The Art of Strengths Coaching

N is for Doing What Comes Naturally

Slides N is for Doing What Comes Naturally.001

How can you build on your strengths? The Gallup Organization encourages individuals to focus on ‘the things you cannot help but do’. Let’s explore some steps for making this happen.

Clarifying The Things
That Come Naturally

What do you do naturally? What do you find yourself doing, thinking or creating?

You may find yourself engrossed in encouraging people, gardening, solving particular kinds of problems or whatever. One leader explained:

“I am fascinated by how people succeed. During my teenage years I devoured books about sports people, artists and leaders.

“Then I switched to studying great teams. Nowadays I try to create environments that encourage people to do their best.

“The theme is the same whether I am in my role as a business leader, providing people with training or, hopefully, nurturing my family.

“I want to create systems that enable people to succeed.”

So what fascinates you? If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to describe the things that come naturally.

Slides N is for Doing What Comes Naturally.002

Slides N is for Doing What Comes Naturally.003

Continuing To Do The
Things That Come Naturally

“I did not realise that what I did was special,” explained one IT trouble-shooter.

“Ever since the age of 8 I have fixed computer problems. Then a few years ago somebody said I was also good at customer service.

“I educate people to prevent and manage future problems, rather than just solve the immediate issue. Now my company sends me around the world to help our challenging clients.

“That’s fine by me, because I keep learning. The company also benefits by having satisfied clients.”

Knowing what you do naturally is one thing. Putting yourself in the right place to use this talent is another.

Good sports coaches select players in the position where they can make the most impact. Great leaders follow a similar philosophy when running an organisation. They put people in the place where they can use their strengths.

Finding your right niche is too important to be left to others, so it is vital to take charge of shaping your future. Bearing this in mind, how can you keep putting yourself in the places where you can use your talent?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to describe how you can continue to do the things you do naturally.

Slides N is for Doing What Comes Naturally.004

Slides N is for Doing What Comes Naturally.005

Continuing To Develop The
Things That Come Naturally

“They make things look so simple,” is a phrase often used about peak performers.

“Yes, that is because they work hard at it,” is the stock response.

Natural talent can take you to 7/10, but then comes a key decision. Do you want to put in the effort required to achieve 10/10?

Some gifted soccer players, for example, can achieve 9/10 at under-16 level. When they move up an age group, however, they find themselves delivering 6/10.

Some players choose to put in the effort required to improve their performance, but others stall. This process is repeated as players climb the ladder to the first team and, perhaps, to international level.

Slides N is for Doing What Comes Naturally.006

There are many ways for people to keep developing. Here are some of the tried and trusted options.

Pursuing Stimulating Projects

People often develop by doing stimulating projects in which they can stretch themselves and achieve success. One person said:

“The biggest step for me was to become proactive in creating such projects. I was given many exciting opportunities during the first part of my career, but then these dried up.

“It took several years – and quite a bit of pain – before I realised it was up to me to create the opportunities. Now I have got into the habit of seeking such projects.”

Passing On Knowledge To Other People

“The best way to learn is to teach,” we are told. Why? We are asked to clarify what we actually do and put this into a framework that other people can understand.

How can you clarify what you know? One approach to imagine that you have been asked to teach a half hour session on a specific aspect of your work. It is then to write:

The three key messages I want
to give people on this topic are:

1)

The way I would bring this message to
life by giving concrete examples would be:

*

2)

The way I would bring this message to
life by giving concrete examples would be:

*

3)

The way I would bring this message to
life by giving concrete examples would be:

*

Some people translate this approach into action by volunteering to do keynote speeches or give seminars. Setting such a deadline encourages them to clarify what they know intuitively.

Keeping A Personal
Development Journal

Peak performers are committed to constant improvement. One approach they take is to keep a development journal. Looking back over the past week, for example, they describe the following things.

What I Did Well

Three specific things I did well were:

*

*

*

The specific things I can do to follow
these principles more in the future are:

*

*

*

What I Can Do Better And How

Two specific things I can do even
better in the future – and how – are:

*

*

Everybody has their own approach to developing their natural talents. If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe how you can continue to develop in the areas where you do things naturally.

Describe the benefits of continuing to develop in these areas – both for yourself and for other people.

Slides N is for Doing What Comes Naturally.007

Slides N is for Doing What Comes Naturally.008

Slides N is for Doing What Comes Naturally.009

Share

    Leave a Reply

    You can use these HTML tags

    <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>