Taking a Strengths-Based Approach in Our Schools

Why is it that we become so aware of the things that we cannot do and lose sight of the things that we can do?

This question is posed in the TED Talk Want To Bring Out the Best in People? Start with Strengths. Chris Wejr asked this right after he shared the unfortunate reality that you ask a kindergartener to list what they are good at and the list is very long, but when you ask the same question to a kid in high school, they have often have trouble coming up with even one thing to list.

We need to shift our thinking in our school systems to a more strengths-based approach. As Elena shares in Chapter 7 of Onward, When we focus on the bright spots – on what we want to see more of – it doesn’t mean that we deny challenges…A strengths-based approach to change works because when we look at our strengths and at what’s going well, we gain confidence in ourselves, we can harness our positive feelings, and we can direct that energy to areas where we’re struggling.

What can you start doing tomorrow to switch to a strength-based approach in your classroom? Not in education? What about taking a strengths-based approach as a parent or partner?