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Playing to inner and outer strengths

To maximise your coaching potential, you need to play to your strengths. Watch Paddy Upton explain.
PADDY UPTON: In order to be maximally effective as leaders and coaches, we want to constantly fine tune ourselves as the instruments of leadership. This requires looking inwardly, into the mirror of our lives, and regularly deepening the foundations or roots upon which we intend to build our influence out there in the world. We’ve discussed self-awareness and personal mastery as some of these building blocks of these foundations. Knowing our strengths is another integral part of self-awareness. Strengths encompass the skills, knowledge, and abilities that others can see, as well as those inner strengths of character and value that only we know but that others get to experience through the behaviours they drive.
To give ourselves the best chance of realising our full leadership and coaching potential we need to be playing to our strengths as often as possible. Not only doing at what we do best, but also being the best person we can be. Which means living according to our highest above-the-line values. Some people suggest that it can take weeks, even months, to get clear on our personal values and their priority order. To top this, as we grow, have new experiences, or our external world changes, so too can our values change accordingly. The exercises earlier in this course hopefully gave you some insight into the things are important for you and those values you mostly resonate with.
I suggest you keep revisiting these from time to time, checking their relevance for your life and the legacy you want to leave behind. At the same time as deepening this awareness around your inner and outer strengths, it’s equally important to put them into action out there in the world. Look to play, as often as possible, to your strengths and your talents. Research suggests that the most successful people in the world do what they’re best that most of the time. In the next step, we’ll look at non-strengths and the gaps in your knowledge and experience, and discuss how, still, to lead effectively with these shortfalls.

To maximise your coaching potential, you need to play to your strengths and to do so, you need to identify them.

As instruments of leadership, we need to continually fine-tune ourselves and our leadership practice. We’ve learnt that it’s important to be realistic about our current state of being – not judging ourselves, rather being aware of our intentions, our values, and our impact on others.

As well as articulating our values, it’s also important to recognise our inner and outer strengths and play to these as often as possible. As I mention in the video, we need to not only do what we’re best at, we also need to be the best person we can be, and that means living according to our highest above-the-line values.

The most successful people do what they are best at most of the time.

In saying this, it’s also useful to consider how you might develop new strengths, not only continue to develop existing ones. And as you’re taking an honest look at yourself, think about the areas that aren’t currently strengths that you might need to further develop to ensure you’re continuing to grow and develop as a leader or coach.

Your task

Identify at least two of your own strengths (inner and outer) as a coach/leader and describe how they impact your leadership potential.

Ask someone who knows you well to share their thoughts on your strengths. Did your thinking align? If not, why might that be the case and what might that mean for the ways you help others grow?

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The Self-aware Coach

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