14 Good Questions Regarding Strengths

Good Questions regarding Strengths

  1. Can you find your strengths?
  2. What could you work on?
  3. What is your greatest strength?
  4. What strengths would other people select for you?
  5. Even though things may be tough at the moment, what strengths will help you get through?
  6. Do some of your strengths get you into trouble?
  7. Do you use some strengths more than others?
  8. Has anyone ever criticised your strengths? – Do you think they were right?
  9. What strengths do you need to work on?
  10. Have you lost some strengths you used to have? Why did they go? Could you get them back?
  11. Are there any strengths you wish you had?
  12. What strengths could sort out this situation?
  13. Do you know anyone who already has these strengths?
  14. How could you get these strengths?

How to Raise Self-Awareness Using Strength Cards

Your clients can discover their strengths

The Strength Cards are a great way for raising self awareness in clients individually or in groups.

Strength cards for use by coaches, managers, teams or teachers to inspire powerful coaching conversations. Strength cards can be a highly effective as conversation starters so that clients can open up to talk easily about what is on their mind, accessing both thoughts and feelings. These cards can introduce another dimension to the coaching conversation.

Here are 10 ways on how to raise self-awareness using strength cards:-

  • Just spread out the cards and ask you client to choose 5 cards that really stand out for them. These are strengths that are natural for them and give them a positive vibe. When they consider these strengths, they will feel like these are there core strengths – in a sense they recognise that these are wired in.
  • It is best for the client to get some feedback and ask someone else, who knows them well, to choose their top strengths for them. See if they match. If others recognise those strengths in you, it helps the client to confirm their own selection. Can that third party give you specific examples of the strengths in action.
  • Get your client to Understand how their core strengths play out in their lives. How are they used? In what situations are they used? What postive impact do these strengths make on their life? Encourage them to use their main strength intentionally every day. Set a task for your client to purposefully and intentionally use one of the core strengths on a regular basis, say, at least once a week.
  • Encourage your client to use their  core strengths in an original way. So, instead of just using their key strengths habitually, support them in developing a particular strength by extending its reach. So, for instance, if ‘persistance’ is one of their strengths and they use it currently to try and finish a difficult project, see how this strength might play out when setting particular goals, or researching a new subject.
  • We should each have a number of strengths, many of which are not tried and tested on a regular basis. Which ones do you under use and why? Choose one of these strengths and start to use it consciously in your life. Strengths are like muscles – use it or lose it!
  • For you and your clients – if you are facing a specific problem at work or at home, check through the cards and choose a strength that might help you cope with this problem. It may not be one of your strengths so it won’t solve the problem, but it will act as a catalyst to understand the character strength you need in a difficult situation and perhaps ask for the help of someone you recognise with that strength.

    strength cards for self awareness
    Strength Cards from St Luke’s
  • To enhance relationships, ask your partner, work colleague or family member to choose their top strengths. Give them examples of where you have seen these strengths play out.
  • Here;s a way to postively affirm someone else. Choose a strength card for someone you love, or an individual you work with. Perhaps even someone you are facing difficulties with. Give them the strength card and tell them why you have chosen it for them, offering positive praise.
  • Use strengths cards and language readily and frequently. Strength cards are a valuable addition to any coaching toolkit. Great for use in a variety of contexts with individuals and teams, the playing card size and format makes them easy to carry around and use spontaneously or as part of a planned exercise.
  • Clients can choose to work with words or images.  discovering or confirming a client’s strengths and then exploring ways of using these strengths to help them achieve their goals.
strength cards showing humorous, caring, hopeful
More strength cards from St Luke’s

14 Good questions regarding strengths

Basil Pesto Chicken

Basil Pesto Chicken


Delicious and easy to make, this Basil Pesto Chicken is an absolute winner for a mid-week spring meal. It’s also great to reheat for lunch or dinner the next day.

Serves: Two

Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients for basil pesto chicken

  • 200g dried fettuccine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 single chicken breast fillets, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 1 cup cream
  • shaved parmesan, to serve
  • basil leaves, to serve

Method for basil pesto chicken

  1. Cook fettuccine according to the packet directions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add chicken and cook, stirring often, until brown.
  4. Add pesto, cream, salt and pepper to frying pan.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and cook for five minutes.
  6. Drain pasta and add to pesto mixture.
  7. Toss over low heat until well combined.
  8. Transfer to serving bowls.
  9. Top with parmesan and basil.
  10. Serve warm.


Basic Tomato Pasta Sauce

Basic Tomato Pasta Sauce


Ingredients for basic tomato pasta sauce

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 x 400g cans good-quality chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 organic chicken or vegetable stock cube

Method for basic tomato pasta sauce

  • Place a saucepan over a medium heat, add a splash of oil and the onion, and cook for 5-10 minutes until softened.
  • Using the flat of a small knife squash the clove of garlic, add a pinch of salt to create friction and continue pushing down and rubbing the garlic against the board with the knife until you have a paste.
  • Add the garlic to the onions, cook for a minute, then add the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée and cayenne pepper, and crumble in the stock cube. Mix all the ingredients together and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly and the stock has totally melted.
  • Serve with your choice of pasta.


