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what it is like to work with a strengths coach leadership coach anne koopmann

What is it Like to Work with a Strengths Coach?

Do you ever wonder why some things come naturally to you?

Or what about why you are drawn to certain things that energise you and make you forget time? And other tasks drag on forever, and you keep procrastinating and procrastinating. The answer lies in your strengths and strengths coach.

It doesn’t matter who you are. You have the tools you need to get where you want. It all comes down to your top strengths. The things you are naturally good at! When you know what these are, it can help you feel less stressed while being more engaged to achieve your goals!

What is strength based coaching? 

Strength-based coaching is not about developing your muscle definition. It is about building the muscle of the mind and your natural talents to help you build on who you are as a person and thrive in life.

The saying “stick to your strengths”, is what strength coaching is all about. Helping you navigate your own strengths and build them up to work for you. It is about shifting away from a focus on your weaknesses towards focussing on what you naturally do best.

What does a strength coach do? Discover below everything you need to know about strength coaching.

What are strengths? 

Strengths are your natural talents. The things you are really good at when it comes to all aspects of your life, for example easily talking to strangers, quickly understanding numbers and graphs, attention to detail, ability to explain ideas to any audience and understanding people’s motivations and emotions.

A strengths-based approach focuses on what is right with people and not what is wrong. It focuses on each person’s strengths and manages strategies to work around their weaknesses – not to fix them.

As mentioned, your strengths are your natural talents that are already there within you. Your natural talents define who you are, how you perceive the world and how you best operate.

Your talents are your potential. When you discover your true potential it guides you to live a life aligned with what you love. Think about your ideal life, your dream career and everything you want to achieve. Knowing your strengths can help you and guide you to what you really want.  It allows you to unleash your true superpowers. All you have to do is learn and understand your strengths, then live your life in alignment with those strengths you have.

Strengths can be defined by tests like the CliftonStrengths® assessment.

Why should I develop my Strengths?

Learning to understand, embrace and use your strengths intentionally can help you to unleash your full potential.

Your biggest room for improvement does not lie in where you are the weakest, but instead where you are already the strongest – it is those natural talents that you have within you already. Some things just come easier to us than others.

It is really powerful once you understand what that is and how we can use it to our advantage. The most significant benefit of strengths development is to learn to accept yourself for who you are. It is about appreciating your uniqueness, quirks and all.

It is time to let go of self-doubt and feel confident! 

As you might have already noticed, you are your own worst critic. You might find you compare yourself to colleagues, friends or even “strangers” on social media and start to criticise what you do, what you look like or what you say. Don’t worry, you are not alone, we all do this.

But, when you look at yourself through the lens of strengths, you finally learn to appreciate all your quirks and all of your unique traits and competencies.

You will worry less about your “weaknesses” and the judgment or opinions of others.

Research by Gallup shows that your greatest room for overall improvement does not lie in your weaknesses, but where you are the strongest.

You will feel more confident when you focus on your strengths. If you get to use your strengths every day in your life, you can achieve high performance and a lower level of stress. You will find you feel more aligned with yourself.

Also, teams (in the workplace, in sports and the like) that spend some time on understanding and developing each other’s strengths can actually boost their performance and engagement significantly.

Why strengths have to be developed

It is important to spend a bit of time understanding your strengths and focusing on building that strengthens muscle.

As part of your strengths development you want to focus on the following 2 areas:

  1. Strengthen your strengths to use them every day

Understand how your strengths show up in your life, at work or as a leader. And then define aligned actions to use your strengths every day. Sometimes we don’t realise that the things we naturally do well, are in fact our strengths that set us apart from others. We want to ensure that we don’t underuse our strength and therefore our full potential.

For example, if you enjoy spotting problems and come up with solutions, you want to make sure you get the chance to use your problem-solving skills every day.

  1. Refine your strengths so they don’t stand in your way

Sometimes our strengths can stand in our way. This may surprise you. But if something comes natural to us, we also often revert to it in times of pressure or doubt. These can often be our blind spots.

For example, if you are a natural communicator and don’t mind talking to people on a daily basis, you also sometimes might forget to be quiet and listen to what others have to say, you might dominate a conversation. In this instance, we want to make sure we control the use of our strengths.

Why focussing on your weaknesses is a bad idea

If you spend your time only focussing on your weaknesses and spend all of your time trying to improve in those areas, you will only end up being average at everything. We all would. This would create a truly boring world.

