In high school, there was a group of popular guys that I wanted to be part of. They wore construction boots, jeans, and flannel shirts to parties. To become one of them, I decided to dress like them. It was a shallow idea, but hey, I was a teenager.
At the next party, I showed up in boots and stepped toward them. The leader of the group glanced at me and in a sarcastic drawl said: “Hey Chris…nice boots.” My head sank, my heart dropped. I could tell he was kidding by the way he elongated and punctuated his greeting.
In that moment, I understood I wasn’t one of them.
If I could speak to my teenage self today, I would say this: You don’t have to become someone else to be happy or successful. Instead, as Donald Clifton would say, “Become more of who you already are.” Use the essential strengths already inside.
As coaches, we have the sacred opportunity to help clients discover their essential strengths.
The world doesn’t need a copycat of someone else, doing copycat things poorly. The world needs our clients living out who they were created to be. The world needs your bright and brilliant clients fully alive. The world needs their contributions.
And let me tell you, the world will not get anyone’s inspired contributions by posing in somebody else’s boots. We all must find our owns way of walking, that’s how coaches can help their clients.
Howard Thurman said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
How will you help your clients come alive so they can make the contributions they’re intended to make? By helping them live from their essential strengths.
Essential strengths are their best means of making contributions to the world. They’re powers for making a mark, gifts they’ve been given to do the work they were placed here to do.
Your clients have all kinds of strengths within them, urging to pop out:
- Talents are naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied (Gallup).
- Personality Traits are your normal ways of behaving that together form a personality temperament.
- Skills are special abilities to do certain things well.
- Knowledge is information that you’ve learned.
- Values are the principles that are most important to you.
- Experiences have taught you more than you know.
- Partnerships with mentors, friends, colleagues, coaches, and loved ones have called out talent and strengthened you, and maximize your work.
- Spiritual gifts are deposits of the Spirit given to Christians for the common good.
- Fruit of the Spirit is the character of God grown over time.
- Prayer types are different ways of praying that form your sweet spot in prayer.
Look how plentiful an array of strengths are out there! There is absolutely no one like your client who can do what they can do. As a coach, you can help them discover their strengths, grow them, and leverage them for success.
“Find out what you do well and do more of it,” says Clifton.
Helping clients do that, that’s the honor we have as coaches.
Are you interested in growing your coaching practice while you grow your coaching skills? To download our FREE recording How to Create a Successful Coaching Practice, click here.
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