Have you ever heard of the strength-based approach towards excelling in life? I recently discovered this term and its miracles in an online session led by Nicole Hutzul, regional VP of enterprise sales at Yext. Dabbling into various career paths, she has more than fifteen years of experience in various arenas of sales and marketing.
She lays stress on the fact that millennials spend a lot of time filling out the gaps rather than focusing on building their strengths. Author Marcus Buckingham suggests that we should put all our efforts into something that we have an interest in and are comfortable doing, rather than wasting time on bettering something we absolutely abhor. This would help shape who we become as people and ultimately help us excel in our chosen career paths.
I genuinely like the idea of strength-based training. It takes away the anxiety and self-doubt of not being good at something. Doesn’t it sound smart to not waste your energy trying to fit in, when you could take charge with your core strengths? Of course, identifying your strengths is a tedious and patient task but it is a thousand times better than crying over skills that just don’t define you. This doesn’t mean that people stop trying new things and stick to what they know. It simply implies that once you realize that something is not for you, accept it, drop it and move on.
Nicole further explains that quite a few people take the psychological route for achieving success. She believes that strength-based coaching has an edge over psychology. While psychology focuses on things that are wrong with us, strength-based coaching is centred around the belief that we as people are whole. It focuses on what is right with us, develops those skills and helps us move ahead in life by playing to our strengths.
Drawing from her vast experience in the industry, Nicole covered an important aspect of marketing, which is personalization. She gave a brilliant example to illustrate its significance. When Nicole ordered underwear for her mother through her go-to brand from where she had been shopping for years, the brand started giving her product recommendations for the underwear that was meant for her mother. This was not expected from a popular brand.
Their pattern recognition techniques were not well sketched out and were only capturing data from the user’s last purchase. This hampered the customer experience and led to vital learning that we need to identify the outliers to give a more personalized customer experience. It is important to look at what your customers have been buying in the past and build the algorithms accordingly to provide a seamless customer experience.
Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence can help smoothen the customer journey and remove various roadblocks. But they are not enough unless there is a human element to them. The key to successful sales is understanding your customers’ needs, paying attention to their buying behaviour, and being empathic towards them.
To efficiently provide a personalized experience to your customers, Nicole circles back to the importance of strength-based approach. Here, she says using this approach in leadership roles can prove beneficial for everyone. Understand the strengths of your team members and delegate work accordingly to create a balance amongst them. For example, if one of your team members is great at connecting people and another at creating presentations, do not force them to do something they are not great at. It would be advantageous if every member plays to their strengths and benefit from each other.
Once the entire team is highly functional, they would be better equipped to handle their customers and provide them with a swift and tailored experience. I am quite intrigued by this concept. A basic Google search shows that strength-based coaching is becoming popular by the day in the business world. Quite a few people have experienced its positive effects in their performance, and it is known to even bring positivity in life. Though it sounds like something that would require a lot of reflective exercises, there is no harm in giving it a shot. We have been beating ourselves up all our lives for things we weren’t good at, finally here is a chance to appreciate and embrace our actual worth.