Don’t you love it when someone asks you to do a workshop on something you believe in to the core? Me too! I just finished a workshop with a group of folks who wanted to know how to use Strengths-Based Coaching. It was amazing!
The group quickly and passionately grabbed on to the value of having performance conversations that centers on strengths. Yet, they recognized that weaknesses exist, that we all have them, and that they cannot be totally ignored. They left understanding that our weaknesses should not be the main focus of our existence.
Many people have been taught since elementary school that if you try hard enough, you can do anything well. Not so. We can certainly learn behaviors that will allow us to turn weaknesses into “learned strengths.” The problem is that we will never achieve great levels of satisfaction by relying on learned strengths. When people are forced into a position that requires them to focus on areas that are not natural strengths, they will perform at some level of mediocrity – never at their best. Sometimes an employer puts us in this situation, other times it happens by our own will.
We now know that when we are working to develop our employees, there is much more to gain by building on existing strengths than by trying to fix their weaknesses. Check the research; it’s clear that people who use their strengths every day are more likely to be engaged and happier in general. To perform at our best we need to be doing tasks that make us feel authentic, energized, satisfied, motivated, and passionate. In other words, we need to be allowed to use our natural strengths.
In our workshop, we learned how to have strengths-based coaching conversations with others. We explored ways to help others identify their own strengths – and how to use their natural strengths in ways that make their weaknesses irrelevant!
What a great way to spend a day – focusing on the positive – and helping others learn to do the same.