The Art of Strengths Coaching

P is for The Peak Perfomer’s Path

There are many ways to do fine work. Some people say: “Follow your passion.”

Other people say: “This is a good starting point, but there is much more involved.”

Peak Performers often start by following their passion and translating this into a clear purpose. They do professional work, find solutions to problems and achieve peak performance.

Some people stop there. Others want to pass on their knowledge and perhaps enjoy a sense of peace.

Can you think of a time when you have followed some of these steps in your own way?

You may have been pursuing an interest, playing a sport, working for a cause, teaching a seminar, leading a project or whatever. You may have been working alone or with other people.

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

Describe a specific time when you follow some aspects of the peak performer’s path.

Describe the specific things to you did to follow some of these steps in your own way.

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Imagine that you may want to follow some of these steps in the future. Let’s explore how to make this happen.

Passion

Great workers pursue a passion in which they have the ability to achieve peak performance.

They may feel passionately about encouraging people, designing gardens, playing a musical instrument, finding a medical cure, fighting for justice, caring for animals or whatever.

Such people spend a lot of time exploring a particular theme, however, before settling on pursuing a specific activity.

“How can you choose such an activity?” somebody may ask. There are several things worth bearing in mind.

Positive Energy

Choose an activity that gives you positive energy, even when you think about it.

Peak Performance

Choose an activity where you have the potential to deliver peak performance. Choose one that you find fascinating, have a feeling for and in which you have a track record of finishing.

You can discover more about finding such an activity via the following link.

http://www.thepositiveapproach.info/f-focusing-chosen-field/

Purpose

Great workers translate their passion into a clear purpose. They may aim to write an article, climb a mountain, finish a marathon, teach an inspiring course, lead a team to success, build a certain kind of culture of whatever.

People like to have a sense of purpose. They love to work towards achieving a compelling goal. This can provide meaning and structure to their days.

Looking at your passions, which of these can you translate into a clear purpose? What is the goal you would like to achieve? What would be the benefits of achieving this aim?

“That sounds fine,” somebody may say. “But how do I know that following a particular path will help me to develop my career?”

Great workers sometimes follow what are called Squiggly Careers. Some Managing Directors I work with, for example, started out studying chemistry, maths or another specialist subject. They eventually went on to run a company.

At first sight this appears a big jump. After some questioning, however, such individuals say things like:

“I always wanted to know how things worked. Once I had discovered that, I wanted to make them work better.”

Such workers have a history of pursuing their passions and developing an encyclopaedic knowledge in a particular topic. They become life long learners, an approach they later applied in other fields.

One Commercial Director I worked with described how, as a child, he developed an interest in the London Bus Network. He decided to learn about every route and every stop in London, even though he lived in the North of England.

Forty years later he can still give you every detail about the bus network. This may sound odd, but he developed the pattern of learning everything about a particular topic.

Despite what people may think, he is a happy person who is fun to be around. He now applies his thirst for knowledge to developing the commercial direction for his company.

Imagine that you want to follow one of your passions and translate this into a clear purpose. You may want to express this purpose by working to achieve a specific goal.

You may want to write an article, teach a seminar, create a website for people with a particular illness or do some other project. What will be the benefits of achieving this purpose – both for you and for other people?

Bearing in mind the work involved, how would you rate your motivation to pursue the project? Rate this on a scale 0 – 10. Make sure the rating is at least 8+/10. Will achieving this goal give you a sense of peace?

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

Describe one of your passions that you want to translate into a clear purpose.

Describe the specific goal you would like to achieve that will be an expression of this purpose. Describe the specific things that will be happening that will show you have achieved the goal.

Describe the specific benefits of achieving the goal – both for you and other people.

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Professionalism

Great workers are super professional. Imagine you have set a specific goal. What are the three key strategies you can follow to give yourself the greatest chance of success?

How can you build on your strengths and manage the consequences of any weaknesses? How can you follow your successful style of working? How can you get the right people around you who will complement your strengths?

How can you maintain good habits? How can you keep doing the right things in the right way every day? How can you make sure you are still on the road to achieving your picture of success?

How can you keep focusing on the things that are in the green, amber and red zones? How can you manage these things and stay ahead of the game?

Problem Solving

Great workers find solutions to challenges. How can you anticipate and prevent potential difficulties? How can you manage these difficulties if they do happen?

You will have your way of staying calm and finding solutions to difficulties. One approach is to use the 3C model. It is to focus on clarity, creativity and concrete results. You may ask some of the following questions. 

What is the challenge I want to tackle? What are the real results I want to achieve? What is the picture of success?

What are the possible options for going forwards? What are the pluses and minuses of each option?

Which route do I want to follow? How can I translate this into a clear action plan and achieve the picture of success?

Peak Performance

Great workers deliver the goods. How can you do whatever is necessary to reach the goals? How can you always do the basics and then add the brilliance?

How can you encourage yourself on the journey? How can you manage your energy properly? How can you make good use of your prime times – the times of the day when you have most energy? How can you build in time to rest, reflect and refocus?

How can you use mental rehearsal when appropriate? How can you rehearse following your successful strategies, managing any setbacks and doing what is required to achieve success?

How can you keep improving? How can you keep focusing on: a) The specific things you are doing well and how you can do more of these; b) The specific things you can do better and how?

How can you be a good finisher? How can you flow, focus and finish? How can you add that touch of class? How can you achieve peak performance?

Passing On Knowledge

Great workers sometimes want to go beyond doing fine work. They want to share what they have learned with other people.

How can you do this in your own way? It can be useful to start by focusing on the What, Why, Who, How and When.

The What

What is the knowledge you want to pass on? This may depend on the project or other activity you have been pursuing.

You may have learned lessons from gardening, counselling, building houses, managing crises, coding, leading teams, solving particular problems or whatever.

The Why

Why would you like to pass on this knowledge? What would be the benefits for people? What are the practical tools they could take away and use in their daily lives and work? How could these things help them to succeed?

The Who

Who would you like to reach with the knowledge? Would they be young people, those with learning difficulties, budding entrepreneurs, athletes, leaders, scientists, social entrepreneurs, therapists or other people?

What would be the characteristics of these people? Would they be motivated and wanting to learn? What other qualities would you like to see in your ideal students?

The How

How would you like to share your knowledge with people? Different people prefer different methods for sharing know how. They may prefer, for example:

To act a positive model and show what good looks like on a daily basis by, for example, running a business.

To act as a mentor, coach or trusted advisor.

To run teaching sessions, seminars, workshops or other forms of education.

To write articles, create websites, write blogs, produce learning materials, make videos, make television programmes or whatever.

The When

When do you want to share the ideas with people? What would be your preferred setting? Would you like to run a seminar, produce a blog, run a coaching session or whatever?

Peace

Great workers love to do their best. This can lead to them enjoying a sense of peace.

Looking back on your life, when have you had this feeling? You may have enjoyed it after playing a sport, completing a project, encouraging people during the day or whatever.

What did you do right to give your best? How can you follow those principles – plus maybe add other skills – to enjoy a sense of peace in the future?

Great workers rest for a while. Reflecting in what they have learned, they also do things that give them positive energy. This can lead to them embarking on the next stimulating project.

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

Describe a specific time in the future when you may want to follow aspects of the peak performer’s path.

Describe the specific things you may want to do to follow aspects of the path.

Describe the specific benefits of doing these things – both for yourself and for other people.

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