Principles of strengths coaching

The strengths approach is positive, but realistic, and is based on the following principles (special thanks for this compilation to Mike Pegg).

People can build on their strengths and manage the consequences of their weaknesses

There are many approaches to discovering what somebody does best. A person can, for example, focus on the deeply satisfying activities in which they do some of the following things.

They deliver As, rather than Bs or Cs. They are best in their element – at ease yet able to excel. They have a natural feeling for an activity. They flow, focus and finish. They follow their passion, translate it into a clear purpose and deliver peak performance.

They have the equivalent of a photographic memory. They see the destination quickly. They go from ‘A, B … then leap to …Z’. they have a track record of delivering ‘Z’.

They see patterns quickly. They have ‘personal radar’. They seem to know what will happen before it happens. This seems to give them more time and space than other people. They also have the right repertoire to deal with what happens and deliver the right results.

They have natural self-discipline. They know how to cut through crowdedness – many things happening – and get to the heart of the matter. They know how to manage the grunt work and also deliver the great work.

They make complicated things simple. They are calm during crises. They solve problems by continually focusing on clarity, creativity and concrete results. They are committed to constant improvement.

They follow their successful style of working. They follow their vocation, express it through various vehicles and do valuable work. They focus on what for them will be a stimulating project with stimulating people in a stimulating place. They know their perfect customers and how they can help those customers to succeed.

They always do the basics and then add the brilliance. They score highly on drive, detail and delivery. They may also know how – when appropriate – to be entrepreneurial, build an engine that works and deliver excellence. They have a track record of finishing. They perform superb work, deliver the goods and then add that touch of class.

People can use their strengths to help others to succeed

People can choose how to use their talents. We each make choices every day. Each choice has consequences, of course, with both pluses and minuses.

People can start by choosing their attitude. They can choose to be positive or negative; to be creative or criticize; to count their blessings or count their burdens. They can choose to take responsibility or avoid responsibility.

People can use their strengths to serve themselves or also to serve others. They can do satisfying work that nourishes their soul.  How to make a living doing what they love? Great service givers often focus on their:

  • Strengths: they build on their strengths.
  • Sponsors: they find sponsors – customers or employers – who will hire them for what they do best.
  • Success: they help those sponsors to achieve success.

People can use their strengths to build super teams – and superb organisations – that achieve their picture of success

Super teams are special. They often start by building on their strengths and clarifying their picture of success. They then translate this into a clear story, strategy and road to success People know which mountain they are climbing, how they will climb it and when they will reach the summit.

Such teams are based on similarity of spirit and diversity of strengths. They are made up of people who aim to be positive, professional and peak performers. They choose to opt in and make clear contracts about their best contribution towards achieving the goals.

People coordinate their strengths to perform superb work and give great service to customers. People encourage each other, overcome setbacks and find creative solutions to challenges. Super teams do whatever is required to achieve the picture of success.

The strengths approach has been used to build superb teams and organisations.


Interested to begin your own strengths coaching sessions as an individual or as a team within an organisation?