Building a Strengths Assessment is like painting a picture, requiring careful attention to the detailed layers of its construction. From the broad brush of the different parts of our lives, to the strokes and touches that represent the fine detail of who we are.
Nobody’s life is simply black and white, we all have colours, contrasts and textures that help to define us. But don’t expect the canvass to give up its secrets lightly, a Strengths Assessment requires attention and passionate inquiry of a life lived and a future one hoped for.
The detail of a Strengths Assessment addresses the core questions of what is going on at the moment, what do you want to change, and what resources are needed to achieve that change? It is based in a few very practical principles that are outlined in this episode.
See the full details of the episode on iTunes at the following links (and on Sound Cloud and Stitcher Radio):
“The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.” [Charles R Swindoll]
Death has a strange way of focusing us on the good times, on the positive experiences of the deceased, whatever the bigger picture may have looked like. In this episode Steve reflects on the recent sudden death of his ex-wife, but this is more of an emotional tribute to the ways in which the two children of the former marriage cope with difficult circumstances. In adversity we can sometimes draw on a well of personal strengths and qualities that we may have been unaware even existed. There are many way in which we identify and use our strengths.
For the full content of this episode click on the following links to iTunes (also available on Stitcher Radio and Sound Cloud):
“While I thought I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.: [Leonardo da Vinci].
“The idea is to die young as late as possible.” [Ashley Montagu].
An interview with Satsanga (Lawrence Borish) where he details the story of Anna, a client from the early days of his Social Work career, and the challenges of supporting Anna to achieve her dreams within a system that unintentionally institutionalises people. The case study illustrates how a strengths approach can be put into practice, and the challenges and risks that have to be overcome in order to support people in a genuinely person-centred way.
The full content of this episode is available on iTunes at the following links (and on Stitcher Radio and Sound Cloud):
An interview with Satsanga (Lawrence Borish) about his life in Social Work, exploring his values and reflections on the role that a strengths approach has played in the way he engages with people. He also reflects on some of the barriers he has encountered to other people thinking and working in this way.
For the full content of this interview go to the following links to iTunes (or to Stitcher Radio or Sound Cloud):
When building a picture of our strengths it is important to reflect back on personal achievements and events in our history that we can take some pride in. This episode showcases a hospital radio programme built around a sponsored parachute jump on 3rd May 1981.
For the full content of this episode click on the following links, or go to Stitcher Radio or Sound Cloud:
“Research has shown that those who volunteer live longer.” [Allen Klein]. “Try telling that to someone who is just about to jump out of a plane.” [Steve Morgan].
What do we mean by assessment?
As a concept it applies in ordinary lives not just in formailsed services.
Most assessment focuses on the problems and deficits, so we need to be prompted to give equal attention to what we are good at.
A strengths assessment will offer resources and confidence to underpin any call-to-action.
It helps us to articulate our priorities and exert some control over our own lives. Genuinely working with strengths still has barriers to overcome.
For the full content of this episode click the following links, or go to Stitcher Radio or Sound Cloud:
“Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them.” [Orison Swett Marden – American Author 1850-1924].
A new skill involves the development of new brain synapses, but true talents and strengths are interwoven in the whole weave of the brain.
We need to focus more attention on what we can do, and less obsession with fixing weaknesses.
Focus on what you have control over.
It’s about systems as much as it is about people.
Talent needs encouragement and direction.
Being aware of weaknesses is a part of helping us to build on our strengths.
For the full episode of this post go to:
“Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller-skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forwards, backwards or sideways.” [H. Jackson Brown Jnr].