11 January 2011 - Realise2 Strengths Dynamics #1
At this time of New Year's resolutions, it seems appropriate to start our Realise2 Strengths Dynamics series by giving some consideration to the strengths that enable goal achievement. Fundamentally, we believe that all strengths exist to enable goal achievement. From an evolutionary perspective, strengths evolved over time because they provided solutions to some of the challenges we faced in our environment, as I described in Average to A+. So, for example, Gratitude might have been instrumental in helping us build better relationships; Strategic Awareness might have helped us prepare better for the changing seasons; or Resilience might have helped us to keep going and survive when times were tough. It's possible to make this argument for any of the 60 Realise2 strengths, although of course it's only fair to acknowledge that the logic is after the fact rather than before - a criticism that is often levelled against evolutionary explanations (it's pretty difficult, though, to travel back in time and create testable hypotheses…).
The general position is that all strengths were selected by evolution for their role in helping us to achieve our goals. Even so, is it possible that some strengths are better suited to goal attainment generally? Or indeed that particular strengths are better suited to achieving particular goals? The answer is yes to both, as we showed in an early study that examined this question (Linley et al., 2010; see the reference below). The particular strengths that are specific to particular goals will by definition depend on the nature of the goal that you are trying to achieve - but with a healthy degree of creativity or the help of an effective coach, it's possible to find many different ways in which different strengths can be linked to particular goals.
In general, though, some of the strengths that might be most effective in helping you towards goal attainment include:
Notable about all of these is that we consider them Strengths of Motivation, that is, strengths which give us the energy to get on and get things done. If you have one or two of these as Realised Strengths, you have energy in the tank to get started and achieve what matters to you. If you have all of them - as did a person I recently coached - you're quite simply a finely honed goal attainment machine!
In contrast, if you have none of them, what other strengths do you have that provide you with the energy and motivation to get things done? For me, it's often about Legacy - wanting to leave something behind that makes a positive difference. For you, it might be Growth, wanting to grow and develop as a person, or Enabler or Esteem Builder, being focused on how you can help other people to do things for themselves and believe in themselves.
Any one of us will have goals we want to achieve, just as we will have strengths that will help us achieve those goals. So, as you think about using your goals to help you with achieving your New Year's resolutions, what might be the best ways to go about doing so? There is some straightforward advice from the Realise2 4M Model that is described in The Strengths Book:
By doing each of these four things, you'll be well on the way to making the most of your strengths in helping you to achieve your goals. And if you think you'd benefit from some help in doing so, sign up for our Crowd Coaching for Strengths programme, with all proceeds to the Children's Heart Appeal.
In the meantime, have a great 2011. We will strive to continue to enable you to achieve your goals along the way.
With best wishes,
Linley, P. A., Nielsen, K. M., Wood, A. M., Gillett, R., & Biswas-Diener, R., (2010). Using signature strengths in pursuit of goals: Effects on goal progress, need satisfaction, and well-being, and implications for coaching psychologists. International Coaching Psychology Review, 5 (1), 8-17.
Tel: +44 (0) 2476 323 363
Fax:+44 (0) 2476 323 001
| Privacy Statement
© Capp & Co 2013 All Rights Reserved