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Here is a great tool for that all important feel-good factor. Whether it’s young people or your colleagues, focussing on their strengths provides a proven way of building resilience and positive reflection.

Overview and purpose

This is a simple tool that encourages people to acknowledge their strengths. It also raises self-esteem and promotes transfer of strengths to new contexts. It is very useful when a person becomes unresourceful or negative about their situation, and also provides individuals with the opportunity to reflect on their strengths outside the context of a challenging situation.

How it works

The tool challenges the mind-set that ‘I don’t talk about my successes because it might sound immodest or boastful’ and encourages individuals to acknowledge that they do have capabilities that they could draw upon in times of difficulty.


Graham has been a teacher for 26 years and is finding the behaviour of some of his students very challenging. He has lost confidence in the classroom and deep down he knows that he needs to change the way he manages young people, but he is afraid to try out any new approaches. A colleague, who has built a good working relationship with Graham, recognizes that he needs to be empowered by being helped to acknowledge his strengths as a teacher. The colleague suggests Graham goes through the Strengths Inventory process by himself, then supports him to transfer these strengths from the past to the challenges he is currently facing.

THE TOOL – click this link to download

Follow-up work

Individuals should be encouraged to add to their personal Strengths Inventory every time they face a challenge. They should be invited to notice that when they step outside their comfort zone, they discover additional strengths that had not surfaced before. This is a more positive way of thinking about dealing with rapid change.

For more information on coaching skills visit our website which provides details of the Public and INSET Coach Training programmes run by Will Thomas and his associates by clicking here.

For more coaching tools like this Strengths Inventory why not get your own copy of the Coaching Solutions Resource Book, which is packed with over 50 tools and techniques for coaching adults and young people?

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