Understanding Your Gifts is the Heart of Coaching

SHOW YOUR TALENT on white paper in the pocket of blue denim jeansWhen you prepare to do an assessment to uncover your personal gifts with a coach, the first step is to understand that a gift is a gift.

Unfortunately, a lot of us have learned to gloss over what we do well, to minimize it, or even to deny it. But just because something comes naturally to you doesn’t mean it isn’t special!

Blanchard and Homan, in their book Leverage Your Best, Ditch the Rest (William Morrow, 2004) created an excellent process for identifying your gifts. Please answer the following questions:

  • What do I naturally, easily, and effortlessly do when no one is looking?
  • What about me inspires others even though it is easy for me?
  • What did I learn easily and continue to develop effortlessly?
  • What do I get compliments on that I never even have to think about? (Some examples include humor, perceptiveness, style, logical thinking, physical courage, a flair for design.)
  • What about me makes people jealous?
  • What do I know is special about me that I try to hide?
  • What about me gives me guilty pleasure?
  • What is my secret vanity?

Do you feel too squeamish to answer these questions honestly? If you’re timid, here is another approach: What do you admire in others? Appreciating that which is special is something we more easily do when we see it in another than when we see it in ourselves. There is a great big chance that when you review the list of what you admire in others, some of the gifts you are endowed with will be on the list.

Now, go back and make a list of your gifts, and begin to embrace the value they bring to you, to others, and to the world!

About the Author

Mary Ellen Sailer headshotMary Ellen Sailer, Ed.D., is a Coaching Solutions Partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies’ Coaching Services team. Since 2000, Blanchard’s 130 coaches have worked with over 14,500 individuals in more than 250 companies throughout the world. Learn more at Blanchard Coaching Services. And check out Coaching Tuesday every week at Blanchard LeaderChat for ideas, research, and inspirations from the world of executive coaching.

3 thoughts on “Understanding Your Gifts is the Heart of Coaching

  1. Who you are addressing are the people who have had it forced down their profession throats, a style of leadership and teamwork that is dysfunctional and ineffective from the beginning because leaders and key employees are often chosen for the wrong reasons and then ineffectively trained. People shouldn’t have to go through exercises like this. They should be effectively hired developed and valued from the beginning.

    • Thanks for commenting, David. It certainly is best when people are effectively hired, developed and valued from the beginning! The exercise I wrote about above can be valuable because it increases an individual’s self-understanding (independent of work or of others).

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