In the last couple blogs we discussed how to help a client discover their strengths. One way to help them is through feedback with strengths validation. Getting feedback is a great way for your client to flesh out their strengths list or gain confidence in what they’ve already identified. Have them find a person they know well, with whom they have a strong relationship (their spouse, a family member, or a close colleague), and who is willing to spend 20 minutes helping them. Have them explain that they’d like honest, objective feedback on their strengths in order for them to receive some strengths validation. Then have your client take the following steps.
Strengths Validation Step 1: Ask
“What would you say are five talents or abilities that I have; that are my best strengths? Where have you seen those abilities in action?”
Younger individuals benefit most from this, because they have fewer experiences to base their understanding of their strengths upon. Parents or siblings (who have known them all their lives) can be a great resource.
Strengths Validation Step 2: Review Your List
Show your friend the list that you came up with, and ask for comments. Add any new insights that seem accurate to you to your list.
For the shy or retiring client, asking if the feedback they received is accurate or valid can empower them to make their own judgment instead of just accepting whatever others think of them.
Tony Stoltzfus is a best-selling author, leadership coach, master coach trainer and director of the Leadership Metaformation Institute. Additional information on this topic can be found in Tony’s book, The Christian Life Coaching Handbook.