I’ve had a realization, a palm to forehead kind of thing. I’ve been referring to myself as a coach for so stinking long that I actually believe it. But when I stop and look at the facts (the clients I work with and the work I do with them), I realize that I’m actually a business consultant. I think I’ve avoided owning it because, well, being a business consultant sounds like I should “know it all” and I don’t.
The realization came from important but unrelated occurrences, all within the same 2-3 day span:
In talking with a coach I respect, she said, “Sounds like you do a lot of great consulting.”
Working with a client and the newly created management team that I consulted on putting together and she used a great phrase. I said, “Wow. I love that saying. I’m going to use it.” And she said, “Beth, you taught it to me.”
Another client said, “The best part in working with you as a consultant is that you’ve helped so many companies with their problems, you know where all the landmines are hiding so we don’t have to step on them. That is invaluable.”
A board that I’ve helped navigate a tricky situation has been putting together a leadership position, and when they were asked what the ideal candidate would look like, they said, “Beth.”
All of this led me to ponder how often I minimize who I am, how (and why) I don’t step into my greatest strengths and own them.
Some insight comes back when I play back messages I’ve heard throughout my life in regard to owning my strengths and talents. I hear tapes that sound like:
“Pride cometh before a fall.”
“It was pride that changed angels into devils.”
Or simply, “It isn’t polite to brag.”
Does this ever happen to you? Or do you own your strengths, skills, and talents? Do you really show up as you are? Or perhaps you don’t quite even know what your strengths are yet?
The world needs your unique strengths and for you to show up with them, nurture them, and grow them. We need you to let the rest of us know what your strengths are so we can support them, compliment them, and learn from them.
A few years ago I had two colleagues I deeply respect say, “Beth, I just wish you could see yourself the way others see you.” So do I. Wouldn’t it be great if we could have an out-of-body experience, a duality, where we are both ourselves and we experience ourselves through the objective-observer lens of another?
Short of being able to do a duality observer deal, there are a few tools that we can voluntarily use to get a multifaceted objective view of who we are:
Step One: Ask
Find two or three people whom you respect. Mix it up (this is where the stretching your comfort zone comes into play). Pick one person whom you are comfortable with. Pick one person you respect but aren’t comfortable with. Pick another person you perhaps haven’t built a trusting or respectful relationship with yet and whom you feel a little squeamish about, wondering what they may say. Ask them if you could grab a cup of coffee or sit down for a few minutes because you want to gather some objective feedback on how you show up.
I recommend sending them a few open-ended questions to ponder in advance.
How would you describe me to someone else
When you think of my skills and talents, what type of projects or strategies do you believe I bring the most value to?
What character traits do you see in me?
On which skills or talents might I focus attention or energy to improve?
Please share my blind spots or challenges that I may not be seeing.
Your role is also your challenge, your practice, and your gift in this dialogue, which is to not become triggered, defensive, or attempt to explain anything in response to the feedback. To do this simply breathe, ground your feet on the floor, and hold your hands loosely open and relaxed. Don’t worry about taking notes. Maintain eye contact. And receive.
If you do feel yourself getting defensive or triggered, turn it into curiosity. Use phrases such as: “Could you say more?” or “Could you clarify further?”
Remember when asking for and receiving feedback, it is not your job to defend or explain. Simply say “Thank you.” As the receiver, you can choose what fits, what you want to explore further or disregard, and what just doesn’t resonate. Some people may project their own stuff onto you, but before you dismiss it, see if you hear the similar feedback from more than one person.
After each meeting spend a few minutes quietly writing down your observations, what you heard, and making note of things you may want to explore further.
Step Two: Collect Supporting Data
Once you’ve completed these meetings and gathered the trends or comments that resonated for you, I recommend going to the VIA Institute on Character and taking their fun and easy strengths assessment. They have a free version, but I recommend the $20 option as the report is more comprehensive. It is well worth the investment.
The report ranks your strengths, but remember: the bottom strengths aren’t weaknesses, rather, they are support strengths or shadow strengths that can be built upon to reinforce or broaden your top strengths.
Step Three: Unlock and Maximize
Once you have all your information, I’d love to offer you three 40-minute coaching sessions in which we’ll shine light upon your strengths, explore the messages that hold you back from living them, and ultimately acknowledge and step into your strengths. Together we will come up with a few concrete strategies to get you practicing and comfortable owning who you are in the world.
Why am I offering this? It is pretty simple. We are in incredibly challenging and tumultuous times dealing with highly complex and triggering issues. And the world needs you—yes, you—to show up in the fullness of your strengths and with confidence.
I’ve got experience helping people like you get there. As much as I love my corporate consulting work, I love this work too!
Are you ready? Click HERE to grab one of the 5 slots available. This link allows you to schedule the 20 minute prep call, once you have scheduled it will ask you to pay the $225 via PayPal or credit card for the 20-minute prep call and 3 coaching sessions. This is a steal. In this 20 minute prep call we will introduce ourselves and answer any questions you have about the interviews or accessing the assessment. Once we’ve completed the assessment we will set up your 3 coaching calls. Easy as pie and on your timeline.*
This also makes a great gift! But hurry, because this is available only to the first 5 people who grab a slot!
Can’t wait to help you step into your strengths!
• 20 minute meet and greet call • Instructions for interviews and link to assessment • Three 40-minute coaching sessions (by Skype or phone) • Opportunity for additional coaching support at a discounted rate of $125 each ($100 discount)
Coaching calls must be scheduled and completed by September 1, 2017.
Cancellations must be made at least 48 hours in advance or your session may be forfeited.
Originally posted by Beth Wonson on bethwonson.com
Have you had to work with that person who is too valuable to fire but whose communication and leadership style continually make others cringe and put the company at risk? Beth Wonson’s unique combination of experience as a business leader, a non-profit leader and 20 years consulting on team development, organizational change and coaching leaders, make her the go to person for transforming personnel liabilities into personnel assets.
“In my experience, no one truly wants to be the company bully, they just aren’t self-aware enough climb out of it. Their increasing isolation causes more and more drama within the organization. Human Resource staff feel powerless and over time, team members and colleagues choose to leave the organization. The remedy is simply to get this person the right coach. The coach who knows how to give them the hard feedback and will stand in the fire with them through the change process”. Wonson’s unique methodology combines brain-based research, experiential education and coaching to engage and empower individuals and teams to overcome perceived barriers and gain success.
Beth and her team work with businesses, non-profits and individuals across the United States.