Coaching with Strengthscope®

Learn how to bring the strengths approach into your coaching practice and into as many coaching conversations as you can.

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Written by Team
Updated over a week ago

We know, from client feedback, that the strengths approach positively transforms people’s lives.

When people complete Strengthscope®, often for the first time, they can understand what it is that truly energizes them and that marks them out as unique, where they can create the greatest value.

For a coach, that is a very powerful conversation to have. So let’s explore how you can use Strengthscope® on the Cloverleaf platform – either in the form of the Free5 or the complete Strengthscope® assessment.

Strengths in a nutshell – you first!

The Free5 strengths report gives you a great start to understanding your own top strengths, with descriptions of your top strengths, presented in alphabetical order. What this provides you with is:

  • Your top 5 from the total list of 24 work-based strengths, which are those that give you the greatest energy

  • A short description of each strength describing you at your energized best

  • A starting point for consideration of how you might be able to use each strength, and strengths in combination, to drive value in your work.

But what about all my strengths?

Upgrade to your full Strengthscope® report to access the following additional features:

  • Your strengths wheel in all its 24-strength glory, complete with your Significant 7 strengths, and those areas that may drain you

  • A comprehensive view of you at your best and where you can best play your strengths to maximize value, as well as how and where you can stretch these strengths to deliver even greater value

  • What your strengths may look like in ‘overdrive’ and some strategies to avoid these becoming derailers for you

  • A complete online ‘walkthrough’ of your Strengthscope® report, including a handy StrengthsJournal where you can capture your thoughts, reflections, and actions.

In completing your own Strengthscope® report, you can also experience first-hand the additional value that this might bring to clients, to help you decide whether you would want to use Strengthscope® as part of your offer to clients.

Coaching clients using Strengthscope®

Whether you’re using the Free5 or the full Strengthscope® report, coaching clients through their strengths needs to start with good positioning around strengths - what they are and what they’re not. So here are some things to help you position things positively:

  • Strengths are underlying qualities that energize us, and that we are great at, or have the potential to become great at. They enable us to perform at our peak.

  • Strengths are those things that drive and energize you and they do this consistently throughout your life and career. So your strengths are for life, not just for today or this week.

  • Strengths aren’t just about skill. You can learn to be world-class at something but if you’re not using your strengths to make it happen, you’ll deliver a great job but be exhausted.

Often we focus on defining skills, knowledge, and behaviors associated with success in a particular role. These are often referred to as ‘competencies’. Unlike competencies, strengths are related to the person and not the role.

Coaching using the Free5

The Free5 gives you and your client an insight into which of the 24 work-based strengths is likely to define them at their very best.

You are given a short description of each strength to help the client select which of their Top 5 strengths is most important to them. Coaching questions to ask at this stage can include:

  • Which of the five strengths resonates most for you? Can you pick out three that really define you?

  • Were there any surprises? Why?

  • Can you tell me why you feel the three strengths you have selected describe you the best?

  • Please give me some examples of when you have used those strengths to drive value in your work.

As always in coaching, if you start with the client’s session goal/current challenge and then, once you have taken them through the questions above to help them establish their most valued 3 strengths, encourage your client to consider how their strengths can help them meet their goal or overcome their challenge.

It is in this way, i.e. when your client can see the value of using their strengths to deal with a challenge they are facing, that the empowering nature of strengths is revealed. Transformatively, the challenge or goal feels more achievable and more energizing when you can take your strengths with you.

Coaching using the full Strengthscope® report

On your Cloverleaf dashboard, on upgrading to the full Strengthscope® report, you will immediately see not 5, but 7 strengths listed, along with more comprehensive descriptions of each strength at its best.

In addition, you can see the full Strengthscope® wheel (example here) which shows the Top 7 strengths in purple, as well as ‘bubbling under’ strengths and those strengths which may be more draining for your client to use, shown as the shortest bars on the wheel.

Questions to pose to your client here include:

  • Does the wheel look like you?

  • Any surprises?

  • What does the distribution of your strengths across the four strength clusters tell you about where you may be most and least energized?

  • Of the lower bars on your profile, are there any strengths that actually drain you? And what strategies do you have in place to avoid these drainers becoming risks? Might you be able to use any of your strengths to get around any of these draining areas in your profile?

  • Which of your strengths might be particularly useful in addressing your current goal/challenge?

Stretching strengths

The full Strengthscope® report contains three coaching tips for each of the Top 7 strengths reported by your client as to where they could stretch their strengths to the next level of performance.

Ask your client which of these tips resonates for them the most and ask them to consider how they could develop some strengths further to contribute greater value, moving them towards action.

Managing overdrive risks

The full report also describes each of the Top 7 strengths in terms of what an overdrive risk might look like for each strength. Ask your client which of these overdrive descriptions best describes them and which they see as presenting the greatest risk to their current performance or future career.

For each overdrive risk, three tips are presented which will help your client to mitigate any overdrive risks. Ask them to select or customize a tip in order to take action in any particularly marked areas of risk for them.

Strengths in context

With practice, your strengths can become your ‘go to’ tools to help you deal with all sorts of daily life challenges, as well as translating to a wide range of practical contexts at work. We have seen some great examples of this in the following areas:


Strengthscope® enables leaders to identify what makes them unique in their approach and to become more authentic and skilled in a leadership role. They better deliver the impact they intend, manage overdrive risks effectively and better connect with their people when they understand and apply the strengths approach.

“Strengthscope® has provided me with the greatest insight compared with any other psychometric testing I have completed in my career.” Leader, Global engineering business

“Strengthscope® lets you know how to be successful by being you” Manager, Retail organization

“Strengthscope® changed my life” Director, European PR, and communications agency

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Strengthscope® is used widely in coaching and personal development programmes designed to enable and empower those from less well-represented groups to step into more senior roles. The approach builds confidence through a greater understanding of the unique talents and strengths that each individual can bring. The tool is also proven to show no bias as regards age, gender identity or ethnic group.

Personal Development

By focusing their personal development on areas of strength, individuals tap into their greatest potential source of value for the organizations, and at the same time, supercharge their personal development.

“Strengthscope solidified what my strengths are, coaching helped me identify what was inhibiting those strengths and the whole process gave me energy to make real development plans that made sure I was working out of my natural strengths”

- Entrepreneur and business leader

Early Career

Strengthscope® helps those early in career to define their ‘brand’ so that they can land well in new organizations, with their manager and teams. With greater self-awareness from their strengths, they are able to navigate team relationships and politics much more effectively and with greater confidence.

Team Development

Understanding your own and other team members’ unique strengths and risks has a profound effect on the health and performance of teams. Teams build greater trust, accountability and go on to deliver better results when using their strengths in complementary ways.

“Strengthscope® raised our awareness of how we were behaving as a group, who had which strengths, and who we should be listening to at certain times when the group strength took over. This enabled us to see things differently and therefore solve problems better.” - Store Director, Global Retail Organization

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