Practical tool: Big star!
The practical tool this month continues the theme of resilience by focussing on a coaching technique that can be used with young people to help them recognise their strengths.
This tool aims to get young people thinking about their strengths and encourages them to build up a bank of attributes that will serve as resources in challenging times, thereby boosting their resilience.
Step by step instructions
The young person should be asked to follow the instructions on the prompt sheets here BIG STAR, though they may need some help identifying their strengths. You can prompt them by asking about the steps involved in getting to school each morning, from waking to arriving in class, as this should yield plenty of strengths. We all have capabilities that have been learnt at an early age and then become subconscious throughout our lives – even those children and adults that initially find it hard to recognise them.
How it works
This powerful tool encourages young people to reflect on their successes and plants the important idea that we all have the capabilities we will need for life inside us when we are born. These capabilities are then developed and improved through our varied life experiences. It is a potent idea for young people because if they believe they already have some capability to do something they are more likely to try things out. And research shows that trying something out provides essential feedback that helps us improve next time.
Once young people have a bank of strengths, you can begin to probe some of the beliefs they have about themselves in relation to others. Further work to create and maintain resourcefulness will be easier after a young person has already acknowledged some of their strengths. It can be helpful for a young person to define the key outcomes they would like in their home/school life and these can be written in the centre of the star. This helps to link the motivating factors of strengths and goals and can be become an inspirational resource to display at home.