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Strengths coaching with leaders
P. Alex Linley, Linda Woolston & Robert Biswas-Diener
Positive psychology and coaching psychology share a number of common themes and fundamental assumptions. Blending positive psychology, strengths approaches and coaching psychology, our work in strengths coaching with leaders enhances both leadership and organisational capability. In this article, we explore the role of leaders as climate engineers and provide a brief history of strengths approaches, together with definitions of what we mean by strengths and strengths coaching, and how we use these in practice. We introduce the integrative Realise2 model of strengths and weaknesses which distinguishes between the six areas of realised strengths, unrealised strengths, regular learned behaviours, infrequent learned behaviours, exposed weaknesses, and unexposed weaknesses, before going on to demonstrate how leaders can make weaknesses irrelevant through role shaping, complementary partnering, strengths-based team-working or personal development. We examine the golden mean of strengths use, looking at strengths both overplayed and underplayed, before concluding with a view on the benefits of strengths coaching for both leadership and organisational capability. The Appendix provides 10 summary points in a strengths coaching checklist for leaders.
Keywords: Coaching, strengths, leadership, organisations, positive psychology.
Full article: Volume 4, Issue 1 pages 37 - 48
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