe the specific things you can do to pass on this knowledge and educate them.

Describe the specific benefits of educating them.

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Enabling People

Looking back on your life, who has enabled you to take charge of shaping your future? What were the principles they followed? How can you follow these principles – plus maybe add other skills – to enable people to shape their future lives?

Good enablers often provide people with positive models and practical tools. But they may leave them to experiment and find their own ways forward. They give people space to integrate the learning in their own ways.

People work hard, find solutions to challenges and achieve success. Performing superb work, they can then return with the prize and echo the old saying from Lao Tzu:

We did it ourselves.

Good leaders often manage by outcomes, for example, rather than by tasks. They start by giving the big picture to their people. They explain the purpose – the results to achieve – and the overall principles to follow. They also provide people with the support required to do the job

People are given freedom – within parameters – to deliver the agreed goals. They are also asked to proactively keep their leaders informed about their progress. After all, leaders tend to worry, so it can be good to give them reassurance.

People apply their knowledge and follow the overall principles. They feel encouraged and enabled, so they use their intelligence to solve problems. They frequently perform superb work and deliver the agreed outcomes.

Good encouragers do more than offer support. They encourage, educate and enable people to achieve ongoing success.

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

Describe the person, team and organisation that you want to enable.

Describe the specific things you can do to enable them to take charge of shaping their futures.

Describe the specific benefits of enabling them.

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