June 2013
Vol 6, Issue 6
Creative Coaching Group
 the Creative Coaching Group newsletter

Dear ,

Jan Carley squareAs those who have worked with me know, I take an asset-based Appreciative Approach to all my coaching work. The Appreciative Approach is based on a well regarded organizational development theory called Appreciative Inquiry where one identifies the strengths and capacity of an individual or organization and consciously builds on those strengths to leverage potential and inspire vision for change.  


Imagine my surprise when I discovered, as I underwent certification to deliver the Strengths Deployment Inventory (an extremely effective relationship-awareness tool for teams and individuals), that the things I emphasize as my top personal strengths might actually get in the way of my success! The awareness I now have of the need to round out my most-used signature strengths with some of my lesser-used personal strengths is a total life-changer for me. I'll be exploring this a lot more in the future, but for now, read the feature article below and have a think about where you might be showing up as "too much" of a good thing!



To your brilliance!

  jan signature 

Jan Carley BA, CEC, PCC 

Professional Certified Executive Coach

Creative Coaching Group


604 873-1763  e: jan@creativecoachinggroup.com

Feature Article: Lead with ALL your Strengths

StrengthI recently became a certified facilitator for

the Strengths Deployment Inventory ™ (SDI), the critical tool in Relationship Awareness Theory, developed 40 years ago by Dr. Elias Porter. The cool thing about this tool (unlike many other assessments I have encountered in my career) is that it goes deeper than a surface description of your personality or style. The SDI gets at your Motivational Values underneath your behavior so as to illuminate what uniquely drives you both in good times and in conflict. 


The application of the Strengths Deployment Inventory ™  (SDI) to relationships and team interaction is huge. Imagine if you actually understood where someone was coming from...think of the ways you might be able to shift your behavior to more successfully relate to that person. Mind-blowing!


One of the 4 tenets of the SDI ™ is that a weakness is simply an overdone or misapplied strength (either actually overdone, or overdone through the filter of someone else's lens). For those of you  in leadership positions, you know that in order to have the greatest possible success in engaging, relating to, and communicating with others you must access and maximize a blend of your signature strengths. We want to use all of our strengths in a balanced way for more effectiveness and success. It is when we get attached to, get stuck on or over-rely on using a particular strength that misunderstandings or breakdowns in communication and relationships occur.


Are you caught in a pattern of overusing one of your signature strengths? Are you sometimes too much of a good thing?  Click here to download my Optimizing Strengths pdf worksheet and use it to guide you through my Strength Balancing and Optimization exercise below.


5 steps to balancing and optimizing your signature strengths


1/ Identify your Strengths

First, and most importantly, you must do the work of identifying your strengths. A strengths-based approach to work and life has been proven to develop individuals at a far greater rate than an approach focused on correcting deficiencies. If you want to contribute fully to this world, it is key to identify and then fully step into your signature strengths. What are the qualities that you possess that contribute the most to this world?  What makes you, you? 

Take 3 minutes and do a "spew". Simply write a list of as many personal strengths and qualities as you can.  Remember, we are talking about strengths and qualities here (not learned skills or technical abilities). For example, instead of writing " I am a good accountant", ask yourself "what qualities of mine make me a good accountant?  You might say: "analytical, intelligent, thorough" etc.  Get it?  This is about You.


2/ Rank your Strengths

Decide which strengths are the ones you MOST often employ in most situations or that stand out for you as your "go-to" strengths. For this exercise, simply rank your top 3 strengths.

(Note: your "go-to" strengths may change for certain environments, or with different relationships)


3/ What do your strengths overdone look like? 

Are you drawing on all of your strengths or showing up and relying in a potentially overdone way with your strongest strength? Think of a situation in your life - perhaps how you might run your staff meeting, show up at a networking function, interact with your teenager or another personal example. Identify what your go-to strength would be in that situation. Imagine what "overdone" might mean for that strength in that situation.


For example, I decided my top most used, go-to strength was "self-confidence". However, self-confidence if overdone, could come across as intimidating, controlling, arrogant or even manipulative!  Even though my intent as I use my self-confidence strength is positive, the effect on others may be something quite different (and unintended). 


