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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Strengths: A Way to Help People Find Their Voice - Called to Coach: Kate Cawthorn - S5E28

On a recent Called to Coach Australia Edition, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Kate Cawthorn.

Kate Cawthorn is the Co-Founder & Managing Director of Speakers Institute. As a regular speaker at events, Kate has travelled across Australia and internationally, and has helped over one thousand people discover their CliftonStrengths. 

When you think back to your Accelerated Strengths Coaching course and when you were coming to terms with your top 5, can you talk about that?
Being in a room with an amazing group of people and hearing about their businesses and what they were doing with coaching and strengths, Kate felt envious of their strengths. Strengths like Focus, Discipline and Strategic that helped her classmates put a well-structured coaching business together. She felt she had all the mushy ones. 

“It was a blind spot for me to see a value in my strengths. Before the coaching space, I hadn’t been able to see the value.”

Kate learned that whatever our strengths are, it’s enough. We’re not broken people who have to identify what’s not working and fix that. We can identify what’s fantastic and amplify that. At the end of the class, the entire cohort felt that Kate’s empathy was the strongest strength in the room.

How did you start the Speakers Institute? 
The Speakers Institute was previously called the Institute for Professional Speakers. Kate and her husband, Sam, developed the business because Sam became a motivational speaker himself. He had a car accident 11 years ago and was badly injured and lost an arm. His speeches focus on helping people “bounce forward”. He really wanted to empower others to get their message out, too. He wanted others feel confident getting on the stage and sharing their story. The Speakers Institute trains people to unpack their message and gives them the tools and the skills they need to get their message out. On online platforms or on the stage. 

What is driving the everyday person to get out there and tell their story? 
The world has changed a lot from the way it used to be. People used to look at professional speakers and think “wow that’s great, they’re amazing.” Now, with so many mediums for people to share their stories, everyone has a way to share their story. People feel the need to share more. We have all started asking ourselves: What is my story that I can share? How can I make a difference? 

We help people discover what it is within themselves that they want to get out into the world. That’s where CliftonStrengths come in, to help with the development of their story.

How do you introduce strengths to the people you’re working with? 
Kate and her husband initially got into strengths when a random person handed her husband the StrengthsFinder book at a coffee shop. He took the assessment and was so impacted by discovering his strengths that they ended up buying around 400 books handing them out to random people. 

When they register for our program, they get a code and have to get their top 5. Everyone who has come through the Speakers Institute gets their top 5. They also get strengths coaching sessions. Now that Kate is certified, she leads these sessions.

Why is understanding strengths an important part of a successful speakers life? 
Especially when you’re putting your message out into the world, you want to make sure what you’re telling people is landing with an impact. The best way to be congruent and come across as honest and vulnerable is for your story to come from the heart. To come from heart, your story needs to connect with who you are as a person. Understanding why you do things the way you do, there’s nothing else that can help you connect with yourself and your message.

To learn more about Kate's coaching experience, watch the full video or audio above.

Visit Gallup Strengths Center to browse our myriad of products and learning opportunities for strengths-based development.

Continue the coaching conversation on Facebook and Twitter. It’s a great way to network with others who share a passion for strengths!

Register for future webcasts.

Kate Cawthorn is the Co-Founder & Managing Director of Speakers Institute. As a regular speaker at events, Kate has travelled across Australia and internationally, and has helped over one thousand people discover their CliftonStrengths. She has also worked with several multinational organisations to help develop powerful, strengths-based teams through coaching, mentoring and giving valuable advice. Kate is a passionate coach who loves putting her own strengths to work to help her clients reach their fullest potential. She is married and has 3 children with her husband, Sam. 

Kate's top five strengths: Empathy | Harmony | Adaptability | Developer | Intellection

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