Identifying your strengths

Strength: a natural capacity for behaving, thinking or feeling in a way that allows optimal functioning in the pursuit of valued outcomes.

Flow: a state of existence you reach at times when you are totally absorbed in an enjoyable and fulfilling activity.

A practical exercise to help identify your strengths

Working in pairs, choose an example of a situation or task when you were ‘in the flow’ This could be when:

  • You lost track of time
  • You were totally immersed in the task or situation
  • You felt energised both during and after the event

Put yourself back in the situation and talk your partner through your example so that it comes alive.

  • What was the situation/task/event?
  • What were you doing?
  • Who was there, what was the place like?
  • What were you feeling?

If your partner was a fly on the wall, what would he/she have seen you doing? When was the moment you were ‘in the flow’?

When you sense that your partner is genuinely ‘in the flow’ ask him/her to write down the key conditions for him/her to thrive (down one column of the paper).

Now ask your partner what skills and strengths he/she was using and write these down in the other column. Add any others you notice.

Ask your partner to indicate which of the conditions are generally true i.e. not just applicable to this example.

Example: Providing individual career guidance

Conditions/key factors for me to thrive

Skills strengths used

Working 1:1Building rapport and trust

Using professional knowledge
and expertiseListening, questioning, eliciting and analysing information, making links, spotting themes/patterns and underlying issues

Making a differenceOffering a new perspective, enhancing self understanding

Moving someone forwardHelping to decide on next steps, ways forward