The job of a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach is the most rewarding and fulfilling job I’ve ever had. But that doesn’t mean that challenges don’t arise. One such challenge occurs when my client only sees weakness where there is clear talent. More specifically, my clients do not always view all of their Signature Themes as positive. Below are some of the comments I have heard when coaching.
- Oh, so you mean there’s something good that can come from having Responsibility?” This comment came from a manager who felt she had been dumped on again and again by higher-ups who took advantage of her dedication and willingness to see challenging projects through to completion. “No one around here likes me because I have Deliberative as a strength. They think I cannot make a decision.” This sentiment was expressed by an individual who had known since she was a child that she had trouble making decisions quickly. When I helped her reframe how the talents she used when she was being Deliberative helped her colleagues think through various possibilities and most likely protected the company from jumping into new endeavors too quickly (something that frequently occurs with the Activators on her team), she started to view her Deliberative characteristics in a more positive light.“I’ll never succeed in the corporate business world because I have too much Empathy.” One of my most gratifying individual coaching opportunities was with Kim, the individual quoted above, who believed all of her strengths -- and especially her Empathy -- made her weak. She could not see how her insight into others’ emotions could help her in business.
Since receiving her first promotion, Kim has been singled out by the directors of her organization to receive leadership training. This elite, city-wide training program has allowed Kim to build relationships with up and coming leaders in her city and flex her talents in the Relationship Building domain into real strengths. Although it has only been two years since our first coaching session, it seems like it was eons ago. Kim is thrilled with her position, her company and her life. She is fulfilled at work and at home. She credits this internal and external transformation to her ability to recognize and harness her true, authentic gifts. Kim was able to flip the internal paradigm in her head that told her that Empathy, Harmony and Developer were weaknesses and undesirable traits in a hard-nosed business world. Today, Kim recognizes that her talents bring her power and success. Those talents allow her to flourish at work because she values them and nurtures their development.
Sarah's top 5 strengths are: Competition, Maximizer, Achiever, Activator and Significance.