Identify your Strengths using the Reflected Best Self™ Technique

When we use our strengths, we are more energised, have higher levels of well-being and performance and fulfillment and are more likely to achieve our career goals and deliver better performance.  The Reflected Best Self™ Exercise is a great tool to help you get feedback on your strengths and how others see you when you are performing at your best.

1Identify at least 10 people who know you well.  These may be family members, friends, work colleagues, customers or anyone who interacts with you on a regular basis.  The more diverse the group you select, the more broad and richer the feedback is likely to be.

2. Contact each of these people and ask that they provide you with three stories or incidents that respond to the following statement: When I have seen you at your very best, here are the unique strengths you have displayed.  That is, ask these people to write three descriptions that recount a time when they saw you performing at your best, and then describe the contribution you made.  Remember to tell them why you are doing this exercise and assure them that you are not looking for compliments but a realistic and honest assessment of you at your best.

3. Read and reflect on the stories to identify themes.  For example, a theme that might emerge is that you are a great listener, a strength that you have but don’t appreciate the way others do.  As Barbara Frederickson talks about in the following video clip, people often appreciate in you what you don’t appreciate about yourself.

4. Write a profile that summarises your strengths.   Spend some time reflecting on them and what changes you could make that would make a big difference to your well-being..

5. Look at your current role and ask yourself if you are using your strengths the way you want.  Reflect on the following questions:

  • What are my goals for the next 12 months?
  • What strengths can I use to help achieve my goals?
  • What strengths do I have the greatest desire to use in my current role?
  • What do I need to do to make that happen?
  • How can I use my strengths to help me with the parts of my job that I struggle with?
  • Who can help me?

If you found this article useful, we recommend the following courses which may be of interest to you:

The following  assessment tools are available to help you identify your strengths and provide a deeper understanding of your motivations: