Strengths-based coaching has emerged in past decades as an asset-based approach that can help individuals identify, harness, and leverage their strengths to achieve professional and personal goals. This paper shares the design and outcomes of a year-long strengths-based coaching program to support leadership development within the context of one university’s women’s leadership initiative.
Program outcomes and changes in participants’ perceived confidence in identifying and applying their strengths in different contexts were evaluated through an online survey using a Likert-based REDCap survey tool after participation in the program. Findings strongly suggest that most participants lacked the self-confidence and/or self-awareness to recognize their own strengths in a granular way prior to the program. Themes that emerged in the survey findings point to the following program outcomes: participants gained an increased ability to identify and value one’s own leadership strengths, an increased ability to recognize and value the strengths of others, and a supportive community of women leaders to share experiences and reflect on the application of their strengths as part of their leadership journey.
Further studies are needed to understand and measure how a program such as this can impact one’s leader identity, self-awareness, and self-confidence. Given the critical need for women’s leadership opportunities, this program shows promise as a means to strengthen women’s leadership across career stages and disciplines.