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Using Character Strengths to Boost Confidence in Yourself and Your Clients

Dec 2, 2019

By Robin Olson, Senior MCS Student

How many times have you said to yourself, “I cannot believe I just did that? What is wrong with me?” Now, consider this: Have you ever said to yourself, “I cannot believe I just did that? What is right with me?”

My first class at the Mindfulness Coaching School was S-T-R-E-T-C-H! Becoming the Incredible Coach You Truly Are. Before the first session, we were asked to complete the VIA Survey of Character Strengths from the University of Pennsylvania. My top two character strengths were listed as Curiosity and Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence.

After getting my results, I thought, “Now what do I do?” However, when my personal coach brought my strengths into a couple of coaching sessions, they began to take meaning. I found purpose by utilizing them to create antidotes when my inner critic or gremlin is taking over. When I am hesitant about something, I put on my trusty Curiosity Shoes and take a walk one step at a time. When I am feeling down, I unpack my Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence and am uplifted by sudden shift in perspective.

Now realizing the major impact my unique character strengths have had on my life, I began using the character strengths concept more frequently with my own clients. For incoming clients, I ask them to complete the survey and then we discuss the results during our first session. Many times the results are not a surprise, but occasionally they are. I keep each client’s strengths handy in subsequent sessions, and, depending on the client’s agenda, we can focus on and extrapolate on a particular strength. For a relationship issue, maybe honesty is needed. If change is occurring, we might do a body scan around bravery, discovering where the client feels it and seeing what insights may arise.

In my own story, I called upon bravery to talk with my supervisor about job satisfaction. We discussed my need to continue to learn new tasks and she was responsive to adapting my job duties. Have fun with your strengths! These strengths help us understand ourselves more fully, which increases our self-confidence as we work toward our goals.

When we embrace what we do right, not only do we more quickly recognize our strengths, but we begin to see the strengths in others. We begin to see what is right in others. And, by seeing what is right in others, we cultivate greater positivity and interconnection in the world.

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I’m very happy and grateful for participating in The Dynamic Trio. I now have knowledge and experience of coaching with additional dimensions; EMDR and positive psychology work amazingly well together. I loved the holistic approach of coaching, this was just what I was looking for (moving the focus and energy from head to body)! I want to thank everyone who participated in this wonderful class – I enjoyed learning, working, laughing and crying with my class mates very much – such an open environment supports everyone’s development greatly! Thank you, Ann-Marie, for sharing your wisdom and kindness and being absolute inspiration for me!
Katrin KaurApprentice Wellness Coach
STRETCH does just that…it stretches your understanding of what a coach is/does, it stretches your thoughts and insights about yourself and your journey and it stretches your bonds with your classmates to learn from their collective experiences and knowledge. This was an enlightening and thoroughly enjoyable class that really pushed you to think from a variety of perspectives and to also really think about who you are, the story you tell and why. I am sad it is over.
Lara T. AbreuStudent CoachPleasanton, California
Mindfulness appears in many forms these days. In The Art of Engaged Mindfulness Ann-Marie takes us on an exploration of wisdom, understanding and practice, which nurtures the depth of our engagement with this powerful way of living.
Christy Endicott, LICSW
The Mindfulness Coaching School has been an amazing resource for me on many levels. I took S-T-R-E-T-C-H! when Ann Marie suggested it would be a great addition to what we’d been working on in our coaching sessions. The class was so inspiring I decided to become a coach myself! I’ve taken 6 classes already and plan to take more. I love Ann Marie’s style of teaching; the academic aspect, the mindful/spiritual piece and the opportunity to work with other like-minded people during homework sessions. Ann Marie is a bottomless source of knowledge and inspiration and I am forever grateful!
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Meg is a great coach and teacher. She has very kind presence and incorporates variety of exercises and approaches to coaching which makes learning fun and interesting. The NVC proves to be the language of life and I love to see all of us really live this language with people around us.
Srdjan VukcevicFounder and CEO, Blue CoachPodgorica, Montenegro
Amazing class. Read more
Anthony J. Christmann
Skillful Means is a fantastic course. If you are ready to dive into coaching, this class is fun and important!
Cassandra CabreraStudent CoachBoynton Beach, FL
This course [Body Electric] gives a wonderful overview of how much the body affects us and how to use that knowledge to help move the coaching process along.
Lisa Matovich-BrookeSenior StudentBillings, MT
Ann-Marie is a fabulous teacher and mentor. She is a superb coach who models coaching skills and mindset throughout the learning process. Coaching is an exciting profession and Ann-Marie’s passion for coaching is contagious. I have made more changes in my life in the 6 months I’ve been taking classes with Ann-Marie than I have ever made in an entire year. I am now more confident and more energized in my work. I am so happy that I’ve taken the leap into coaching with Ann-Marie leading the way!
Christy EndicottLICSW, Psychotherapist, Wellness/Mindfulness Coach
This class taught me a lot more than I expected. I worked through some really hard issues in my writing and came out on the other side, with amazing insights and feeling very accomplished. The instructor worked seamlessly, incorporating coaching and writing skills into each class, demonstrating how therapeutic writing can be and how to incorporate it in coaching our clients.
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