Basic Process 

(Note: The underlined text in the following pages do not link to other documents, except in the cases where the underlined words are identified as being a LINK.)

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This page of the website simply describes the first 2 Steps of the Practice in a slightly different format than was used to introduce those two steps listed in the Contents of this website. It might be useful to look at the beginning of this practice as a way to articulate a subjective strength, which is basic to what the practice is all about. This page also introduces the idea of being involved in a 2-person dialogue when working on the articulation of subjective strengths.

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THE BASIC PROCESS TO ARTICULATE A SUBJECTIVE STRENGTH

 

Step 1: Remember a recent experience when you felt more positive than you usually do.

          Reflect on your experiences during the last day or two (or maybe in the last week) and recall a moment when you felt more fulfilled, or satisfied, or happy than is typical for you.  Describe what was going on at the time you were feeling this positive feeling. 

 

Step 2: Identify some personal quality, or thing you did, or strength you have, that might have influenced, or caused the experience that made you feel more positive than usual.  

 

Further Explanation

              An assumption underlying this 2-step process is that often, when you feel good, it is because you have influenced what happened in a positive way. You have used one or more of your strengths in a way that resulted in an outcome that was satisfying. The challenge is to articulate which of your personal qualities were helpful in the satisfying event that occurred. When you articulate that kind of strength, you can call it a subjective strength.

               It is called a subjective strength because it is your experience that determines if it is a strength you can claim. There is no outside authority or inventory to use to tell you if it is a strength. Your feelings tell you if it is a subjective strength.

 

Using a Strengths-focused Dialog to Articulate your Subjective Strengths:

              One of the many ways to articulate your subjective strengths is to do so in pairs. In a Strengths-focused Dialog, two participants take turns trying out the 2-step process above. One person listens and paraphrases while the other person is working through the two steps.  If each participant takes 15 minutes, each is likely to articulate one or more subjective strengths. Sometimes it is useful for the listener to encourage the speaker to remember to do step 2, or to encourage the speaker to give more details about their experience, or to go further in articulating their strength.

 

Example:

          Step 1: Yesterday I was talking to my friend, Sarah. When we finished I felt more satisfied than I usually do.  She had mentioned an experience where she felt quite disappointed about a trip she had taken with her family. I asked her to tell me more about the experience and she did. I listened to her and asked her how she felt about specific events. When we were done talking she told me that it was really helpful to talk to me about her disappointments and why they occurred.

 

        Step 2: I think I am a really good listener, and I seem to have counseling skills.