Tell us a bit about you.
Which of the At My Best tools do you use?
I have the strengths cards and use them occasionally, both within work and with my friends. But the At My Best tool I use the most is At My Best 360. I use it within the development programmes I run. It’s a great tool for making the point that we often don’t give enough emphasis to our strengths. I think it’s important that we don’t ignore weaknesses, but so often we don’t even recognise what our strengths are – At My Best 360 is a way of finding out what others really value in you, getting examples of when you are at your best. It’s a way of better understanding and consolidating what you know about your strengths.
Why and how do you use At My Best tools?
As I’ve mentioned, I use At My Best 360 within the Development Programmes that I run. The last time I ran a programme I asked participants to complete it in the middle of the programme (between two residential sessions). This time I’m asking them to do it before the programme starts. Either way, I encourage people to invite people from across different parts of their life to give them feedback. I want people to think about themselves as a whole person and how they can bring all parts of themselves to different parts of their lives.
I ask people to bring the outputs from the 360 with them to the programme sessions so we can use them within our discussions. We talk about their experience of doing At My Best 360 and weave the content into the work we do around authentic leadership.
The 360 outputs are one part of the picture. They provide really helpful reflections and the tool works well alongside the other bespoke exercises that I use. The whole ethos of my programme is around appreciating who we are and not trying to be someone we’re not, it’s about recognising our strengths and using those to our advantage.
What impact have you had with the tools?
People get really apprehensive when I say we’re doing a 360, particularly when I say people will have the chance to share specific feedback in the form of examples and stories. But people enjoy it! They are often surprised at how positive it is.
The real impact is the focus on strengths. I had one participant recently who enjoyed the process so much they went back and got their whole management team to do it.
What advice would you give to others who are thinking of using At My Best tools?
If you want to use At My Best 360 I’d say the important thing is framing it; make sure people are aware of what it is and how it works. People often have preconceived ideas about what a 360 is, this is very different so it’s important to make that clear.
Do you have a favourite exercise you can share?
My focus is on facilitating individuals to reflect on their outputs. At My Best 360 is a tool that can be really valuable in its’ own right, but it works well alongside or within a broader development programme too.
I don’t like to be too prescriptive about when I use the 360 – it depends on what I’m trying to achieve – it’s different for different people. It can be valuable to use at the start of a relationship. My experience is that it works particularly well with people who are focusing on exploration (rather than those who have a particular goal in mind). The outputs have opened up conversations that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, I’ve had some fascinating discussions.
Basically the At My Best tools focus on the amazing things about us as individuals. I’m very much about bringing more positivity to the world – it’s not about ignoring the negatives, but it is about getting more of a balance. There is so much focus on negative news and what we’re bad it, I think part of my role is to encourage and support more exploration of the good stuff!
Thank you Jo for sharing! If you'd like to connect with Jo and find out more about her work please visit her website:
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