Keeping the Challenge Strong: Finding your strengths in challenging times
Everywhere you turn, people are talking about their strengths, and weaknesses. Recently I heard someone referred to them as strengths and “the dark side.” Whoa! I know we’re just past Halloween, but dark side?
To call it their “dark side” sounds pretty dramatic and negative to me. Sounds like a skeleton in their closet, or dark family secret.
I prefer to call it their challenges. To call them challenges allows them to see how this is something they can work through, rather than run from.
One of the first things I do with a client is assessments. I use three different profiles (or I like to term them “mirrors” or self-awareness tools), one of which is Strength Finder. But I love using the others as well because they collectively allow for an honest reflection of the client for themselves (and for me as their coach).
One assessment that I use lists strengths and “challenges” which is more realistic. It allows the client to see how they can sometimes operate from their challenges rather than their strengths. This can be an area that allows them to be less of who they feel they really are, and can therefore challenge them. Many times this is a result of physical fatigue or mental stress. Obviously, this inhibits them from achieving their highest potential at any given time.
Is it possible to overuse a strength to the point that it becomes a challenge? You betcha!
During the coaching process we constantly keep this in check. Let me show you what I mean.
Example: One of my strengths is “passionate.” My challenge for that would be “emotional.” If I think or say this is my “dark side” it sounds like something to be ashamed of or that I should hide. If I know that it’s a challenge, it’s something I don’t always want to work from (although emotion has it’s great points/times), but something I can always work through.
Another point here is that when I see that I’m doing something from my challenge of emotional, sometimes it only takes a very small step to allow me to then move forward from passionate. This will allow for both optimal performance and authentic outcomes as well.
This small step is doable, inviting and inspiring!
Can you feel the difference here? I’d love to hear from you.