The Art of Strengths Coaching

S is for Solidity And Sparkle

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There are many models for doing fine work. One approach is to combine solidity and sparkle. It is to do solid work and then add something special to achieve success.

People can take these steps when working as individuals or as a team. Looking back on your own work, when have you followed this approach in your own way?

You may have done solid work, for example, when running a workshop, leading a project, writing a manual, making a television programme, producing a play or whatever.

Building on this foundation, you then added the sparkle. Different people do this in different ways. You may have used your talents to be creative, do something special or add that touch of class.

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 combined solidity and sparkle.

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

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Great teams often combine solidity and sparkle. They are made up of people who have similarity of spirit and diversity of strengths. Diversity of spirit is a recipe for disaster.

Such teams get the right balance between consistency and creativity. People consistently follow the agreed principles that aim to achieve certain outcomes. When appropriate, they also demonstrate creativity to reach the goals.

Some teams have people who love to sparkle, but they also need to contribute to the team’s overall strategy. People need to keep doing the right things in the right way. This creates the platform for success.

Great teams show similarity of spirit and do solid work. The customers and other stakeholders who have contact with the team may say some of the following things.

You always know what you are getting from the team … They are positive and professional … They are organised and make complicated things look simple … They always deliver the goods … You feel that you are good hands with the team.

Imagine you lead the team that you are part of at your work. How would you rate the team in terms of, for example, consistently producing solid work? How can it maintain or improve the rating?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. Looking at your team, this invites you to do the following things.

Describe the rating you would give the team in terms of solidity – such as it consistently delivering solid work. Do this on a scale 0 – 10.

Describe the specific things the team can do to maintain or improve the rating.

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Great sports teams, for example, implement their chosen strategy and sometimes add the sparkle required to deliver success. One soccer coach explained this in the following way.

“My teams are built on solid foundations. The goalkeeper, defenders and defensive midfielder are strong characters who deliver consistent performances. They provide the platform for the team.

“The attacking players must also play their parts in making sure the system works. Then, when necessary, they can add that touch of magic when it matters.

“My teams have the right combination of warriors and warriors who are also wizards. I have no time for wannabe-wizards who are not prepared to work hard and contribute to the game plan.”

Great teams have people who do the good work in their chosen field. They may work in sports, social work, technology, customer service or whatever.

People then add that bit extra in their own ways. The customers and other stakeholders who have contact with the team may say some of the following things.

You always get great service from them … They treat you like a human being … They go out of their way to make sure you are satisfied … They sometimes produce that touch of magic … You look forward to being in contact with the team.

There are many models for building a fine team. One approach is to ensure that it consistently does superb work and, when appropriate, adds something special.

Let’s return to the team that you are part of at work. How would you rate it in terms of adding the sparkle? How can it continue to make this happen?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. Looking at your team, this invites you to do the following things.

Describe the rating you would give the team in terms of adding the sparkle. Do this on a scale 0 – 10.

Describe the specific things the team can do to maintain or improve the rating.

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