Tag Archives: strengths assessment

Strengths as the ultimate Resources

What do you think when the topic of strengths-based practice is raised? Is it something that you will devote some quality time to when other priorities have been sorted out? I hope not!

When we are working with those challenges, trying to manage a few of life’s difficulties, or finding ways to manage or take risks… a Strengths Approach is the critical way forward.

If you’re interested to learn more check out the following link for a Strengths Checklist, which could also be your first step towards connecting with my wider range of resources specifically focused on ‘strengths’, but also seeing strengths-based practice as the ultimate way of underpinning our confidence in my concept of ‘positive risk-taking’.


FREE ‘Strengths’ Resources

Steve Morgan (Practice Based Evidence) presents: Working with Strengths

Click on the following link to find out more about my 8-point Strengths Checklist, and a range of other resources:


I have been developing and delivering a Strengths Approach since it was first formally introduced to me by Professor Charlie Rapp in 1991. It has been without doubt the most exciting and influential set of ideas I have experienced throughout a long and varied career; and expanded further through my reading around the Gallup organisation strengths literature.

I now offer FREE access to ideas that will help you identify and work with your own strengths. Whether it is our own personal development, or that of others around us, it shouldn’t be a secret as to how we can become more of who we really are.

Best wishes,

Steve Morgan

Practice Based Evidence & The Strengths Revolution.

Podcast Episode 068: Working with Strengths Case Study

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Working with Strengths is a consistent process of identifying strengths through a strengths assessment, leading to the identification of personal priorities. These priorities become the separate strengths-based support plans, but the identified strengths also apply in managing crises and concerns.

In this episode this whole process is illustrated through the details of the case study of Aluna, an African lady arriving in London at a young age, but the victim of horrendous abuses. The case study illustrates how the initial information we receive sets up a very narrow and generally negative picture of a person. Time is the ultimate requirement in order to encourage someone to build trust and engage with services that can be of help and support. The process of engaging trust is most successfully achieved through a focus on a person’s capabilities, not by just keeping them focused on the problems and difficulties they experience.

Aluna was very clear what she wanted, and how she could work with certain services to achieve her aims, but both she and the services held concerns that a strengths approach can also be adapted to resolve.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):



“If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.” [Abraham Maslow].


Podcast Episode 067: Strengths-Based Questions

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2When delivering ideas about a strengths approach I am frequently confronted by the need for practitioners to discuss their most extreme example of a severly depressed completely entrenched person who has no strengths.

My immediate response is that everyone has strengths, just on some occasions it is a greater challenge identifying and developing them. The real failure of perception is to take the superficial picture as the whole picture. We need to dig beyond the surface in creative ways that respond to each individual and their personal circumstances.

In this episode I outline 10 questions to keep in mind when the search for strengths proves most challenging. These questions have some similarlity with the approach adopted in Brief Solution Focused Therapy, with an emphasis on exception-finding, scaling, coping and what’s better types of questions.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):



“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.” [Tom Landry].

Podcast Episode 066: Strengths-Based Planning

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2You may be a supremely spontaneous individual, but we all still need degrees of planning if we are to be confident of setting in motion the powerful action to help us in achieving our dreams and aspirations.

In planning for achievement it is common sense to think that our strengths will be focal in the process, but they apply equally to plans for managing our concerns and crises. ‘Working with Strengths’ is a process that follows the path of strengths assessment to stated priorities to strengths-based support plans.

In this episode I offer brief checklists of prompts to guide the construction of strengths-based plans for achieving our priorities and for managing our concerns. It is the application, not just the identification of our strengths, that enables action and positive change. These checklists should apply equally to personal reflection or to our work in supporting others.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):



“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” [Anatole France].

Podcast Episode 060: Constructing Strengths Assessments [2]

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Building up a strengths assessment based on personal reflection, or helping others to construct a picture, requires a positive outlook and a determination to enquire into what has worked in the past, what is working at present, and what is wanted in the future. It is about developing an inventory of resources that can then be productively applied to achieving desired future priorities and/or managing life’s difficulties and challenges with greater skill and confidence.

It should start from some of the big open-ended questions about who we are, and what we like about ourselves, and what we want for the future. With this standpoint in mind, a reflection on personality traits and personal qualities helps to focus attention more on the question of who we are.

