“Why do coaches seem to prefer to focus on fixing your weaknesses rather than building on your strengths?” Is a question that I am asked.
When we develop our strengths and talents, it brings rewards such as achievement, applause and self-confidence. Playing to our strengths comes from Positive Psychology with its focus on “human flourishing as the main vehicle to enable individuals, communities and organisations to thrive.” When we fix (identify and work through the cause of) our blind spots, we are on the path to true confidence. Confidence comes from the Latin word ‘confidere’ that means to trust. To trust and have faith in our abilities to do things because we have worked on our weakness and blind spots such that we are no longer hindered by them. If we only coach to our strengths, our weaknesses stay precisely that – a hindrance!
In my 12 years of coaching experience, where I have experimented both with primarily coaching to the strengths of a client and at other times primarily coaching to the blind spots of a client, I have found that strengths are useful as a template from which to be able to map across skills and apply them to a weakness. Strengths are a valuable reminder to my client that they have expertise in other ways and can do other stuff. It helps them keep the faith that they will also overcome the blind spots and weaknesses at hand.
There is however, something uniquely special about transforming our weakness and bringing progress, even mastery, to our blind spots. When we do this, we have travelled through the process of understanding our own personal shortcomings. Overcoming our weaknesses are the keys to our gratification.
No matter how stimulating it may be to pursue a strength to your ultimate, completion comes when weaknesses are no longer a hindrance.
Don’t tell yourself, “you’re no good at it”, it’s not my thing, someone else can do better”. That may well be so. Yet mastering a skill without aptitude takes more courage, more persistence, more patience than a natural talent well honed.
The knowledge gained is of inner strength as well as outer mastery.
A secret well of resourcefulness is there for the tapping.
Sarah is a Senior Coach at Equilibrio. Sarah is a leading resource to individuals and organisations that want to develop the mindset for creating results driven changes in themselves, their lives and health. Sarah is the creator of pioneering Health Coaching programmes using a cognitive behavioural coaching framework and evidence based natural medicine protocols to coach you to run your brain so you can run your body. Sarah’s speciality is working with stress related chronic ill health.