To get you in the swing of this kind of thinking, let's look at the "overdone" side of some other very noble strengths:

Caring if overdone (or perceived as being overdone) could be enabling, smothering, controlling. Analytical if overdone (or perceived as being overdone) could be cautious, weak, indecisive.

Organized if overdone (or perceived as being overdone) could be controlling, inflexible, rigid.


4/ "Borrow" your other strengths

What the SDI ™ would then have you do, depending on the situation you are in, is to "borrow" your other strengths so that your message is received in the way you intended. Think about which of your lesser-used strengths you could use in each situation to balance and enhance your go-to strength so that it is perceived in the way you intend and optimizes your communication.

 (E.g. Lets say I am running a staff meeting  -  Again, I might identify "Self-confidence" as my go-to strength in that situation. Knowing that self-confidence (is overdone or perceived as being so) could be intimidating to some of my staff, I could then consider augmenting my self-confidence by "borrowing" other strengths of mine that aren't as frequently present in that situation like 'flexibility' or 'caring'. My more rounded out presence would create a better atmosphere for successful communication during that meeting.


5/ Be all of you!

Am I asking you to change or deny your signature strengths?  Absolutely not! However, being aware of, and drawing on your less-used strengths to round out and balance your presence can add much needed depth and dimension to your personality, enhance your relationships and aid communication.   

Lightbulb of the Month

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 "People have several times more potential for growth when they invest energy in developing their strengths instead of correcting their deficiencies." 

- StrengthsFinder by Tom Rath (Gallup Press, New York, 2007) p. i

Get your Strengths Inventory done and improve your relationships
The Strengths Deployment Inventory ™  (SDI) is a relationship-awareness tool that helps you discover your intrinsic motivational values that influence your behavior both in good times and in conflict. If you are interested in learning more about the SDI and having me deliver this super effective tool to you and a partner, or you and a team you are part of, please email me and we will set up a time to chat about the details and the amazing shifts this awareness will immediately make to your behavior and your relationships.


Contact Jan Carley at jan@creativecoachinggroup.com

Full details on the tool at www.personalstrengths.com


Did you miss my Super Saturday Personal MasteryTeleseminar Series? 
Order the complete audio replay series for less than $20! (until June 30)

SuperheroGood news! If you missed my Super Saturday Personal Mastery Teleseries you won't miss out! I am now making the entire series of 5 teleseminars and handouts available as a home-study package for only $19.79!


Teleseminars included in the Series:

1/How to Beat Procrastination

2/How to get on solid ground when you feel like you are sinking in the quicksand

3/ How to turn your inner critic into an inner coach

4/ How to Master change and thrive during times of personal transition

5/ How to Succeed in life without changing who you are



CLICK HERE to register   to receive the audio replays

or for more details about the teleseries

Offer expires June 30, 2013   

About Jan Carley

Jan is a Professional Certified Executive Coach credentialed with the International Coach Federation. She is passionate about inspiring highly-motivated individuals and high-achieving teams to realize their signature brilliance, leverage their strengths and focus their energies to maximize their performance potential. Jan combines creativity and positive, action-based whole brain thinking to support and guide transformative change through her signature harmony from the inside out coaching approach.

3rd edition of Jan's book 

The 3rd edition of Jan's popular book, Harmony from the Inside Out, is now available for purchase and includes a bonus 50-page Action Guide download.  Purchase the book online at www.harmonyfromtheinsideout.com


Jan lives in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, and is available for individual and team coaching, workshops, and speaking engagements worldwide. PCC logo

Contact Jan at 604 873-1763 

email: jan@creativecoachinggroup.com


Quick Links
Jan' Coaching Company Creative Coaching Group
Jan's work with BarbershoppersInner Coach of Barbershop
Jan's popular bookHarmony From the Inside Out
If you would like to reprint any part of this ezine in your blog or newsletter, please feel free to do so as long as you include the following credit information: Jan Carley inspires possibilities and leverages peak performance by coaching from the "inside out." Sign up to receive her free 15 page report, 5 Ways to Instantly Focus for Harmony and Success, and receive a free subscription to Jan's monthly coaching e-newsletter, LIGHT ON THE SUBJECT.
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