The Art of Strengths Coaching

S is for Seizing The Day

Great workers choose when they want to seize the day. They then aim to be positive and perform superbly. They take this approach rather than postpone the day.

Different people choose different ways to seize the day. Some plan ahead and prepare properly. Some take advantage of chances that arise. Some reframe potentially stressful situations as opportunities. Some respond positively to crises or challenges.

Some people choose to procrastinate or pass up opportunities. Sometimes this can be appropriate, but it can also lead to a pattern of falling into paralysis.

Great workers sometimes take the strengths approach to seizing the day. They start by clarifying what they can control in the situation and the real results to achieve. They then aim to build on their strengths, do superb work and do their best to achieve the picture of success.

Such workers may take this approach when helping a person, pursuing a creative activity, playing a sport, leading a team or tackling a challenge. They may do so when making a transition, taking a tough decision, managing a crisis, solving a conflict or doing another activity.

Looking back, can you think of a situation when you seized the day and did you best to achieve the picture of success? This could have been in your personal or professional life.

How did you decide it was the right time to act? How did you plan your strategy, translate it into action and do your best to achieve the goal? What happened as a result of taking these steps?

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 seized the day and did your best to achieve success. 

Describe the specific things you did to take these steps.

Describe the specific things that happened as a result.

Great workers go through certain steps when focusing on a situation and aiming to seize the day. These sometimes include the following. 

They scan the situation to see what is happening and clarify the picture of success.  

They see the possible options for going forwards – together with the pluses and minuses or each option – and select their strategy.  

They step into their version of the arena and aim to seize the day by doing their best to achieve the picture of success.  

Let’s explore each of these themes.

Step One: Scanning the situation
and settling on the picture of success

Great workers buy time to stop and think before making a decision. Some go through a process of scanning the situation to see what is actually happening.

Studies of outstanding soccer players, for example, show that they continually take pictures before receiving the ball. They seem to know where everybody is on the field. They then use this information to decide their next move.

Different people apply their own versions of scanning. They do research, gather information and get the facts. Bearing in mind what they can control in the situation, they clarify the real results to achieve. They then begin to settle on their picture of success.

Step Two: Seeing the possible
options and selecting the strategy

Good decision makers explore the possible options for achieving the desired results. Some also use aspects of the strengths approach when taking this steps. This involves asking the following questions for settling on their chosen strategy.

Clarifying The Strategy

What is happening in the situation? What do I want to happen? What are the things I can control in the situation? What are the real results I want to achieve? What is the picture of success? What will be happening that will show I have achieved the goals?

What are the possible ways forwards? What are the consequences – the pluses and minuses – of each option? What is the attractiveness of each option? Are there any other possible creative solutions?  

What are my strengths? What is my successful style of working? How can I build on my strengths and follow my successful style to reach the goals? How can I compensate for any weaknesses? What other skills may I need to add? 

What is the route I want to follow to achieve the goals? What are the key strategies I can follow to give myself the greatest chance of success? How can I translate these into a clear action plan? How can I, if appropriate, get the required support? 

What are the pluses and minuses of following my chosen route? How can I build on the pluses? How can I minimise the minuses? What else can I do to increase the chances of achieving success?

How can I move into action? How can I do superb work? How can I keep doing the basics? How can I, when appropriate, add the brilliance? How can I find solutions to challenges? How can I reach the goals by, if appropriate, adding that touch of class? What else can I do to achieve the picture of success?

Step Three: Seizing the day and
doing their best to deliver success

Great workers rehearse how they can follow their chosen strategy. Going into their version of the arena, they click into action. They do everything possible to seize the day and deliver success.

Different people choose different ways to do their best. Some aim to take the emotion out of the situation and follow their chosen principles. Some keep repeating a chosen mantra. If they follow the strengths approach, for example, they may keep saying something like the following. 

Keep building on your strengths; 

Keep doing superb work;

Keep doing your best to deliver success. 

Great workers give everything. They aim to be positive and keep following their principles. Sometimes this calls for taking time to re-centre, refocus and rehearse what they are going to do next. They then go back into the arena and aim to do their personal best.

Such workers are committed to constant improvement. They keep focusing on: a) The specific things they are doing right and how they can do more of these; b) The specific things they can do better and how. They then do their best to achieve the picture of success.

Let’s return to your own life and work. Looking ahead, can you think of a situation when you may want to seize the day? This could be in your personal or professional life.

You may want to take this approach when helping a person, pursuing a creative activity or leading a team. You may want to do it when tackling a challenge, taking a tough decision, managing a crisis or doing another activity.

How can you decide when is the right time to act? How can you plan your strategy? How can you move into action and be fully present? How can you give everything in the situation?

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 want to seize the day and do your best to achieve success.

Describe the specific things you can do to take these steps. 

Describe the specific things that may happen as a result.

Be Sociable, 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>