Greatness begins with awareness.

Leveraging your strengths for better work relationships

shutterstock_238812160Mary Lou is an extremely bright professional who runs a fast-paced consulting group. When she came to me for executive coaching, she was already very successful but had a challenging and frustrating work relationship with her boss that she didn’t know how to improve.

Discovering Your Innate Strengths

The first thing we did was to look at Mary Lou’s Kolbe assessment to better understand her strengths and how she is naturally suited to problem-solve and approach her work. The Kolbe scores indicated that she is an “Innovator.” That is, she embraces challenges, is most engaged when shooting from the hip, is willing to do some research; yet doesn’t get bogged down in the details.

This confirmed that Mary Lou’s job is a perfect fit for her. However, it also showed the reason for the difficult work relationship with her boss.

Working Against Your Strengths

Mary Lou’s greatest strength is her ability to create innovative solutions and work loosely from her broad understanding of business issues, something she does flawlessly on a daily basis with her staff and a wide range of high-level clients. Yet, whenever she has to work with her boss, she would get nervous and feel inhibited. So, she would force herself to significantly slow down and work in an organized fashion; a style that actually causes her to become mentally exhausted.

With these insights at hand, we focused the coaching on how she could be herself; let her “Innovator” strengths come out when working with her boss and at the same time, communicate in a way that would honor her bosses’ natural patterns. The executive coaching sessions also gave her the encouragement to keep experimenting ways to improve the collaboration with the boss – a perfect challenge for an Innovator like her!  This allowed Mary Lou to relax and work well with her boss, something she could not have imagined that was possible.


Are you experiencing challenging work relationships that are taking the wind out of your sails? There might be strengths you possess that hold the key to your solving the situation and improving your teamwork and job performance. Let me know if I can help you figure it out.



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