The New Strengths-Based Executive Coach | College of Executive Coaching
Coaching Article

The New Strengths-Based Executive Coach

By Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., MCC

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Creating a strengths-based organizational culture is an ongoing process—best facilitated by a new type of executive coach.

The New Strengths-Based Executive Coach

Top-performing strengths-based organizations utilize specially trained internal and external coaches who go beyond a surface level of strengths-based coaching practice. Although strengths-based coaching was initially characterized by using one’s strengths in new ways, counting one’s blessings and expressing gratitude, newer research highlights over seventy detailed strengths based coaching strategies. Many of us became excited about leveraging strengths in the workplace after being introduced to Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment which was included free in the groundbreaking book, Now Discover Your Strengths by Buckingham and Clifton. Recently strengths-based coaching practitioners received a huge boost with the publication of the encyclopedic volume of Character Strengths Interventions by Dr. Ryan Niemiec, the Education Director at the VIA Institute on Character.

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New coach training curriculums are emphasizing recently developed evidence based strengths coaching strategies, tools and forms. Now there are an increasing number of coaches who help leaders, managers, and individuals more fully develop and apply their strengths. A passionate, well-trained executive coach can help leaders learn a new vocabulary of strengths by using a valid strengths assessment and thereby ensure every worker has the skills to take strengths awareness into action.

Investing in coaches, and in building a strengths-based organization leads to better business results. The Gallup organization recently reported on organizations that have implemented strengths-based management practices. Ninety percent of the organizations had impressive performance increases:

  • 10% to 19% increase in sales
  • 14% to 29% increase in profit
  • 3% to 7% higher customer engagement
  • 6% to 16% lower turnover (in low-turnover organizations)
  • 26% to 72% lower turnover (in high-turnover organizations)
  • 9% to 15% increase in engaged employees
  • 22% to 59% fewer safety incidents

How did these organizations realize these gains? They create a strengths-based culture using multiple strategies, and utilizing strengths coaches is key.

Coaches Make the Difference

Strengths coaches drive organizations to higher performance because they help workers maximize their potential by leveraging their talents and passions. Without strengths coaches, most employees have low specific awareness of their strengths, and employees rarely apply their strengths fully to their responsibilities. Coaches act as powerful educators and facilitators of knowing and using ones strengths every day.

Gallup’s research reported on how an investment management company dramatically improved its performance by utilizing internal strengths coaches who administered strengths assessments to build strengths awareness and then coached employees use their unique strengths to accomplish key performance objectives on a daily basis. In a fast-changing marketplace, this enabled the employees to adapt quickly and exceed performance goals. As a result, the company has passed its many competitors.

See also Gallup Organization: Workplace Coaches, Rigoni, Asplund & Nelson, 12/15/16

Training programs such as College of Executive Coaching’s ICF Accredited Coach Training Program provide the skills needed for internal coaches to build a successful coaching culture.

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