ABCD Europe

Asset-based community development in action, all over Europe.

With all this talk about ‘strengths’ I thought I’d start this blog with a quick word on what we mean by the term. Here’s a piece on some of the most common strengths to be found in ourselves and others

The most important thing to say here is you are the person in charge of what your strengths are. A ‘strength’ is not just what you're good at, but it’s something that energises you, it’s what you’re passionate about.

There are a million clues to our strengths that reveal themselves daily if we know what to look for; part of being strengths-based is keeping our eyes peeled for the most obvious signs of which activities strengthen us and which don't.

Here are two tell-tale signs that something may be a ‘strength’ for you:

  1. you find yourself positively anticipating, actively looking forward to doing?
  2. rapid learning: What do you pick up quickly? What do you find that you get so involved in, that you lose track of time?

When you see those two signs pop up, it's a really good clue that you need to keep orienting yourself toward those activities. Many of those reading this blog think about strengths-based practice in terms of how they can use it to help others, this blog suggests that you can use it to help yourself, your colleagues and ultimately your organisation as well, and it goes further in suggesting if you don’t get your own house in order, you will really struggle to be helpful outside your organisation. The simple message is: ‘doctor heal thy self’.

If you work in an organisation that is more focused on problems and deficits let me suggest that you are you own best advocate when it comes to speaking about your strengths. No one can do it better than you, and likely no one will. So if you’re waiting for your organisation to become strengths-based to allow you to discover your strengths, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. All organisations change at human scale: starting with you! Tomorrow’s blog will focus on how an organisation can become more strengths-based.

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