The Art of Strengths Coaching

S is for Sharing Your Knowledge In A Way That Helps People To Succeed

Imagine that you have specific knowledge in a particular field. You may have expertise in education, business, leadership, technology or another area. How can you share this in a way that helps other people to succeed?

You can start by clarifying the knowledge you have that can help people. It is also useful to clarify the kinds of people with whom you work best.

Imagine that you want to pass on your knowledge to people. You may want to do this when mentoring, running a workshop, writing an article, making a film or using another media.

One approach is to take the following steps when helping people – an individual or a group of people – to succeed.

You can clarify what they want to achieve and understand their picture of success. 

You can clarify the specific knowledge you have that can help them to achieve their picture of success. 

You can share your knowledge in a way that helps them to achieve their picture of success.

Let’s explore these steps. You will, of course, follow these in your own way.

Clarifying the knowledge
you can share with people

What is the knowledge you can pass on? You may have expertise in counselling, managing crises, coding, leading teams, first aid, solving particular problems or another field.

Sometimes it can be useful to brainstorm all the areas in which you have expertise. You can then settle on the themes and describe these in ‘How to …’ terms.

The knowledge I have that
I can share with people is:

How to … 

How to …

How to …

Everybody has expertise but sometimes this can be challenging to define. One person expressed this in the following way. 

My first thought was that I had little to give, but then I reflected on my life-experiences.

During the past 20 years I have had quite a few successes and setbacks. But I have been able to do the following things.

I have turned around two failing businesses and helped two friends to set-up their own firms.  

I have created a pressure group to help dyslexic children. Like me, my son is dyslexic, and I know the difficulties such people face at school.

I have also overcome a difficult illness and set up a website to help others who are given a similar diagnosis. 

Whilst nothing I say may be new, some of the lessons – especially those about setting-up businesses – could be worth sharing with people.

What are the specific things you can pass on to people? Try to focus on the topics where you have practical experience and tools you can share.

My own work, for example, has involved studying people, teams and organisations that have achieved success. This has led to offering practical tools that people can use in the following areas.

How to build on their strengths and do satisfying work. 

How to clarify their purpose, follow their principles and achieve their picture of success. 

How to build super teams and superb organisations.

How to find solutions to specific challenges in their daily life and work. 

How to encourage other people during their time on the planet.

Let’s return to your own expertise. If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to clarify the specific knowledge that you can share with people.

If possible, try to express this in ‘How to …’ terms. You may, for example, be able to help people to develop their skills in areas such as the following.

How to practise a certain kind of therapy … How to pass exams … How to climb rocks … How to encourage other people … How to manage crises … How to lead successful teams … How to build successful prototypes … Or in another area.

Try completing the following exercise. We will then move on to the kinds of people with whom you work best.

Imagine you have clarified what you can offer people. Who are the kinds of people with whom you work best? What are the characteristics of these people?

You may work best with people who are motivated, open and creative. You may prefer to work with people in education, health care, sports, technology, business or other professions. You may work best with carers, athletes, entrepreneurs, leaders, pioneers or other types of people.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to describe the kinds of people with whom you work best.

Clarifying what people want to achieve
and understanding their picture of success

Imagine that you are going to do a specific piece of work where you will share knowledge with people. This could be an individual person or a group of people.

It can be useful to understand who you are going to try to help by asking some of the following questions.

Who is the person or the group or people that I want to help? What is happening in their world at the moment? What are the challenges they may be facing? What do they want to achieve? What may be their picture of success?

What is the specific knowledge I can share that can help them to achieve their goals? How can I make this knowledge relevant for them? How can I provide practical tools they can use in their daily lives and work? How can I help them to achieve their picture of success?

If you aim to share knowledge through writing an article, for example, you will ask similar questions. These include some of the following. 

What is the purpose of the piece of writing? What are the results I want to achieve? Who is my audience? What is happening in their world? How can I make the article relevant for them?  

How can I grab their attention straight away? How can give examples that relate to their world? What do I want people to be saying, thinking and feeling after they have read the article ? How can I do my best to achieve these results?

