Adapting A Strength-Based Approach In The Workplace

February 10, 2022

Adapting A Strength-Based Approach In The Workplace

Over the past few years, we have seen a huge paradigm shift in professionals adapting the strength-based approach as opposed to the problem-focused interventions that were usually how several workplaces functioned.

But, what really is the strength-based approach? What are its implications? And how can you practice it in your workplace?

To learn more about the strength-based approach and how it can help you create a more productive environment in your workplace, enroll in Mediation Services’ Strength-Based Approaches in the Workplace workshop right now.

Our ‘Strength-Based Approaches in the Workplace’ workshop is all about helping you understand the philosophy behind strength-based processes in the workplace and learning the foundations of Appreciative Inquiry.

In this blog, we have explained some of the benefits of adopting the strength-based approach, as well as some of the basics covered in our workshop to give you a headstart.

Objectives Of The Workshop

After attending the said workshop, the participants will be able to:

  • Understand the philosophy behind strength-based processes in the workplace;
  • Learn why strength-based processes have become so significant;
  • Learn the foundations of Appreciative Inquiry and experience the inquiry process and contexts to use AI;
  • Learn the basic elements of SOAR (as compared to SWAT) and how to use it in strategic planning; and
  • Look at a number of strength-based inventories and their role in personal development, performance coaching and feedback.

What Is A Strength-Based Approach?

A strength-based approach is defined as a practice that allows leaders and managers to build upon their employees’ strengths. It specifically requires you to see and portray your employees as resourceful and resilient, especially when they are going through a difficult phase at work.

This approach has its foundation in social work. However, it has recently been adopted for use with correctional populations to allow leaders and managers to focus on an individuals’ self-determination and strength.

One of the first books written on this approach was in 2005 by McCashen. It was titled Strength-Based Models in Social Work.

Scientific Research

The implications and results of the strength-based approach are backed by several scientific experiments, particularly in the fields of health, education and sports that point to the power of the mind to impact the future.

According to a study conducted by David Cooperrider:

  • 30-60% of subjects responded positively to Placebo (Healing occurring based on the belief that it will occur).
  • Children at school that were told they were gifted showed signs of immediate improvement.
  • Everyone has an inner dialogue. Unhealthy people have a 1:1 ratio of good: bad images. Healthy people have a 2:1 ratio of good: bad images.
  • One can find the rise and fall of culture via the internal dialogue of the culture itself.
  • Selective self-monitoring eliminates failure.

What Does The Strength-Based Approach Entail?

The whole process is based on two things:

  • Recognition
  • Appreciation

Recognition is all about giving good feedback based on the performance of the employee and the results achieved, while appreciation involves acknowledging someone’s inherent strengths. It does not focus on the person’s achievements, rather on their worth.

To learn more about how recognition and appreciation are important, check this TedX talk by Mike Robbins. The talk is based on his article “Why Employees Need Both Recognition and Appreciation.”

Domains Of Strength

Although every person has a set of unique strengths and weaknesses, according to statistics provided by Gallup, successful teams have an array of strengths. According to their research, there are four distinct domains of strength:

  • Executing
  • Influencing
  • Relationship Building
  • Strategic Thinking

It is not crucial for an individual or team to have an equal distribution of strengths from each domain. It is up to the leader or the manager to understand how to leverage what their team has to accomplish their goals.

Each domain is further defined using themes. These themes help in defining how each domain characterizes certain traits and strengths.

As a manager, it is up to you to identify the domains and themes of your employees’ strengths. Focusing on their strengths and leveraging them will help you lead them to success.

In the aforementioned Mediation Services Workshop, we help you develop the art of identifying another person’s as well as your strengths. We also help you create a team strength grid to help you keep track of your employees.

The Strategic Planning Process

Most strength-based approaches use the SOAR and appreciative inquiry. SOAR (vs. SWAT) stands for strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results.

It is a framework that focuses on devising and implementing a strategy based on:

  • Identifying strengths
  • Building strengths
  • Feeding creativity in the form of opportunities
  • Encouraging individuals and groups to share aspirations
  • Determining results

The framework is thoroughly taught in our ‘Strengths-Based Approaches in the Workplace’ workshop to help leaders and managers create a healthy and encouraging work environment that helps the employees connect with each other and the managers.

About Us

Mediation Services in Winnipeg offers training programs to help you learn mediation and leadership skills. We conduct online zoom and asynchronous webinars for different issues. Such modules will help you to improve your communication and solve family, workplace, and personal conflicts. To check out our training courses, visit this link here or contact us for further assistance.


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