Activities

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In Coaching

  • Follow an evidence-based strength career counselling model, which is a 4-session programme for helping your clients apply for a job/college course. Please click here for more details
  • During your first session, ask your clients to familiarise themselves with the strength cards and the description of strengths. Use the strength language throughout your sessions
  • Ask clients to introduce themselves using strengths
  • Enquire into what strengths they are going to use when completing a project or what strengths might prove useful for them when they are working towards a goal
  • When describing their past experience, ask them to pick what strengths they have used when coping with adversity. Alternatively, what strengths they have not used that they may consider in the future
  • When they are in conflict with a person, ask them to reflect upon what strengths the other person has and why their strengths might be clashing with each other
  • When they do something they are not proud of, reflect upon the strengths they have overused and how they can moderate them in the future. Overused strengths can become our weaknesses
  • When they have done something they are proud of, ask them what strengths they have used during this event and why it worked for them
  • When they are coping with something difficult, ask them what strengths might be useful for them to develop in these testing times and how they can do it
  • Ask them to come up with creative ways to use their strengths next week
  • If they are ¬†not happy in a relationship with a significant other, ask them to reflect upon the strength both people have and go on a date using both their strengths
  • Ask them to create a strength-development plan in the future
  • At each session, ask them how they’ve used their strengths since the last time you saw them
  • When someone is dissatisfied with their job, ask them what signature strengths they use in their work. Those who see their job as a calling, use 4-7 strengths at work. Discuss how they can start using their strengths at work
  • Ask them about the time when they were at their best and reflect upon the strengths they’ve used
  • Ask them to tell you about a time when they felt authentic, i.e.when they had a sense of doing something that felt it was the real them. Reflect upon the strengths they have used
  • If they have a difficulty pinpoining their strengths, ask them what would their best friend/teacher/mother say about their strengths
  • Ask how their strengths changed throughout the year/career/coaching process
  • Ask them: what would it be like if you didn’t have this strength? This will help people appreciate their strengths more
  • Ask: what was it like when you were “owning” your strength, to help them realise the benefit of using strengths
  • When they are procrastinating, ask them what strengths they can use to help them do what they have delayed to do
  • When discussing their workplace, ask them to use strengths and describe the values of their organisation

 

In Business

Here are some examples of how you can use character strengths cards with your employees:

  • The cards will help you familiarise yourself with the language of strengths. Use the strength language when giving employees feedback.
  • Ask each team member to take 1 card and reflect upon how they will use the strength next week at work. Ask them to thumbtack it near their desk to remind them of strength use.
  • Ask that your team completes a free questionnaire on www.viacharacter.org, pull out the cards that illustrate their signature strengths and discuss their strengths with others
  • Practice strength-spotting, whereby you start noticing strengths of people around.
  • Catch your team using their strengths, give them a strength card when you notice. You may even have a strength competition on your team to see who uses more strengths at work.
  • Start a meeting by sharing with everyone how you’ve used your character strengths since you saw them last
  • When facing a challenging situation, flick through the cards and consider which one of your strengths you can use to help you deal with it
  • Reflect upon the strengths you’ve used when negotiating a deal. Now, think about other strengths you might use in the future to improve your results
  • Create your team’s strength-tree
  • Think of some people on your team you don’t get on with. What strengths do they have that you have never noticed? What strengths do you have in common? How can you use your strengths to improve your relationship
  • Consider your weaknesses and reflect on how they are just your overused strengths. Come up with what you can do in the future to use them moderately.
  • When completing your annual appraisal, consider what strengths you’ve been using for all the successful tasks you’ve completed
  • Come up with ways to use your strengths differently next week
  • Consider some of your weaknesses and what you can do to turn them into strengths

 

In Education

Here are some examples of how you can use character strengths with your students:

  • Give students a deck of strength cards and ask them to read select their top strengths or select the top strengths of people in their group and explain why they believe they are their top strengths.
  • Introduce a couple of strengths during each lesson, discuss what they mean and how they can be used. Talk about book/TV characters that display this type of strength
  • If working with younger children, ask them to draw their strengths
  • Practice strength spotting. Once students know what each strength means, ask them to spot their teachers’, principal’s, parents’ strengths
  • Ask students to select one strength and write an essay about it, including ways in which they can develop their strengths in the future
  • Create a class tree of character strengths. Use the cards to stick on the wall with bluetack
  • Work each week on developing one strength and share with the class on how they did it. Ask them to stand up, hold the card and talk about the strength they’ve developed and how
  • Use strength language in school
  • Ask students to select 3-5 strength cards and introduce themselves
  • Discuss what strengths students can use to help them prepare for an exam
  • After watching a movie, reading a book, discussing a historical character, ask students what strengths the main characters displayed
  • Discuss children’s bold behaviour in the context of the strengths they have overused or strengths they are going to develop in the future
  • Draw from some of the other resources below

Here are some more resources for using strengths: