Everyone has strengths and the potential to develop them to be the best they can be. A strengths-based approach is a natural pathway that leads to flourishing results—for students, teachers, principals, staff, parents and the whole school. Research shows that knowing and growing your strengths helps you feel confident, energised and engaged. Students and staff learn faster, perform better and strive to do their best every day.
A strengths approach represents a paradigm shift. Instead of focusing on problems or what is wrong—the traditional deficit model of psychology or learning—focusing on strengths helps people build on what is working well. Students, teachers, staff, leaders, and others are empowered and motivated to work together toward a better future. They can also work realistically with limitations, confident about where to focus their efforts for best results.
We work with schools to discover and build on their existing strengths and capabilities, using approaches and tools founded in positive psychology. We also help them design strengths-based interventions and simple ways to introduce them at any level of your school.
We can help you:
Discover what you and your school is doing well and can do even better
Assess strengths in individuals and teams using positive evidence-based tools
Weave strengths into your existing curriculum, activities and daily school life
Build strengths in students so they can excel and make valuable contributions
Apply strengths-based strategies to know and grow strengths every day
Embed strengths through strengths-based performance conversations and positive coaching.
Working with Strengths
We offer keynotes, workshops, training, frameworks and tools to help you build strengths throughout your learning community at any stage in your journey. Here are some ways you can start.
When schools leaders know their own strengths and the strengths of others in their team, they are better equipped to leverage them together to achieve optimal performance, development and potential. As leaders and aspiring leaders strive to be the best they can be, a clear understanding of the science of strengths enables them to cultivate and sustain the conditions that lead to thriving teaching and learning environments and a flourishing school community. Faced with increasing uncertainty and challenging contexts, leadership teams that promote a strengths-based culture are better able to respond to this complexity with distributed and collaborative leadership practices. In doing so they create a positive organisational culture where leadership is shown and shared by all.
Increasingly around the world, the science of strengths is emerging as a powerful way to engage staff, increase wellbeing and promote excellence. Creating a strengths-based culture allows all staff to explore, discover and grow their unique talents and capabilities. By accessing the energy behind strengths and learning to distinguish between strengths and learned behaviours, staff are equipped with fresh insights and strategies to avoid burnout and support the development of others.
Strengths are a natural way to support students to flourish, learn and grow. When students discover that each person has something good within them and a unique set of strengths they can grow over time, they feel confident and encouraged to become their best self. Calling attention to what is right, good and strong about themselves and other people can also redirect students toward positive behaviour that benefits everyone.
Working with strengths helps students:
- become confident about who they are and competent in what they can do
- learn and feel motivated to learn more
- build resilience and wellbeing
- develop a positive communication style and appreciation for others
- feel part of a supportive learning community.
Successful schools recognise the importance of positively engaging with the whole-school community, especially with parents. They acknowledge the critical role parents play in their child’s development, learning and overall academic attainment. Such schools seek to develop authentic and respectful relationships that recognise and value the strengths and diversity of their parent body. When schools genuinely collaborate with parents they are able to share their collective strengths and build a mutual understanding that supports learning. Growing Great Schools positively engages parents
through strength-based conversations and interactive workshops, recognising them as partners in the teaching and learning process and welcoming their active participation to support high quality outcomes for all students.
Our lively and engaging evening strengths workshops introduce practical ways parents can bring out the best in themselves, their children and their family. Based on some of the latest ideas in positive psychology, with a particular focus on working with strengths, parents participate in simple activities they can try out at home with family members of all ages.