As a leadership and stress coach, I use a question-response technique in a large part of my work, holding up a mirror and helping people to gain a different perspective. However, there are also a number of valuable tools that I use in coaching sessions. Today, I want to introduce you to a simple but effective tool that you could also use on your own (without a coach): the Strength Resources Model.
Most of us lead very hectic lives – with a large volume of work, chores at home and other duties. In many cases, we combine this with caring for children and with a (sometimes too) active social life. We rarely find time to be bored! Since we are always on the go, however, we sometimes cease to realize which of these activities are good for us and which are less so – or could even be harmful. The Strength Resources Model (‘Kraftressourcen-Modell’) developed by the German coach Jana Jeske helps to make people aware once again of resources and stressors in key areas of their lives.
I believe that the best thing about the Strength Resources Model is its clarity and simplicity. Here is how it works: You write down your most important resources (you could also call them ‘energy sources’) and stressors (or ‘energy thieves’) for the following six areas and ask yourself the corresponding questions:
- Job: Which activities are you best in? What gives you a sense of satisfaction? What needs to happen during your working day in order for you to go home feeling satisfied in the evening? Which situations and actions by other people do you find stressful at work? What do you do repeatedly, even though it is not good for you?
- Family: Which activities do you particularly enjoy in a family environment? What would you miss if you lived alone? What causes stress in the family environment?
- My time: Which activity do you most enjoy doing in your own free time? What do you do regularly for your own benefit that gives you strength? When are you dissatisfied or stressed after a day off?
- Contacts: Which people are important to you and what do you do with them? What do you find stressful when you are with other people?
- Wellbeing: What can you do to make yourself feel full of strength and vitality? What acts as balm for your physical and mental wellbeing? When do you feel crushed? What do you do even though it is not good for you?
- Treasures: Which additional resource ‘treasures’ are there that are good for you – and that you may perhaps not have done for a long time? What would family or friends advise you to do that has been beneficial for you in the past?
Next, supplement these six areas with everyday rituals that give you strength and structure. Finally, draw a picture of yourself on a sheet of paper (landscape format). Take the four most important resources from the entire model that you want to devote more time to in future and write them in green to the left of your body. On the other side, write down in red the stressors you want to avoid in future. Once you have defined these measures, ask yourself: How can I implement them all? What are the prerequisites to achieve this? Are there possible obstacles and how can I address them? And then just do it!
My personal strength resources model
To give you a more concrete understanding of what the six areas and rituals could entail, I would now like to present my own personal strength resources model. I have marked in green those resources that I want to strengthen in future, and in red those stressors that I want to avoid as much as possible in future:
+ No routine, a lot of variety
+ Perfect combination of individual meetings (coaching) and work in groups/organizations (talks/workshops)
+ Contact with many interesting people
+ A great sense of satisfaction as I see my clients develop
+ I am my own boss – so I have flexibility in my working life
– Some clients have unrealistic expectations
+ My husband, who loves me unconditionally
+ My two children, who love me unconditionally
+ My mother is still alive
– My children fighting, my children’s illnesses
– A lack of calmness when my children yell at me or won’t listen
– My father’s recent death
+ Watching romantic films
+ Spending time away from my family
– Numerous duties at the weekend and in the evenings (household chores, etc.)
– I need to have more time alone than is actually the case
+ Discussions with my husband
+ Talking to close friends
+ Inviting friends round to dinner
+ My daughters have such great friends
– Too little time and sometimes also too little energy for discussions with my husband
– Superficial conversations
– People who are not honest or genuine and are full of their own importance
+ Sport – especially tennis, roller blading, skiing or playing table tennis in our garden
+ Wellness treatments
+ Good food and wine
– Insufficient refreshing sleep
– Effects of Glandular Fever, which I previously suffered from
+ Our home
+ Our two cats
+ The holidays we spend together
+ Sunshine and warmth
+ Buying clothes in my favorite shop – Boutique Buchelt in Seefeld, Zurich: http://www.buchelt.ch/boutique-kleider
+ A period of calm in the morning before other family members get up
+ Regularly reminding myself of the things I am grateful for in my life
+ Regular cuddles with all family members, including our cats
Has my personal strength resources model now inspired you to write your own? I would be very pleased if you would take the time to do so. This will give you an even better insight into the things you should do more of in future and those activities that you should avoid.
© Claudia Kraaz