What is Strengths Based Coaching?

What would you say if someone asked you, “What are your strengths?”

Looking to answer that question will engage you in a strengths based approach. Such an approach highlights who you are at your best. Strengths are the result of your natural talents that you’ve built upon with skills, knowledge and experience. When you know your strengths, you get to see yourself from a powerful perspective that can catapult you forward no matter your current circumstances. When coaching occurs in this context, it can exponentially expand the value of your strengths.

In this approach combining strengths and coaching, you and I, as coach and client, focus on your strengths. We identify them and discover together how using your strengths more consciously can increase your success. We don’t ignore your weaknesses. We look at how to manage them and find ways to use your strengths to develop them. We spend the majority of coaching time understanding, developing and applying your strengths to your goals. Why? Because your strengths are your best leverage for attaining peak performance.

In strengths based coaching, we apply this same positive approach to identifying your goals and aspirations. Sometimes it’s easier to recognize what you don’t want rather than what you want. So, we look into the opposite of what you don’t want to discover your real goals, the ones that will empower you to thrive.

Strengths based coaches like me help you think of gaps in skill, performance, knowledge, and training differently. We look at gaps as “fields of opportunity” for cultivating new behaviors, taking calculated risks, ultimately yielding greater influence and positive impact. 

Strengths based coaching is a research based approach. It has been informed by world-class practitioners, researchers, and thought leaders in neuroscience, positive psychology, and appreciative inquiry, many of whom, I’m grateful to say, have been my teachers.

The Gallup organization has conducted research around the globe to provide data to understand our natural talents, the building blocks for our strengths. The people in the study reported using their strengths only 20% of their time at work. Could this be why so many are not engaged or motivated in their jobs? What might be possible for you and your team if you flipped this statistic and used your strengths 80% or more of the time?

There are many well-researched tools now available which strengths based coaches use to measure your strengths and help you develop them further. We use a range of assessments tailored for you and your goals.

Once you know your strengths, it’s important to calibrate them just right--so that you neither underuse nor overuse them in a given situation. An experienced strengths based coach helps you choose the most appropriate strengths for the situation, and helps you develop your weaker areas by applying your strengths to them.

In summary, using a strengths based approach increases your motivation. It provides a greater sense of “can do” empowerment to accomplish your goals.

Here are a couple of questions I encourage you to ask yourself:

What if my engagement in a strengths based coaching relationship exponentially expanded my efficacy in ways I had never imagined?

What might be possible?