FAQ

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The Concept

Strengths can be defined in a number of different ways, but we tend to think of them simply as ‘the inner qualities that shape who you are at your best’. Your strengths are those things that are core to who you are. When you use them they energise you and allow you to perform well.

A good indicator of when you’re using strengths is that you are able to do something well AND love the process of doing it.
The 48 strengths that feature in the At My Best products were carefully chosen to ensure they reflected the broad range of strengths that people possess. Starting with a detailed review of existing strengths taxonomies and personality inventories, we identified more than 120 possibilities.

It was really important that the language on the cards was accessible and non-technical, so a small panel of psychologists reviewed and narrowed this list before undertaking a series of surveys to test out and validate the strengths in the UK, North America and Asia.

The final set contains a good range of strengths, each of which can be used to end the phrase ‘at my best I am…’
There are no definitions of the strengths in the At My Best set. Our products are designed to help you recognise your own strengths and notice what you appreciate in others, so it is much more about stimulating insight than providing objective measurement.

We encourage you to define the strengths in a way that is meaningful for you and tell the stories of why particular words resonate with you.
Only English at the moment, but we will soon be adding other language options. Please let us know which language(s) you’d find most helpful! [link to contact]
There is no magic number. When using our tools you might find that a lot of the words resonate with you, or it may be that you feel only a few are relevant. It doesn't matter, though for ease we often suggest that you work with between 5 and 10 words – and really focus on those strengths that are most core to who you are at your best.
The photographs in our products were chosen to complement the 48 strengths that appear on the reverse of the strengths cards. The images were carefully chosen to loosely reflect each strength, while also allowing for individual interpretation.

Through testing with users we were able to ensure that the final set of photos included a breadth of style, content and relevance. We hope we’ve also been able to create a set of images that have a positive emotional impact on users.
In short, images can help us to think in a different kind of way. They often provoke a more emotional response than words which are typically associated with more rational, logical thinking. Images allow people the freedom to make literal or abstract connections, to focus on a small part or the whole image. This lack of constraint can be really helpful in stimulating quality thinking and reflection.
We are incredibly grateful to all the photographers whose fabulous work is featured as part of our tools:

Beki Young
Hanri Shaw
Megan Dreyer
Jurek Durczak
Paul Donovan
Paul Davies
Martin Galpin
Martin Fisch
Amira A
Ali Arsh
Robert Young

Please note that all images are protected under copyright.* Images by these photographers are reproduced with permission and under a Creative Commons Licence.
If there’s a picture which is particularly meaningful for you or your team, you might like to have a copy of it on your desk or wall. All the photographs are available in a range of formats from our shop.
At My Best is a product range from Work Positive, a consultancy that blends business and positive psychology to help individuals and organisations to flourish. Find out more about us and what we do at workpositive.com.
Yes! We love talking about strengths and helping people to be at their best. If you have an event you’d like us to speak at then please get in touch.
Research has found that there are significant benefits to encouraging people to work with their strengths. Those individuals who get to use their strengths regularly show higher levels of wellbeing and happiness and, if they are using their strengths in a work environment, more engagement and higher productivity.

If you want to know more about the research around strengths and positive psychology, here are a few sources to get you started:

Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton.

Character Strengths Matter by Shannon Polly and Kathryn Britton

Flourish by Martin Seligman

StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath

Average to A+ by Alex Linley
If there’s something else you’d like to know then please get in touch. and we’ll do our best to help.

Strengths Cards

48 cards focusing purely on what works well. Each card has a single word on one side and a thought-provoking image on the other. That’s it. No detailed descriptions, no complex models – you get to choose how you define the words and use the images.
Each pack of cards comes with an instruction booklet to get you started. Then you can find more ideas on how to use your cards here.
Yes, they do, but only loosely. Some people see the connection very quickly but others take a while to notice the link. Many of the exercises you could use the cards for involve either the words or the photos, so you could just think of them as two decks of cards in one.
It depends what you want to do. Having one pack of cards for each participant will maximise the number of things you can do. But having one pack between 2 works well too (we’ve organised the cards so that there is a good breadth of words and images in each half of the pack). For some exercises it will even be fine having just one pack per table.
Pretty much anyone. You don’t need any qualifications or formal training.

You can use them for self-reflection but they’re more commonly used as a facilitation tool by people who are supporting or developing others, either one-to-one or in groups. The strengths cards are particularly popular with coaches, facilitators and teachers but they’re used a hugely diverse range of people including therapists, social workers and youth workers.
Because of their simplicity, the strengths cards can be useful in almost limitless ways. Some of the more common uses include coaching, teambuilding, facilitation, training, teaching, review meetings and other forms of personal or professional development. But we also know that they’ve been valuable in a host of other contexts, such as counselling, offender rehabilitation, actor training, end-of-life care and parenting.

Because the cards provide a simple stimulus and language to talk about what is working well, they can prove helpful in many situations. For example, you might be looking to strengthen team relationships, build self-awareness or self-esteem or provide focus to a personal development plan or a project review process. Alternatively you might simply be aiming to raise awareness of the concept of strengths or be looking to increase appreciation of what others do well.

