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This Month's Topic: Strengths and Weaknesses

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Hello from the Coaching Team!   Assessing Your Strengths and Weaknesses
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3 Hard Truths About Developing Your Strengths   Coach Introduction:
Kirstin von Blomberg
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View the upcoming coaching dates   Contact us!
Hello from the Coaching Team
Dear Students,

In job or internship interviews, more often than not you will be asked to name some of your strengths or weaknesses. This is usually done to assess the level of your self-awareness. In this newsletter we are going to dive into the topic of strengths and weaknesses and see how you can use this self-awareness to boost your career success.

In our Video of the Month, Robert Steven Kaplan empathizes the importance of self-awareness regarding one's strengths and weaknesses, and how they represent the building blocks of who you are and what you are trying to achieve. In our Article of the Month, you will learn the importance of developing your strengths, how to do it - and how not to.

We are also happy to present a new coach: Kirstin von Blomberg, owner and managing director of KvB Consulting, who will be happy to help you to discover and to develop your strengths in order to land your dream job or to achieve a personal or professional goal.

Interested in taking a look at all our coaches? Visit the coaching area on myEBS, register, select a coach and book an appointment, or contact us. We’ll be happy to hear from you!

Warm regards,
Your Coaching Team
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Video of the Month: Assessing Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Harvard Business School's Robert Steven Kaplan argues in his new book, What You're Really Meant to Do: A Roadmap for Reaching Your Unique Potential, that success is not about meeting someone else's definition, but reaching your potential by defining it on your own terms. When it comes to improving your life and your career, it is essential to be able to properly evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.   Picture could not be loaded
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3 Hard Truths About Developing Your Strengths
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There is no one right way to lead, as leaders’ personal styles differ. However, according to Joseph Folkman, most successful leaders have one thing in common: They develop and make use of strengths. But what are strengths? And how many strengths should one develop? In his Forbes article, Folkman shares his experience as well as study results.

1. Strengths are not always your passions.

“Is a strength something you are zealous about, that you enjoy doing and that energizes you?” No. That’s the definition of a passion. A strength is something others consider you exceptional in. Folkman’s research has shown that there is a correlation between passion and competence, as people tend to find their “sweet spot” between passions and strengths in the long run. However, always be open to multiple passions to see where your strengths fit best and where they are worth developing to excel in that specific area. When you’re a great speaker who likes soccer, becoming a soccer moderator may be a good alternative to becoming a professional player, depending on your situation.

2.Trying to be perfect in everything results in mediocre leadership.

“Leaders who are moderately effective and who preoccupy themselves with incremental improvement of less positive issues will never move from good to great. Great leaders do not stand out because they fixed a few minor weaknesses. They prevail because they are extraordinary in certain areas.”
  A study conducted by Folkman of more than 65000 leaders showed that three core strengths were enough to be rated at the 80th percentile in overall leadership effectiveness. People that are afraid of being judged by their flaws are usually those that have not developed their strengths properly. “You only need to hone in on a few specific areas to stand out and differentiate yourself as a leader who is great.”

3. Doing more of the same thing doesn’t build a strength.

Folkman has found that the vast majority of action plans leaders create use a linear philosophy to address behavioral change. However, the quickest way to become a great soccer player may not be to to play increasingly more soccer. “Great athletes have discovered that lifting weights and swimming can help a person run faster. They learn to cross train.” The same principles apply in management and leadership.

Looking at data from thousands of leaders rated as highly competent at strategy, Folkman has found that these individuals are also very effective at communication, customer understanding, innovation and other areas that can be summed up as “companion behaviors”. Communication, for example, enables a leader to demonstrate and share their strategic insights more effectively, while being innovative can help to discover unique strategies.

In the first 15 years of his career, Folkman was focusing on helping leaders to figure out what was wrong with them - something he now considers to be a subpar approach. One should build on what’s right.

“The conclusion should be clear: Find your strengths, discover your genius and find ways to differentiate yourself from others. If there is one thing that most leaders have come to realize about themselves, it’s that they are unique. So by turning your unique abilities into profound strengths, you become an extraordinary leader.”
Original article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/joefolkman/2016/10/21/3-hard-truths-about-developing-your-strengths/
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Coach Introduction: Kirstin von Blomberg
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Kirstin von Blomberg is owner and managing director of KvB Consulting. There, she focuses on development and implementation of strategic concepts for small and medium-sized businesses as well as public authorities. Furthermore, she consults start-ups and young companies.

After studying business administration at the University of Kiel, she went into investment banking, then into project management and, eventually, to consulting in HRM.
  Having a genuine interest in people, she enjoys accompanying others in processes of change. Coachees can expect empathy, active listening as well as a distinctive power of observation from her.

Kirstin is a big fan of innovation and progress. If she didn’t have her job, she would most definitely become a futurologist. Creative ideas and innovative approaches, combined with 30 years of work experience, lay the perfect foundation for her to guide any coachee in achieving their personal and professional goals.

Being a mother of three, a great challenge in Kirstin’s life was to balance family and profession. She not only succeeded in that, but also managed to make time to engage in local politics as well as assume honorary work in adult education.

In her free time, she enjoys adventure tours, rowing, pilates and gardening.

She is offering coaching sessions in English and German. Contact us to book an appointment with her!
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  Marie-Luise Retzmann
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Coaching & Personal
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