The Art of Strengths Coaching

N is for Using Numbers To Get To The Heart of The Matter

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Imagine that you are facilitating a coaching session for an individual, team or organisation. Sometimes people may talk a lot around an issue.

One way to get to the heart of the matter is to invite them to rate their feelings or perception around a topic.

Using ‘numbers’ may sound an unfeeling approach. But it can actually help people to focus on their feelings and specific behaviour. They can then move on to the actions they can take to achieve their picture of success.

When working with people, you can invite them to giving ratings, when appropriate, on some of the following topics.

Health

The rating I would give my health at the moment is: ___ / 10

Shaping My Future

The extent to which I feel in control of being able to shape my future is: ___ / 10

Satisfaction In Work

The rating I would give my sense of satisfaction in my work at the moment is: ___ / 10

Performance At Work

The rating I would give myself regarding my performance at work is: ___ / 10

Our Team’s Chances Of Success

The rating we would give regarding the team’s chances of implementing the strategy and achieving the picture of success is: ___ / 10

Moving Forwards

The scores are just the start. If appropriate, you can also invite people to describe the reasons for the ratings.

As you will see, however, there is an emphasis on them taking responsibility for the scores. The aim of the rating approach is to encourage people:

To clarify where they are at the moment – such as the feelings they have or the performance they are delivering.

To clarify the specific things they can do to maintain or improve the ratings.

To clarify the specific benefits of doing these things – both for themselves and for other people.

People can be encouraged to build on what they can control – rather than what they can’t – and focus on how to shape their futures. They can also, when appropriate, be offered practical tools they can use to achieve their picture of success.

Rating A Team’s
Chances Of Success

Different coaches apply the ratings approach to different topics. In my own work, for example, I often use a version of it when helping people to build super teams.

During such sessions for smaller companies, for example, we often have a day involving everybody in the business. The aim is to provide people with practical tools they can use:

To clarify the team’s story, strategy and road map towards achieving the picture of success.

To make clear contracts about each person’s best contribution towards achieving the picture of success.

To enable people to perform superb work, find solutions to challenges and do whatever is required to achieve the picture of success.

During the day the leaders share the team’s story, strategy and road to success. They then invite people to give their responses.

One approach is to simply run a question and answer session. Sometimes this works, but there can also be silence, followed by a few people asking questions.

Another approach is to provide a framework that encourages people to channel their energies in a positive way.

People are invited to form groups and give their responses to the team’s strategy. They are asked to make flip charts under the following headings.

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The leaders then address the topics that people have written. They are as honest as possible when answering the questions. They also see this as an opportunity to give people the big picture.

After all, the team members need to educate new joiners about the team’s strategy. So it is important that everybody understands the team’s direction.

It is particularly useful for people to rate the team’s chances of success. This encourages them to be honest and put forward suggestions for improving the chances.

Many teams keep returning to this exercise. They say it enables people to think more strategically and focus on doing their best to achieve the goals.

There are many ways to use numbers to help people to get to the heart of the matter. You will, of course, have your own approach.

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 to, when appropriate, use the numbers approach with people and then focus on how to maintain or improve the ratings.

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