We've been amazed by the variety of ways people have found to use the cards and would love to hear how you use them and what impact they have. Please get in touch and let us know your story.
Bundle deals are available in our shop, but if you are thinking of using the cards on a large scale then please talk to us.
If there’s a picture which is particularly meaningful for you or the people you’re working with, it might be nice to have a copy of it on your desk or wall. All the photographs are available in a range of formats from our shop.
We'd love to support interesting and worthwhile research projects if we can. Feel free to get in touch if you have an idea.
The short answer is yes, we do. However, there's nothing to stop you using the cards straight out of the box, using the exercise suggestions included on this website and within the pack itself.

To find out more about the training we offer visit workpositive.com or drop us a line.
If there’s something else you’d like to know then please get in touch and we’ll do our best to help.

360 Feedback

At My Best differs from other, more traditional, forms of 360 feedback in many many ways. Here are some of the most notable differences.

It is entirely strengths-based. All of the feedback you receive is on your strengths – what people see in you when you’re at your best.

It is not a questionnaire. People giving you feedback are not presented with a barrage of items that they have to rate on a scale. It’s a lot more interactive than that – they complete an online card sort of strengths cards and choose from a series of pictures. They’re asked to add some concrete explanations to explain their choices to make the feedback more personal and relevant.

It is not anonymous. All of the feedback is attributed so you will know who said what about you. See why we think that’s important.[jump to question below ‘Why isn’t the feedback anonymous?’]

There’s no long report full of endless bar charts. The feedback you receive from At My Best comes in the form of an interactive ‘Strengths Explorer’, which encourages you to engage with your feedback in meaningful ways.
If you want to be at your best even more of the time, does it help to focus attention on your weaknesses and the things that drain you of energy? Or, is it better to focus on what you want to move towards, what you want to do more of?

We’re not suggesting we should ignore our weaknesses, but we don’t believe that focusing most of our attention on problems is the way to motivate and inspire us to be at our best. Unfortunately, this is exactly what many ‘traditional’ 360 feedback tools do (often inadvertently). When people are presented with lots of data, it’s perfectly natural to hone in on the negatives, which then makes it difficult to make the most of the positive messages that are there.

The purely strengths-focused nature of At My Best can help you understand how you can be at your best even more of the time. You might complete it because you’re having coaching or going through a development programme, or you might be looking for some inspiration ahead of a career change or in response to a difficult challenge.
Our 360 is entirely strengths-based; those people who give you feedback are only asked to comment on what you do well and what they most appreciate in you. As a result, there is no real need for their feedback to be anonymous. What’s more knowing who has written the feedback helps to make the experience more personal and impactful. Having attributed feedback also helps to promote a culture of appreciation within groups.
Engaging, interesting, thought-provoking, enjoyable, emotional. These are some of the words people have used to explain how they found the experience. It’s definitely different to other tools you will have used and you will need to give it your full concentration if you are going to get most value from it. But it is very straightforward and doesn’t take long to do – AND it’s all about good stuff – so it can be pretty uplifting too.
Setting up the 360 itself is pretty quick, typically about 10 minutes. All you need to know is who you want to ask for feedback and have their email addresses to hand.

The 360 also includes a self-reflection, which you will need to complete yourself. This typically takes 20-25 minutes and it can be helpful to do this before inviting others to give you feedback, so you have a better understanding of what they’ll be asked to do.
Whether you are completing the self-reflection element or giving feedback on someone else, we suggest you set aside 20-25 minutes of uninterrupted time to complete the 360.

To give all your nominees time to complete the 360 for you, we’d generally suggest that you allow around 2 weeks. You can allow more or less time if you wish, but a clear deadline will help ensure that people respond.
You need at least 3 people to take part, but you can invite up to 12.
Whoever you like. We recommend you ask people from a cross-section of your life who you value the opinions of. Even if you are taking part in the 360 for your professional development it can be helpful to get some feedback from friends and family as well.
Once your 360 is completed, you’ll get access to your Strengths Explorer – an online, interactive summary of your feedback. You can also print out a copy of the feedback you receive.
Yes, definitely! Please get in touch to talk about what you need
If there’s something else you’d like to know then please get in touch and we’ll do our best to help.

Strengths Cards App

It’s pretty simple, the app is basically our strengths cards in a digital form. You choose to work with either the word side of the cards (single word strengths) or the photos, and move them around the screen freely.

Adding sticky notes can help structure your thinking and a range of exercise ideas in the help section will give you suggestions of things you can do.
Individuals, coaches, teachers, psychologists – anyone who wants to reflect personally on their strengths, or who is working with others around identifying their strengths. It’s ideal for situations when it’s not practical to use an actual deck of strengths cards (e.g. working with a coaching client over the phone).
Currently the Strengths Cards app is designed to work on Android tablets and iPads. Although it may work on smaller devices, the screen size will limit what you can do with it.
We certainly hope so. There’s already a list of things we’d like to add to the app to make it even more useful and user-friendly, but we’d love to hear your suggestions and requests.
If there’s something else you’d like to know then please get in touch and we’ll do our best to help.