The Art of Strengths Coaching

M is for Maintaining High Standards During The Middle Part Of Aiming To Do Marvellous Work    

Great workers go beyond motivating themselves when beginning and finishing a piece of work. They also motivate themselves and maintain high standards during the middle part of aiming to do marvellous work.

Such workers enjoy the journey when doing the work. They love pursuing their principles and translating these into practise. They also set short term goals and get positive results on the way towards achieving the picture of success.

Some people find it easy to motivate themselves when starting a piece of work. They feel full of energy and throw themselves into the task. They start well when pursuing an idea, playing a sport, leading a team, building a business or doing another activity.

Such people may then start falling away after the initial burst of enthusiasm. Realising it will require following certain daily disciplines, they find it difficult to motivate themselves to keep working towards the goal.

Looking back, can you think of a situation when you maintained high standards during the middle part of aiming to do marvellous work? This could have been in your personal or professional life.

You may have done this when developing a healthier lifestyle, pursuing a passion or doing a creative project. You may have done it when making a transition, leading a start-up or doing another activity.

What did you do then to motivate yourself? How did you maintain high standards? What else did you do to aim to achieve the goals?

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

Describe a specific situation in the past when you maintained high standards during the middle part of aiming to do marvellous work.

Describe the specific things you did to take these steps. 

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

Great workers choose their own individual ways to motivate themselves on the journey. Some follow their chosen rhythm and deliver results each day on the way towards achieving the goals.

How does a person find and follow their rhythm? One approach is for them to do the following things:

To recognise and make good use of their prime times – the times of the day when they have most energy; 

To organise their time in blocks so they can concentrate fully on the job and then flow, focus and finish; 

To rehearse what they are going to do, follow a ritual for clicking into action and then deliver the desired results.

Imagine that a person knows how to follow their rhythm. They can then maintain high standards by continuing to build on their strengths, to follow successful strategies – to do what works – and to deliver success. Let’s explore these steps.

Strengths

Great workers aim to do satisfying work and sometimes get a salary. This calls for planning properly and setting things up to succeed. How to take this step?

One approach is to pursue the path taken by creative people throughout history. It is to focus on their strengths, find sponsors – people who will pay them for what they do best – and deliver success. Let’s consider these themes.

Great workers build on their strengths and manage the consequences of any weaknesses. They clarify the specific activities in which they deliver As rather than Bs or Cs. They then clarify the specific things they can deliver to help others achieve success.

They find sponsors – customers or employers – who will pay them for doing what they do best. They start by clarifying the kinds of people with whom they work best – such as their perfect customers or most receptive audiences. They then clarify the challenges such people face and the specific goals they want to achieve.

They clarify how they can use their strengths to help the potential sponsors to achieve their goals. They reach these people in a way that fits their values system. They make clear working contracts with such people, provide great service and do superb work that helps the sponsors to achieve success.

Great workers often use elements of this approach when planning how to do a piece of work. They then focus on the next step before swinging into action.

Successful Strategies

Great workers continue to motivate themselves and maintain high standards by doing what works. They take this step by doing the following things.

They clarify what works for them – such as their successful style of working. 

They clarify what works in their chosen field – be this in education, sport, business or another activity. 

They then clarify the key strategies they can follow to give themselves the greatest chance of success.  

Great workers translate their chosen strategy into a clear action plan. They do this by asking themselves the following questions.

What are the key strategies I can follow to give myself the greatest chance of success? How can I follow these strategies in my own way? 

How can I build on my strengths and compensate for any weaknesses when following these strategies? How can I get any required support?

How can translate these strategies into a clear action plan? How can I get an early success? How can I encourage myself on the journey?

Such workers then pursue the strategies they believe will work in their chosen field. These will differ depending on whether they aim to do creative work, play a sport, lead an organisation or do another activity.

Imagine, for example, that a person wants to make a living doing satisfying work. One of the successful strategies they can follow is to focus on the kinds of customers with whom they will work best. Failure to do this can create problems.

One person I worked with, for example, provided practical tools that businesses could use to achieve success. They had lost confidence, however, because they were trying to sell to older-style companies that weren’t interested.

The person needed to focus on the right audience, such as pioneering companies who may be open to such tools. We adopted this approach and found a way to reach such people. The strategy worked and within a year the person’s diary was packed.

Success

Great workers continue to motivate themselves by getting successes. Some do this by following their chosen rhythm – their successful way of working – and setting achievable goals for each day.

Such workers encourage themselves on the journey and also embody the ethic of constant improvement. Some do this by keeping a regular log of what they are doing well and what they can improve. They focus on the following themes.

Continuous Improvement

Doing Well 

The specific things that
I am doing right
are: 

* 

* 

* 

Can Do Better

The specific things that 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 what I am
doing right 
and also tackle areas for improvement are:

*

*

*

Some people find their work so satisfying that they see little difference between the starting, middle and finishing parts. They therefore keep following good habits every day and continually aim to do superb work.

Let’s return to your own life and work. Looking ahead, can you think of a situation when you may want to maintain high standards during the middle part of aiming to do marvellous work? This could be in your personal or professional life.

You may want to do this when pursuing a passion, doing a creative project or tackling a specific challenge. You may want to do it when working as an individual, leading a team or enabling other people to achieve success.

What can you do then to motivate yourself? How can you maintain high standards? What else can you do to achieve the goals?

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

Describe a specific situation in the future when you may want to maintain standards during the middle part of aiming to do marvellous work. 

Describe the specific things you can do to these steps.

Describe the specific things that may happen a result of taking these steps.

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