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

Describe the people – the individual or the group of people – that you want to help. Write their name.

Describe what you believe are the things they may want to achieve. 

Clarifying the specific knowledge
you have that can help people
to achieve their picture of success

Great educators follow the maxim that: “The learner learns what the learner wants to learn.” They aim to make the learning relevant and rewarding.

You can follow these guidelines in your own way. The knowledge you offer will obviously depend on the people you are working with and how they want to develop.

They may want to learn how to stay healthy, manage crises, achieve peak performance or improve in another activity. They may want to develop as educators, athletes, artists, singers, health workers or in another profession.

Looking at my own work, for example, we often explore different topics in mentoring sessions and super team workshops. Here are some themes that individuals have asked to explore during mentoring sessions.

How can I build on my strengths and do satisfying work?

How can I feel more in control of my life and work?  

How can I be better at managing upwards?

How can I encourage my child who is finding it difficult at school?

How can I deal with a specific crisis?  

How can I use my strengths to help other people? 

How can I make my best contribution to my company?

When working with leaders and teams, they often want practical tools they can use to pursue the following themes.

How can we continue to build a super team? 

How can we keep focusing on our purpose, principles and picture of success? 

How can we build a positive culture in which motivated people achieve peak performance?

How can we ensure that people to build on their strengths and make their best contributions to the team?

How can we build a more self-managing team that continues to do superb work? 

How can we find solutions to the specific challenges? 

How can we continue to do pacesetting work and achieve ongoing success?

Whether running a mentoring session or a workshop, it is important for me to do the following things. 

To clarify which theme people want to explore and understand the whole picture. 

To clarify the real results they want to achieve – their picture of success. 

To offer specific knowledge and practical tools they can use to achieve their picture of success.

Let’s return to your own life and work. You may have certain knowledge that you can use to help people. This may include specialist expertise, strategies, positive models, practical tools and other things.

Imagine that you are aiming to help an individual or a group of people. What do you believe they want to learn? What do they want to achieve? What is their picture of success?

Looking at your resource bank of knowledge, which parts can you offer to help people? How can you make this relevant and rewarding? Are there any practical tools you can pass on that can help people to achieve success?

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

Describe the people – the individual or the group of people – that you want to help. Write their name.

Describe what you believe are the things they may want to achieve. 

Describe the specific knowledge you can share to help them to achieve success.

Sharing your knowledge in
a way that helps people to
achieve their picture of success

There are many ways to share knowledge with people. One approach is to learn from great educators. They aim to make the learning personal, practical and profitable.

Personal

It must relate to the person and their goals

Practical

It must be practical and provide tools that help the person to reach their goals.  

Profitable

It must be – in the widest sense – profitable and help the person to achieve their goals.  

You can follow similar guidelines when helping people. It is possible to apply this approach whether you are counselling, mentoring, coaching, running a workshop, writing an article, making a film or doing another activity.

You will, of course, do this in your own way. One approach, however, is to ask yourself the following questions. 

What is the knowledge I want to share? What is the expertise, strategy, model, practical tool or other idea that I want to pass on to people? How will this help people to achieve their aims?

How can I share this knowledge in a way that resonates with people? How can I move from the concept to the concrete? How can I bring it to life with real examples? 

How can I make it personal? How can I make sure it relates to their agenda and goals?  

How can I make it practical? How can I pass on practical models and tools they can use in their daily lives and work?  

How can I make it profitable? How can I make sure it helps them to achieve their goals?  

How can I make sure people are getting something from the learning? How can I focus on the next topic they want to explore? What else can I do to help them to achieve their picture of success? 

Bearing these ideas in mind, how do you want to pass on your knowledge? How do you want to do this in way that plays to your strengths and also helps people to learn?

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

Describe the people – the individual or the group of people – that you want to help. Write their name.

Describe the specific knowledge you can share to help them to achieve success. 

Describe the specific things you can to do share this knowledge in a way that helps people to achieve success.

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