Right now you’re thinking, “A strengths coach? What is that? And how do I find one for my kid?”
In this brief article, I’ll cover exactly that.
First, understand what strengths coaching is—in just 100 words.
You’ve heard of the Gallup organization, right? Gallup is world-renowned for data-driven research, including polling.
Well. Guess what’s one of the most important things Gallup has been working on for decades?
Gallup’s been doing extensive, deep-dive research designed to understand and increase human flourishing.
Over decades, this research has revealed that there are 34 human strengths that exist in the general population. Every one of us on planet earth has some combination of these strengths that we can capitalize on to achieve success and highest levels of life satisfaction—at work, at school, in college, and in relationships.
“So we all have strengths. Why get coaching on them?”
The problem is—most of us lack specific vocabulary for describing our strengths, and some of us mistakenly believe that our strengths are actually weaknesses.
Students ages 15–26 who don’t understand—who aren’t able to articulate—what their top 5 human strengths are, can be at increased risk for anxiety, for worry and fear that they’re just not good enough, for risky (medicating) behavior, and for decreased career satisfaction when they enter career fields where their top 5 strengths are not used or appreciated.
Students ages 15–26 who know their top 5 strengths, though—students who’ve been coached on how to understand and use their strengths every day—experience increased confidence at work, at school, in college, and in relationships. They thrive. They flourish.
And—as I’ve seen in the academic strategy work I do with students every day—they can also save $50,000 or more on college costs when understanding their specific strengths and interests directs them to prepare for careers they will excel at and love.
These students clarify the bullseye on the target before they take aim and shoot.
This greatly increases their potential for sailing straight through college without one wasted class—without one wasted dollar.
And once they finish college and embark on careers in the real world, Gallup data shows that people who know and use their strengths in the workplace are “6 times more likely to be engaged at work, 7.8 times more productive in their (work) role, and 3 times more likely to have an excellent quality of life.”
I’ve personally paid full price to have strengths and interests coaching done for my own kids, and I consider it to be hands down the best money I ever spent on them in their lives.
“OK—I want strengths and interests coaching for my kid. Where can I get that?”
My recommendation is, do one of these two things:
You can find a strengths and interests coach on my Approved Consultants tab at the top of this website. You can call and make a one-on-one strengths and interests coaching appointment this week. However…
To save your family time and money, and to give the students you love the deepest, best possible strengths and interests coaching experience, I’m a huge fan of having this coaching done in cohorts—in small groups of 10–15 students—where there’s an exciting, synergistic, supportive group dynamic.
Your child may have asked you to read this article because he or she wants to be a part of a cohort group like this.
“Small group coaching! Great idea. How exactly does that work?”
I’m not a strengths and interests coach myself—I learned about this group coaching model from Cindy Mattson—a Gallup certified strengths coach who travels nationally doing strengths and interests coaching for groups of 10–15 students at a time.
I’ve had such a fantastic experience with Cindy Mattson—that frankly, I’m not recommending any other strengths and interests coaches at this time.
Here’s how group strengths and interests coaching works:
1. Between 10 and 15 students gather for one 3-hour event that includes food.
2. They’ve all completed two easy, 45-minute online assessments before arriving.
3. At this event, participants get not just strengths coaching—they also get detailed information about themselves from the Strong Interest Inventory—a highly respected, widely used career planning tool that measures individual interests over multiple categories, and then matches those interests to careers and work environments an individual is most likely to enjoy.
This is a goldmine for students who wonder, “How can I make sure that the college classes I’m taking are going to lead me to a real-world career I’ll excel at and love?”
It’s also ideal for affirming career choice for those students who “already know what they want to do.”
4. The person who calls Cindy Mattson to set the date for this one-time cohort event gets a significant discount on strengths and interests coaching. Participants pay $299.00 each. (This is a fantastic deal—I paid $850 for this same coaching for each of my kids.)
In many locations nationwide, Cindy conducts one cohort after another—up to 12 in one week. So yes—Cindy can do in-depth strengths and interests coaching for 180 students or adults in a one-week visit to a fraternity, sorority, school, or other organization.
If you’d like to be the one to call and set a date for this strengths and interests coaching—and get a discount for a student you love—Cindy Mattson’s phone number is 651-503-8838.
Think about this, parent—you’ve paid how much for sports coaching?
You’ve paid how much to get special coaching for your kid in soccer or basketball or hockey or Tae Kwon Do?
When your child’s age 15–26—or as soon as possible after that—that’s the time to get a specialized strengths and interests coach who will say to your child, “You probably never knew this about yourself, but you have amazing strengths and gifts and talents. They’ve been in you your whole life. We know this because the assessment results don’t lie.”
I personally get nothing—no compensation at all—for telling you any of this.
I just think it’s one of the best things we can possibly do for students ages 15–26 if we want them to sail straight through college and into thriving career without one wasted class, without one wasted dollar.
I’ve written about this in detail in Chapter 13 of my book:
LAUNCH is a reference book for parents of kids ages 12–18. (A reference book, so nobody reads the whole thing cover to cover.) You can get 10-minute, fast-paced video instruction on how to use this book most efficiently here.
You can see more than 170 reviews of this book on Amazon by going to:
I’m available for auditorium speaking on the topics above.
Are you wondering whether a sports scholarship is a good idea or a bad idea?
I’ve written a detailed article on that subject, and you can find it here.
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What is the Gallup organization?
Gallup is a global analytics and advice firm that helps leaders and organizations solve their most pressing problems.
Who is Jeannie Burlowski?
Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, podcast host, and sought-after speaker for students ages 12–26, their parents, and the professionals who serve them. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free, ready to move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, Parents Magazine, and US News and World Report, and on CBS News.
This article was originally published here on October 19th, 2020. It was most recently updated on December 7th, 2021.