Identifying strengths is an incredibly valuable skill you can use as a job coach.
Strengths are more than just the things we are good at or are capable of doing. They are the skills and attributes that give us energy and make us feel good, and when we’re using them, we can achieve great things.
Working with your clients to realise their strengths is a powerful opportunity to help them grow and feel optimistic about their future. It helps them build confidence and self-esteem, making their journey into employment less daunting and difficult.
When your clients realise their strengths, they understand their uniqueness, what motivates them and what they are really good at. These personal insights can shape their personal and career success by being their most authentic self.
Strengths spotting is a technique you can apply when you meet with your clients, and it involves three simple steps.
Ask great questions to elicit your client’s strengths:
- What makes for a really good day for you?
- Tell me about the best day you remember having?
- When you are at your best, what are you doing?
- What do you gain most energy from?
- What sort of activities do you complete quickly and feel good about?
When your clients start talking about the things they love to do, pay attention to their tone of voice, body language, facial expressions and words – your clients will light up when they talk about their strengths.
Look for keywords to help them describe their strengths, such as:
Check to see if these strengths are true to your client by asking follow-up questions:
- How does this show up in your everyday activities?
- Give me an example of the last time you did this well?
Free-flowing conversation is really important when you are strength spotting. Encourage your clients to keep talking by using open-ended questions, like “I’m curious, can you tell me more about that?” Once you’ve identified a client’s strengths, encourage them to use them! You will notice the individual grow and develop, which will help motivate them to move forward because they have more confidence in their abilities.
It’s important not to focus on an individual’s weaknesses, but it can be helpful to identify what things might de-energise them so that you can bring greater awareness to your clients.
Questions such as ‘What are the activities you dislike? Why?’ and ‘What activities drain you when you have to do them? Has it always been this way?’ will help you get a more rounded picture of where your clients’ strengths lie.
You can also show your clients how to lean into their strengths when doing tasks they don’t particularly enjoy but need to do.
Did you know you can quickly and easily find your client’s strengths using Bounce Online? Individuals participating in Bounce Online complete a series of assessment activities that deep dive into their skills and personal qualities.
Deep dive into your own strengths using the Strengths Profile, and discover how you can apply them at work and in everyday life. Find out more about completing a strengths profile with Bounce's Strengths Profile Practioner here.