Tell us a bit about you
I’m Allegra Stone, and I’m based in Gloucestershire, UK. I’m a coach and workplace mediator.
Which of the At My Best tools do you use?
I use the strengths cards extensively with people who are struggling with deciding how and what to change to improve their lives. I also use the strengths cards as an ice breaker at the beginning of my mediations.
Why and how do you use At My Best tools?
I tend to use the picture sides of the cards, rather than the words, as I feel it expands a client’s view of their potential options. I think the beauty of the cards is their variety and how differently they can be interpreted.
What impact have you had with the tools?
I often find that using the cards leads to different thoughts and solutions that the client hasn’t thought of before.
For example, I sometimes I ask clients to choose those pictures which describe how they want their life to be using blue sky thinking. I ran this exercise with one person who had previously told me she wanted to be a freelance physiotherapist, but when we did the exercise using the photos, it became apparent that she actually wanted some time off, walking her dog in nature and taking a break from work. Her action was to pause her career plans until she was ready.
On another occasion, when I was using the cards in a coaching session with a doctor, she chose the hand puppet picture and mentioned how the final 10 years of her career must have fun in them. This had just occurred to her and was not something that came up as she talked about her plans and needs in the previous three coaching sessions.
What advice would you give to others who are thinking of using At My Best tools?
I think that using them for their intended purpose is clearly a priority. However, I would encourage people to use their intuition and creativity if they feel that they could work in other situations. I would just say be mindful that they are very versatile and have multiple uses.
Do you have a favourite exercise you can share?
My favourite exercise:
I use the coaching cards to expand thinking and this is useful in follow up coaching sessions to find additional options for coachee goals.
It takes about 20 minutes. It's most useful for individuals and uses the picture side of the cards.
I ask the coachee to go through the cards and find a selection (up to 6) which reflect the current situation. This leads to a discussion about what's happening in their life at the moment (Reality).
I then ask them to go through the pack again and find other cards which reflect how they want their life to be (Goals).
Coachees are often surprised at the difference between the two groups. It is very useful for goal setting and to set a way forward.
And finally, I ask them to photograph both sets of pictures with their phone as a visual prompt for their goals when they are working on their plans outside the coaching sessions.
Thank you Allegra for sharing! If you'd like to connect with Allegra and find out more about her work please visit her website:
Could you be our next Practitioner of the Month?
If you’ve had some success using the At My Best tools, we’d love to hear from you. Just drop us a line and we can arrange a time to chat.