The Art of Strengths Coaching

O is for Seeing Things As Opportunities rather than Obstacles

Slides Opportunities rather than Obstacles.001

Positive people often frame events as opportunities. If there are obstacles, they use these as stimulation for finding solutions. They choose to be fearless and focus on doing their best in the situation.

A person may be competing in a sports final, singing at a worldwide concert or tackling a daunting challenge. They say things like:

“What an opportunity. So-called pressure is a privilege, not a problem. This gives me the chance to do my best.”

Bengt Elmèn is a Swedish entrepreneur who takes this approach. He had a difficult birth that resulted in cerebral palsy, but then went on to build several successful companies. You can find out more about his work via the following link.

http://www.bengtelmen.com/engelska/abo.html

Bengt believes in building on the assets you have in life. Looking back at the first articles he wrote, he says:

“Writing used to be much more difficult for me. I had a rod attached to my forehead and it took ages to type. After awhile, however, I reframed the problem.

“I realised that working slowly gave me more time to think. This helped me to collect my thoughts and write better articles.”

loaktuelt_bengte

Looking back on your life, can you think of a situation when you took this approach? You may have reshaped your future after losing a job, re-evaluated your life during an illness or grown from a challenging experience.

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

Describe a specific situation in the past when you saw something as an opportunity rather than as an obstacle and then tried to make the most of it.

Describe the specific things you did to try to make the most of the opportunity. 

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

Slides Opportunities rather than Obstacles.002

Slides Opportunities rather than Obstacles.003

Slides Opportunities rather than Obstacles.004

Looking ahead, what do you see as the opportunities you have in the next week? Here are some of the answers that individuals give to this question.

The opportunities I have
in the next week are to:

Encourage my daughter … Paint several pictures … Renovate my garden shed … Walk in the National Park … Cook beautiful food … Spend quality time with my partner. 

Keep encouraging people at work … Remind my team of our mission … Hire a new person into the team … Make a tough decision that will be to the benefit of the team … Help my favourite customers.

Looking ahead, what do you see as the opportunities you have in the rest of your life? Here are some of the answers that individuals give to this question.

The opportunities I have in
the rest of my life are to:

Keep trying to be kind … Count my blessings … Maintain a sense of gratitude … Enjoy the pleasures of each day … Spend time with positive people … Encourage my loved ones to live happy and healthy lives. 

Write a blog that helps people who are embarking on a certain kind of treatment … Create and nurture an organic garden … Pass on the knowledge I have about building businesses … Visit our grandchildren in Australia. 

You will have your own list of opportunities. This does not mean that you do not see challenges, but you will always aim to do your best.

One soccer manager embodied this approach when responding challenging question before an upcoming cup final. One journalist said:

“The teams you have coached have reached several finals, but they have only won two. As a coach, do you feel under pressure to win the final?”

The coach thought for a moment before answering. He said:

“Yes, the teams have more Silver Medals than Gold Medals. But that is better than having no medals.

“I see this game as an opportunity, not as a pressure. We will prepare properly and then give everything to do our best.”

Let’s return to your own life and work. Looking ahead, can you think of a situation that you may want to see as an opportunity rather than as an obstacle?

You may aim to enjoy life as you get older, find ways to manage your energy, tackle a particular challenge, manage a transition or whatever. How can you do your best to make the most of this experience?

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 see something as an opportunity rather than as an obstacle and then try to make the most of it.  

Describe the specific things you can do to make the most of the opportunity.

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

Slides Opportunities rather than Obstacles.005

Slides Opportunities rather than Obstacles.006

Slides Opportunities rather than Obstacles.007

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>