Every person I have ever coached has a least one communication superpower. Even if they think they’re the worst speaker ever, they have something they do really well.
One person has an incredible grasp of the details. Another person has an evocative and specific vocabulary. Yet another has a natural style that pulls people toward them. Someone else’s thoughtful attitude inspires confidence in their position. Humor, poise, energy, pace…the list of superpowers goes on and on.
Sometimes clients assume that if they are referred to a coach, there must be something wrong with them. They need to be fixed.
I find it’s much more powerful and effective to begin with what’s working. What is the client already great at? How can we build on the foundation of these strengths and leverage them?
The truth is that no one is great at every aspect of anything. In baseball, pitchers are famously not good batters—they spend their time getting better at pitching, not batting. They know what their superpower is.
But sometimes the very first step of this process, knowing your superpower, is complicated by a focus on the negative. For years, I have videoed clients practicing their presentations. When we watch the videos, I always ask the same question, “Tell me something you liked about what you saw.” Almost 100% of the time, the client responds, “Well, I can tell you what I didn’t like!” It’s tough to let go of that critical mindset, but when we can, we start to see that, of course, there are things that went well that we can develop and nurture.
Focusing on what we already do well lets us feel good about our skills, boosts our confidence, and is the most effective way to do good work for ourselves and our teams.
What’s your superpower?
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