As a strengths-based consultant and facilitator, I firmly believe, and have direct experience, that a strengths-based framework enables people to create effective and lasting change in their personal and business life, and it does this by deliberately ‘keeping it simple’.
Keeping it simple does not mean ‘simplistic’, it means looking at an individual’s strengths together with them, and jointly creating goals for change, working out how to link these together using a ‘strengths-plan’ and then making it happen. The plan is very much about what each individual wants to ‘shift’; perhaps it is about having ‘tough’ conversations with another manager, or creating a healthier balance in their week, a better work-life balance, or perhaps ‘taking ownership’ is difficult. Regardless of the need, strengths conversations can create ‘shifts’ that are easy to use and comfortable.
Everyone with whom I have worked has created personal change, at varying levels, and all have enjoyed the results. Across private and public sectors many are using staff engagement surveys such as the Gallup Q12; strengths conversations can significantly impact how you take engagement results, and move these into an achievable plan. Strengths thinking and conversations can add clarity to what ‘engagement’ is all about, effective organisations, committed staff, successful individuals creating healthy and successful teams.
The strengths-based philosophy is simple, and effective. It can be used when things are going well, as well as when things are not going so well. Its focus is on joint working, and joint thinking - identifying strengths, and working out how to bring these to bear – and in the process, creating personal change, building confidence and providing a supportive mechanism to explore ‘what might be’. A key aspect of the approach is identifying negative patterns of behaviour and thinking, and offering a much more constructive replacement for these.