Instead, you have to manage your weaknesses just enough so they don’t hold you back – but truly nurture your talents to transform them into your own unique superpowers. We all have this uniqueness within us that has the ability to create true impact on the people around us.

Just like going to the gym to build muscle, we go intentionally every day and aim it towards our goals and challenges. It is something that evolves and grows with time. Having someone to guide and support you on your journey really can help you make big improvements on how you ‘play to your strengths’.

Benefits of working with a strength coach

Self-development is not always easy.

Maybe you have read a few self-development books and even done personality assessments. We all do love a good personality test. However, often we have the best intentions to use what we have learned and further invest in ourselves.

We have the intent to drive our development, but often we get stuck or simply lose momentum. If this is you, don’t worry, you aren’t alone on this, it happens.

This is where a coach can help you to stay accountable and really get the most out of your CliftonStrengths® assessment. So it does not just become yet another assessment you stash away in your drawer.

Let’s paint a picture of what a strength coach looks like…

Think of your strengths coach as your personal trainer (well it is like strength training after all).

Your coach will be in your corner and will support you on your journey to get stronger.

They will help you assess where you currently are at, and will look at your CliftonStrengths® profile.

Most importantly, they will help you fully engage with your strengths. They will help you understand how your strengths show up for you and how you might need to refine them. We want to work with our strengths in a mature way to avoid over-or underuse so they don’t stand in your way.

A coach might ask the difficult questions, to really get you to raise your self-awareness.

A strengths coach can help you to see past the self-doubt and focus on what is right about you, your unique sets of talents that are ready to be unlocked.

A strengths coach challenges the traditional way of self-development – the belief that “fixing” our weaknesses leads to success.

Your strengths coach will help you to define powerful actions to aim your strengths at your next challenge or goal. It’s important to focus on an outcome for you.

Most importantly a coach also helps you stay accountable to yourself to turn the actions into reality. Remember that ideal life you pictured before?

If you want to unleash your full potential truly, it can be beneficial to work with a strengths coach.

In more detail, a strengths coach can help you to:

  • Understand your talents and how they show up for you in your everyday life at home and work. The way one strength shows up for you might be different to how they show up for someone else.
  • Draw out the unique combination and connections between your strengths profile. There is so much gold in there that you might miss otherwise.
  • Explore and define practical strategies on how to use your strengths to reach your goals.
  • Build your confidence, self-belief and resilience.
  • Help you to overcome obstacles, blind spots and barriers to ensure you are using your strengths intentionally.
  • Support you to use strengths to enrich your relationships.
  • Explain your unique strengths within the context of a team/others.
  • Provides you as a manager with strengths-based strategies to manage your team and overcome specific team-related issues.
  • Help teams to develop and utilise their unique, combined talent profile for greater team engagement and productivity.

Now, what does that coaching process look like?

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What does a strength coach do? The coaching process

Depending on the coaching package you book with a strengths coach, you will be able to achieve different results.

As a certified strengths coach, this is how I tailor my coaching process (find out more here)

In the initial session, we work together to review your strengths assessment, understand the strengths, uncover how the strengths show up for you in your personal and work life and start to find some great connections between the strengths you have.

Throughout additional sessions, you will be able to define strategies to fine-tune your strengths to ensure you are using each strength intentionally and get to work with them every day. We will ensure that you develop each talent into a mature strength.

From there we will work together to define ways to aim your strengths at a specific challenge or goal. As your strengths coach, I can help you to define a strengths-based action plan to achieve your next goal with ease.

If you are leading a team already or would like to prepare yourself for your next leadership role, we can also work together to define strategies to use your strengths for your leadership. Together we will finetune your communication and influencing skills, how you motivate people, build strong relationships, think strategically and take charge in critical situations.

In case your team members have also completed their strengths assessment, we can dive even deeper and create an individualised leadership approach for each team based on their and your strengths profile.

Final thoughts 

Whether you are a leader of a team, are an entrepreneur or work as an expert for a company, knowing your own strengths can help you and those around you. It is a self-awareness tool that can allow you to work on projects that light you up (whether they be as part of your career or not).

The journey of life really is about learning who you are and what you love. It helps you to build better connections. If you are looking to learn more about strengths, there are a few ways you can do that:

Are you ready to learn more about your own strengths?