Strengths are at the heart of positive approaches to coaching. They’re also an authentic, energising and accessible resource that can be harnessed to achieve valued outcomes. Once people know what their strengths are, they can use them more often and more effectively. Studies show that when people use their strengths, they become energised and confident. They reach goals faster and more easily, and experience less stress and greater well-being.
Realising your strengths means knowing and growing them. It also means being mindful of when, how and how much to use your strengths to achieve optimal performance, development and potential.
As coaches, we can help our clients deepen their awareness of their strengths and cultivate the practical wisdom to achieve the best outcomes and be the best they can be.
Sue Langley explains how to use the Strengths Profile approach to take coaching to the next level in this article for CoachLink, the International Coach Federation magazine.
Here is an excerpt:
Strengths are defined by Alex Linley as a “pre- existing capacity for a particular way of behaving, thinking, or feeling that is authentic and energising to the user, and enables optimal functioning, development and performance”. This definition, together with a growing body of research, informs the ‘Strengths Profile’ model, developed by Linley and his colleagues at Capp.
Strengths Profile represents an important development in positive psychology and strengths coaching. By differentiating strengths in terms of performance, energy and use,Strengths Profile adds a holistic lens to traditional approaches.
Whether you are familiar withStrengths Profile or not, you can apply this lens quite simply when working with clients’ strengths. By adding the dimension of energy and context, you can build a more dynamic understanding of where strengths are prevalent and how best they can be capitalised.
For each strength consider:
- Performance–How well does your client do it?
- Energy – How good does your client feel when doing it? How much energy does your client gain?
- Use – How often does your client do it? In which contexts?
Download your free eBook on ‘Harnessing Strengths at Work’ to learn some of the most practical and research-backed ways to realise strengths in yourself and others to achieve better performance, satisfaction and fulfilment at work.