The Art of Strengths Coaching

S is for The Sweet Spot

Sweet Spot

Different people use different expressions to describe when things go perfectly. They may talk about being in the groove, in the zone or experiencing a sense of flow.

Sports people talk about the sweet spot. Sometimes they hit a ball so effortlessly and effectively, for example, that it sails beautifully towards its target. Getting their timing right, they connect with the ball in exactly the right place on their racquet, bat or club.

People can sometimes experience a similar feeling in their daily lives or work. Feeling in the right place, they may do things simply and yet sublimely.

What is your equivalent of the sweet spot? You may experience it when encouraging a person, cooking a meal, teaching a seminar, leading a motivated team or whatever.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to describe the times when you experience your equivalent of the sweet spot.

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Different people choose different ways to find the sweet spot. Let’s explore one approach.

Great workers build on their strengths. They do stimulating projects, follow their successful style and sometimes experience their equivalent of the sweet spot. They keep doing satisfying work and achieve their definition of success.

Imagine you want to follow this route in your own way. One approach is to ask some of the following questions. You can then build on the answers and do superb work.

Strengths

What are my strengths? What are the deeply satisfying activities in which I deliver As, rather than Bs or Cs? When do I feel in my element – at ease and yet able to excel?

What are the activities in which I see the destination quickly? When do I go ‘A, B … then leap to … Z’? What are the situations in which I quickly see patterns?

Where do I have the equivalent of a photographic memory? What are the activities in which I score highly on drive, detail and delivery? What are the activities in which I make complicated things simple?

What are the specific situations in which I feel calm? What are those where I am good at creative problem solving? When do I naturally focus on the 3 Cs: Clarity, Creativity and Concrete Results?

Stimulating Projects

What are the activities that give me positive energy – even when I just think about them? What for me are the most stimulating kinds of projects?  

What are the characteristics of such projects? What are the characteristics of the people with whom I like to work? What are the characteristics of the place – the culture and environment – where I work best?

Let’s move on to looking to the future. What for me would be a stimulating project? How can I find or create such a project? What would be the benefits of doing such a project – both for myself and for other people?

Let’s assume I have found such a project. What are the real results I want to achieve? What is the picture of success? What are the specific things that will be happening that will show I have achieved the picture of success?

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Successful Style

What is my successful style of working? What for me have been the most satisfying projects – in the broadest sense of the word – I have done in the past? What was satisfying about them? What did I do right to make the projects successful? What were the principles I followed?

Looking at these projects, can I see any recurring patterns? Bearing these in mind, what may be my successful style of working? How can I follow my successful style – plus maybe add other skills – in the future?

Let’s move on to looking at the potential project. How can I build on my strengths when doing the work? How can I compensate for any weaknesses? How can I follow my successful style?

Sweet Spot

Looking back, when have I experienced my equivalent of the sweet spot? What did I do right then? How can I follow similar principles – plus maybe add other skills – in the future? How can I learn from other people’s approaches to experiencing the sweet spot?

How can I relax, rehearse and refocus? How can I flow, focus and finish? How can I be positive, professional and achieve peak performance? How can I experience my equivalent of the sweet spot and perform sublime work? 

Success

How can I do satisfying work? How can I keep doing the right things in the right way? How can I encourage myself on the journey?

How can I keep improving? How can I keep focusing on: a) The things I am doing well and how I can do them more; b) The things I can do better and how?

How can keep doing the basics and then add the brilliance? How can I, when appropriate, add that touch of class? How can I achieve my picture of success?

Looking to the future, how can you experience your equivalent of the sweet spot? You may want to do this when encouraging people, gardening, cooking, playing sports, leading a project, tackling a challenge or whatever.

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

Describe the specific things you can do in the future to increase the chances of experiencing your equivalent of the sweet spot.

Describe the specific benefits – both for yourself and other people – of experiencing your equivalent of the sweet spot.

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