As part of our ICF Coaching Certification we provider our coach-trainees with ample opportunities for feedback and to reflect on their practice. And one thing that we note is how many trainees focus on areas of development, things they believe they haven’t done well or aspects of their coaching practice they feel aren’t up to scratch.
Thinking about development is great – however we believe that one big step in a coach’s journey to help you shine is to understanding your strengths. Your strengths are what makes your coaching unique, it’s what you do when you’re in your flow, when you’re feeling energised.
So next time that you engage in reflective practice, exploring ways to develop your coaching don’t just focus on what you could have done better. Think about what you did well. Don’t be modest. Have the courage that step to be bold and honest with yourself. What did you do well?
Here are a few ideas to help you explore your strengths as a coach to truly let yourself shine:
- Note that strengths are not just skills. Strengths could be things that come more naturally to you – intuition, gut-feeling, warmth, empathy! Skills are things that you have learnt over the years, strengths are skills that you are good at but you also enjoy. You get a good feeling when you’re working with your strengths!
- Keep a separate notebook that explores what you did well in a coaching session. One of the things that we suggest for our trainees to adopt is a journal to record strengths. After each coach session get into the habit of writing down 3 things you did well (and perhaps 1 thing you want to improve). Note, this is NOT about doing things perfectly; but doing them well.
- Be honest with yourself. And honesty means that you don’t downgrade to things that you do well to chance or luck! For example, it can be easy to discount your strengths just because they feel natural to you; rather than because you worked hard to develop them (think of the point about Skills on the first bullet). Acknowledge the things you are doing well and do more of that!
- Get feedback. Sometimes you might not be able to identify your strengths because for a number of reasons. Not being able to be objective, not giving yourself enough time to reflect, not having someone explore those blind spots that are serving you well. We provide 1-1 mentoring programmes that help coaches further explore their strengths. On our programmes we can listen in to your coaching sessions and provide you with feedback. And yes, you get it – that feedback will focus on what you do well so you can do more of it.
We have supported many coaches obtain their ICF Credentials through our highly reviewed ICF Diploma in Integrative Coaching. Coaches have shared how we have helped not only their development into ICF Coaches but also supported them explore, discover and grow their own self-awareness bringing a truly holistic development.