As coaches we constantly see people in ‘decision limbo’, exhibiting an emotional confusion about which direction they should take in their lives.
I have always worked in the assumption that we will be most fulfilled and most successful when we do what we are most aligned to our personal strengths. If we think of 3 circles of interest:
- What we are great at doing and that leaves us feeling fulfilled.
- What the universe wants us to do, that is there is a gap in the market for your specific approach.
- What people value and will pay us to do.
Where these circles intersect, we can find our personal and professional success.
So as part of the exploration process, I work by investigating these areas and find themes in the client’s life that can be extracted like golden threads of personal success.
The general process I use is:
- Establish the ‘safe space’ and a trusted relationship.
- Ask for honesty as the important thing for the session is to ensure that there is deep and clear introspection for the client. The more honest the client is with themself, the more clarity will come through the exploration.
- Ask a series of ‘3s’ questions to explore:
- What 3 things do you enjoy?
- What 3 things do people come to you for?
- What 3 things are you great at?
- What 3 things do others say you are great at?
- What could you not live without doing?
- What 3 things are you most proud of?
Now look at the common elements and identify 3-5 talents or strengths that fit the activities and achievements the client has listed. A list of possible strengths is identified by Marcus Buckingham in his book, Now, Discover Your Strengths.
- From the strengths identified and the themes identified in the life of the client, it should be possible to have them explore options for a future career and/or lifestyle.
For example, my own talents and journey indicates I have strengths in:
Learner – I have a passion for learning about new things and all things.
Achiever – I am driven by a constant need for achievement and seek out opportunities to achieve goals.
Communicator – I am a communicator, able to get my point across clearly, speak in public and use language to good effect.
Strategic – I anticipate problems and create solutions.
Relator – I build trusting and enduring relationships.
From these strengths and my talents as an instructor across a number of different military and civilian disciplines, the clear avenue for my future was that of a coach and a trainer. The area for which I am most suited is business, technology and leadership and so these are the disciplines in which I now coach and train.
By guiding your client through these introspective thoughts, and identifying the successful themes in your client’s life, you can also identify talents and strengths that will guide your client to a more successful lifestyle, career and life.
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