In this episode I briefly explore some of the personality traits and qualities that help to define us, and how we might identify them in ourselves or others. Issues of health are also explored alongside these traits.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):



“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” [Bruce Lee].

Podcast Episode 059: Constructing Strengths Assessments

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2How do we go about constructing a strengths assessment? Whether it be reflecting on our selves or working with other people, it is a flexible process developed over time, not a function to be mandated, timed and audited by a managerial approach.

For ourselves, it happens as and when we give ourselves time for reflection. With others, it is best achieved through an informal, conversational approach where the other person feels most comfortable; or it emerges from snippets of conversations over a period of time.

The focus is to build a positive picture, that can then be applied to achieving the goals we set for ourselves, or others set for themselves. It can be prompted and supported by paper or electronic forms, but they are purely supportive tools not the end purpose.

It can be developed by and within teams, but the key is always to be engaging the fullest involvement of the specific person who is the subject of the strengths assessment. In this episode I outline the five main areas of consideration for developing the practice of constructing a strengths assessment.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):



“Over the years I’ve learned that a confident person doesn’t concentrate or focus on their weaknesses, they maximise their strengths.” [Joyce Meyer].

Podcast Episode 048: Team Strengths Assessment

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2We all work in teams from time-to-time but how much do we really focus on identifying and developing the individual talents of the workers, and the overall strengths of good team-working?

A team is a group of people coming together for a common purpose or goal, and often it is the challenges and difficulties that define the work of the team that will most influence its outlook in terms of development. All too often teams and services look on training and developing the areas of weakness, to the detriment of boosting and exploiting areas of success into areas of excellence.

In this episode I outline my categorisation of teams in relation to the degree in which they relate to, identify, and work with strengths, and the Team Strengths Assessment tool that I developed in the early 2000’s to support this area of practice development. Examples of three types of mental health teams are referred to as examples where these tools have been used.

To access the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):



“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” [Margaret Mead].


Podcast Episode 012: An Ordinary Life

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2An ordinary life is an exceptional life in so many ways, particularly if we devote some time to reflecting on who we really are, what we are good at, and what we want out of our normal lives. So, can the idea of a Strengths Assessment as derived from health and social care services apply to everyone else who has nothing to do with being in need of or delivering such services?

Lets leave the idea of paperwork tools and unnecessary bureaucracy in its rightful place (the bin?). The concept is perfectly applicable to all of us when we think of it as our own informal subconscious way of adapting our personal values and principles to situations we find ourselves in throughout our lives. A strengths approach can provide a guide to the path we follow, whether that is a rocky rooad or a smooth highway at different points in time.

Thinking about and applying our strengths happens in every situation… moving home, changing jobs, developing new relationships or bringing up children. We draw on our accumulated experiences and resources, as well as taking a few risks along the journey.

We don’t normally confront a challenge by seeking out and applying our weaknesses. We actually draw on what we can do, what we are good at, apply our skills, adapt to circumstances, and call on others with the necessary expertise to help us accomplish the challenge. We work to our strengths!

For the full content of this episode click on the following links for iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):



“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” [George Eliot].

Podcast Episode 011: Nuts and Bolts

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2When should we be starting to build up a Strengths Assessment, including within health and social care services? The answer is ‘immediately’, it should be a natural default position to how we connect with people and think about who they really are.

Searching for and using peoples strengths should be equally relevant when someone is acutely unwell or going through a period of crisis. It is not something that we just set aside a one-off time slot to complete; it is an on-going fluid conversation. The picture has to emerge over time if we are to have faith in it as an accurate positive picture of personal resources.

It requires a different mindset of practitioners working with clients/patients/service users. Medical approaches focus on the issue of identifying the diagnosis, as a descriptor of problems. It requires degrees of self-disclosure in order to engage a stronger therapeutic relationship.

Paperwork has a place for prompting and capturing the detail; but bureaucracy has no place in a picture of positive practice. We are ultimately helping people to build a positive picture of themselves, and of the resources they can personally apply to exert more control over their own experiences.

For the full episode of this podcast click on the following iTunes links (or go to Sound Cloud or Stitcher Radio):



“To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.” [Giorgio Armani].