The Art of Strengths Coaching

P is for Doing Positive Work That Helps People

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There are many ways to do positive work that helps people or the planet. Different people choose different ways to take this path.

They may aim to encourage other people, pass on knowledge, raise money for charity or run a website that helps those who have an illness. They may aim to raise happy children, plant trees, do work that heals nature, provide tools that people can use to shape their future lives or whatever.

Looking at your own life, to what extent do you believe you do positive work that helps people? What can you do to maintain or improve the rating? How can you build on your strengths and do work that helps other people?

“Work is love made visible,” wrote Kahlil Gibran. You will, of course, practise this in your own way.

Looking back, can you think of a situation when did satisfying work that helped other people? You may have been counselling a person, directing a play, providing medical care, creating something beautiful or whatever.

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

Describe the specific situation in the past when you did positive work.

Describe the specific things you did to do the positive work.

Describe the specific benefits of doing the positive work.

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The positive majority of people enjoy doing things that help both themselves and other people. The psychopathic minority enjoy doing things that help themselves but hurt other people. 

Kiran Bir Sethi is somebody who encourages people to help others. She is the founder of the Riverside School in Ahmedabad and the global movement called Design For Change.

This encourages thousands of children to implement their ideas for building a better world. Here is an excerpt from its website. You can discover more via the following link.

Children and adults learn through the Design for Change Challenge that ‘I Can’ are the two most powerful words a person can believe.

Children who have discovered this are changing their world.

This year, Design for Change reaches 34 countries and over 300,000 schools inspiring hundreds of thousands of children, their teachers and parents, to celebrate the fact change is possible and that they can lead that change. 

Children focus on challenges on their own doorstep. Among the many ideas they have implemented are the following.

Cleaning local rivers … Converting garbage dumps into playgrounds … Ensuring school friends get home safely … Preserving ethnic cultures … Caring for the elderly. 

Kiran has a background in design. So she and her colleagues encourage children to tackle challenges by following the design process of Feel, Imagine, Do and Share.


Focus on something you feel strongly about. This could be something that bothers you or something you want to improve. Start to explore your desired picture of success.


Imagine a way to make it better. Explore what good looks like and search the world for examples of best practice. Focus on what you can control and clarify your picture of success.

Feel Imagine


Do the necessary work. This can be an eye-opener for some young people, because it calls for sweat and overcoming setbacks on the road to achieving success. As one student said:

“This part taught us to develop persistence. Our generation is used to have a short attention span and, if we get bored, moving on to the next idea. But we realised that you have to be persistent to make change happen. That taught us a lot.”


Share your story with the world. The students make videos of their work and also take part in the annual Design For Change School Challenge. These stories provide inspiration for others who want to achieve their pictures of success.

Do Share

“Children are dreaming up and leading brilliant ideas all over the world,” said Kiran.

“They are implementing ideas from challenging age-old superstitions in rural communities, to earning their own money to financing school computers to solving the problem of heavy school bags.

“Children are proving that they have what it takes to be able to ‘design’ a future that is desired.”

Here is a link to the tool kit that Design For Change provide for people who want to help others and build a better world.

Looking to the future, can you think of a situation when may want to do positive work that helps other people? This could be in your personal or professional life.

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

Describe the specific positive work that you may want to do in the future.  

Describe the specific things you can do to do the positive work that helps people. 

Describe the specific benefits of doing the positive work.

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