Bacon & Veggie Slice

Bacon & Veggie Slice (Lunch alternative to sandwiches)

 bacon and veggie slice

 Ingredients for bacon & veggie slice (serves 6)

Extra light olive oil, to grease

4 bacon rashers, rind removed, diced

1 leek, halved lengthways, thinly sliced crossways

2 medium zucchini (courgettes), grated

2 medium carrots, peeled, grated

105g (11/4 cup) grated tasty cheese

150g (1 cup) self-raising flour, sifted

5 eggs, lightly beaten

125ml (1/2 cup) extra light olive oil

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Natural yoghurt (optional), to serve

Baby spinach leaves (optional), to serve

Method for Bacon & Veggie slice

Grease a 19cm (base measurement) square, heatproof microwave-safe dish lightly with the oil.

Place bacon in a large, heatproof microwave-safe bowl. Cover with paper towel and cook on High/800watts/100%, stirring after 2 minutes, for 4 minutes. Add leek, cover with paper towel and cook on High/800watts/ 100% for a further 1 minute. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.

Stir in the zucchini (courgette), carrots, cheese and flour, and mix well.

Whisk together the eggs, oil and mustard in a medium bowl. Add to the bacon and vegetable mixture, season with salt and pepper, and mix gently to combine.

Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Place the dish on a microwave-safe rack or upturned saucer to elevate about 2cm above the turntable. Cook, uncovered, on Medium/500watts/50% for 15 minutes or until the edges are firm and the centre is slightly wobbly.

Preheat grill on medium-high. Place the dish under the preheated grill for 4-5 minutes or until top is golden and centre is firm to touch.

Cut into pieces and serve warm with a dollop of yoghurt, sprinkled with pepper, and spinach leaves, if using.




Why is promoting self-awareness in our coaching clients so important?

Promoting self-awareness in our coaching clients

What is self awareness?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, self-awareness is, “the Conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives and desires”. To have a complete knowledge of self, then, seems like a tall order. Is this knowledge something that can be learnt in a day, or is it the result of a lifetime of learning? Like most things that have worthwhile life-long value, there is a starting place, and a continuing commitment to learning, and it may be something that we cannot do on our own. An old proverb states, “the purpose of a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out”. This seems to suggest a process more than a one-time event.

Establishing long term change through self awareness

So why is promoting self-awareness so important to our coaching clients? Well, it may be that self-awareness is just the first step to empowerment. Our clients may have a presenting problem (short term goal) that needs to be explored. It may be something like taking their business to the next level, or resolving a dispute in a relationship, or, perhaps a transition taking place in their career. But often the presenting problem is not the main problem. We have an opportunity as coaches to establish a long term change in our client’s mindset, by promoting self-awareness.

Improving our clients’ self-awareness enables them to have a better understanding of themselves. They will be able to experience themselves as unique individuals. Empowerment through self-awareness helps them to make the changes and to build on their areas of strength as well as identify areas where improvements are possible.

A client needs to know what is going on, to be real with themselves. They can do this by knowing and establishing their strengths and weaknesses. They may not be fully aware in the initial stages of the coaching relationship of what their strengths and weaknesses are. This is something that the coach can help with, the coach’s role is to give some direction. Encourage them with the experience they already have, and the accomplishments already achieved. The important thing here is to help the client know where they stand at this moment in time.

Knowing strengths & weaknesses through self awareness

Our clients are in the driving seat so they need to have great insights in themselves. Knowing not just strengths and weaknesses, but fears and failures as well as successes. Awareness of life events, will help people make better decisions. They need to be real with themselves. It is well said that a man who thinks he cannot be deceived – is already deceived! Empowering our clients through promoting self-awareness will help them to make better decisions.

A client with good self-awareness seems to know what is right for them at the moment. They know what works and what doesn’t work. They know what they are doing right and what needs fixing. A coach can support and encourage a client in the things that they are doing right, that are helping them to get to their goals, even when they may not realise it themselves.

Powerful decisions through self awareness

Self-aware clients are able to make good decisions and give themselves good advice, even when circumstances and people around them are trying to derail them. It is important that clients can take confident ownership in their own decisions especially in the big decisions. A coach’s role here is that good questions are better than good advice. Promoting self-awareness in a client helps them to know themselves, to know what they know, and what they don’t know. Self-awareness helps to bring all of the factors in to play in such a way that they can predict outcomes.

In promoting self-awareness in our clients, we are helping them to make powerful decisions and this in the long term adds great value to the coach/client relationship.